FOR MORE THAN FIVE DECADES, UTMB’S SCHOOL OF HEALTH PROFESSIONS has educated generations of health care professionals who have become leaders in their fields and changed the world through life-altering care and research.
The school, which was founded in 1968 as the School of Allied Health Sciences and was the first of its kind in Texas and the southwestern United States, has graduated more than 12,000 alumni.
“Today, SHP offers multi-level educational programs for a diverse group of students, colleagues and members of the community; facilitates student and faculty involvement in scientific investigation and scholarly activities that advance health care; and encourages service through active participation in professional and community activities,” said Dr. Vicki Freeman, interim dean of the School of Health Professions, during the SHP’s 50th anniversary commemoration event held at the Galveston Island Convention Center on Oct. 20.
Currently, the school has an enrollment of more than 800 students seeking degrees or certificates in 32 academic plans who will eventually enter fields as diverse as occupational therapy, clinical laboratory sciences, respiratory care, physical therapy, rehabilitation services, and nutrition and metabolism among others.
In her remarks during the celebration event, Freeman noted that SHP faculty members are nationally recognized leaders in their field and that the school offers doctoral degrees in Physical and Occupational Therapy and Clinical Laboratory Sciences. In addition, she said the SHP attracts millions of dollars in external support to provide over $300,000 in scholarships a year to students and more than $7 million for faculty research.
“I believe the founders all had the hope that one day in the future the school would be in a nationally elite class,” Freeman added. “I also think that the visionaries who laid the foundation over 50 years ago had faith that outstanding things in the school would happen, and they have.”