Establishes Institute for Neurosciences in Harlingen

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley today announced that the School of Medicine has received a $15 million gift from The Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation to create the new UTRGV Institute for Neurosciences.

The institute, which will be housed in Harlingen, catalyzes multidisciplinary research, integrated clinical services, educational programs, and community outreach and engagement with hospital partners in the areas of mind/brain health, behavior and prevention.

The gift will be matched in significance with university funds for state-of-the-art equipment and personnel.

“This is another historic day for UTRGV,” said Guy Bailey, founding president. “One of UTRGV’s priorities is to expand research opportunities that will impact the Valley and beyond. This institute will address an area of healthcare that has been underserved in our region for many years.”

The institute will focus on the following core activities:

· Education – Develop capacity for integrated ambulatory/outpatient care, integrate primary care and behavioral health in internal medicine, develop medical student clerkships in psychiatry and neurology and develop research and clinical fellowships in subspecialties.

· Multidisciplinary – Develop programs in clinical excellence and personalized medicine, including multidisciplinary research and service lines for specific populations.

· Health and prevention programs – Including early detection/early intervention of psychotic disorders, community education and coaching on selected neurologic/behavioral disorders, and implementation of behavioral health in internal medicine and other primary care clinics.

“At the Legacy Foundation, we believe that mental health is essential to personal well-being and plays a major role in one’s ability to maintain good physical health,” said Randall Baker, executive director for The Legacy Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with UTRGV and the School of Medicine on this significant project, and we strongly believe that the Valley community will greatly benefit from it.”

This gift raises UTRGV’s private fundraising total to more than $50 million since the university opened its doors Aug. 31, 2015.

“This is another example of the giving spirit in the Valley,” said Kelly Cronin, UTRGV’s vice president of Institutional Advancement. “We’re fortunate to live in a region where people value the importance of higher education and truly understand how supporting a first-class institution like UTRGV can benefit the entire region.”