To help increase the diversity in the health professions work force, the College of Health Sciences and Human Services at The University of Texas-Pan American was recently awarded more than $1 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The goal of the grants is to provide scholarships to students, whom are underrepresented minorities, from disadvantaged backgrounds with financial need.

Recipients of the funds at UTPA included the following programs: Clinical Laboratory Sciences, $122,342; Physician Assistant Studies, $172,043; Nursing, $514,301; Occupational Therapy, $130,000; and Dietetics, $100,000.

“With the recent awarding of over $1 million for students majoring in five of our highest demand programs, more students will be able to fulfill their dreams of working in a rewarding health care profession. We are grateful for this federal support, which is really an investment in the next generation of health care workers,” said Dr. Bruce Reed, dean and professor for the College of Health Sciences and Human Services.

The awards were made possible through HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration appropriations for FY 2010 with additional funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 to help build the nations’ health care work force.

The scholarships will be given during a one-year period and UTPA began receiving ARRA funds in 2009-2010. The recent grants awarded to UTPA significantly increased from 2009-2010 when the College of Health Sciences and Human Services received a total of $676,493 between the five programs.

Of the total $96 million funding, $66 million will be used to provide scholarships to 28,000 disadvantaged students across the country under the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program. The funds awarded included $45.7 million in FY 2010 appropriations for 308 grants to 605 health professions programs at colleges and universities; and $20.5 million in ARRA funds for 273 grants to 513 programs at colleges and universities.

The remaining $30 million will support nursing student loans for master and doctoral degree nurses who will then become faculty at nursing schools across the country.

To learn more about the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, visit