State Senator Leticia Van De Putte, District 26

News Release
Friday August 30, 2002
Contact Tel (210) 733-6604

$21 million Awarded to Area Health Care Collaborative

Senator Van de Putte announced that The University of Texas Health Science Center received $650,000 in grant funds from the Texas Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) Board for public, not-for-profit healthcare collaboratives.

This highly competitive grant will allow the health care facilities to use telemedicine to transcend travel boundaries and time to diagnose patients, to educate patients, to teach other physicians at a distance, and to share information among sites. Telemedicine equipment can provide access to off-site databases, link clinics or physicians' office to central hospitals, and transmit x-rays and other diagnostic images for examination electronically.

"In 1995, the Texas Legislature created this funding source to provide grant funds for technology to schools, libraries, higher education institutions, and public, not-for-profit health care facilities," said Senator Van de Putte. "These grant funds have the potential to make a difference in the way medicine is practiced, increasing both the access to and the delivery of health care services throughout the state into even the remotest areas. I am pleased that this collaborative had the dedication and foresight to apply for and receive this competitive grant".

Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, President of UT Health Science Center stated,"We are so grateful to Senator Van de Putte and the Legislature for establishing this program, and so grateful to the TIF Board for this award. The vast region that we serve is ideally situated to take full advantage of telemedicine. Our region includes some of the most medically undeserved areas of the nation, and this funding allows us to use the most advanced technology to better educate and serve all the people of South Texas."

Since its creation by the 74th Legislature, TIF has awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants its four constituent groups- public schools, libraries, institutions of higher education, and public, not-for-profit healthcare facilities. TIF is set to expire in 2005.

For more information, contact TIF at (512) 344-4300 or 888-533-(TIFB) 8432. Additional information, including lists of all grantees and future grant opportunities, is available at

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