La Feria News

Partnership Between UTRGV and City to Bring Resources, Continuing Education to Community

The La Feria Recreation Center on Pancho Maples as well as the Dome Shelters next door will serve to house special programs brought to the community from UTRGV and project VALOR. Photo: LFN Archive

During a meeting at the beginning of the year the La Feria City Commission and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley signed a memorandum to work together in a community outreach program.

The university initiative, named VALOR, is a community-university partnership between the city and the UTRGV School of Medicine Office of Interprofessional Education.

The mission of the community-university partnership is to enable students to practice effectively in interprofessional teams by working collaboratively with students from across campus

The City of La Feria will provide space for UTRGV students and faculty to work and in return La Feria residents will be offered the opportunity to take advantage of activities and programs based on topics that interest the community.

VALOR is made up of four teams of 25 students. They will lead the programs available to residents utilizing space in the Pancho Maples Dome Shelter as well as the La Feria Recreation Center.

Last February university students met with community members to discuss continuing education topics, needs and interests of the community including health and wellness, community gardens, affordable prescriptions, family education and promoting higher education to young students in the community.

Former Mayor Victor Gonzalez signed a proclamation declaring August 31, 2015 as “The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Day” in the City of La Feria during a city commission meeting on August 11th of that year. UTRGV Associate Vice President for Governmental and Community Relations, Richard Sanchez accepted the proclamation on the University’s behalf. Photo: LFN Archive

Through the community-university partnership students will form interprofessional collaborative teams, serve as role models for community youth, engage community members as partners to provide public service, while confronting the social determinants of health and health disparities.

Students from varied disciplines will apply their professional expertise and values while building upon the strengths and addressing the needs of the community.

VALOR is the latest of several community outreach initiatives launched by UTRGV in connection with the city of La Feria, as well as surrounding communities. The La Feria City Commission approved to provide a letter of support to UTRGV’s school of medicine for the application for Health Resources and Services Administrators (HRSA) and Area Health Education Centers Program (AHEC) during their meeting on March 28th of this year.

Last November, representatives from UTRGV student organization known as ENACTUS provided Thanksgiving turkeys to area families in need. In August 2015 former Mayor Victor Gonzalez signed a proclamation declaring August 31st The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Day in the City of La Feria.

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