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May 2008

Release Date: May 9, 2008

Health Foundation Grant to Help Start New College at Angelo State

The San Angelo Health Foundation, which was instrumental in providing seed monies for Angelo State University’s physical therapy program, has awarded $350,000 to help ASU with the start-up monies necessary to establish a new College of Nursing and Allied Health.

The grant, announced jointly by foundation Chairman of the Board T. Richey Oliver and President Tom Early in conjunction with Chancellor Kent Hance of the Texas Tech University System and ASU President Joseph C. Rallo, was contingent upon approval of the proposed college by the Texas Tech Board of Regents. Authorization for the new college, effective Sept. 1, came Friday, May 9, in Lubbock at a regular meeting of Texas Tech regents.

Early said, “The foundation’s continued support of Angelo State and, now, the Texas Tech System will enhance the opportunities for training and retaining health professionals in our community. Consistent with the mission of the health foundation, community health in its broadest form is our focus.”

ASU’s Rallo said, “We are so pleased that the foundation will play a major role in the creation of a vital new program designed to enhance and expand ASU’s ability to prepare health care professionals to meet the growing needs of our community, state and region.”

The grant to the Texas Tech Foundation Inc. will be administered by ASU and will provide the necessary start-up monies until the state funding can be approved by the Texas Legislature for the new college, which will become home to ASU’s Department of Nursing and Department of Physical Therapy. The funds will include $180,000 for salaries, $40,000 for maintenance and operations; $110,000 for equipment and $20,000 for discretionary funds.

With approval by the Texas Tech Board, the proposal will go next to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for review. Plans call for ASU during the next legislative session to seek state funding for a new building to house the College of Nursing and Allied Health.

Previously, the Nursing and Physical Therapy Departments had reported through ASU’s College of Sciences. The new College of Nursing and Allied Health will provide greater opportunities for ASU to expand its health care offerings and to realize benefits as a member of the TTU System because of possible joint programs with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

The development of the college is projected to follow three phases. Phase one, the development phase, will include providing the administrative infrastructure, completing development of the new Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and securing ongoing legislative funding.

Phase two will initiate the development of a Center for Rural Health, Wellness and Rehabilitation to promote the highest level of health and quality of life for vulnerable rural populations.

The third phase will focus on expanding new allied health and nursing degree opportunities, including a bachelor’s degree in health care communications and informatics and master’s degrees in occupational therapy, rehabilitation counseling and rural and international health care.

Throughout the implementation process, ASU will work closely with TTUHSC to coordinate degree programs and prevent unnecessary duplications of efforts while providing students in West Texas with a more flexible path to education in nursing and allied health.

Since 1997 the San Angelo Health Foundation has committed more than $28 million to community projects and area non-profit organizations. One of the foundation’s first and most significant grants was the $671,933 awarded to ASU to in 1997 for the start-up monies for the proposed physical therapy offerings.

“That grant,” said ASU’s Rallo, “was one of the most important in ASU history. Without it and the expansion of our health care programs to include physical therapy, we would not be in a position to start a College of Nursing and Allied Health. Now as we move forward with our new college, ASU will be able to broaden its health care options and better serve the residents of West Texas.”