Program Contact

Contact: Grace Avila (Project Manager) and Dr. Robert Spears (Lead Investigator)

Phone Number: 713-486-4431 and 714-486-4013


Program Information

Location: Location: Location: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) McGovern Medical School, School of Dentistry, and Cizik School of Nursing


Start/End Dates: TBD

Academic Credit: No


UTHealth is an academic health center that educates more than 5,000 professionals each year, and that delivers health care to patients with diverse cultures, beliefs and nationalities. UTHealth is committed to creating an environment that values inclusion, collaboration, partnerships and teamwork to accomplish its mission.

The UTHealth SHPEP is grounded in collaborative relationships between the UTHealth McGovern Medical School, School of Dentistry and Cizik School of Nursing, which are the three health professions of interest for our program.  The curriculum focuses on Basic SciencesAcademic Enrichment and Professional Development.

The Basic Sciences core curriculum is structured around courses relevant to health professionals, including Anatomy and Physiology, Statistics, Organic Chemistry as well as an additional appropriate entry level course for students interested in nursing.

Career Development Workshops: An important part of the program is to work with scholars to prepare them for the admissions process. Admissions officers at each school will discuss the application process. Virtual session will include sessions on interviewing skills along with conducting Mock Interviews, Along with this each scholar will write their personal statement and receive feedback on this important part of the application process, Additionally, the importance of community service, shadowing and research experiences in the application process will be discussed and how to make yourself a stronger candidate for professional school application..

Interwoven throughout the curriculum and student experiences is the central theme of wellness and nutrition. This theme also allows the program to highlight the interprofessional collaboration between healthcare providers needed to address this multi- faceted healthcare challenge.

Students will have the opportunity to explore their own wellness. Multiple activities are scheduled throughout the program to engage the scholars in wellness activities. The program will provide weekly wellness events that utilize reflection, yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, and other physical and mental activities to challenge both mind and body.

Clinical Experience: Scholars work together and experience all of the professions.  Even in a virtual format, scholars will be engaged in some hands-on activities. Materials will be sent out to everyone to be involved in a suturing workshop. Stethoscopes will be sent for an activity involving heart sounds and taking blood pressures. Surgical gloves and gowns will be sent so students can be involved in an infection control workshop and learn about how to be prepared for entry into the clinic. Additional activities are being planned to have the program still interactive even though virtual.


Stipend: Student stipends of $600 will be distributed in three installments during weeks 2, 4, and 6.



Social Activities: Social activities are planned throughout the program. Each week scholars will engage in virtual student groups to foster camaraderie with all members of the group.  Virtual student lunch rooms are created that allow students, faculty, and the tutors to eat lunch and socialize. Often there is a topic or presentation given to support wellness. Many evenings have social activities planned, such as game nights or movie nights.