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HSC one of seven in nation to receive presidential honor

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Through community service learning programs at the UT Health Science Center, students Nicolette Walters (left) and Navid Nafassi (right) distribute vaccinations to the residents of the Prospects Courtyard, part of Haven for Hope, the city’s center for the homeless.

The UT Health Science Center was honored with a place on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The distinction, awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems while putting students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.

Melanie Stone, M.P.H., M.Ed., director of community service learning for the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, said the dedicated efforts of students, faculty and staff to engage the community has earned the Health Science Center a place on the Honor Roll every year since 2009. The university is the only health science center in Texas to make the honor roll, and one of only seven nationwide.

Center Director Ruth E. Berggren, M.D., said she is proud of the center’s success. “At the center, we believe that community service learning forms the bridge between ethics education in the classroom and the development of empathy and humanitarian values in our future health care providers. Through these experiences, our graduates have real-world understanding of the social determinants of health and the context in which disease occurs.”

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