Tuesday, February 1, 2022
  Faculty Focus, Around Campus

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The UTRGV School of Medicine has been awarded a grant to help meet the healthcare needs of Hispanic communities on the South Texas border.   

The $5,000 grant from The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine Academy of Health Science Education is for a nine-month certificate pilot program – “Better Teachers, Better Healthcare for Historically Underserved Hispanics at the Border: MedEd Teaching Certificate Program” – meant to focus on innovative medical education and best teaching practices.  

Because the program is tailored to the border’s specific healthcare needs, medical educators will gain professional development opportunities as clinical faculty members to enhance student learning and, in turn, produce physicians better trained to meet the healthcare needs of historically underserved Hispanics at the Border.   

Dr. Karina Madrigal
Dr. Karina Madrigal, EdD, MA, assistant professor of Pediatrics and director of Faculty Development, UTRGV School of Medicine. (UTRGV Photo by Jennifer Galindo)

Dr. Karina Madrigal, EdD, MA, assistant professor of Pediatrics and director of Faculty Development, is principal investigator on the grant.  

“We will be able to increase our current efforts to train the next generation of physicians in using modern medical education and innovative teaching strategies in both the classroom and clinical setting,” Madrigal said. “These efforts are significant to me because I am a Valley native, and I believe we can further prepare our students to better care for our underserved communities.”  

The end goal, Madrigal said, is to enhance the patient experience in medically underserved communities like the Valley.  

The team’s goals include:  

  • Implementing active learning techniques and technology.  
  • Strategically developing educational innovations.   
  • Incorporating evidence-based medical education strategies.   

The team also aims to establish an educational philosophy anchored in Hispanic border healthcare needs by recognizing the unique social determinants of health, cultural awareness, and cultural competency.  

In addition to Madrigal, the team of co-investigators includes:   

  • Dr. Beatriz Tapia, MD, EdD, MPH, interim associate dean of Faculty Affairs and Development, assistant dean for Pediatrics and associate professor of Pediatrics.  
  • Dr. Robert Nelson Jr., MD, MS, FAAP, interim vice dean for Educational Affairs, senior associate dean of Faculty Affairs and chair of Pediatrics.  

Dr. Rene Corbeil, EdD, professor in the UTRGV Department of Teaching and Learning, Educational Technology, served as a technology consultant. 

The grant helps reinforce the UTRGV MedEd Teaching Certificate Program launched in November 2021.  

Founded in 2005, the Shine Academy was created to serve The University of Texas System through the support and advancement of excellence in health science education, educational scholarship, and leadership.   


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.