University of Montana Interim President Sheila Stearns is making good on a promise to Missoula media to  make herself more available, and a first step on Tuesday was a presentation highlighting UM's Health and Medicine Initiative.

From a podium in the foyer of the Skaggs Building on campus, Stearns focused on the Neural Injury Center, The Native American Center for Excellence, Biomedical Research and UM's proposed Center for Transitional Medicine and the effort for excellence in pre-med advising for UM Students.

“I realized that if you want to go to medical school, you can come to the University of Montana and have a neuroscience major, or a bio-med major, in fact, we have 40 majors in our UM Health and Medicine that might lead you to a health professions degree,” Stearns said.

Stearns introduced Reed Humphrey, Dean of the College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences who said his department doing its part to increase enrollment by appealing to any young student who wants to pursue a career in medicine.


photo by Peter Christian
Reed Humphrey

“If you’re a parent in Montana, and your kid wants a career in health professions, this is the place they’ll get the broadest range and the deepest resume,” Humphrey said. “We’re really optimistic that at least in this sector of a research-intensive university, that we’re doing our jobs.”

Roberta Evans, dean of the University of Montana's Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences, said the health professions are a major draw for students investigating the University of Montana.

photo by Peter Christian
Roberta Evans

“Community health actually has a huge growth and high employment at the baccalaureate level because the affordable care act is now providing behavioral interventionists across the land,” Evans said. “Those baccalaureate-trained community health students, who actually enroll as part of the College of Education and Human Sciences, are a key part of that.”

Stearns promised that as long as she is the president, she will continue to host such informational programs for the media to share with their readers, viewers and listeners.

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