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Feb. 19, 2003

U.S. Congressman David Vitter Points Out ULM's Strengths at Press Conference

The University of Louisiana at Monroe hosted a press conference for U.S. Congressman David Vitter today at 1:30 p.m. in Sugar Hall 101. At the conference Vitter talked about the strengths of ULM and its importance to the community's economic development.

U.S. Rep. David Vitter, a third-term Republican from Metairie, serves as Louisiana's only member of the House Appropriations Committee. After the press conference Vitter went on a tour of the ULM health sciences buildings for a first-hand look at the state's only pharmacy school and other health sciences programs at the university.

Vitter said, "ULM is a shining star for this area of the state. So many of its programs, especially here at the Health Sciences Center, have the potential to spur economic development for Louisiana. I look forward to working with the university and other local officials to help harness this potential."

ULM is the leading provider of health care professionals for the state of Louisiana. ULM prepares students for jobs in the health care industry by offering programs in Communicative Disorders, Dental Hygiene, Occupational Therapy, Radiologic Technology, Clinical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Toxicology. ULM produces graduates in four of the five severe shortage areas in health care as identified by the Louisiana Health Care Works Commission-pharmacy, radiological technology, clinical laboratory science, and rehabilitation (including occupational therapy and speech-language pathology). The fifth area, respiratory, was the only area that ULM does not graduate.

"I'm really impressed with the good work going on at ULM, " said Vitter.

ULM President James Cofer is grateful to Congressman Vitter for his acknowledgement of ULM.

"The Congressman's visit to ULM shows his dedication to quality education and economic growth in Louisiana. All of our health science programs at ULM need more funding in order to flourish. We are fortunate to have his support and welcome him back to ULM any time," said Cofer.

"I am pleased and proud that Congressman Vitter came to visit our campus. Our faculty and students are also pleased that he has shown interest in our Health Sciences," said Dr. William Bourn, Dean of the College of Health Sciences.

"I'm thankful that the president and others have invited me here today to learn more about the state's pharmacy program. The good work of the administrators and students here is really impressive," said Vitter.

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