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Parra appointed as associate director of Medical Hispanic Center of Excellence at UTHSC

Juan Parra, M.D., MPH, associate professor of pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC), has been named associate director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence in the UTHSC School of Medicine.

"Dr. Parra's experience on the Special Selection Committee for Medical School Admissions and the Tenure and Promotion Committee will enhance the activities offered to pre-medical students and the programs offered to faculty through the Hispanic Center of Excellence," said center Director Martha Medrano, M.D., MPH., associate professor of psychiatry. "Dr. Parra also is a seasoned researcher, which will allow him to mentor medical students and faculty."

Dr. Parra sees general pediatric patients with students and residents at the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Center for Families and Children. He attends on the general pediatric ward service and is the medical director of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children's Hospital. A 1985 graduate of the School of Medicine, he completed his residency at UTHSC in 1988 and his general pediatric academic fellowship in 1990. That same year, he was awarded a master of public health degree from the UT Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.

Dr. Parra teaches medical students, residents and practicing physicians how to detect and treat child abuse and neglect. His research also centers on those two problems. In addition, Dr. Parra educates health care professionals about the diagnosis, treatment and management of sexually transmitted diseases. He has published a number of papers with Drs. Nancy Kellogg, Rebecca Huston, D. Michael Foulds and other UTHSC faculty in journals including Pediatrics, Clinical Pediatrics and Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

He has studied the incidence of child and adolescent sexual abuse in Bexar County and is involved in a study identifying risk factors in severe child physical abuse and abuse-related fatalities. "I am very excited and proud to have been appointed to this position," Dr. Parra said. "As an undergraduate, I participated in a Health Science Center summer program that prepared me to gain acceptance to Medical School. Working with undergraduate students, medical students and my fellow faculty to develop, enhance and support careers in medicine has brought me full circle and I will work hard to give other individuals the opportunities that I have had in my career. It is an honor to work with Dr. Medrano and the staff at the Hispanic Center of Excellence."

The Health Science Center also is home to a newly funded Hispanic Center of Excellence in the Dental School. That center is under the direction of Ramon Baez, D.D.S., associate professor of general dentistry. UTHSC is the first institution in the country to have Hispanic Centers of Excellence in both medicine and dentistry.

Contact: Will Sansom or Aileen Salinas