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UTHSCSA's Villers is Texas EMS Educator of the Year

San Antonio (Jan. 31, 2003) — The Texas Department of Health named Lance Villers the Emergency Medical Services Educator of the Year for his leadership and commitment to EMS education in Texas. Villers, an assistant professor of emergency medical technology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), developed the Health Science Center's bachelor of science degree in emergency health sciences, the first of its kind in Texas and one of only 13 similar programs in the United States. Villers is the program's director.

"Our program is the only one of those 13 with a strong clinical and patient care focus. The other programs focus on EMS and health care management," Villers said. "We wanted to focus on UTHSCSA's reputation as a leader in allied health education and patient care."

The Health Science Center's emergency health sciences degree program builds on the knowledge and skills of a paramedic and offers courses in patient management, pathophysiology, disaster management and educational issues, as well as courses that develop patient-care delivery and prepare students for leadership positions in EMS and emergency care. "It is a degree for paramedics, not a paramedic degree," Villers said.

After earning approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in 2000, UTHSCSA accepted its first class with eight students in the fall of 2001. This May, those students will be the first to earn a UTHSCSA degree in emergency health sciences. "Those graduates will be ones to watch because they are and will continue to be the leaders in this profession," Villers said.

Villers also teaches EMT and paramedic certification courses for the San Antonio Fire Department, as well as evening courses to members of the community.

Contact: Aileen Salinas