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Three faculty members receive national recognition

Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 · Volume: XLV · Issue: 14


On July 20, Adelita Cantu, Ph.D., RN, will receive the 2012 Henrietta Villaescusa Community Service Award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.
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On July 20, Adelita Cantu, Ph.D., RN, will receive the 2012 Henrietta Villaescusa Community Service Award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. clear graphic

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Three UT Health Science Center San Antonio faculty members have recently received national recognition.
  • Adelita Cantu, Ph.D., RN, will receive the 2012 Henrietta Villaescusa Community Service Award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) at the annual conference July 20 in Puerto Rico.

  • Jan Evans Patterson, M.D., M.S., was appointed July 2 to the Subspecialty Board on Infectious Disease of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

  • Deborah Parra-Medina, Ph.D., M.P.H., was elected in June to the Obesity Society’s Pediatric Obesity Section, which supports scientific efforts to understand child obesity and inform the public of its treatment and prevention.
Dr. Cantu
An assistant professor in the School of Nursing, Dr. Cantu serves on NAHN’s Board of Directors as chair of the Bylaws Committee.

She will receive the national award for “her desire to give back to the community in which she was raised and to which she owes so much,” said Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, in her nomination letter.

Dr. Cantu teaches community health to undergraduate nursing students, embedding in the curriculum and clinical rotations experiences that allow the students to better understand the social and cultural aspects of the communities they will serve in the future. She also has been a campus leader with faculty members from the Dental School, School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy (a joint program with the UT Austin) to develop an interprofessional community service learning course.

In addition, Dr. Cantu has developed strategic partnerships with numerous community stakeholders to address the issue of obesity in low-income neighborhoods. She has done this by developing two culturally relevant curriculums. “Healthy Choices for Kids” is a summer camp for children that emphasizes exercise, nutrition and healthy life choices. “Healthy Choices for Seniors” promotes healthy food choices and cooking methods in collaboration with senior community centers.

Dr. Cantu also coordinates efforts through the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District to provide fruits and vegetables through convenience stores that serve low-income areas of town.

At the NAHN conference, Dr. Cantu will give a plenary presentation on Muevete (Move) USA, which trains nursing students to educate children in the community on nutrition and exercise. The program, designed to lower the risk of obesity and diabetes in children, is based on first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign and incorporates nurse-mentoring concepts first piloted in the UT Health Science Center School of Nursing. Since then, NAHN has received a grant to expand the program to other areas of the country, including Arizona, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and Brownsville, Texas.

Jan Evans Patterson, M.D., M.S., has been appointed to the American Board of Internal Medicine
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Jan Evans Patterson, M.D., M.S., has been appointed to the American Board of Internal Medicine's Subspecialty Board on Infectious Disease. clear graphic

 

Dr. Patterson
An infectious diseases physician with UT Medicine San Antonio, the School of Medicine’s faculty practice, Dr. Patterson is associate dean for quality and lifelong learning in the School of Medicine.

The American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) subspecialty boards and test committees are composed of experts in both academic medicine and practice, all of whom must be ABIM certified in their particular subspecialty. Members of these boards apply their individual and collective knowledge toward the development of the policies, standards and requirements for certification and maintenance of certification in their subspecialty, with special focus on developing the cognitive exam that physicians must take to certify or maintain their certification in that field.

Dr. Patterson is professor of medicine and pathology and director of the Center for Patient Safety and Health Policy of the Health Science Center.

Dr. Parra-Medina
A professor and researcher at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the Health Science Center, Dr. Parra-Medina will serve a two-year term from 2012-14. She will attend The Obesity Society’s annual scientific meetings and engage in group communications.

The society aims to advance the science-based understanding of the causes, consequences, prevention and treatment of obesity to improve the lives by creating the leading professional society in the field.

The society’s Pediatric Obesity Section aims to:
  • promote networking and collaboration among pediatric obesity researchers and practitioners;
  • promote pediatric obesity clinical practice; and
  • increase the national visibility of the pediatric obesity section as a leading resource in research, practice, and advocacy.
Dr. Parra-Medina has vast experience in health promotion, public health epidemiology, health disparities in cardiovascular and chronic disease, and community-based interventions among underserved and minority populations. At the IHPR, part of the School of Medicine, she leads several research projects, including a project that teamed researchers, community leaders and parents to design and implement a text-messaging-infused intervention to boost physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviors among Latina Girl Scouts ages 11-14 in San Antonio.

 
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