January 8, 1999
Volume XXXII No. 1

School of Nursing confers 6,000th degree;
graduate to work in pediatric ICU

nursing graduate

The School of Nursing awarded its 6,000th degree during winter graduation ceremonies Dec. 19.

The milestone degree holder is Leslie Swift, who received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. A medical office manager for 18 years before switching gears to attend nursing school, she has accepted a position in the pediatric intensive care unit at Methodist Children's Hospital of San Antonio.

Swift moved to San Antonio a few years ago from Corpus Christi. "I was inspired to change careers by a daughter I lost when she was 5 years old," she said. "Courtney had congenital heart defects and underwent many surgeries. I spent a lot of time in the pediatric intensive care unit at Driscoll Hospital [in Corpus Christi]."

She sought her nursing degree to help mothers, fathers and children facing similar situations. She will be an understanding face in Methodist's pediatric ICU.

Swift is the daughter of the late Dr. Andries Strauss, who practiced family medicine for many years in Corpus Christi. After working for her father, she joined the family practice clinic of Dr. Charles Clark, Sr., also of Corpus Christi. "He was my mentor and still encourages me to continue my career in nursing," she said.

Swift participated in the School of Nursing Honors Series (invitation only for students with 3.0 or higher grade point averages) and was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, specifically the Health Science Center's Delta Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau.

She and her husband, Steven Swift, have a 14-year-old son, Matthew.

The 6,000th degree milestone comes midway through the School of Nursing's 29th year; a 30th-anniversary celebration is in the planning stages. The school is the largest nursing school in The University of Texas System and was ranked 41st out of more than 300 U.S. graduate nursing schools in a recent U.S. News & World Report survey.

Under the direction of its dean, Dr. Janet Allan, the School of Nursing offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The latter two degrees are conferred by the Health Science Center's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in cooperation with the School of Nursing.

Students selected for the BSN program must have completed 60 hours of prescribed course work. The baccalaureate program takes three to four semesters to complete. A flexible-track program is available for registered nurses (RNs) and for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) with at least one year of work experience.

Several majors are available for students enrolled in the advanced nursing degree programs. These include pediatric nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner. Students in these majors may attain designation as nurse practitioners--primary care providers who handle many of the tasks traditionally performed by physicians.

On to careers in allied health

Click on photo for caption.

allied health graduates

'SaturDays of Caring' volunteers
to tidy up flood-damaged areas

Volunteers are sought to help with "SaturDays of Caring 1999," a United Way project to clean areas hit hard by the great flood of 1998.

SaturDays of Caring, like the Days of Caring held each fall, will place volunteers on "done-in-a-day" projects. The San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department has identified projects in six parks for completion in January, February and March.

The parks department will supervise the volunteers and provide all tools and supplies. The United Way Volunteer Center is working with corporate coordinators to recruit volunteers.

To help out, call the office of Dr. Deborah Greene, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, ext. 2004. The first workday is Jan. 16 at Martin Luther King Park.

Of Note

Office Products Show planned for Jan. 13
General services/general stores will host the annual Boise Cascade Office Products Show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, in the auditorium foyer.

Browsers will see displays of the newest office products from factory representatives and the latest in information processing supplies.

The 1999 Supplemental Office Products catalog will be available at the show; staff should bring the 1998 catalogs for recycling.

Refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to all faculty and staff.

IRB deadline moves up
The pre-review deadline on submissions to the Institutional Review Board for the board's February meeting is 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14. The deadline is generally the 15th of the month, but was changed to the 14th to allow adequate time for investigators to reply to pre-review comments. For more information, call ext. 2351.

Mac User's meeting rescheduled

The Jan. 6 meeting of the Macintosh User's Group has been moved to noon Wednesday, Jan. 13, in library room 2C. The speaker is A. Jerome York, Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

York will discuss the "UTHSCSA Office of Information Management and Services: What's New and What's Coming." Mac User's Group meetings are open to all interested individuals.

MLK Day is Jan. 18
The Health Science Center will be closed Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The holiday honors the famed civil rights leader, minister and Nobel Peace Prize recipient who was born in 1929 in Atlanta.

The Briscoe Library will be open 8 a.m. to midnight.

1998: The Year in Review

Research discoveries… clinical advances…
educational milestones… effective outreach.
In every area, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio made invaluable contributions to the people of the South Texas/Border Region--and beyond.



  • The 25th anniversary celebration, "25 Years of Miracles," kicks into high gear with faculty book readings and fun experiments for children at area Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

  • The Health Science Center is one of nine sites nationwide chosen to create a Hartford Center for Excellence in Geriatrics Education, with the goal of better teaching physicians how to care for older patients.

  • Health Science Center students and employees donate more than 2,000 presents for youngsters in hospitals and clinics, according to totals from the 1997 Gifts For Children campaign.

  • The Ewing Halsell Foundation of San Antonio pledges $1 million for creation of a new Distinguished Chair in Aging Research.

  • The San Antonio Medical Foundation celebrates its 50th anniversary with a time capsule ceremony at the Health Science Center.

  • The department of respiratory care receives full accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs.

    top 100

  • The School of Allied Health Sciences bestows the first Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene education during the December 1997 commencement.


  • Dr. Celia Kaye, professor and chairman of pediatrics, is inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

  • The university's South Texas Poison Center produces a bilingual video for the South Texas/Border Region, with the goal of increasing poisoning prevention and community education.

  • The Diabetes Prevention Program, a project of the medicine department's division of clinical epidemiology, continues to test a variety of approaches to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and its side effects.

  • A new "atomic force" microscope, one of only two of its kind in San Antonio, enables UTHSCSA cardiology and interventional radiology researchers to study optimum metals and surfaces for vascular devices such as artery-opening stents.


Gov. Bush

  • Invited speaker Gov. George W. Bush praises the Health Science Center's first quarter-century of achievements during the university's 25th-anniversary celebration held at the Marriott Riverwalk Hotel.

  • The University Health System, which includes one of the Health Science Center's primary teaching hospitals, is selected for inclusion in the prestigious "Top 100 Hospitals: Benchmark for Success" list.

  • Ophthalmology faculty offer several types of surgeries to improve eyesight. One UTHSCSA surgeon is the only ophthalmologist in San Antonio performing a certain type of surgery for farsightedness.

  • A two-year project to upgrade all telephones at the 7703 Floyd Curl campus is concluded six months ahead of schedule.

  • Dr. Michael Wiederhold, professor of otolaryngology-head & neck surgery, continues his studies of how weightlessness affects the development of the gravity-sensing part of the inner ear. He collaborates with NASA, German scientists and the U.S. space shuttle program.

  • Dr. Leonard Paul, former chairman of family practice and medical consultant to the student health clinic, is named the 1998 Family Physician of the Yearfirst by the Alamo Chapter of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians and later by the statewide organization.

  • Dr. James Heckman, professor and chairman of orthopaedics, is installed as president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

  • Orthopaedics/podiatry faculty describe a new test for acute Charcot's arthropathy, a foot disorder affecting up to 15 percent of diabetic patients. The test measures abnormally high pressure on the soles of the feet of patients with Charcot's.

  • Fifty-eight percent of Medical School seniors secure primary care residencies, a 4 percent increase from the year before.


pre-med students

  • A portion of the color vision system of honeybees is successfully transferred to fruit flies by molecular biologists at the Institute of Biotechnology. Study findings could lead to understandings possibly resulting in procedures to improve human color vision.

  • The School of Nursing is listed among the country's Best Graduate Schools in a 1998 survey carried by U.S. News & World Report. The school is ranked 41st among the 306 graduate nursing programs.

  • One-hundred students from 17 high schools in the Rio Grande Valley visit the Health Science Center as part of the MED-ED programa pipeline for opening up the potential of health-related careers to students in the Valley. The visit is one of many by South Texas/Border Region students throughout the year.

  • The Texas Research & Technology Foundation donates 53 acres in the Texas Research Park to the Health Science Center, bringing the university's total acreage in the park to 103.

  • Physical therapy students and faculty continue to volunteer at the San Antonio AIDS Foundation and other sites.

  • Three inventors from the Health Science Center patent a device that increases circulation to the hand, making it easier for blood samples to be drawn.

  • An issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association highlights stroke research led by the UTHSCSA neurology team.

  • Dr. John P. Howe III, president, is installed as president of the Texas Medical Association, a professional organization of more than 35,000 physician and medical student members.


Allied Health/Research Building

  • Dr. Nan Clare, associate dean for academic affairs in the Medical School, is honored for excellence in teaching by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation of San Antonio.

  • Six School of Allied Health Sciences departments begin moving to the new Allied Health/Research Building.

  • More than 600 students graduate from the Health Science Center's medical, nursing, dental, allied health and graduate schools.

  • UTHSCSA researchers report a possible new indicator of breast cancer patient prognosismeasurement of activity of a gene called "c-erbB-2."

  • An MIT drug delivery pioneer, Dr. Robert Langer, delivers the annual Ewing Halsell Lecture on campus.

  • Investigators release results of the landmark Breast Cancer Prevention Trial, whose sites included the Health Science Center. Researchers found that the hormone drug tamoxifen reduced breast cancer incidence by 45 percent among high-risk participants in the six-year study.


  • Linda Pruski, educational development specialist with the university's Aging Research & Education Center and a longtime middle school science teacher, wins the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She receives her award at a White House ceremony.

  • A medical student lecture hall near the Briscoe Library is renamed the Carlos Pestana, M.D., Ph.D., Lecture Hall, in honor of the longtime associate dean of academic affairs.

  • Five physicians graduate from the UTHSCSA Family Practice Residency Program in McAllen, and four others graduate from a new residency program in Harlingen at Valley Baptist Medical Center.

  • The Health Science Center is recognized for highest per capita giving in the 1997 State Employee Charitable Campaign (among state institutions of 3,501 or more employees).

  • Medical student Jennifer Galanis accepts a position in the 1998-99 class of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program.


HIV discovery

  • Health Science Center researchers announce their discovery of gene mutations associated with altered rates of HIV-1 disease progression. HIV-1 is a strain of the human immunodeficiency virus.

  • Thirty high school students and another 36 college undergraduates converge on the campus for rigorous research programs in the laboratories of faculty mentors.

  • A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that people with Type 2 diabetes have as high a risk for heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death as non-diabetic people with known heart disease. Dr. Steven Haffner, professor of medicine/clinical epidemiology, is lead author.

  • A new Musculoskeletal Bioengineering Center will make use of the Health Science Center's existing program in orthopaedic engineering, which focuses on issues such as regrowing cartilage in osteoarthritic joints.



  • University scientists continue to study aging, training their attention on three biological mechanisms that may be responsible for the anti-aging effects of diet restriction. The study, funded by federal grants since 1979, gains a five-year, $6 million renewal award.

  • Dr. Brian Herman, a scientist-educator whose research interests include aging and cancer, becomes chairman of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology.

  • UTHSCSA ophthalmology researchers help to develop new screening devices for the blinding disease glaucoma. Free screenings with sensitive new instruments are provided to 2,500 veterans in San Antonio at the National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

  • The School of Nursing takes its undergraduate flexible process program to Del Rio, where 10 students enroll in the bachelor's degree program. The new program is offered in association with Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College.


older patient

  • The Health Science Center hosts a reaccreditation visit by peer educators representing the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The site visit follows the university's strategic self-study and compliance report.

  • A. Jerome York, a leader in his field with 23 years of experience heading information technology organizations, joins the Health Science Center as Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

  • The surgery department's thoracic surgery division continues pioneering work with new procedures, including valve repair and replacement surgery, and "keyhole" coronary artery bypass surgery.

  • Incoming medical students are paired with senior citizen "mentors" as part of a new curriculum aimed at developing academic geriatricians.

  • UTHSCSA researchers study genetic mutations in zebra fish, which represent an alternative research model to mice.

  • Dental researchers' ongoing research targets better and easier dental implantation.

  • The Health Education Training Centers Alliance of Texas (HETCAT), part of the Health Science Center, trains dozens of lay community health workers.

  • Community health nursing students, their faculty and nurse practitioner faculty from the School of Nursing visit a border colonia near Matamoros, Mexico, to perform physical, environmental and cultural assessments.

  • Dr. Shirlyn McKenzie, professor and chairman of clinical laboratory sciences, receives the 1998 President's Council Award for Excellence in Allied Health Research.


building dedication

  • The 1998 State Employee Charitable Campaign at the Health Science Center raises a record $207,600 for charitable agencies.

  • South Texas transplant pioneer Dr. J. Kent Trinkle, professor of surgery, dies at age 64. He led teams performing the region's first heart, lung and heart-lung transplants.

  • The Hugh B. Tilson Endowed Chair in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is established in the Dental School.

  • Two faculty, Drs. Janet Allan, nursing, and Cynthia Mulrow, medicine, are appointed to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

  • Dr. Theresa Chiang, a veteran of 18 years in student services at several universities, comes aboard as Executive Director of Student Services.

  • Anthony Ferrara, head of a university health maintenance organization in Illinois, joins the university as Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs/Chief Business Officer.

  • A new imaging system in the Dental School's department of dental diagnostic science saves patients hundreds of dollars and provides clinicians with state-of-the-art tomography.

  • The $19.5 million Allied Health/Research Building is dedicated at 8403 Floyd Curl Drive. The facility brings six School of Allied Health Sciences departments and a major Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences research center under one roof.

  • President Howe joins Jose R. Coronado, director of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie Murphy Division, in celebrating the VA hospital's 25th anniversary.

  • Hundreds of middle school and high school students visit campus for the Science '98 exposition featuring exhibits, activities and lectures.


brain map

  • Human Brain Mapping, a journal edited by Dr. Peter Fox, director of the Health Science Center's Research Imaging Center, is highly ranked in a scientific impact survey conducted by the Institute for Scientific Information.

  • Health Science Center efforts to place and train workers with disabilities gain major recognition--the 1998 Employer of the Year Award from the Texas Rehabilitation Association.

  • UT System Regents select four sites for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) and appoint the Health Science Center to operate two of the center's three divisions.

  • Dr. Kyriacos Athanasiou, associate professor and holder of 19 patents covering applications in orthopaedics, receives the Imagineer Award bestowed by San Antonio's Mind Science Foundation.


ground breaking ceremony

  • Leaders gather in the Texas Research Park to break ground for the newest Health Science Center research facility, the South Texas Centers for Biology in Medicine.

  • The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education lists the Health Science Center as one of the top colleges and universities nationwide offering outstanding opportunities to Hispanic students.

  • The School of Nursing, soon to celebrate its 30th anniversary, bestows its 6,000 degree during winter commencement.

  • The Dental School's forensic education program moves into state-of-the-art facilities in the Bexar County Forensic Science Center.

  • Dr. Arlan Richardson, professor of physiology, is installed as president of the Gerontological Society of America.

Pakieser joins 1999 class of Leadership Texas

Dr. Pakieser

Dr. Ruth Pakieser, Director of Curriculum Resources in the School of Nursing, was recently invited to participate in two important training opportunities.

Dr. Pakieser was selected to attend the Institute of Emerging Women Leaders in Higher Education, sponsored by the National Association of Women in Education. The conference was held in Baltimore in November.

"The National Association of Women in Education pursues an aggressive agenda addressing inclusiveness in education," she said. "Conference materials include viewpoints from authors such as Margaret Wheatley and Peter Singay, who include everyone in generating ideas about curricula, even students themselves."

Dr. Pakieser also was selected for the 1999 class of Leadership Texas, a group building a strong network of women from a variety of fields and backgrounds. "It was founded by The Foundation for Women's Resources, an international non-profit organization that celebrates, educates and connects women of diverse gifts and extends their strengths to a broader public," Dr. Pakieser said.

Group meetings will be held in Austin, Tyler, Lubbock, Dallas and San Antonio during 1999. "I look forward to joining the Health Science Center's many alumnae of Leadership Texas," Dr. Pakieser said.

She moved to the School of Nursing in 1996 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Her research interest is domestic violence. "I am studying decision-making processes of women who are battered," Dr. Pakieser said. "Psychology is one of my backgrounds."

Application for Leadership Texas and the Emerging Women Leaders conference was competitive. The 1998 class of Leadership Texas included three members of the Health Science Center communityIda Garcia, educational resources; Dr. Claudia Miller, family practice; and Dr. Gloria Vaughan, general dentistry.

1998 Holiday Gathering

Click on photos to see captions.

Santa--aka Sam Reyes

Kevin Johnson

Dr. Howe and Johnson

Young patient

Index of issues

THE NEWS is published Fridays by the Office of Public Affairs for faculty and staff of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Vice President for University Relations.....Judy Petty Wolf
Director of Public Affairs.....Dr. Charles Rodriguez
Editor.....Will Sansom
Writers.....Myong Covert, Catherine Duncan, Joanne Shaw
Photographers.....Lee Bennack, Lester Rosebrock
Designer.....Kris Doyle
Production.....Printing Services

Office of Public Affairs, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78284-7768
(210) 567-2570