April 9, 1999
Volume XXXII No. 14

Public previews Texas Diabetes Institute on West Side

HSC collaborates with University Health System

The $28 million Texas Diabetes Institute, a comprehensive center that brings diabetes prevention, education, research and treatment under one roof, informally opened March 31 on San Antonio's West Side--in the heart of neighborhoods where the disease frequently strikes a predominantly Mexican-American citizenry. Grand opening activities are set for May 4-8.

The center, 701 S. Zarzamora St., is a collaborative project of the Health Science Center and the University Health System and provides an important treatment-research complex for Health Science Center faculty physicians and nurses. At 153,000 square feet, it is "believed to be the largest facility in the nation totally dedicated to diabetes," according to a front-page story in the March 31 San Antonio Express-News.

The new center, which was opened for a public preview, will help answer a pressing need. Diabetes affects an estimated 125,000 individuals in Bexar County, and it is the fifth leading cause of death in the county. About 1.2 million people have the disease statewide.

Patients will visit the new institute for comprehensive care, from primary care services and acute diabetes care to obstetrics, ophthalmology and podiatry, each an area of special concern to the diabetic. The institute also houses an exercise center, a kitchen for demonstrating healthy diets, a library and patient classrooms.

A flourishing research program will complement the center's patient care and educational activities. Dr. Ralph DeFronzo, professor of medicine at the Health Science Center and chief of the Division of Diabetes, is continuing his genetic studies of Type 2 (late-onset) diabetes on the institute's third floor. Dr. DeFronzo is interested in diabetes occurrence within several generations of the same families, with an eye to identifying the gene or genes responsible.

Children of Hispanic parents who both have diabetes run a 70 percent or greater chance of diabetes onset, he has said. Hispanics are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to get the disease.

Dr. Charles Reasner, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, is the institute's medical director. He will lead two new clinical trials, one to assess whether a weight-regulating hormone can benefit obese diabetic patients and another to test effectiveness of a drug that increases insulin efficiency.

Most of the center's services have been offered since February. The first floor includes the adult diabetic clinic, endocrinology clinic, osteoporosis clinic, acute care clinic, primary care/family practice services, exercise center and 24 exam rooms. A pharmacy, a cafeteria, an auditorium and an obstetrics/gestational diabetes service are also on the
ground floor.

The second floor consists of patient education areas (library, classrooms and teaching kitchen), administrative offices, rehabilitation medicine/prosthetics area, radiology, ophthalmology clinic, podiatry clinic, pediatric diabetes clinic and hyperbaric medicine area.

Diabetes clinical research, medical records and a soon-to-be-completed gynecology/family planning area are housed on the third floor. The institute's phone number is 358-7400.

The American Diabetes Association estimates U.S. diabetes incidence at 15.7 million.

130 attend School of Nursing Alzheimer's care seminar

Drs. Allan and Matteson

At least 130 members of the community received an update on Alzheimer's disease research during the School of Nursing Health Promotion Seminar Series. Dr. Mary Ann Matteson, professor and interim chair of the Department of Family Nursing Care, presented the seminar March 24 at the San Antonio Country Club.

The event was sponsored by the School of Nursing Advisory Council and supported by the Biomedical Development Corp., Mission Pharmacal, Parke-Davis, S&C Advertising & Public Relations, SACU, the San Antonio Express-News and Barbara Wulfe.

School of Nursing Dean Janet Allan introduced several guests, including Nursing Advisory Council President Phyliss Siegel, School of Nursing Dean Emeritus Patty L. Hawken, and former U. T. Regent Dr. James Bauerle. Dr. Allan made brief remarks about the progress of the School of Nursing over the past 30 years, noting the school has granted more than 6,000 degrees and is ranked in the top 50 U.S. graduate programs in nursing.

Barbara Wulfe, a member of the Nursing Advisory Council and one of the event's coordinators, introduced Dr. Matteson, who is interim chair of the Department of Family Nursing Care and holds the School's Thelma and Joe Crow Endowed Professorship.

Dr. Matteson described the findings of a federally funded study of the effects of a care regimen that encouraged persons with Alzheimer's disease to perform skills of daily living at levels consistent with their ability. Earlier studies showed that cognitive and psychomotor skills declined in patients with Alzheimer's in stages that were the reverse of how the skills were originally developed.

Utilizing Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget's developmental stages as a model for assessment and intervention, Dr. Matteson and her colleagues found patients were less disturbed and frustrated by daily routines that were appropriate to their reverse developmental level. Patients in the early and middle stages of the disease responded particularly well to the introduction of rocking chairs, stuffed animals and bright colors to their environment. The study was conducted at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Kerrville.

The next Health Promotion Seminar will be Nov. 17 at Oak Hills Country Club. Visiting professor Beverly Hall will discuss the topic "Herbs and Health." For more details about School of Nursing events, call ext. 5800.

UTHSC's own Fiesta celebration
was intended as a one-time event,
but now has a life of its own.

Travis Fleming's thoughts were on rain that first Fiesta de Tejas 15 years ago--rain and parking.

"One of the things I can remember is that the crowd exceeded my expectations," said Fleming, director of the Office of International Affairs and one of the original Fiesta de Tejas organizers. "I thought, 'Where are we going to park all of these guests' cars?'"

They found a way that first year--the people had parking, the weather held out and Fiesta de Tejas became a tradition at the Health Science Center.

It was conceived as a one-time celebration surrounding the 150th, or Sesquicentennial, anniversary of the state of Texas, but was made an annual event--a fun activity to introduce San Antonio residents to the Health Science Center. It was also a way to provide a family celebration for faculty, staff, students, their families and community members.

That first year, it was scheduled around the city's historic Fiesta celebrations and more than 3,000 visitors came to the campus to celebrate.

"This was an opportunity to let the community know who we were," said Rudy Gomez, assistant to the dean for the School of Nursing and another of Fiesta de Tejas' initial organizers.

It also was an opportunity to give back to the community. Proceeds from Fiesta de Tejas and its events have been used to fund scholarships for local high school students, provide materials for the Briscoe Library, and to support various charities.

Putting on the yearly event also has provided one of the few opportunities for the entire institution--from medical staff to employees in student services to the physical plant personnel--to work on a project together.

"Before then it seemed like there was never anything the entire Health Science Center could do as one unit," Gomez said. "Fiesta was one of the first things we did that was a common effort."

That unity will continue on Friday, April 16, when the Health Science Center holds its 15th event in the Medical School courtyard/fountain area, complete with free parking, live music, dancers, singers, food and drink, games, crafts and souvenir booths. This year the Health Science Center expects more than 10,000 people to join in Fiesta de Tejas, which translates to "Texas Party." The crowds are a testament to the popularity of the affair, which was made an official Fiesta event in 1987.

"When we first started, it was something fun to have here at the Health Science Center," said Carol Heston from the Office of University Relations. "It just kept growing and growing."

Initially, Fiesta de Tejas events included historical plays on medicine and health care, living history exhibits and lots of music. As the event became more established in the traditions of the institution, new shows and events were added to draw additional crowds and to give the regular attendees even more variety. A new children's area, added several years ago, has continued to grow. Unusual food fare such as Emu burgers and sausage became part of the menu a few years ago.

Fiesta de Tejas events are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. next Friday with more than 50 booths selling Mexican foods, clothing, jewelry, drinks and other specialty items. Ticket price is $6 at the gate; admission is free for children 12 and younger and seniors 65 and older. The festival closes at midnight.


5:00 - 6:30 - The Toman Brothers - folk/rock/country
6:30 - 8:00 - Morning - pop/rock/oldies
8:00 - 9:00 - The Average Joes - pop, etc.
9:00 - 10:30 - Lone Star Pickerz - country/bluegrass
10:30 - 12:00 am - La Razza - Tejano

All featuring Mark Stevens and San Antonio Sound and Light

Times are approximate and acts are tentative


5:00 - 6:00 - Two-Ties & Tutti Frutti clowns
6:00 - 6:30 - Joe Libby & Sagebrush - Magic act
6:30 - 7:00 - Karate demonstration
7:00 - 7:30 - Guys With No Name
7:30 - 8:00 - Fire on the Mountain Cloggers
8:00 - 8:30 - Singer Annabelle Zapata - "Selena"
8:30 - 9:00 - Singer Judy Cotton - "Liza Minnelli"
9:15 - 10:00 - Rising Stars of Texas/Dancing Hip Hop
10:15 - 11:00 - Supa Frienz and Woodstonezs R&B/Hip Hop

Times are approximate and acts are tentative


  • Face painting & temporary tattoos
  • 2 Moon Walks - one for younger children and one for older children
  • Dunking Booth
  • Dart Throw

More games and fun to be announced

Fiesta Trivia Quiz

1. Fiesta de Tejas was initially planned as a celebration for what historical event?
a. Davy Crockett's 190th birthday
b. The Texas Sesquicentennial
c. The anniversary of the founding of San Antonio

2. What year did Fiesta de Tejas become an official Fiesta event?
a. 1990
b. 1985
c. 1987

3. What local high school benefits through scholarship money from Fiesta de Tejas?
a. Madison High School
b. Marshall High School
c. Health Careers High School

4. What group's cascarone booth dominated the best booth category throughout the 1990s?
a. Student Services
b. Department of Medicine
c. Special Events Council

5. What unusual type of food was once served at Fiesta de Tejas?
a. Buffalo burgers
b. Emu burgers
c. Ostrich burgers

6. What does Fiesta de Tejas mean in English?
a. Fun in Texas
b. Party at UTHSCSA
c. Texas party

7. Who co-sponsors the event?
a. Quik-E-Mart
b. Medical Dean's Office
c. H-E-B

8. What popular radio station ran its "Winner's Wheel" promotion at Fiesta de Tejas?

9. What is the admission fee for children 10 years old and under?
a. Free
b. $2
c. $4

10. What shape is the H-E-B beverage booth?
a. Hot dog
b. Soda can
c. Bottle

The correct answers are in the April 16 edition of The News.

PT Olympics to assist amputee

The first "Physical Therapy Olympics" is set for Saturday, April 17. The event, created by the Health Science Center's physical therapy (PT) class of 2000, matches students from each of the PT schools in Texas.

Students from Texas Tech University, Texas Woman's University, the U.S. Army/Baylor, the U. T. Medical Branch in Galveston, U. T. El Paso, Hardin Simmons University, Southwest Texas State University and the U. T. Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas will participate. Events include sand volleyball, three-on-three basketball, softball and more. The full day of events starts at 7:30 a.m. April 17 at the Health Science Center track.

The overall winning school will receive a trophy. Part of each school's entry fee goes to support a San Antonio resident who, despite a trans-tibial amputation, will participate in the Para-Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, in 2000.

Clinical lab scientists fill important roles

Clinical laboratory scientists, also known as medical technologists, will celebrate National Clinical Laboratory Sciences Week April 11-17.

The Health Science Center's Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences annually graduates 15 to 35 clinical laboratory scientists including cytogenetic technologists. They fill important roles in hospital laboratories, sales, industry, clinics, research, veterinary labs and highly specialized reference labs.

In recent years, the department has added master's degree programs.

The CLS department recently was ranked in the top 15 CLS programs in the country for research productivity. Drs. Shirlyn McKenzie and George Kudolo, CLS, were rated in the 95th percentile in research productivity, which is based on criteria such as funded grants, publications, paper presentations and other scholarly works.

Database workshop set for April 22

Have you tried using PubMed to search the MEDLINE database? Do you wonder what to do when a basic search does not retrieve the expected results? Are you curious about more advanced features? Then join a hands-on workshop, "PubMed: Beyond the Basics," on Thursday, April 22, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in the library's electronic classroom 2A. Please register in advance for the workshop by calling the Briscoe Library office at ext. 2400.

Bipolar disorder lecture sponsored

The Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library are sponsoring a lecture on "The History of Understanding and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder" as part of the P.I. Nixon Historical Lecture Series. Audience members may bring their lunches.

Dr. Charles L. Bowden, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry, will discuss bipolar disorder at noon April 29 in the Special Collections Conference Room on the fifth floor of the Briscoe Library. For additional information, call Pat Brown or Penny Borchers at ext. 2400.

Dental lecture course honors Rudd

The Dental School and the San Antonio District Dental Society will honor Dr. Kenneth Rudd, longtime associate dean for continuing dental education, with a lecture course in his name Friday, April 16.

"A Spring Fling in San Antonio as a Tribute to Dr. Kenneth D. Rudd" will equip dental care providers with a day of instruction on clinical issues in treating the older adult. The invited presenter is Dr. Patrick Lloyd, chair of the Family Dentistry Department at The University of Iowa College of Dentistry.

Dr. Lloyd brings an enthusiastic, clinically based perspective to the subject, according to information from the Continuing Dental Education Office (CDE). His publications concern the effect of age on the teeth, subspecialty education in geriatric dentistry and clinical care of the medically compromised elderly.

Dr. Rudd is professor emeritus in the Department of Prosthodontics and served as associate dean for continuing dental education from 1975 until his retirement in 1995. He has served as president of several different organizations in the dental field.

Dr. Rudd has been a member of the American Dental Association (ADA) since 1943.

Dr. Rudd is a recipient of the Ashbel Smith Professorship awarded by The University of Texas System Board of Regents. He was named Texas Dentist of the Year in 1997.

Call CDE at ext. 3177 for more information.

Of Note

Ergonomics Expo and Forum offered April 13

An Ergonomics Expo and Forum is set for Tuesday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the auditorium foyer. Sponsors of the program are the Council of Administrative Personnel, Institutional Safety, General Stores and Boise Cascade.

The expo is an opportunity for employees to view various pieces of equipment that can help them remodel workstations to meet ergonomic guidelines.

The forum includes three presentations that begin at 10 a.m.:

I. Damage to the individual who ignores ergonomic principles
A case scenario to introduce the audience to possible consequences of ignoring ergonomic principles over a period of time.
Presenters: Kimatha Oxford, assistant professor, Department of Occupational Therapy; Dr. Robert Friberg, assistant professor, Department of Physical Therapy; and Dr. John C. King, M.D., associate professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

II. Simplicity of ergonomic principles in daily activity
This presentation demonstrates the simplicity of ergonomic principles and how individuals can follow those principles to ensure the best quality of life.
Presenter: Thomas Tobin, adjunct assistant professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, and Adamson, Tobin & Associates, LLC.

III. Question-and-answer session with presenters
Session time: 15 minutes.
Immediately following the presentations, attendees are invited to watch a demonstration by Fellowes Co. representatives on how to arrange office furniture within ergonomic guidelines.

Prudential HMO
on campus April 14

Employees enrolled in the Prudential HMO Health Care Plan are invited to meet one-on-one with Prudential representatives from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, in room 409L of the Medical School building. Discussions of claims and problems will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

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
Executive Director of Development & Public Affairs.....Dr. Charles Rodriguez
Editor.....Will Sansom
Writers.....Myong Covert, Catherine Duncan, Heather Feldman, Joanne Shaw
Photographers.....Jeff Anderson, Lee Bennack, Lester Rosebrock
Designer.....Kris Doyle
Web Editor.....Joanne Shaw
Production.....Printing Services

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