April 14, 2000
Volume XXXIII, No. 15




the Rounds

Of Note



President's Council awards $214,000

The President's Council awarded more than $214,000 last week to fund projects in the Health Science Center's five schools. The awards were announced at the council's annual awards dinner.

President's Council Co-Chairs Luis de la Garza and J. Tullos Wells presented the grants to faculty and staff from the Dental School, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Medical School, the School of Allied Health Sciences, and the School of Nursing. Projects will range from the development of innovative teaching strategies, such as World Wide Web-based teaching sites, to increased funding for medical student scholarships with emphasis on students from the South Texas/Border Region.

Dr. John P. Howe, III, president, introduced a special guest--the Medical School's new dean, Dr. Steven A. Wartman. "Dr. Wartman, who assumed his duties March 27, is the new leader of our outstanding medical school and will help keep it moving on its upward trajectory," Dr. Howe said.

Dr. Wartman said he was attracted to the Medical School post because the school is well positioned to make great advances in research, in clinical care and in educating the next generation of outstanding medical professionals. He accepted the stewardship of a $25,000 President's Council grant toward scholarships for medical students from the South Texas/Border Region and another $25,000 grant to strengthen medical ethics education.

The largest single grant, $38,508, went to the School of Nursing to replace a computerized testing system that is more than 20 years old. The new system will provide the opportunity for faculty to generate exams from their office computers and to electronically distribute exams to students at work-stations in computerized testing rooms.

Students who complete an electronic exam might be able to receive immediate feedback on their scores or even about individual test answers.

Other President's Council grants will help the Health Science Center to introduce bioscience careers to young students. "Decisions about becoming a scientist don't happen in college, they happen in a student's formative years," Wells said in describing the award to the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. "The Graduate School will create a video presentation designed to inform and excite students about careers as research scientists. Faculty members of the Graduate School are eager to take this video into the schools of South Texas."

With its final award, the President's Council commissioned a book about the Health Science Center's history in honor of the institution's 30th anniversary in 2002.

The President's Council awards were:

  • School of Nursing computerized testing system, $38,508
  • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences science careers video presentation, $25,000
  • School of Allied Health Sciences video and funds for student research, $25,180
  • Addition to Marvin Forland, M.D., Medical Ethics Endowment Fund, $25,000
  • Medical School scholarships, $25,000
  • Dental School radiographic teaching models, $25,680
  • Innovative teaching grants in all Health Science Center schools, $25,000
  • History of the Health Science Center project, $25,000

This year's award total is the largest in the eight-year history of the President's Council. Membership on the council is available to anybody interested in supporting the Health Science Center's missions. For more information, call the Office of University Relations at ext. 7-2056

Mini-Medical School opens first session with interactive programs

The third annual Mini-Medical School began last week with the first session titled "Exploring the Health Sciences: An Evening with a Health Professional."

More than 300 participants attended the first evening, which included breakout sessions with hands-on activities in the fields of medicine, dentistry, nursing, research and emergency medical technology. The event provided interaction with different health professionals, affording participants the opportunity to gain a fresh understanding about specific areas of clinical activities, teaching or research.

Speakers included Victoria Smith, emergency medical technology; Dr. Brenda Jackson, acute nursing care; Carolyn Kirsch, family nursing care; Vicky Dittmar, Office of the Nursing School Dean; Dr. Glenn Gross, surgery and medicine; Dr. Stephanie Roberts, general dentistry; Dr. Robin Leach, cellular and structural biology; Dr. Karl Klose, microbiology; Dr. John Gunn, microbiology; and Dr. Robert Castro, neonatology.

The third Mini-Medical School session is "The Brain: A User's Guide," scheduled for April 18 and the final session, "Living with Illness," will be held April 25. Each Tuesday's

program starts at 7 p.m. in lecture hall 3.102B next to the Briscoe Library.

This four-week course is free to the public. Students in high school, college, adults and seniors are all welcome to attend. To register, call 7-1925 or access the Health Science Center's Mini-Medical School Web page at minimedschool00.uthscsa.edu.

The Mini-Medical School is supported in part by an educational grant from Pfizer.

More than 300 people attended the first night of the Health Science Center's Mini-Medical School program titled "Exploring the Health Sciences: An Evening with a Health Professional." Participants attended breakout sessions and joined in hands-on activities with health professionals in a variety of fields, including microbiology, dentistry and neonatology.

Eighth Miles for Smiles attracts many to Health Science Center

Miles for Smiles participants relax after the 5K run. The event was organized by the Health Science Center Dental School. The money raised through donations supports dental wellness programs for school children.

The younger participants show off the medals they received following the fun run event


The Dental School's eighth annual Miles for Smiles 5K run/2K walk, which benefits dental prevention programs for schoolchildren in San Antonio and the surrounding areas, was held Saturday, March 25, at the Health Science Center.

Chief event coordinator Sara Bender, a third-year dental student, rated it a great success. About 160 runners and 30 walkers participated in the race. The concurrent health fair had 20 presenters and included back massage, physical therapy, and family counseling booths.

Miles for Smiles supports fluoride mouthrinse and preventive sealant programs serving thousands of grade-school students, and dental care for underserved areas in San Antonio.

Principal sponsors for the student-run and -organized event were Crest, H-E-B and Kilgore Dental Equipment.

Pediatric nurse practitioners provide health care in Laredo

Pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) students, under the direction of Diane Lesh, assistant professor in the Department of Family Nursing Care and director of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program, visited Laredo earlier this month to provide free physicals for 187 children at Cigarroa Middle School who would not otherwise be able to afford them. This was the second trip for the group; last year's visit was so successful that the students were asked to return yearly.

These visits have a dual purpose: to provide as much experience as possible for the PNP students, and to serve a needy community. "It has increased the students' awareness of border health issues and helped us understand the families that come to San Antonio when students see them in community health care settings here," said Lesh.

Working with Martha Martinez of Mercy Regional Medical Center in Laredo, the PNPs perform physical examinations for students who participate in sports programs at the school. Last year they referred 42 children for vision correction alone. This year the Department of Ophthalmology's Mobile Eye Screening Unit "Blue Bird" was scheduled to see children on the same day.

PNPs referred more than 40 school children for evaluation of other medical conditions. These included cardiac murmurs, cardiac arrhythmias, musculoskeletal abnormalities, and acanthosis nigricans for diabetes type II screening.

Two Laredo physicians, Drs. Francisco Cervantes and Fernando Castaņeda, were available for consultation by the PNPs. These physicians will see any of the children referred for medical evaluation who do not have a primary care provider.

In addition, this year the PNPs measured hemoglobin levels to check for anemia and other conditions.

"Anemia is something that is often overlooked in adolescents, and it can influence how well they do in school," said Lesh. This year the screening found eight students with low hemoglobin count.

The PNP students made posters and created a PowerPoint presentation on topics such as acne, tattooing and body piercing. They also educated students on the importance of regular breast and testicle self-examinations for early detection of possible cancer.

Nurse practitioners are primary care providers who work in a number of settings. They have master's degrees in nursing and may specialize in one of several areas, including pediatrics, women's health, family, mental health and gerontology.

"As nurse practitioners, we can provide primary health care in addition to treating minor acute illnesses and monitoring chronic conditions. The nurse practitioner is an integral part of the health care team providing quality health care to underserved populations. They cooperate with physicians to manage the more complicated cases," Lesh said. "Our purpose is to help as much as we can so that people achieve the highest possible level of health.

Lesh has been with the Health Science Center since 1997, following a teaching and clinical career at Creighton University in Omaha. Before that, she pioneered the clinical nurse specialist role at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, where she also had been the supervisor of the 23-bed pediatric intensive care unit.

Exhibit profiles the contributions of women

An All-America athlete, a record-breaking pilot, a formidable first lady, an award-winning World War II photographer and a teenager documenting the horrors of the Holocaust are just a few of the women featured in the 1925-1950 section of the "Women of the 20th Century" exhibit.

Titled "We Can Do It!", the post-World War I section of the exhibit reviews the contributions women made during the Great Depression and World War II in science, literature, civil rights and the workplace.

The "Women of the 20th Century" display is a collection of photographs and biographies detailing the lives of the women who paved the way for future female policy-makers and leaders. Briscoe Library assistant Pat Brown assembled the collection, which is on display through July in the lecture hall foyer near the library's third-floor entrance. The Health Science Center Women's Faculty Association co-sponsored the exhibit. It is divided into four quarter-centuries with themes including the civil rights movement and the right to vote.

In the 1925-1950 section, viewers may learn about "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias (1914-1956), a Texan All-America athlete who founded the Ladies' Professional Golf Association in 1947, and about Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), an educator and activist who served in the Roosevelt administration as head of the National Youth Administration Division of Negro Affairs.

Other extraordinary women featured include first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), who spoke boldly on behalf of the poor and powerless and later was appointed as a delegate to the United Nations, and Frances Perkins (1882-1965) who dedicated her life to social reform for women and children and became the first female appointed to a cabinet post in 1933 during the Roosevelt administration.

Other women whose accomplishments distinguished them during that era include Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), the award-winning photojournalist who traveled with General Patton during World War II and was one of the first to chronicle in photos the horrors of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Another highlight of the exhibit is the collection of photos and accounts of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) who served during World War II, ferrying planes from aircraft factories to training bases throughout the country, training male pilots, testing aircraft and transporting cargo. More than 1,000 WASPS were trained at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, and they logged more than 60 million air miles.

The collection also includes Anne Frank (1929-1945), the Jewish-German teenager who hid with her family to escape the Nazis during World War II, documenting the 25-month ordeal in her diary. Her father, the sole survivor of the Frank family, later published the now world-famous diary.

The exhibit features entertainment pioneer Lucille Ball (1911-1989) for her role in changing the television industry when she became the sole owner of the Desilu Production Company and the first woman to run a television studio. Artists Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) are included for their major contributions to the art world.

The theme "We Can Do It" sums up the changing landscape women faced between 1925 and 1950, when they entered the workforce en mass to support the war effort, even as they continued to hold the family together as wives and mothers.

HSC HealthWalk raises record amount for March of Dimes

Morgan Legate was born too early.

Ray Legate and daughter Morgan thank the employees of the Health Science Center for raising money through the annual HealthWalk to support the March of Dimes.

At only 24 weeks of gestation, Morgan entered the world at 1 pound, 11 ounces with a host of medical problems that often accompany a premature birth.

Within 10 days of her arrival, Morgan underwent heart surgery. She was given medicines to keep her premature lungs from collapsing and spent 94 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at University Hospital, where she was treated by Health Science Center researcher Dr. Robert Castro. Physicians gave the little girl a 50 percent chance of survival.

Today Morgan, who just turned 2 years old on April 1, is a bundle of energy who runs and plays with her parents, Ray and Carole Legate. She is a healthy, happy toddler thanks in large part to the top-notch care she received and the March of Dimes, an organization that has spent the better part of the 20th century funding pioneering research to fight birth defects.

Morgan Legate enjoys playing at the Health Science Center HealthWalk event to benefit the March of Dimes. Morgan, now 2 years old, was born at 24 weeks and suffered from a variety of medical problems. She is a healthy toddler thanks to the work the March of Dimes supports to fight birth defects and to treat premature infants.

Among the many advances in neonatal care that have been discovered as a result of March of Dimes funding, the development of surfactant is one of the most important for premature infants like Morgan. Surfactant is a substance often missing from the lungs of premature, extremely low birth weight infants. Without it, the tiny lungs collapse.

To show support for the work the March of Dimes continues to do for children, and to raise money for the organization to fund ongoing research, Health Science Center employees took to the track for the 17th Annual March of Dimes HealthWalk.

HealthWalk is the professional component to the March of Dimes WalkAmerica program. Health-Walk is unique to San Antonio, providing a way for health professionals to raise money to support valuable research.

Health Science Center employees take to the track for the annual March of Dimes HealthWalk for children.

This year more than 500 Health Science Center employees participated in the event and raised more than $22,000 for the March of Dimes. The organization uses the donations to conduct research, develop vaccines and support neonatal intensive care units, among other endeavors.

"I want to thank the March of Dimes for all of the research and technology it has supported over the years, and for taking the time to care about premature babies," said Ray Legate. "It makes all the difference to people like us, and these donations save babies like Morgan."

HSC physician invited to medical leader training

Dr. Jaime Garza, surgery, talks with Genesis Martinez, one of his young plastic surgery patients. Martinez was born with a cleft palate and lip, which were corrected by Dr. Garza

Dr. Jaime R. Garza, associate professor of surgery, was one of 50 practicing physicians selected to participate in the American Medical Association (AMA)/Glaxo Wellcome Emerging Leaders Development Program. The program was held March 25 in Miami in conjunction with the AMA's National Leadership Development Conference.

Dr. Garza, a board-certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist, is head of the Department of Surgery's Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He was the only physician from South Texas, and one of only three statewide, invited to the AMA/Glaxo Wellcome program. The event is an intensive leadership development program with emphasis on legislative advocacy. The 50 physicians were selected on the basis of their demonstrated leadership potential, commitment to leadership development, participation in organized medicine and diversity of leadership experience.

Dr. Garza received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1983 from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in New Orleans and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the LSU School of Medicine in 1987. He completed a general surgery internship and microvascular surgery research residency at the Health Science Center before moving to a fellowship at the U. T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and his otolaryngology/head and neck surgery residency at LSU.

After completing his second residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, he was recruited to the Health Science Center in 1994 to develop a training program in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Mark Your Calendar!

Fiesta de Tejas, the Health Science Center's official Fiesta event, will include a variety of new activities this year at its larger location.

Fiestagoers may enjoy karaoke, human bowling and live music and entertainment. More than 50 booths will offer crafts, jewelry, Fiesta souvenirs, clothing, a variety of food and drinks, and the ever-popular cascarones.

This year's celebration includes an expanded children's area that will include face painting and a children's stage with musical groups and dancers.

Fiesta de Tejas will be held from 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday, April 27, at the recreational area near the pavilion.

Tickets are $4 in advance and $6 at the gate. Children 12 and under and adults 65 and older get into the event for free. Tickets are on sale at the Health Science Center bookstore, the South Texas Veterans Health Care System Audie L. Murphy Division public affairs office and through the Fiesta Commission centralized ticket sales.

Volunteers are needed to help with the Fiesta event. For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Herlinda Carreon at ext. 7-2400 or by e-mail at carreon@ uthscsa.edu. Visit the Fiesta Web site at www. uthscsa.edu/opa/fiesta2000/index.htm.