News

>05/12/2011

Senderos EMT Basic High School Students Carry Out EMS and Hospital Rotations



 

For the first time ever, the UT Health Science Center SA is sponsoring a high school student cohort for Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B) training. The students are participating through Senderos, a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The 19 students from South San Antonio High School (SSAHS) and Health Careers High School (HCHS) are currently carrying out extensive hours in a hospital emergency room setting and riding with EMS professionals as part of their EMT-B course requirements. Since March 8, 2011, in addition to their regular high school work load, these students have dedicated their Tuesday through Thursday afternoons and all day Saturday in order to participate in the course. Within one week of graduating from high school, all successful participants will have the opportunity to test and become a certified EMT Basic. Once certified, they will be employable as an EMT.


Despite the intense nature of the program, Sabrina Sanchez, South San Antonio High School student is not discouraged at all. “I am very excited to be going through this program and I am enjoying every minute of it. Mr. Madden (class instructor) is great and I am learning so much from him. This class is a great opportunity and I am so grateful for being chosen.” One innovative feature of this course developed by Ms. Leslie Hernandez, Director for the Community Education Division of EHS, includes EMT Paramedic classes offered via Skype between the two high school campuses. This format was so successful it resulted in the EMT Paramedic students volunteering to serve as mentors to the high school students and provided an additional support system for the Senderos students. The students participated in an orientation program with their parent(s) or guardian. Each student had to meet rigorous requirements including background checks, fingerprint checks, TB test, updated immunizations and a record of academic success. This grant program is made available to the selected students at no cost to the students. A UT Community Education Faculty Advisor and Senderos Campus Liaison for each of the campuses is available for student counseling. In addition, dedicated teachers such as Ms. Millicent Marcha (SSAHS) and Ms. Jean Rhoden-Gill (HCHS) serve as high school campus liaisons. Other program partners include the Office of the EMS Medical Director and the City of San Antonio FD/EMS, as well as many others.



 

The Senderos EMT Basic Program was developed and implemented through the collaborative work of the Senderos Program, the Office of the Dean of the School of Health Professions, and the Department of Emergency Health Sciences (EHS) at the School of Health Professions. All students are enrolled in a UT state approved EMT-Basic program developed by the Community Education Division of EHS. The Principal Investigator for the grant is Dr. Dennis Blessing, Chair of Physician Assistant Studies and Associate Dean of South Texas Programs.


The Senderos Program was created in an effort to increase the number of Hispanic and African American students enrolling in and completing health professions degree programs. Senderos provides services and educational activities for high school students at South San Antonio High School and the Health Careers High School as well as St. Philip’s College and UTSA. The Senderos program staff encourage, guide, and offer services to students and their families. Senderos is funded by a Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board grant and is housed within the Office of the Dean, School of Health Professions, at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

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>04/25/2011

Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Ph.D., OTR, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, was recently awarded the Presidential Teaching Excellence Award.



 

Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Ph.D., OTR, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, was recently awarded the Presidential Teaching Excellence Award. This award is presented to outstanding full-time faculty members who exhibit the finest principles in education. They possess extensive knowledge of their subject material, maintain an awareness of current developments, and incorporate examples from recent literature or clinical experience in the classroom. Faculty members who receive this award have distinguished themselves not only through teaching methods in the classroom but also by serving as role models and mentors to their students outside of class. They have made a significant contribution to the education and development of future health care professionals. Congratulations to Dr. Piernik-Yoder!

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>03/10/2011

Announcing the Nita Swenson Wallace Endowment in Dental Hygiene



Dr. Nita Wallace at the announcement of the kick off of the Nita Swenson Wallace Endowment in Dental Hygiene that was announced at Alumni Day!
 

Announcing the Nita Swenson Wallace Endowment in Dental Hygiene
The Wallace Endowment was conceived by dental hygiene faculty to ensure that the University of Texas Health Science Center can develop and sustain a continuing culture of excellence in the dental hygiene program. With the goal of creating an endowment of $100,000 over 5 years and $30,000 in the coming year, the endowment will help develop new faculty as world-class educators. Thanks to this endowment, future dental hygiene faculty that come from a clinical environment will profit from training in the latest effective teaching methods, curriculum development, and best practices for a new generation of oral health providers. These initiatives will forever provide excellence in health care education and patient care, touching the lives of thousands as our graduates enter the professional world.

 

For over 30 years, Dr. Wallace has embraced dental hygiene students and faculty. She is recognized for her superior teaching and her unfaltering leadership, but in particular, she has enriched the Dental Hygiene clinical program to the point of national recognition. We honor Dr. Wallace with this endowment and stress the importance of developing it now so that she is involved in seeing it come to fruition while still an active member of the School of Health Professions.

 

Pledges toward our first year goal of $15,000 were received from the following individuals:

  • Dorothy and Glenn Swenson, Sr.
  • Chris Schaack Pellegrino
  • Dr. F.J. & Phyllis Schaack
  • Dr. Terry & Dr. Elizabeth Ashforth
  • Jeanine Payne & Melissa Wood
  • Elizabeth C. Schaack
  • Sarah B. Schaack
  • Rachel C. Schaack
  • Adam N. Schaack
  • Laura C. Schaack
  • Paul J. Schaack
  • Angela K. Schaack

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>03/04/2011

Congratulations to the Department of Dental Hygiene 2011 Alumni of the Year



Diaz (left) pictured with Taline Infante, Interim Chair, Department of Dental Hygiene
 

Edia Diaz is very active in her community, as well as in San Antonio. She is currently a volunteer at Hill Country Mission for Health in Boerne where she screens indigent patients in need of dental care. She is also involved in the Roy Mass Youth Alternatives/Meadowlands - a foster care facility and at the Hill Country Family Services in Boerne. The Haven for Hope/Christian Dental Clinic is one of Edia's favorite outreach facilities in SA. She has been faithfully serving there since graduating in 2001. She continues to travel along the Texas/Mexico border with the Christian Medical and Dental Association - a UTHSC student/professional organization. This organization is run by volunteers with a desire to serve indigent communities with medical and dental care. She does all this, including, working a full time job, running a household and trying to help two children through college. She is also very active in her church and civic duties.

 

Edia grew up in Roma, Texas in a family of seven children with not much access to dental care. She prayed for a career where she could help people that were in need. Going to school, while raising two young children was quite a challenge for her; however, she did not let that stop her. Her desire to give back was much greater. Edia was always concerned about doing well academically while in hygiene school that she held study groups at school, restaurants, or her home. There she mentored and tutored several students in various subjects. Often times, while traveling with CMDA on mission trips to Mexico she would persuade her classmates to join her in serving the Mexican community. This service was of mutual benefit to the students because it allowed them to gain confidence in their hygiene skills and the experience the reward of serving others. While in school she was the recipient of the Irene Woodall, as well as Outstanding Community Service awards.

 

There was a time during this busy schedule ,while in Hygiene school, that her husband was deployed away from home for several months .Edia continued with all these school responsibilities alone with two young children and a household to take care of as well. She is a remarkable woman and would be a very deserving candidate for this award. Please consider Edia for 2011 Dental Hygiene Alumni recipient of the year award.

 

LaDonia Franke (left) pictured with Taline Infante, Interim Chair, Department of Dental Hygiene
 

LaDonia Carr Franke:Upon acceptance to the dental hygiene program at the UT Health Science Center, LaDonia’s work for her profession began. LaDonia, being a single mother, was stretched to the limit for time to study and care for her young son. Because of LaDonia’s strong will and determination she was able to juggle schedules, go without sleep, make the grades, and have time for her young son.

 

After graduating in 2000 with a certificate in dental hygiene, LaDonia began her career in practicing in private dental offices. She shared her love and compassion for her new profession with co-workers and patients.

 

As LaDonia gained experience in her profession, she wanted to increase her knowledge and expertise.. In 2002, she returned to the Health Science Center and pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene. It was then she found a new niche in life and began teaching in the Department of Dental Hygiene. LaDonia has unbelievable rapport with the students, faculty, and peers. She has a wonderful way of relating to the students when teaching in the clinic. She always has a unique way of communicating and conveying the message being taught so that it is understood by the students. She is continuing her education by pursuing a master’s degree from Texas A & M University.

 

LaDonia also promotes the profession of dental hygiene through membership in the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA). She has attended the national conference and has been a faithful member throughout her career. In addition, she is the faculty advisor for the student organization of ADHA at the UT Health Science Center. She has done an amazing job with the students, emphasizing the importance of being a member and involved in one’s professional organization. She is a remarkable role model for the students and stays very involved by helping them organize activities and promote their profession.

 

Finally, LaDonia was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in October, 2009. She has been a true advocate for prevention and healthy living styles. She is an inspiration to all of us; students, faculty and patients in the dental hygiene clinic. LaDonia has educated the faculty and students about the disease and has enabled them to treat patients more effectively with knowledge she provided. She has also been recognized by the American Diabetes Association for her fund raising efforts.

 

LaDonia Carr Franke is an exemplary role model and has promoted the dental hygiene profession throughout her career.

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>02/22/2011

Student overcomes long odds to fulfill her dream



Jennifer LaFleur appreciates the South Texas Outreach Foundation scholarship she received to earn her degree in physician assistant studies.
 

Jennifer LaFleur remembers being shocked to find out she had a tumor growing in her brain. She’d had a number of warning signs, such as headaches and balance issues. Imaging revealed what appeared to be a benign tumor and slow-growing cyst that could be removed in several months over the summer.

 

However, she had a blackout one month later and MRIs revealed that the something was growing. Physicians were now unsure of the tumor’s benign potential and performed immediate surgery.

 

LaFleur and her family learned of the many complications that could arise. “They told me that I might never walk or talk again. There was also a risk of developing hydrocephalus. I might end up in a wheelchair or in a vegetative state for the rest of my life,” she said.

 

At the time, she was a junior at J.B. Alexander Magnet High School, where she was a good student, played soccer and ran cross country and track. “I didn’t want to deal with this. I was supposed to compete in a state HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) competition and a district track meet, and I also had a prom to go to. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye,” said the daughter of Laredo residents Thomas and Carmen LaFleur.

 

With prayers and support from many people in Laredo, LaFleur survived the complicated procedure. She missed two months of school and underwent a grueling six-month recovery, relearning how to walk and use her hands. And she had to endure the stares of people who were shocked by her appearance.

 

“But I was not going to let this deter me from going to college. Education is something my parents have always enforced,” she said. She graduated from high school in 2005 and Texas A&M University in College Station in 2009.

 

Now 24 and a physician assistant (PA) student at the UT Health Science Center’s Regional Campus in Laredo, LaFleur reflected on the many health professionals she encountered and how they affected her career choice.

 

“I had great team consisting of doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists. But I kept thinking about this PA who helped my parents and me really understand the situation. She drew a picture of what was going on in my brain and explained what was going to happen before and after surgery. This was the first time I really understood what was going on. We really appreciated that because you don’t always get a lot of one-on-one time with the physician,” she said.

 

After her recovery, the next challenge was financial. Her college fund had been depleted by medical bills not covered by her parents’ insurance. “I’m from a middle-class family, so we don’t qualify for financial aid based on my parents’ income, and they couldn’t just write a check for my tuition,” she said.

 

“I have a lot of people to thank for believing in me and supporting me with scholarships,” LaFleur said, including the South Texas Outreach Foundation of Laredo, which also is supporting PA students Christina Deluhery, Carolina Juarez and Michael Wirsching.

 

LaFleur expects to graduate in 2012. “I never thought I’d be here because of so many obstacles I’ve had to overcome,” she said. “Scholarships help propel us toward our goals. I love the idea of being able to provide medical care in Laredo and give back to the community, especially since it has given so much to me.”

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>02/11/2011

South Texas Outreach Foundation increases gift to UT Health Science Center Regional Campus



Jennifer LaFleur (seated on left), Christina Deluhery (standing on left), Dr. Gladys Keene, Regional Dean, Laredo Campus (seated, center), Carolina Juarez (seated on right) and Michael Wirsching (standing on right).
 

The South Texas Outreach Foundation of Laredo recently presented a gift of $60,000 to the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. The funds will be used at the Regional Campus in Laredo, and follow an initial gift of $50,000 in 2009.

 

The new funds will continue the various programs and scholarships in the university’s School of Health Professions initiated with the 2009 gift. This includes support for four students in the Physician Assistant Studies program and matching funds for South Texas Academic Rising Stars scholarships.

 

The current physician assistant scholarship recipients are Jennifer LaFleur, Christina Deluhery, Carolina Juarez and Michael Wirsching. (See related story on Jennifer LaFleur.)

 

The South Texas Outreach Foundation award will continue a summer program for college students begun in summer 2010 called Make It Real Academy (MIRA), as well as a number of billboards promoting the Health Science Center’s programs in Laredo.

 

“We are proud to support the UT Health Science Center in its efforts to make health care education accessible to Laredo students and affordable for their families,” STRF representatives said.

 

Last year’s summer program, MIRA, provided an in-depth look at the health professions for 13 Laredo-area college students who were selected through a competitive application process. For nine days in August, the students participated in hands-on activities, field trips, behind-the-scenes activities and interviews with local health professionals to learn why they decided to pursue higher education and chose to become heal care providers.

 

“The South Texas Outreach Foundation is very interested in student development and pipeline programs, with the ultimate goal of building a local health care workforce to address community needs,” added Gloria Canseco, director of development for the School of Health Professions.

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>02/01/2011

Lydia Roberts, Senior Project Coordinator, and the Office of the Dean are pleased to announce the winners of the Senderos Photo Contest:



1st Place – Mallory Durst (Physician Assistant Studies)
 

Congratulations to these winners! Thank you to all who submitted photographs of various types of paths and roads for the contest.

 

The contest was sponsored by Senderos: Pathways to the Allied Health Professions, a grant-funded project that encourages and prepares high school and college minority students to enter the allied health professions. Senderos is the Spanish word for “pathways.” As the project’s name suggests, there are many routes to enter the allied health professions, and the allied health professions offer many career paths as well. The winning photographs reflect this theme and will be used in publicity and marketing efforts for the Senderos program.

 

Click here to see the winning photographs.

 

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>01/28/2011

Nita Wallace, Ph.D., appointed interim Dean of the School of Health Professions



Nita Wallace, Ph.D., appointed interim Dean of the School of Health Professions
 

Juanita “Nita” Wallace, Ph.D., has been appointed interim dean of the School of Health Professions, effective February 1, 2011. Dr. Wallace has been a dental hygiene educator for more than 35 years and chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene for 30 years. Based on her excellent work and research while earning her doctoral degree that focused on organizational leadership and communication, Dr. Wallace was appointed to a new position as assistant dean for faculty and staff development in August 2007.

 

“Dr. Wallace is highly regarded by her colleagues in the School of Health Professions,” said President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, in announcing her appointment. “I very much appreciate Dr. Wallace agreeing to accept this important position during these challenging times.”

 

In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, Dr. Wallace is a nationally recognized consultant in competency‐based clinical teaching and evaluation, student‐centered learning, skill diagnosis and curriculum design. She led the development of the only annual workshop on clinical teaching for dental hygienists in the U.S. The UT System recognized her expertise by awarding Dr. Wallace and her colleagues a grant to develop a web‐based clinical education program for health care educators.

 

Dr. Wallace received her associate’s degree with honors in 1969 from St. Petersburg Junior College in St. Petersburg, Fla., and her bachelor’s degree in Dental Auxiliary Teaching Education summa cum laude in 1975 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1982, she earned her master’s degree in higher education from The University of Texas at San Antonio and her Ph.D., in educational administration in 2001, from UT Austin.

 

She will succeed Douglas Murphy, Ph.D., who is leaving Jan. 31 to become Dean of the College of Health Related Professions at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences.

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>01/12/2011

CLS department initiates student exchange with Karolinska


Ruben Restrepo teaching
CLS department initiates student exchange with Karolinska
 

CLS department initiates student exchange with Karolinska

 

Seeing a real reindeer and celebrating the traditional St. Lucia Day festivities Dec. 13 in Stockholm brought a new perspective to the holiday season for two clinical laboratory sciences (CLS) students from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

 

The School of Health Professions students spent nearly four months at the Karolinska Institutet, one of the leading medical universities in the world. The institutet has the honor and responsibility each year of selecting the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

 

Meanwhile, two Swedish students from Karolinska left South Texas Dec. 10 with cowboy hats and boots, and a photo memory book chronicling their 10-week adventure as exchange students at the Health Science Center’s campuses in San Antonio and Laredo. Read more at HSC News here.

 

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>12/20/2010

Spotlight on Excellence: Ruben D. Restrepo, M.D., RRT


Ruben Restrepo teaching
Ruben Restrepo, M.D., RRT, (second from left) is known for his creative ways of helping his students grasp complicated information in respiratory care.
 

Ruben Restrepo, M.D., RRT, is known as an extensive contributor to interdisciplinary education.

 

His textbooks and multimedia instructional materials and involvement in international health professions education are also highly regarded. In addition, his students cite him as a creative and engaging presenter who is a trusted mentor and an influential advocate of community service.

 

This is why the associate professor and director of graduate education in the Department of Respiratory Care received a Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence earlier this year and is featured in the Spotlight on Excellence series.

 

Clarissa E. Guzman, a senior respiratory therapy student, said, "There was never a time when Dr. Restrepo was too shy to pull out a plethora of colored markers or to draw cartoonish learning aids. Whether it was drawing collapsed alveoli that looked like shriveled peas or a simple road to help us understand the process of sympathetic versus parasympathetic processes, he was determined to demonstrate multiple examples until we completely understood the theory. He has instilled in me a deep desire to impact the field of respiratory care. I anticipate the day I can demonstrate the knowledge Dr. Restrepo has bestowed on me."

 

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>12/10/2010

Spotlight on Excellence: Helen Sorenson, M.A., RRT


Helen Sorenson, M.A., RRT
 

Helen Sorenson, M.A., RRT, an associate professor in the Department of Respiratory Care, is described by her peers as an excellent role model. She is multiskilled in her range of courses, research and professionalism, and is a leading national expert in geriatric respiratory care. In addition, the associate professor’s students have a 95 percent success rate on board examinations, a testament to her fine work and commitment to her field.

 

Those are the many reasons that she was presented a Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence earlier this year and is now being featured in the Spotlight on Excellence series.

 

Her colleague Juanita S. Wallace, Ph.D., RDH, chair and assistant dean for faculty and staff development in the Department of Dental Hygiene, also in the School of Health Professions, nominated her for this award. In her nomination letter, Dr. Wallace said:

“Helen is a most talented and competent professional who continuously demonstrates her commitment to excellence in education, research and service. She is always looking for ways to do things better and is very committed to teamwork. Since joining the faculty, she has authored or co-authored five abstracts, four book chapters and more than 25 journal articles, many of which are in peer-reviewed journals. Helen is a prime example of a professional who is both caring and highly competent in her field.”

 

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>12/07/2010

Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D., MLS, receives the prestigious TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award



Dr. Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D., MLS
Distinguished Teaching Professor,
Professor Emeritus and Chair Emeritus,
Department of Clinical Laboratory Science,
The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
 

In 1980, Dr. McKenzie became an instructor and later Program Director of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at The University at Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She was named chair of the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in 1985 and promoted to full professor in 1995. Under her guidance, the department grew from a small, single-focus Baccalaureate program to one that offers multiple undergraduate and graduate options. Today, the department is recognized as one of the leading clinical laboratory science departments in the United States and has been named as one of the top 10 CLS programs in research activity. Dr. McKenzie has published 27 abstracts, 13 chapters and four books in addition to numerous editorials, journal articles and article reviews, and she is the author of a leading textbook on clinical laboratory hematology that is used by medical laboratory scientists throughout the world. An internationally recognized figure in medical laboratory sciences, Dr. McKenzie led the development of a clinical laboratory science student exchange program between The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. She served as president of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences and is the first female recipient of the TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award. Click here to view the video.

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>11/15/2010

Think of nutrition when donating food


Carmen Roman-Shriver, Ph.D., associate professor
Carmen Roman-Shriver, Ph.D., associate professor and director of The UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s Dietetics and Nutrition Program, leads the program from the Regional Campus in Laredo.
 

With the holidays coming, there are often many more requests for food donations to help needy families at this time of the year.

“We all have to watchwhat we eat over the holidays and exercise more so that we don’t gain weight. Donating food over the holidays gives us the chance to offer healthier foods to those who cannot buy them on a regular basis,” explained Carmen Roman-Shriver, Ph.D., associate professor and director of The UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s Dietetics and Nutrition Program. She leads the program from the UT Health Science Center’s Regional Campus in Laredo.

A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2000 noted that while most people gained only about one pound over the holidays, that pound often does not come off during the rest of the year, contributing to lifelong weight gain. A smaller study published in 2006 in the journal Nutritioninvolving college students’ weight over the holidays, showed that students who were already obese tended to gain more weight than students who were not.

Healthier food choices for all
“Obesity is a major health problem in South Texas, contributing to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other chronic health problems. Providing healthier foods is important not only for our own families, but also for those who receive donated foods over the holidays,” added Sue Cunningham, Ph.D., RD, LD, assistant professor and program coordinator of the Dietetics and Nutrition Program at the Health Science Center’s San Antonio campus.

The two faculty members offer the following tips for holiday food donations:

Sue Cunningham, Ph.D., RD, LD, is an assistant professor
Sue Cunningham, Ph.D., RD, LD, is an assistant professor and coordinates the Dietetics and Nutrition Program at the UT Health Science Center’s San Antonio campus
 
  • Consider foods that are dense in nutrients, such as canned or dry beans (red, navy, black, pinto) or lentils, whole-grain pasta, rice, and cereals.
  • Look for good sources of protein, such as canned tuna or chicken; low-fat or fat-free milk in a can, dry or ultra-pasteurized; peanut butter and unsalted nuts.
  • Good sources of vitamin C and A, such as 100 percent juices, canned fruits in light syrup or packed in natural juices, canned vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables.
  • Look for heart healthy choices that include canned items with lower sodium content including a variety of vegetables and soup.
  • Turn away from foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt such as fruit-flavored drinks, dried seasoned packages with rice, pastas or soups.
“Families facing food insecurity struggle to stretch their dollar by increasing their purchasing power with foods of lower nutrient content, but that tend to be higher in calories,” Dr. Roman-Shriver said. “While this approach may increase the quantity of food purchased, it limits the overall quality of the diet. These factors fuel the obesity epidemic and related health-risk factors.”Please look over the list of suggested food items to consider for holiday donations. The list was compiled by UT Health Science Center dietetics students in collaboration with Mercy Ministries of Laredo.


 

 

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>11/11/2010

Occupational therapy faculty member receives statewide award


Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Ph.D., OTR and Linda Jennings

Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Ph.D., OTR,(right) is pictured with Texas Occupational Therapy Association President Linda Jennings.

 

Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, Ph.D., OTR, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, received the Texas Occupational Therapy Association’s (TOTA) 2010 Academic Educator of the Year Award on Nov. 6 at the annual Mountain-Central Occupational Therapy Conference in Sugarland, Texas.

 

Dr. Piernik-Yoder has been an occupational therapy department faculty member since 2007. She graduated from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio in 1993.


 

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>11/08/2010

Faculty, staff and students enjoy Laredo campus’ second annual pachanga


Diana Sanchez and Rosie Mercado

Diana Sanchez, administrative assistant in the physician assistant program, jokes around with Rosie Mercado from Med Ed.

 

Music, food and dancing were part of the second annual pachanga held at the Regional Campus in Laredo on Oct. 14. “We had traditional Mexican music and dancing, like the Mexican hat dance, and lots of other music and fun,” said Araceli Duran, recruiter for the School of Health Professions programs at the Laredo campus.

 

Faculty, staff, students and their families enjoyed Karaoke, games and visiting. “By this time in the semester, the students had already taken some tests and had gotten to know each other. We wanted to show them that the university is not just about books. We wanted to give them something fun as part of the overall university experience,” Duran explained.

 

Physician assistant students Jenny LaFleur and Carolina Juarez honored Duran and administrative assistant Diana Sanchez by giving them large, decorated sombrero “pachanga hats” to wear, which were passed around among the partygoers as they danced and enjoyed the evening.

 

The event was co-sponsored by the School of Health Professions and the Office of Student Life, which provided the barbecue and trimmings.

 

See a video of the fun
(caution: lower your computer volume)

 

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>11/01/2010

Dr. Shirlyn McKenzie receives two major honors


During her tenure, Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D., MLSCM, developed the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences into one of the leading programs in the nation and one of the top 10 programs in research activity.

During her tenure, Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D., MLSCM, developed the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences into one of the leading programs in the nation and one of the top 10 programs in research activity.

 

Shirlyn B. McKenzie, Ph.D., MLS, has received two prestigious awards: the TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award and the Member of the Year Award from the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).

 

After building a nationally ranked program in clinical laboratory sciences in the UT Health Science Center San Antonio's School of Health Professions, Dr. McKenzie retired in January 2009, but has since returned as a chair emeritus and distinguished teaching professor emeritus.

 

TIAA-CREF award
Dr. McKenzie is the first woman and second non-physician winner of the TIAA-CREF award, which will be presented at a banquet Dec. 7 in San Antonio. The statewide award honors outstanding medical education professionals in Texas whose work and educational contributions have set a standard of excellence in the medical community and contributed on a national and international scale to the field.

 

The award carries a $10,000 honorarium for the recipient as well as a $5,000 donation to The Health Museum (also known as the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science) for summer camp scholarships.

 

"For the seventh year in a row, TIAA-CREF is honored to recognize an outstanding leader in the Texas medical community," said Mario E. Ramirez, national director of the Wealth Management Group in Executive Planning at TIAA-CREF. "Dr. McKenzie’s influence is profound and pervasive, as her teaching and national leadership have influenced medical laboratory science professionals around the world. Her work embodies TIAA-CREF’s mission of serving those who serve others."

"We are very proud of Dr. McKenzie and the results of her efforts to build a nationally recognized Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio," said Health Science Center President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP. "She is one of those rare individuals who has excelled in many areas, including education, research and leadership on a national basis."

 

Dr. McKenzie said, "It is my greatest honor as an educator to be selected as the TIAA-CREF Distinguished Medical Educator Award. Being the first woman and second non-M.D. winner is especially meaningful to me as it provides recognition that women as well as non-M.D. health educators are important members of the health care educators' team. Interprofessional education requires recognition and respect for all health care disciplines and educators. I believe that my selection is evidence that interprofessional education is a priority in Texas."

 

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science award
Dr. McKenzie also was named the ASCLS Member of the Year recently at the organization's annual meeting. She has been a longtime, active member of ASCLS, serving as chair of the scientific assembly, a member of the board of directors and president.

 

"About 30 years ago, when I first joined this professional organization I was amazed and very impressed by its leaders," Dr. McKenzie said. "They had a great influence on my career. Although I never dreamed of holding a board position, especially president, I wanted to learn from these leaders and become involved in the organization. Many of its leaders became my mentors, although some didn't know it. The networking was phenomenal and I soon became involved on the local, state and national level. I never expected that one day that I would be named Member of the Year. It is a great honor to be selected by my peers for this prestigious award.

 

She added, "I am grateful for the support of the Health Science Center's Clinical Laboratory Sciences faculty, my professional colleagues and my family that allowed me to grow as a leader in my profession."

 

Recipients of this award are selected based on lifetime contributions to the profession and to the ASCLS throughout their membership. All nominees are evaluated by their involvement in ASCLS activities at local, state, regional and national levels, participation in clinical laboratory science honor organizations and professional honors achieved. Also taken into account are nominees' contributions to the profession, including government and licensure activities and their work that promotes clinical laboratory sciences in the community.

 

Dr. McKenzie earned her undergraduate degree in medical technology and biology from the University of Wisconsin -Superior. She completed her education in medical technology at St. Luke's Hospital School of Medical Technology in Duluth, Minnesota. She went on to earn her Master of Science in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and her Doctor of Philosophy in administration of higher education from Texas A&M University.

 

Dr. McKenzie's work at the UT Health Science Center
In 1980, Dr. McKenzie became an instructor and later program director of Clinical Laboratory Sciences at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. Dr. McKenzie was named chair of the department in 1985 and was promoted to full professor in 1995. Under her guidance, the department grew from a small, single-focus baccalaureate program to one that offers multiple undergraduate and graduate options and flexible degree plans for students with a variety of backgrounds who wish to enter the medical laboratory disciplines. Today, the department is recognized as one of the leading clinical laboratory sciences departments in the United States and has been named as one of the top 10 CLS programs in research activity.

 

Dr. McKenzie has published 27 abstracts, 19 chapters and four books (two in Spanish translation) in addition to numerous editorials, journal articles and article reviews. She developed the first Web-based course offered by the University of Texas Telecampus. Having written a leading textbook on clinical laboratory hematology that is used nationally as well as internationally, she has literally taught thousands of medical laboratory scientists throughout the world. She is an accomplished speaker, having given over 150 presentations at state, national and international meetings.

 

Dr. McKenzie has received numerous honors, including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, the most prestigious UT Health Science Center teaching award. She was inducted into the university’s Academy of Master Teachers. In 2006, she was selected as a member of The University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education in recognition of outstanding contributions to health science education. The Texas Association for Clinical Laboratory Science (TACLS) named her as the Texas CLS Educator of the Year and the ASCLS awarded her the Sherwood Award for professional achievement in education.

 

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>11/01/2010

School of Health Professions receives nearly $500,000


Carolyn Walden, M.S., assistant director of research, is principal investigator of the grant to establish a national registry for therapy patients receive after hospitalization

Carolyn Walden, M.S., assistant director of research, is principal investigator of the grant to establish a national registry for therapy patients receive after hospitalization.

 

The School of Health Professions at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio has received two grants totaling nearly $500,000.

The largest grant - $435,000 from The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board - will fund a new program to encourage minority high school and undergraduate college students to pursue allied health careers. Through the program called Senderos (Spanish for pathways), some students could even graduate from high school already certified as emergency medical technicians.

The second grant, $62,500 from the Allied Health Research Institute (AHRI), could eventually have profound implications nationally regarding the therapy patients receive after hospitalization. The grant will fund Phase I of a project to establish the first national registry of clinically effective and cost-efficient rehabilitative therapies patients receive after hospitalization.

 

"These grants show the impact the School of Health Professions is having nationally, regionally and locally in education, research, care and service," said School of Health Professions Interim Dean Douglas Murphy, Ph.D.

National leadership role
"The registry places the School of Health Professions in a national leadership role not only because of the need to contain health care costs, but because of the need for evidence-based therapies for the growing number of Americans who will need rehabilitative therapy as they age," Dr. Murphy said.

 

Pathway to an allied health career
Through Senderos, the School of Health Professions will provide special activities and paid internships for students at South San and Health Careers high schools. Students from St. Philip's College and The University of Texas at San Antonio will benefit from special interest groups, programs to explain the different allied health professions and college advising to maximize courses taken before deciding on a specific allied health career.

 

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>11/01/2010

Dr. Douglas Murphy, Interim Dean for the School of Health Professions, announces resignation


Dr. Douglas Murphy

Douglas Murphy, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, School of Health Professions

 

Dr. Douglas Murphy, Interim Dean for the School of Health Professions, has notified the President of UTHSCSA that he is resigning his position, effective January 31, 2011, to assume the position of dean of the College of Health Related Professions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Dr. Murphy assumed the interim deanship in March of this year, following the retirement of Dean Marilyn Harrington.

 

The Health Science Center leadership team thanks Dr. Murphy for his outstanding service to the School of Health Professions and to the Health Science Center, where he has been employed since 1994. We wish him the very best as he transitions to his new role in Arkansas.

 

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>10/26/2010

Respiratory Care students, faculty provide COPD screenings


Carisia Garcia provides a breathing test to a senior citizen

Carisia Garcia provides a breathing test to a senior citizen at the Bob Ross Community Center. Garcia received a $3,000 Community Service Learning Grant to support the “Spirometry for Seniors” project.

 

Students and faculty from the Department of Respiratory Care in the School of Health Professions provided breathing screenings for senior citizens at the Bob Ross Senior Center Oct. 14 in conjunction with World Spirometry Day, the “Drive4COPD” national campaign and the Year of the Lung.

Under the supervision of Interim Chair DeDe Gardener, M.S.H.P., RRT, and Associate Professor, Helen Sorenson, M.A., RRT, FAARC, the students used spirometers to provide breathing assessments to test the seniors’ breathing capacity and to screen for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a group of breathing disorders that together are the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S.

“Spirometry for Seniors” is a new program sponsored by the Lambda Beta Society at the Health Science Center, the national honor society for respiratory care students.

Carisia Garcia, a senior student and Lambda Beta member, received a $3,000 Community Service Learning Grant to support the “Spirometry for Seniors” project, which will establish an ongoing relationship between current and future Lambda Beta members and older adults at the Bob Ross Senior Center. As a result of this grant, the Department of Respiratory Care will be able to provide regular screenings, COPD education, healthy lungs information and smoking cessation information, and will encourage the participants to maintain mobility.

Other students who provided screenings are Sade Adepoju, Paola Hernandez, Mustafa Monis, Hieu Nguyen and Maggie de la Garza.


 

 

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>10/19/2010

PT students, faculty to offer free screenings for seniors


Physician assistant student Jennifer LaFleur from Laredo practices her skills on fellow student Mayra Garza, at the Regional Campus in Laredo.
Faculty member Myla Quiben, Ph.D., D.P.T., PT, has been involved in planning the free physical therapy screenings for seniors on Oct. 27.
 

Physical therapy students and faculty from the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio will offer free health screenings for senior citizens in late October in honor of National Physical Therapy Month.

The free health screening fair for seniors 60 and older will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, at the Bob Ross Senior Center, 2219 Babcock.

Second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy students will work with Health Science Center faculty members Ann Newstead, Ph.D., PT, and Myla Quiben, Ph.D., D.P.T., PT. Screenings will assess balance, flexibility, walking, functional activities and general health. The fair will include educational materials.


Glenn Forister, M.S., M.P.A.S., PA-C, notes that the Health Science Center program prepares PAs to provide culturally competent primary care in South Texas.
Faculty member Ann Newstead, Ph.D., PT, will also be involved in supervising UT Health Science Center Doctor of Physical Therapy students at the screenings.
 

The Department of Physical Therapy is part of the Health Science Center’s School of Health Professions. This school trains professionals in 11 disciplines, including physical therapy, to be members of the expanded health care team, to conduct innovative health research, and to educate the next generation of health professionals for South Texas and the state.




The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $739 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg.


 

 

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>10/19/2010

Deaf education program receives $800,000 federal grant


Physician assistant student Jennifer LaFleur from Laredo practices her skills on fellow student Mayra Garza, at the Regional Campus in Laredo.
Faculty members in the Deaf Education and Hearing Science Program include Assistant Professors Sarah Ammerman, Ph.D., and Blane Trautwein, Ph.D.
 

The Deaf Education and Hearing Science program at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio has received a grant of $806,500 from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

The grant will fund 36 scholarships for teachers, support faculty and provide some of the program expenses for the Master of Deaf Education and Hearing Science program — the only program in Texas with an emphasis on listening and spoken language.

In the program, teachers are prepared to work with hearing-impaired children to develop spoken language. The auditory-oral language approach capitalizes on the child’s residual hearing by using amplification technology or cochlear implants, combined with a verbally focused learning approach and individual therapy.

Enrollment has grown nearly four-fold
Enrollment has grown from six to 23 students — a 283 percent increase — since 2008, when Blane Trautwein, Ed.D., assistant professor, joined the Health Science Center as director of the program.

The Deaf Education and Hearing Science program has quickly risen to national prominence and is attracting students from around the U.S. and Mexico,” said Douglas Murphy, Ph.D., interim dean of the School of Health Professions at the UT Health Science Center. “Although it is unusual for such a program to be offered at an academic health center, the success of this program has come about partly from its association with the allied health professions represented in our school such as occupational and physical therapy — professions with which our graduates will work in school settings.”

Glenn Forister, M.S., M.P.A.S., PA-C, notes that the Health Science Center program prepares PAs to provide culturally competent primary care in South Texas.
Blane Trautwein, Ph.D., works with a student at Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children, where master’s degree students from the Health Science Center practice new techniques and teaching skills in deaf education and hearing science.
 

Class of 2012 promoting awareness with sticker campaign
The grant will aid the Deaf Education and Hearing Science program in attracting high-caliber, diverse students to help address the shortage of trained educational professionals in Texas. It will additionally provide support to existing faculty and fund an adjunct position.

Faculty explore new methods
Dr. Trautwein added, “One of the strengths of our grant proposal was our research in reciprocal peer coaching and faculty mentoring.”

Dr. Trautwein and his colleague, Sarah Ammerman, Ph.D., assistant professor, published an article in the Summer 2010 edition of The Volta Review, a journal of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The article states:

“In reciprocal peer coaching, students practice new teaching methodologies, master techniques, utilize shared problem-solving skills and receive feedback from a peer evaluator. The reciprocal nature of this coaching lies in the participants’ willingness to regularly assume the role of both observer and the person being observed.” In addition, faculty mentors demonstrate teaching techniques and participate in dialogues with individuals and groups of students beginning with the first semester of the master’s program.

Program strengths
Reviewers also noted the program’s collaboration with the School of Health Profession’s Department of Occupational Therapy, the Health Science Center’s status as a minority-serving institution and recent successes with philanthropic giving to the deaf education program.

The Deaf Education and Hearing Science Program has a close partnership with Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children in San Antonio as a laboratory for learning techniques and teaching skills. Students participate in more than 350 clinical hours during the two-year master’s program.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $739 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg.


 

 

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>10/5/2010

National Physician Assistant Week is Oct. 6-12


Physician assistant student Jennifer LaFleur from Laredo practices her skills on fellow student Mayra Garza, at the Regional Campus in Laredo.
Physician assistant student Jennifer LaFleur from Laredo practices her skills on fellow student Mayra Garza, at the Regional Campus in Laredo.
 

Walk into many doctors’ offices and hospitals and it’s likely you will receive care from a physician assistant. These days, 74,000 PAs provide care in virtually every medical and surgical specialty in the United States.

“Working with physicians as part of the health care team, PAs can perform many physician tasks, providing cost-effective health care,” said J. Glenn Forister, an associate professor and associate chair of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies.

PAs work in almost all medical settings and specialties providing a wide range of medical care. “The role of PAs is vital to the success of health care, especially now that approximately 32 million Americans will have access to health care due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act that was passed in March. Well before health reform, there were more than 250 million visits to PAs by patients in 2008,” according to information provided by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).

Physician assistants to be recognized Oct. 6-12
National Physician Assistants Week, held every year from Oct. 6 to 12, is an opportunity for the community to better understand the value PAs bring to the health care team. According to the AAPA, studies show that PAs deliver high-quality care and that patients are highly satisfied with PA-provided care.

Glenn Forister, M.S., M.P.A.S., PA-C, notes that the Health Science Center program prepares PAs to provide culturally competent primary care in South Texas.
Glenn Forister, M.S., M.P.A.S., PA-C, notes that the Health Science Center program prepares PAs to provide culturally competent primary care in South Texas.
 

Class of 2012 promoting awareness with sticker campaign
To raise awareness about physician assistants and their role in health care, the UT Health Science Center’s physician assistant class of 2012 is conducting an information campaign that asks local physician assistants to wear a sticker inviting the public to ask PAs about their profession.

More than 340 PAs in Bexar and Webb counties will receive stickers that state: “Ask me about the PA profession.” The sticker design was provided by Patrick Dunn, M.D., and will be worn Oct. 6-12 by PAs while they work.

“Ideally, we hope that people will walk away with a better understanding of how PAs contribute to health care, and will have a stronger relationship with their PA and with PAs in general,” said Christina Deluhery, vice president of the PA class of 2012.

PAs play a big role in providing health care
The PA profession began in the mid-1960s, and now there are more than 74,000 PAs providing health care across the United States. PAs examine patients, order medical tests, diagnose illnesses, participate in surgeries, prescribe medications and provide many other medical services. About 6,000 new PAs graduate each year in the United States, and they play a large role in providing necessary health care to millions of Americans.

“PAs have chosen a profession where the foundation is service to others,” said Megan Sewell, a member of the physician assistant class of 2012. “I think it is important to recognize those who help provide such a wonderful service to our citizens.”

Providing care through many specialties
PAs work in a variety of specialties, including family medicine, pediatrics, dermatology, internal medicine and orthopedics. Physician assistants work as part of a health care team where a physician provides leadership and direction in patient care. Other members of the team include nurses, medical assistants and laboratory specialists, to name a few.

As health care continues to change, medical professionals and the nation as a whole face new challenges and opportunities.

“Our faculty and staff strongly believe that physician assistants are part of the solution to our health-care challenges, especially for those people who need care the most,” said Dennis Blessing, Ph.D., chair of the Health Science Center’s PA program. “In particular, students are asked to consider working in areas of South Texas because there is a shortage of health care providers there.”

UT Health Science Center’s focus is South Texas
The UT Health Science Centers’ PA program prepares physician assistants to work in the primary-care setting with an emphasis on providing culturally competent health care in South Texas. Students can earn their master’s in physician assistant studies degree at the Health Science Center’s San Antonio campus and at the Regional Campus in Laredo, with rotations available throughout South Texas.

“With the increased demand on our already overburdened health care system, we have to come up with workforce solutions that are effective in a variety of settings,” said Forister. “PAs help fill in gaps where solutions are needed. The profession has proven to be very adaptable — that what’s nice about it.”


 

—from HSC News, by physician assistant student Sarah Franco

 

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HEAL initiative stakeholders
HEAL Initiative stakeholders include (left to right) Jaime Arispe, Julie Lara, Roger Perales, M.P.H., RS, Gloria Jackson, Carmen Roman-Shriver, Ph.D., Margaret Lopez, Sister Mary Luisa Vera, R.S.M., Julie Tijerina, Steven Lopez, M.P.P., M.P.H., and Brent Shriver, Ph.D.

>6/30/2010

New Laredo initiative promotes healthy eating, active living...


After several months of planning and communication by a group of communitywide stakeholders, a new Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Initiative was officially launched June 21 at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s Regional Campus in Laredo.

Community support
Community stakeholders explained why the HEAL initiative was created, what its goals are and how it will be implemented to address the chronic health issues in Laredo.

“What began as an assessment of the feasibility of developing a community initiative focused on nutrition, physical activity, obesity and diabetes prevention is now a citywide effort to promote an environment that supports healthy eating and active living,” said Steven Lopez, M.P.P., M.P.H., a fellow who has been working to spark the initiative through the UT Health Science Center and a large group of dedicated community stakeholders. Lopez’s fellowship is supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools.

Study reveals health issues on the border
The HEAL Initiative was modeled after successful programs in Brownsville and other cities and is backed by statistics from the South Texas Health Status Review, a study conducted by the UT Health Science Center’s Institute for Health Promotion Research that found a higher prevalence of obesity and diabetes in South Texas than in the rest of Texas or the nation.

Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services also indicated that more Laredoans have been diagnosed as diabetic or obese, and more report poor dietary intake and a lack of physical activity, compared to the state population.

National health epidemic
“In the last three decades, obesity and being overweight have become the fastest-growing epidemics in the United States,” said Carmen Roman-Shriver, Ph.D., RD, LD, director of the dietetics and nutrition program at the UT Health Science Center. “The economic burden of obesity and diabetes is overwhelming,” she said, with statewide projections estimating that $12.7 billion is expected to be spent in 2010, $15.2 billion in 2020 and $39 billion in 2040. “This is for health care, illness treatment and loss of productivity. Laredo has higher rates of obesity and diabetes than the state, which in turn has higher rates than the nation,” she said.

Sixteen percent of Laredoans have diabetes versus 10 percent of Texans, and 35 percent are obese, compared to 29 percent of Texans, Dr. Roman-Shriver explained. “As a community, we cannot sit and wait for the trend to reverse. Our stakeholders believe that it is time to launch a coordinated effort to help people living in our border region to become healthier.”

Promoting Healthy Living and Active Living
HEAL Initiative stakeholders plan to execute their mission and vision through the promotion of healthy eating and active living, as well as environmental and policy change. Major objectives of the HEAL initiative are to increase awareness of programs, events and facilities that already exist in the Laredo community and to promote any new events and programs that fit the mission of the initiative.

Gardening seminar
For example, one of the stakeholders, Laredo Main Street, will hold a seminar series on gardening so that Laredoans can begin growing fresh produce at their homes. The free seminar series will be held 7-8:30 p.m. on July 8 and 12 at El Pasillo de San Augustine. Another series is planned in August. Contact Sandra Rocha-Taylor at Laredo.mainstreet@att.net or (956) 523-8817 for more information. Laredo Main Street is also planning a farmers’ market in Laredo for the fall.

Success in the colonias
Stakeholder Jaime Arispe from the Office of Border Affairs discussed the El Cenizo Family Garden. “We’ve made headway in the colonias with community family gardens,” he said. Vegetables grown include tomatoes, cilantro, chilies and bell peppers. The church now has a children’s after-school café program and an elderly lunch program.

Longer-term efforts of the HEAL initiative may include enhancing joint-use facility policies, promoting a healthy restaurant campaign, and implementing and enhancing wellness programs.

Improving health one neighborhood at a time
Sister Maria Luisa Vera, R.S.M., chief executive officer for Mercy Ministries of Laredo, added that at the primary care clinic in Laredo, patients diagnosed with diabetes are encouraged to go to classes to prove they have the disease under control. “The classes show them what lies ahead,” she said, if they do not control their diabetes.

“The HEAL Initiative is committed to empowering our community to improve its health, one neighborhood at a time, by creating an environment where healthy eating and active living are supported and promoted,” Sister Maria Luisa said.


 

—from HSC News

 

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Associate Professor Betty Dunn, M.S., GG (ASCP)CM, also received the Joseph Waurin Excellence in Genetics Education Award from the Foundation for Genetic Technology.
Associate Professor Betty Dunn, M.S., GG (ASCP)CM, also received the Joseph Waurin Excellence in Genetics Education Award from the Foundation for Genetic Technology.

>6/15/2010

Dunn to lead Association of Genetic Technologists...


Betty Dunn, M.S., GG (ASCP)CM, associate professor and director of the Cytogenetics Program at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, has been installed as president of the Association of Genetic Technologists (AGT) at the national organization’s 35th annual meeting June 3-5 in Phoenix, Ariz.

During the meeting, Dunn also was presented the Joseph Waurin Excellence in Genetics Education Award from the Foundation for Genetic Technology. According to the foundation, the award honors genetic educators who have demonstrated outstanding professional capabilities in teaching undergraduate or graduate students.

“I feel truly honored to be selected by the members of AGT to lead the organization during this time of change,” Dunn said. “I’m especially humbled to have been nominated for this education award by the award founder, who established the award a few years ago in honor of his father, who was an educator. I also want to thank my colleagues who have supported me and the Cytogenetics Program, as well as my participation in the AGT and other professional organizations, through the years.”

Highly complex scientific specialty
Founded in 1975, the Association of Genetic Technologists is composed of approximately 1,300 members, primarily technologists, supervisors and lab directors who are involved in the field of genetics. Most members are involved in either classical cytogenetics, or molecular or biochemical genetics.

Cytogenetics is a highly complex specialty in the clinical laboratory. It involves the study and analysis of genetic material at the microscopic and submicroscopic level to help physicians determine whether patients have inherited chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome, or acquired chromosome-linked cancers such as chronic myelocytic leukemia. Molecular and biochemical geneticists study, compare and analyze DNA and RNA samples from individuals and groups to help physicians diagnose complex diseases or conditions. These include assessing the risk of familial cancer, discovering neurological disorders, identifying microbial agents and answering forensic questions.

Unifying the profession
Dunn is involved in leadership of the AGT at a pivotal time. The association supported a merger during 2009 of clinical laboratory certification agencies so that the different clinical laboratory professions are now certified by a single agency, the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification. “This is a critical first step in unifying the diverse clinical laboratory professions to speak with a unified voice regarding professional recognition and salary issues,” she said.

During her three-year term as president, Dunn said she plans to involve more individuals from different backgrounds in organizational management and meeting presentations.

Dunn has a long history of service to her profession and has been a member of AGT since 1980. She previously served for eight years as the AGT representative to the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences as a voting member of their board of directors. The agency accredits all clinical laboratory educational programs in the U.S. In addition, she has participated in organizing annual meetings and has presented invited lectures, workshops and breakout sessions numerous times.

Health Science Center Cytogenetics Program
In the School of Health Professions, Dunn has served as the Cytogenetics Program director since 1996. As the sole faculty member of the program, Dunn involves many other faculty members throughout the university to provide a comprehensive program for her students. She has been an active participant on several departmental, school and university committees including the Promotion, Tenure and Appointments Committee.


—from inside.news

 

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(Left to right) Physical therapy students Rachel Red, Teddy Ortiz and Cindy Boyer worked under the supervision of faculty members Patricia "Tish" Rodriguez, PT, RMT, and Catherine Ortega, Ed.D., PT, ATC, OCS, during the Southwest Regional Dance Festival. Rodriguez served as chair of physical therapy for the event.
Betzaida Morales, who graduated in 2010, will be honored at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences in July.

>6/10/2010

Clinical Laboratory Sciences graduate wins national competition...


Betzaida Morales, a 2010 graduate of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program in the School of Health Professions, won a national competition for her case study titled "Pediatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus with Multiple Complications." The competition was sponsored by the Education Scientific Assembly of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (ASCLS).

This national competition was open to all student members of the ASCLS. Students submit the cases, which are judged based on criteria such as scientific merit, comprehensiveness, relevance to clinical application, as well as format and presentation.

 

"Betzaida presented the case of a young boy who developed not only pediatric systemic lupus erythematosus, which is an autoimmune disease, but also had several complications," explained Linda Smith, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences. "She reviewed the clinical and medical history as well as the key laboratory findings and importance of key laboratory test results in making the diagnosis for both the primary disease and the complications," added Dr. Smith, a distinguished teaching professor and graduate program director.

 

In addition to the award, Morales will be honored with a cash prize at the ASCLS annual meeting taking place in July in Anaheim, Calif.


—from inside.news

 

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(Left to right) Physical therapy students Rachel Red, Teddy Ortiz and Cindy Boyer worked under the supervision of faculty members Patricia "Tish" Rodriguez, PT, RMT, and Catherine Ortega, Ed.D., PT, ATC, OCS, during the Southwest Regional Dance Festival. Rodriguez served as chair of physical therapy for the event.
(Left to right) Physical therapy students Rachel Red, Teddy Ortiz and Cindy Boyer worked under the supervision of faculty members Patricia "Tish" Rodriguez, PT, RMT, and Catherine Ortega, Ed.D., PT, ATC, OCS, during the Southwest Regional Dance Festival. Rodriguez served as chair of physical therapy for the event.

>5/4/2010

And show went on, thanks to the HSC physical therapists...


More than 500 ballet dancers stayed light on their feet during the Southwest Regional Dance Festival, thanks to faculty members and students from the UT Health Science Center Department of Physical Therapy.

The festival, sponsored by the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet, took place April 8-10 in San Antonio, with classes held at the Tropicana Hotel and performances at Municipal Auditorium.

"We worked side by side with the clinic physician to treat multiple ankle injuries, various joint and muscle strains, and plain old sore muscles from overuse," said Patricia "Tish" Rodriguez, PT, RMT, as

Physical therapy faculty member Patricia "Tish" Rodriguez, PT, RMT, takes a look at the ankle of ballet dancer Mary Cook.
Physical therapy faculty member Patricia "Tish" Rodriguez, PT, RMT, takes a look at the ankle of ballet dancer Mary Cook.

sistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, who served as the physical therapy chairperson for the festival. In addition to Rodriguez, participating faculty members included Julie Barnett, PT, DPT, MTC; Ann Newstead, PT, M.S., GCS, NCS; Smita Mehta, PT, and Catherine Ortega, Ed.D., PT, ATC, OCS.

Students who helped at the event included third-year students Ulysses Mireles and Rachel Red; and second-year students Cindy Boyer, Brooke Cody and Teddy Ortiz.



—from inside.news

 

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(Left to right) Health Science Center physical therapy faculty members Patricia Brewer, Ph.D., and Michael Geelhoed, PT, D.P.S., OCS, MTC, visit with Fernando Rodriguez of the Texas Physical Therapy Association.
(Left to right) Health Science Center physical therapy faculty members Patricia Brewer, Ph.D., and Michael Geelhoed, PT, D.P.S., OCS, MTC, visit with Fernando Rodriguez of the Texas Physical Therapy Association.

>4/19/2010

Alumni, students host statewide PT Olympics,
job fair ...


On March 26-27, alumni and students from the Department of Physical Therapy sponsored the Texas Physical Therapy (PT) Olympics and UT Health Science Center San Antonio PT Alumni Association Job Fair.

The annual event, hosted by the School of Health Professions (SHP) at the Greehey Academic and Research Campus, brought together more than 350 physical therapy students from eight universities throughout the state for some friendly competition and to meet with 72 potential employers from across Texas and other states as far away as California.

Biggest event yet
“We had the largest number of participants we’ve ever had and the largest number of vendors at the job fair,” said Mike Geelhoed, PT, D.P.T., OCS, MTC, assistant professor and director of clinical education in the Department of Physical Therapy. The event raises funds for alumni association scholarships.

Working together for success
Although this is the eighth year for the job fair, the SHP has hosted the PT Olympics for 11 years, since it was begun by Health Science Center physical therapy students as a way to get to know their future colleagues from other Texas physical therapy schools. Dr. Geelhoed has coordinated the event for about four years with the help of student leaders and the inaugural president of the alumni association, Chris Rabago, a 2004 PT graduate and a 2009 Ph.D. graduate of the Health Science Center.

Largest endowment in the School of Health Professions
Thanks to the growing success of the event, the alumni association has been able to establish the largest endowment in the School of Health Professions only six years since its inception. The association provided six $750-scholarships in 2009 and plans to continue increasing both the amount and number of scholarships offered every year to the PT students.

“None of our success would be possible without the support of the department, school and university, and especially the huge amount of labor put in by our PT students in organizing and running an event of this scale,” Dr. Geelhoed said. “I’m extremely pleased to see the PT students reaping the ultimate reward in terms of continually increasing scholarships.”

Connecting with colleagues
The activities started the evening of Friday, March 26, with a basketball tournament at the Spectrum Athletic Club on the Health Science Center campus, followed by a mixer and billiards tournament at a nearby establishment. On Saturday, March 27, the students visited the job fair from 8 a.m. to noon followed by a wheelchair obstacle course and tug-of-war, and volleyball, dodge ball, softball and football tournaments.

UT Health Science Center San Antonio physical therapy student Rebecca Oliver (in the wheelchair) prepares to mount a wooden platform in the PT Olympics, as her spotter, Judith Guerrero, stands ready to assist. Student Thuan Tran observes in the background.
UT Health Science Center San Antonio physical therapy student Rebecca Oliver (in the wheelchair) prepares to mount a wooden platform in the PT Olympics, as her spotter, Judith Guerrero, stands ready to assist. Student Thuan Tran observes in the background.

Challenging events
One of the most challenging events was the wheelchair obstacle course, in which teams of two students representing their school manipulated a wheelchair down the handicap ramp at the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, up onto a 4-inch-tall wooden platform, through cones on the grass, up a gradual hill, to finish up the steep handicap ramp. The teams were timed and received more points according to how much of the work was done by the teammate in the wheelchair. The other teammate assisted when necessary.

Students from UT Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas Woman’s University-Houston, UT Southwestern, Texas State University, Hardin Simmons University, Angelo State University and US Army-Baylor participated.

 

—from HSC News

 

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(Left to right) Mary Vaughan, Ph.D.,and Patricia A. Brewer, Ph.D., have incorporated technology into their teaching to improve student learning.
(Left to right) Mary Vaughan, Ph.D.,and Patricia A. Brewer, Ph.D., have incorporated technology into their teaching to improve student learning.

>4/19/2010

Two inducted into UT Academy of Health Science
Educators...


Two UT Health Science Center San Antonio faculty members were inducted into the University of Texas Academy of Health Science Educators at the UT System’s Health Science Education Conference held Feb. 18-19 in Austin.

The academy recognizes distinguished scholars for teaching excellence in health science education. It also provides support for faculty development, encourages the creation and implementation of innovative educational projects, and promotes curriculum design and reform.

“We are very proud of our new Academy of Health Science Education members,” said President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP. “Each of them has made significant contributions to learning at the Health Science Center and they deserve to be named among the best educators in the state.”

The 2010 inductees include Patricia A. Brewer, Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy and assistant dean for student affairs in the School of Health Professions, and Mary Vaughan, Ph.D., associate professor of cellular and structural biology in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Brewer: Innovative teaching
Dr. Brewer is known for her enthusiasm for teaching and technology. She joined the Health Science Center faculty in 1999, serving first as an adjunct faculty member and then as an assistant professor in the departments of Cellular & Structural Biology and Physical Therapy, teaching courses in anatomy, neuroscience, pathology and pharmacology.

Starting in 1997, Dr. Brewer was a pioneer in the development of Web-based courses, first at the University of Texas at San Antonio and then in the School of Health Professions at the Health Science Center. In 2005, she led a team of 16 Health Science Center faculty members from all five schools in developing an innovative approach to teaching anatomy courses by incorporating such technological enhancements as dissection videos and 3-D medical-illustration animations to better engage students in the learning process, make learning available to them “on demand” and update teaching methodologies at the Health Science Center. In 2006, the project, “GATEways: Gross Anatomy Teaching Enhancement,” won first place in the UT System’s Innovation in Health Science competition.

Even though she now devotes more of her time to administration than to teaching, Dr. Brewer said that everything she does is student-focused. “Students are relationships, not transactions” is her tagline. “I try to live that philosophy every day, whether I am in the classroom, the gross anatomy lab or my student affairs office,” said Dr. “B,” as she is affectionately known by her students.

She is a charter member and the inaugural president of the Academy of Master Teachers, a Health Science Center professional society established in 2008 to recognize exceptional educators and encourage the scholarship of teaching. Academy members serve as professional role models and mentors for faculty, residents, fellows and students. Dr. Brewer also received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005.

Dr. Brewer graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in psychology from Michigan State University. She earned her Ph.D. in anatomy from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and received a postdoctoral fellowship in neurochemistry from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Vaughan: Education and research
During her 36 years at the Health Science Center, Dr. Vaughan has enjoyed teaching medical and dental neuroscience to students and developing seven CD-ROMs for health professional students.

Since 1983, she has been the course director, lecturer and laboratory instructor for the medical neuroscience course in the Department of Cellular & Structural Biology. She also has lectured and been involved in dental microscopic anatomy, dental hygiene head and neck anatomy and advanced neuroanatomy. She has also offered enrichment activities in the community for younger students from elementary through high school.

“I‘ve enjoyed working with the students, and that’s what I’ll miss most when I retire,” she said. Whether it was youngsters she was trying to interest in neuroscience by inviting them to view and hold preserved brain specimens to working in the lab alongside many postdoctoral students from Europe, Asia and the Far East, Dr. Vaughan has focused on education and research.

Dr. Vaughan received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1989 and the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Piper Professorship in 2002. She also is a charter member of the UT Health Science Center Academy of Master Teachers.

 

—from HSC News

 

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Shown at the Sigma Phi Alpha Honor Society induction ceremony are (left to right) Beatriz Hicks, RDH, M.A., clinical associate professor of dental hygiene, honorees Kimberly Santillan-Rush, Candace Hurley and Rachel Johnston, and Carol Nguyen, RDH, MA, assistant professor of dental hygiene.
Shown at the Sigma Phi Alpha Honor Society induction ceremony are (left to right) Beatriz Hicks, RDH, M.A., clinical associate professor of dental hygiene, honorees Kimberly Santillan-Rush, Candace Hurley and Rachel Johnston, and Carol Nguyen, RDH, MA, assistant professor of dental hygiene.

>3/31/2010

Three dental hygiene students inducted into honor society...


he UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s Sigma Phi Alpha Honor Society induction ceremony was held March 12 during the annual Dental Hygiene Alumni Day continuing education program. 


Beta Sigma, the local San Antonio chapter, welcomed Candace Hurley, Rachel Johnston and Kimberly N. Rush-Santillan, who will be graduating from the Health Science Center in May with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and a registered dental hygiene certificate.


The Sigma Phi Alpha Society was formed in 1958 by dental hygiene educators to showcase graduates who excel in scholarship, leadership and service — the three legs of the organization. The society provides scholarships to deserving students. 

Each student ranks in the top 10 percent of the graduating class and retained their scholarships by maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.5 on 4.0 scale. Each student demonstrated service and leadership by participating in service to the community and recruitment activities for the enhancement of the dental hygiene profession. All three students are active members of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association.


—from inside.news


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There is still time to contribute to the Health Science Center’s “PAs Against MS” team, which includes (left to right) Megan Sewell, Drew Dempsey, Jesse Sewell, Diana Hall, Brianna Kay holding Kyley Kay, Jessica Hanson, Sarah Franco, Carlo Franco, Ashley Powers and Doug Hall.
There is still time to contribute to the Health Science Center’s “PAs Against MS” team, which includes (left to right) Megan Sewell, Drew Dempsey, Jesse Sewell, Diana Hall, Brianna Kay holding Kyley Kay, Jessica Hanson, Sarah Franco, Carlo Franco, Ashley Powers and Doug Hall.



>3/24/2010

PA students raise $1,850 for Multiple Sclerosis research and programs...


On March 6, several UT Health Science Center physician assistant students, family and friends formed a team and participated in Walk MS 2010, a 5K walk that benefits South Texans living with multiple sclerosis (MS). The team, “PAs Against MS,” raised $1,850.

More than 3,000 people participated in the annual event sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for research and support services. Donations are accepted until April 6 and can be made online at PAs Against MS.


March 8-14 is MS Awareness Week. In the United States there are approximately 400,000 people living with MS, a chronic, often disabling disease that affects the central nervous system.  The exact etiology is still not known; therefore, further research is needed to create more effective treatments and ultimately a cure. 

For more information on multiple sclerosis, or local programs and services, visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Web site.



—from inside.news


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Taline Dadian-Infante M.S., RDH, (left), associate professor, associate chair and program director of the Department of Dental Hygiene, presents JoAnn D. Jordan the award for Alumna of the Year.
Taline Dadian-Infante M.S., RDH, (left), associate professor, associate chair and program director of the Department of Dental Hygiene, presents JoAnn D. Jordan the award for Alumna of the Year.

>3/23/2010

Department of Dental Hygiene selects alumna of the year ...


Joann D. Jordan has been selected  the Department of Dental Hygiene’s 2010 “Alumna of the Year.” Jordan’s dental hygiene career has taken many paths since she earned her certificate in December 1995 and a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in 2001 from the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

“Jordan first worked in a private dental practice where she treated her patients with compassion and competence,” said Joan Stein, RDH, clinical instructor and director of continuing education in the Department of Dental Hygiene. During that time Jordan also volunteered for community activities such as Mission of Mercy and Sealants Across Texas. 

In 1999 Jordan began teaching at her alma mater. “The experience she gained in private practice transferred to an ability to effectively teach necessary skills and professional behaviors to Health Science Center student dental hygienists,” Stein said. “The students with whom Jordan shared her expertise have high praise for her ability to positively connect with them in the clinical environment.” While on the faculty, Jordan was the adviser to the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association. “She spent many hours mentoring students to appreciate the benefits and importance of belonging to one’s professional organization,” Stein said.

Currently, Jordan is research coordinator in the Department of Periodontics where she is coordinating five studies. On a previous study, she worked with pregnant women investigating a link between pregnancy, periodontitis and low-birth-weight babies.

Jordan is continuing her education by working on her master’s degree at the University of the Incarnate Word.


—from inside.news


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Douglas L. Murphy, Ph.D.
Douglas L. Murphy, Ph.D.

>3/11/2010

Associate Dean Douglas L. Murphy, Ph.D., to serve as Interim Dean of the School of Health Professions...


Dear Health Science Center Faculty and Staff:

With the upcoming retirement March 31 of our colleague Marilyn Harrington, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Health Professions, I wanted you to know that I have asked Associate Dean Douglas L. Murphy, Ph.D., to serve as Interim Dean, and I am very pleased that he has agreed.

Dr. Murphy, a teacher and educational psychologist by training, joined the Health Science Center in 1994 as an evaluation specialist in the Division of Educational Research and Development, where he consulted with faculty members and academic departments regarding instructional effectiveness, student evaluation, program evaluation, research design and instrument development for education and research.

In June 1999, Dr. Murphy was named Assistant Professor and Associate Dean of the School, where he has served as the key administrative officer for academic and student affairs. He has ably assisted the Dean with strategic planning and benchmarking activities, administrative duties both inside and outside of the university, and has been very successful in guiding the School’s student recruitment office, the Welcome Center. During his time here, the school has nearly tripled its enrollment and increased minority enrollment from 42 percent to 56 percent.

Before joining the Health Science Center, Dr. Murphy was research director at Kansas State University’s Beach Center on Families and Disability, and worked at the Veterans Administration as evaluation director for a national program that provided marriage and family counseling services to veterans of the Persian Gulf War.

Dr. Murphy is president of the Texas Society of Allied Health Professionals. He previously served as president-elect and twice as vice president of the organization.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in art education at Montana State University, and his master’s degree in educational psychology and research and his Ph.D. in educational psychology and research from Kansas State.

I have asked Dr. Murphy that his “interim” title not be an impediment to implementing progress and improvement in programs in the School. I look forward to the university’s support of his efforts in this leadership role. Please join me in extending congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Murphy as he embarks on his new role.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

William L. Henrich, M.D., M.A.C.P



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