Health Professions


School of Health Professions

Results: 138 news stories

Two pilot studies will gauge impact of interventions on neuroplasticity and hip-fracture surgery outcomes in older adults


UT Health San Antonio researchers will be launching two pilot studies to learn whether specific interventions help older adults build stronger neural pathways and recover better from hip fracture surgery.

The two separate pilot studies each received a $50,000 grant from the San Antonio Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center.

Does blood-flow restriction exercise boost neuroplasticity?

Physical therapy students and professor simulate blood-flow restriction exercise training

Meet OT department’s two newest faculty members


The Department of Occupational Therapy recently welcomed two new faculty members.

Associate Professor Chinyu Wu, PhD, OTR, and Assistant Professor Angela Benfield, PhD, OTR, joined the department in August. Each brings research interests that will add to the department, said Department of Occupational Therapy Chair and Professor Bridgette Piernik-Yoder, PhD, OTR, FAOTA.

Associate Professor Chinyu Wu and Assistant Professor Angela Benfield

UT Health San Antonio, associate dean receive awards at ASAHP conference


School of Health Professions Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs David Henzi, EdD, was inducted as a Fellow of the Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions (ASAHP) at its annual conference in October.

ASAHP Award Ceremony

OT scholarship recipients find purpose in profession

Third-year OTD student Jackie Johnson is one of two students to receive this year's Ellsworth scholarship.


Third-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy students Jackie Johnson and Ayla Akers have received the 2022 Paul D. Ellsworth Endowed Scholarship in Occupational Therapy. The scholarship honors Army Lt. Col. Paul D. Ellsworth, who retired from the occupational therapy faculty in 1998 and passed away in 2016.

Jackie Johnson, OTD student and Ellsworth Scholarship winner

OT professor’s research informs back-to-school mindfulness and stress relief tips shared by OTD students at community event


By Kate Hunger


For Doctor of Occupational Therapy student Elise Gray, volunteering at a back to school event this summer was more than a way to educate families on the proper way to pack and carry a backpack. Gray and fellow OTD students also shared activities and information to help school children manage stress and anxiety as they head back to class.

OT students volunteer at back to school event

Occupational therapy professor Kimatha Grice to retire


By Kate Hunger

Associate Professor Kimatha Grice, OTD, OTR, CHT, found her future profession in the library stacks at Texas A&M University.

“I was researching schools for physical therapy, and I came across occupational therapy,” she said. “I started reading up on it, and I thought, ‘That sounds really interesting — it sounds more like me.’ That’s how I ended up in OT school, and I  never looked back.”

Dr. Kimatha Grice

ICU simulation prepares PT, OT and nursing students for work as an interprofessional team


By Kate Hunger

An interprofessional intensive care unit simulation activity this spring was timed just right for the 118 physical therapy, occupational therapy and nursing students who participated.

Held in April before doctoral PT and OT students began clinical rotations and the 4th-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing students graduated, the activity gave students the opportunity to learn firsthand about the roles of other health professions in the ICU — and to practice their own skills.

Embracing an interprofessional approach

Students practice IPE ICU simulation activity

OT professor elected to RESNA board, co-presents workshop at European Seating Symposium

By Kate Hunger

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy Ana Allegretti, PhD, OTR, ATP, has been elected to the board of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).

Dr. Allegretti, a long-time member of RESNA and is as an associate editor for its journal. Born and raised in Brazil, she said she will bring an international perspective to the board during her three-year term, which begins in August. One of her goals as a board member will be to increase access to the organization’s resources by clinicians around the world.

Dr. Ana Allegretti

UT Health San Antonio holds second rehabilitation research day

Third-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy students Tina Bittle, Paige Beeney and Cristina Martinez developed their interest in research while working on a project with a local high school to provide modified ride-on toy cars to young children with physical disabilities.

The three presented “Partnering with community organizations to address early mobility,” one of 39 research posters at UT Health San Antonio’s second annual Rehabilitation Research Day, held May 13 on campus.

Third-year occupational therapy students present their research post at UT Health San Antonio’s Rehabilitation Research Day.

SHP students inducted into allied health professions honor society

Fifty School of Health Professions students were inducted May 5 into the campus chapter of the Alpha Eta Society, the national honor society of the allied health professions.

The induction ceremony was held virtually, said chapter president and Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Martha M. Acosta, PhD, PT, GCS.

The Alpha ETA Society emblem

National occupational therapy conference held in San Antonio

By Kate Hunger

The American Occupational Therapy Association held its annual conference in San Antonio March 31–April 3, the first time the annual gathering has included an in-person option in three years.

Attendees of the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference held in San Antonio in spring 2022.

Faculty are engaged as national OT conference comes to San Antonio this spring

By Kate Hunger

When the American Occupational Therapy Association holds its annual conference in San Antonio this spring, members of the Department of Occupational Therapy faculty will be involved in numerous ways — from presenting short courses to supporting the event.

UT Health San Antonio Department of Occupational Therapy Faculty

OT professor shares study findings for helping children reduce stress at school

By Kate Hunger

Something as simple as focusing on glitter falling gently in a sensory bottle can soothe children who experience anxiety and stress, said Mei-Ling Lin, OTR, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy.

Dr. Mei-Ling Lin, OTR, PhD

Two ways to help others this holiday season

Looking for a way to make life a little brighter for others this holiday season? Here are two opportunities to do just that:

Nursing Home Clothing Drive: Drop off new sweatshirts, sweatpants, and non-slip socks to the School of Health Professions Office of Admissions and Special Programs, DTL 2.207R, through Dec. 10. To donate to the SHP Clothing Drive, please click here.

Image for Warm Hands, Healthy Hands glove drive hosted by Department of Occupational Therapy

Allied Health Week open house introduces high school students to health professions

By Kate Hunger

In an effort to increase awareness about health professions careers among high school students, the School of Health Professions Office of Admissions hosted a virtual open house to celebrate Allied Health Week 2021.

The Office of Recruitment and Science Outreach helped organize and promote the open house, held via Zoom on Nov. 5. About 160 high school students from around the San Antonio area attended the event, said School of Health Professions Director of Admissions and Special Programs Melina Dauto Benavidez.

School of Health Professions students who volunteered at the virtual open house for Allied Health Week 2021

OT student receives leadership award at annual state OT conference

By Kate Hunger

Third-year occupational therapy doctoral student Jennifer Sanchez received the 2021 Student Leadership Award at the Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA) annual conference, held Nov. 5-6.

Occupational therapy student Jennifer Sanchez holding her student leadership award from TOTA

OT collaboration with local high school results in custom rides for children with mobility challenges

By Kate Hunger

On a recent afternoon, 2-year-old Daniella patiently waited for adjustments to be made to her harness and other elements of her brand-new ride-on toy car. When all was ready, the cluster of students and adults who had been waiting for this moment encouraged her to press the red saucer-sized button on top of the car’s steering wheel. The car whizzed forward, and Daniella smiled.

2-year-old girl drives modified ride-on toy car

Interprofessional wellness activity promotes hydration, nutrition and mindfulness

By Kate Hunger

An interprofessional cooking and wellness program offered by the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine and the San Antonio Food Bank inspired Lora George, a physician assistant studies student, to whip up a refreshing change to her daily hydration routine.

Student holding glass of water

PT student excels in second act, earns scholarship

By Kate Hunger


Kevin Hamilton was just 4 years old when he started taking dance classes in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. He accepted his first professional job with the Milwaukee Ballet after high school graduation and went on to dance with the Cincinnati Ballet and the Dayton Ballet. But along the way, injuries prompted him to consider making a career switch that allowed him to focus on movement from an entirely different perspective: physical therapy.

PT student Kevin Hamilton

SHP faculty present at American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine

Faculty from across the School of Health Professions participated in the 2021 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) conference held virtually Sept. 24–29.

“ACRM is the premier interdisciplinary rehabilitation organization that brings together national and international clinicians, researchers, administrators and policy makers,” said Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Occupational Therapy Timothy Reistetter, PhD, OTR, FAOTA. “ACRM facilitates networking opportunities, scholarly discourse and collaboration to guide the rehabilitation field.”

Computer generated graphic of running person on a screen

Subscribe to recieve a monthly email newsletter with information on academic programs, events and campus news from the School of Health Professions.