Meet the Researchers Translating Science to Benefit Public Health in San Antonio

After careful consideration, the Institute for Integration of Medicine & Science (IIMS) at UT Health San Antonio and UTSA College for Health, Community, and Policy (HCaP) have announced the recipients of new Community Engagement Small Project Grants.

Five grantees were chosen to lead projects covering HIV/AIDS, faith’s impact on criminal rehabilitation, artistic influence on young brain development, and more, according to a recent university news release.

The grants, for one year and up to $5,000, aim to promote, develop, and expand community and scholarly research partnerships that benefit science and clinicians.

Each project will meet local needs through community-engaged research or assessment, education, and distributing research results or policy implications.

This years’ theme was intersectionality, which in this case means the study looks at individuals with intersecting social identities related to oppression or discrimination. For instance, there isn’t as much scientific data on Latinos when it comes to cancer, but there is even less on Latinas with cancer, especially with cancers other than breast cancer.

“This program fosters valuable community and research collaborations in South Texas. It’s great to see the focus on translating research into tangible public health benefits,” a spokesperson for the program told  Salud America! “The flexibility in proposal topics ensures a wide array of impactful projects, and the emphasis on health care practice-based research networks, health outcomes, epidemiology, and public health highlights the program’s commitment to addressing vital community needs.”

Drs. Adolph Delgado, Cherise Rohr Allegrini, and Heta Javeri

Adolph Delgado, PhD, representing the UTSA College for Health Community and Policy, enlisted Cherise Rohr Allegrini, PhD, of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation and Heta Javeri, MD, MPH, of the UT Health San Antonio Division of Infectious Diseases to help investigate how we assess HIV data.

Delgado’s research focuses on population health, health behaviors, quantitative analysis in health research, and mental health.

Drs. Doshie Piper and Chantal Fahmy

Doshie Piper, PhD, at the University of the Incarnate Word, Department of Criminal Justice, partnered with Chantal Fahmy, PhD, of the UTSA Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, to tackle faith-based criminal rehabilitation.

The pair joined forces with local faith organizations, True Vine Baptist Church, East Point Promise Prevention Coalition, LGM Job for You, and Texas Organizing Project Education Fund to bring about Encountering the Other, Conversations with the Least of Thee: A Reassessment of Faith-Based Reentry.

Joyce Turner, Corin Reyes and Dr. Adelita Cantu

CHW/RN Collaboration for Skill Expansion on Geriatric Specialty Populations is the brainchild of Joyce Turner, FNP, of CHW – Lela Pharmacy, Corin Reyes, RN, BSN, CHW, of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), and Adelita Cantu, PhD, RN, of the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing.

As a associate professor, Cantu is at the forefront of infection control, especially for vulnerable San Antonio populations, like Latinos.

Drs. Jason Rosenfeld, Breanne Soteros, and Amandine Grenier

Jason Rosenfeld, DrPH, at UT Health San Antonio Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, is partnering with Breanne Soteros, PhD, and Amandine Grenier, PhD, at the UT Health San Antonio Department of Pharmacology, along with Yvette Benavides and Andy Benavides of Studying Mindful Arts Resources Together (SMART).

With the SMART program and help from Andrew Briscoe Elementary School, the crew endeavors to study the impact of art on developing young minds.

Rosenfeld is already a mainstay in the San Antonio community with his work through  Health Confianza – a partnership between UT Health San Antonio, UTSA, and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

Health Confianza provides education, workforce training, health information, and resources to residents in South Central Texas.

Vidya Sharma and Dr. Sara Masoud

Lastly, is Vidya Sharma, MA, RD at UT Health San Antonio Translational Science PhD Program and UTSA College for Health Community, Policy, who partnered with Sara Masoud, PhD, of UT Health San Antonio Supporting Older Adults through Research (SOARNet) Practice Based Research Network (PBRN).

Together they will embark on the study titled, Project ECHO Nutrition & Brain Health Training for Primary Care Providers: A Stakeholder-Engaged SOARNet Study.

Check out Masoud at a recent webinar on caring for caregivers.

Read about previous projects here.

Find Out What’s Driving the Health of Your Community

You don’t have to be a researcher to make a difference for health in your community.

Start by downloading your local Salud America! Health Equity Report Card.

Browse local data and explore a variety of health-related issues including housing, education, transportation, healthcare, and more. Use interactive maps and data visualizations to see how your area is doing compared to the rest of your state and nation.

Share the data with local leaders and organizations to advocate for change and start important conversations about health equity in your area.


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