Seven UTHealth faculty elected to UT Academy of Health Science Education

HOUSTON – (Jan. 17, 2013) – Seven faculty members of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have been elected to The University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education, an organization of distinguished scholars recognized for their teaching excellence.

“These scholars represent exemplary leadership and contribute their immense talent to enrich health education in Texas, from the classroom to the laboratory to the bedside,” said Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., executive vice chancellor for health affairs at The University of Texas System. “We could not be more proud of their accomplishments and dedication to the UT System.”

The UTHealth new Academy members come from four schools:

Michael Blackburn, Ph.D., serves with Michelle Barton, Ph.D., as dean of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, a joint venture of UTHealth and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center that offers Ph.D. and MS degrees in biomedical research. Blackburn also is a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UTHealth Medical School and has been a member of the graduate school faculty since 1997. His work has been continuously funded by the NIH for 15 years, and he has received several awards including an American Lung Association Career Development Award and Young Investigator Award from the American Asthma Foundation. Barton, who is on the faculty at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, also has been elected to the UT Academy of Health Science Education this year.

Bryant Boutwell, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., is the John P. McGovern Professor of Oslerian Medicine in the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at the UTHealth Medical School. His teaching interests include medical communications, history, ethics, and humanities. A former news journalist, he has written award-winning newspaper columns, radio programs and videotape presentations, including scripts narrated by Walter Cronkite. In 2000, he published a history of UTHealth and the Texas Medical Center.

Gerard Francisco, M.D., is clinical professor and chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the UTHealth Medical School. He is also chief medical officer and interim co-director of the Brain, Injury and Stroke Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann. His research interests include spasticity management and rehabilitation after brain injury and stroke.

Jacqueline Hecht, Ph.D., is professor and director of the Pediatric Research Center at the UTHealth Medical School, and professor and associate dean of research at the UTHealth School of Dentistry. As a faculty member with the Human and Molecular Genetics Program at the UT Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences at Houston, she founded the Genetic Counseling Program in 1989. Hecht was recently awarded the UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012.

Patricia Dolan Mullen, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., is a professor in the Division of Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas School of Public Health, part of UTHealth. Her research interests include health promotion for disadvantaged or incarcerated women; transtheoretical model of behavior change; contraception and risk reduction for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV; and informed decision making for cancer and other screening tests.

Evan Pivalizza, M.D., is a professor and vice-chairman of academic affairs in the Department of Anesthesiology at the UTHealth Medical School. He was a 2011 adjunct member of the Transplant Anesthesia Committee of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and was named to the UTHealth Medical School Academy of Master Educators in 2010. The annual Faculty Teaching Award was renamed in his honor in 2009.

Cynthia Santos, M.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UTHealth Medical School and for two decades has served as training director for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program. She also serves on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Steering Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Psychiatry Residency Review Committee. She is an attending physician at The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center.

Since 2005, more than 100 UT System educators have been inducted into the prestigious academy. Members represent a diverse group of educators from the many disciplines in health science education who fulfill the strict criteria set by the Academy. Nominations for membership in the Academy may come from the president, dean or vice-dean and the faculty senate at each of the six University of Texas health institutions.

Among the criteria on which prospective members are judged are: direct teaching; curriculum development; counseling and mentorship; leadership; and educational scholarship and research. A total of 12 new members were elected this year. They will be inducted during the 2013 Innovations in Health Science Education annual conference Feb. 21-22 in Austin.

“I want to extend my congratulations to our new members from UTHealth and to encourage any faculty member interested in education to attend the 2013 Innovations Conference,” said Margaret Uthman, M.D., associate dean for Educational Programs at UTHealth Medical School and president-elect of the UT System Academy of Health Science Education. Thomas Viggiano, M.D., associate dean for Faculty Affairs at Mayo Medical School, will give the plenary presentation.

Deborah Mann Lake
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