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IIMS Community Engagement Hero Awards

This awards program recognizes outstanding individuals who have worked as part of a community and research partnership built on a foundation of reciprocal learning and trust for the improved health and well-being of South Texas communities.  The possible award categories include: Outstanding Student Award, Outstanding Community Partner Award, Outstanding Research Partner Award, and Outstanding Community Health Improvement Project.  Selected awardees will receive a $500 domestic travel award to be used for a future meeting or conference.  Community members, healthcare practitioners, and research faculty, staff, and or trainees who are actively engaged in a community and research partnership dedicated to addressing health priorities in our South Texas region are eligible. 

2016  Community Engagement Hero Awardees 

 

Outstanding Community Health Improvement Project

Margaret Costantino, MA LPC and the Center for Refugee Services  

Ms. Costantino is the Director of the Center For Refugee Services, a 501(c)(3) independent nonprofit agency located in northwest San Antonio. Founded in 2010, the missio of the Center for Refugee Services is to promote the successful community integration of legally resettled refugees in San Antonio with an emphasis on educational support, health and wellness, and employment. As an organization run by volunteers our goal is to strengthen partnerships with the community, especially with health care providers who offer free or low cost health services to uninsured, underserved populations unfamiliar with the American heath care system. CRS's partnership with the UTHSC medical/nursing/dental schools' collaborative student-run San Antonio (free) Refugee Health Clinic has has had a positive impact on strengthening health education, outreach and patient follow-up for hundreds of recent arrivals to the United States who benefit from the outstanding health care programs at the UTHSC SA. For more information, please go to:  http://www.sarefugees.org . 

 

Outstanding Research Partner Award

Liem Du, MD

Dr. Liem Du is an internist in San Antonio, Texas and is affiliated with University Hospital. He received his medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is one of 32 doctors at University Hospital who specialize in Internal Medicine. He also speaks multiple languages, including Vietnamese.

 

Outstanding Community Partner Award - Posthumous Award

Randall  V. Sellers, MD

Dr. Randall V Sellers was a founding and Executive Committee member of the South Texas Psychiatric Practice-Based Research Network.  He accumulated over 20 years of professional experience and also held a private Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry practice in San Antonio.  In addition to his work with teh South Texas Psychiatry PBRN, he also served as the site investigator for the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Trials Network. His contributions to the South Texas Psychiatric PBRN included serving as a lead author on manuscripts, assisiting with the recruitment of over 10 psychiatrists to the network, and contributing to the development, refinement and implementation of other studies. This posthumous award recognizes Dr. Sellers' selfless dedication to promoting research by community practitioners to improve the health and well-being of our patients.

Outstanding Student Award

Travis J. Block 

A native of San Antonio, Travis attended O.W. Holmes HS in Northside Independent School District.  He moved to Rochester in 2008 to study biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester where he graduated in 2012.  While completing his undergraduate studies, Travis co-founded MonoMano, Inc. to commercialize adaptive cycling products designed for stroke survivors and amputees. For his work with MonoMano, Travis has received a number international awards for engineering and design. After graduating, Travis returned to San Antonio to pursue a graduate degree in bioengineering.  Currently, Travis is completing a PhD in biomedical engineering in the laboratory of Xiao-Dong Chen at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. Travis’ research focuses on isolating healthy stem cell populations from the elderly.  He expects to complete his PhD in the Summer of 2016.   Additionally, Travis serves as President of San Antonio Science, Inc., a non-profit organization he co-founded to improve awareness of and understanding of science in San Antonio.