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Our Team

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Robert Ferrer, MD, MPH is the Dr. John M. Smith, Jr. Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UTHSCSA. Dr. Ferrer is a practicing family physician with research interests at the interface of primary care and public health. He directs the Community Engagement Team for UTHSCSA’s CTSA and the School of Medicine’s MD/MPH dual degree program. Dr. Ferrer is also the Board Chair of the Bexar County Health Collaborative. He is also active in several community health initiatives, including the Mayor’s Fitness Council and partnerships with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.  E-mail: FERRERR@UTHSCSA.EDU



Sandra Burge, PhD is the Director of the IIMS Resource Center for Practice-based Research Networks. She is also the founder and Director of the RRNeT, a group of 11 family medicine residency programs located in 10 cities, including 3 on the Texas-Mexico border. She is a social scientist and tenured professor in the UTHSCSA Department of Family and Community Medicine. For 25 years, Dr. Burge has taught behavioral science to family medicine residents, focusing on doctor-patient communication, patient-centered care, and motivating healthy behaviors. Her research interests include prevention of family violence, substance abuse, and practice-based research in primary care.  E-mail: BURGE@UTHSCSA.EDU



Elisabeth De la Rosa, MS - Community Engagement Coordinator serves as the point of contact for the IIMS Community Engagement Team.  She works with the Community Engagment Team leaders to develop and implement programs that facilitate the continuation and formation of community and academic research partnerships.  For almost 15 years, she has coordinated different projects and research studies within the UT System.  She has been a part of the IIMS Community Engagement Team since 2009 and has worked alongside various partners to help develop, implement, and evaluate various projects that address community health concerns including diabetes, environmental health, teen pregnancy, and suicide. Ms. De la Rosa received her Masters of Science in Sociology from UTSA in 2006.  She believes that it is imporant to work shoulder-to- shoulder with community members on projects that address health concerns that matter to them.   E-mail: DELAROSAE@UTHSCSA.EDU



Monica Castillo

Monica Castillo, BA – Network Coordinator is a research coordinator for the National Dental PBRN and the South Texas Oral Health Network (STOHN.) She maintains communication and relationships with practitioners for the South West Region of the United States as well as provides education, training and research support on various projects under the NDPBRN. Ms. Castillo graduated with a Psychology degree and a Minor in biochemistry from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her main focus is international health.  She has organized and attended multiple trips abroad to provide medical and dental care to those in need. Ms. Castillo plans to pursue an MBA in HealthCare Administration.  E-mail: CASTILLOM10@UTHSCSA.EDU 



Jennifer Daniels, BA

Jennifer Daniels, BA  - Network Coordinator facilitates the South Texas Psychiatry Network and the Residency Research Network of Texas (RRNeT). She maintains close communication and relationships with network members, providers and advisory boards to provide them with education and training; research and technical support; and communication and dissemination assistance on their various research projects. Ms. Daniels is originally from Simi Valley, CA. She grew up in the Los Angeles area and moved to the San Antonio area in 2007. She attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Women’s Studies. She has been involved with healthcare, both in private practices and insurance companies. She is interested in research that relates to family violence, substance abuse, mental health, and sociological factors that affect underserved populations. E-mail: DANIELSJ4@UTHSCSA.EDU



Dr. Kathleen Stevens

 Kathleen R. Stevens, RN, BS, MS, EdD, ANEF, FAAN. - Community Engagement Co-Investigator is professor of nursing at the UTHSCSA. She  served as founding director of ACE-Center for Advancing Clinical Excellence 2000-2015, leading interprofessional efforts to advance evidence-  based quality improvement and patient safety. Her federally funded activities emphasize healthcare transformation through scholarly work on the  national Improvement Science Research Network, AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange, Institute of Medicine’s report Preventing Medication  Errors, and team performance improvement. She is a fellowof the American Academy of Nursing and the Academy of Nurse Educators and is the  UT System Chancellor’s Health Fellow for healthcare delivery science.  E-mail: STEVENSK@UTHSCSA.EDU


Barbara J Turner, MD, MSEd, MACP - Community Engagement Co-Investigator is the Director of the Center for Research for Advancing Community Health (ReACH) and is the James D. and Ona I. Dye Professor of Medicine at UTHSCSA. The ReACH Center specializes in health disparities and health services research. Dr. Turner is a practicing general internist and health services researcher focusing on vulnerable populations and health disparities using administrative databases to evaluate care. Her research interests include health disparities, quality of care, cardiovascular disease, cancer prevention and substance abuse. Dr. Turner has directed several randomized clinical trials that use peer coaches to improve cancer preventive services and to reduce cardiovascular risk in high risk African-Americans.  E-mail: TURNER@UTHSCSA.EDU



Melissa Valerio, PhD - Community Engagement Co-Investigator is the Director of the Community Engagement Resource Center (CERC) located at the UT School of Public Health – San Antonio Regional Campus (UTSPH-SARC). Dr. Valerio and the CERC team provide research and technical assistance to the Translational Advisory Boards (TABs) and other community-based organizations to address health concerns. Dr. Valerio is also the Regional Dean and an Associate Professor at the UTSPH-SARC. Her research interests include using community-based research approaches for chronic disease management and prevention, the design and evaluation of effective health education messages and materials, and survey methods. She is particularly interested in health literacy and cultural competence issues related to health education and communication in minority underserved communities.  E-mail: MELISSA.A.VALERIO@UTH.TMC.EDU



Paula Winkler, M.Ed. - Community Engagement Co-Investigator is the Director of the Translational Advisory Boards (TABs). She works to establish partnerships between UTHSCSA researchers and the community, so that they may develop projects focused on addressing community-identified health concerns. Ms. Winkler is also the Director of the South Central Area Health Education Center, which serves a twelve county catchment area to foster practice improvement initiatives and to increase opportunity for translational research to community members. She has over 30 years of experience developing linkages between academic programs to community based health promotion/disease prevention initiatives. Ms. Winkler is currently involved in community-led projects focused on diabetes, domestic violence, and chronic pain.  E-mail: WINKLERP@UTHSCSA.EDU