South Texas Research Initiative
In 2015, the South Texas AHEC Research Initiative was developed by Dr. Andrea Giuffrida, UTHSCSA Vice President for Research, to develop community engagement research projects, through infrastructure building, promotion of UTHSCSA faculty conducting population-health studies. The group is led by Janna Lesser, PhD., who has over 20 years of research experience, and is a tenured professor in the UTHSCSA School of Nursing. Dr. Lesser is the Director of the South Texas Area Health Education Center and Director of the Center for Community Based Health Promotion with Women and Children. Dr. Lesser has conducted community-engagement projects with individuals and communities living with a myriad of health and social inequities. The Project Coordinator is Joe Zapata who assists in the administrative activities associated with the research projects, including; training, grant and data management, supervision of personnel, and coordination of activities. The South Texas AHEC is now housed at the UT-Health School of Nursing and reports to Dean Eileen T. Breslin.