The South Texas Area Health Education Center Program Office provides administrative, fiscal, and programmatic oversight to the five regional Centers. Under the leadership of Director Janna Lesser, the aim of the ST-AHEC Program Office so to meet the goals of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Model grant. The Program Office works with the regional offices to build region-wide network capacity and strengthen academic-community linkages.
Janna Lesser, Ph.D., R.N., is a tenured Professor in UTHSCSA’s School of Nursing, the Director of the South Texas AHEC Program and Director of the Center for Community-Based Health Promotion with Women and Children. She has conducted community-engaged projects with individuals and communities living with a myriad of health and social inequities for over twenty years, for which she has received both internal and external funding. Dr. Lesser and works with a diverse group of target populations including inner-city dwelling adolescent mothers and fathers, disenfranchised youth (including youth in the juvenile justice system), families living in predominantly Hispanic, impoverished communities, and individuals and groups living with chronic and severe mental illness.
Annette Zavala Idar, B.B.M., is the Accountant Associate for South Texas AHEC. Annette has been with UTHSCSA since 2008 working in the Department of Physical Therapy as an Admissions Counselor to prospective students. Annette joined the South Texas AHEC in 2010 as an Administrative Associate and in 2014 transitioned into the role of an Accountant Associate. She performs financial insight into strategic planning for South Texas AHEC incorporating analysis of existing and proposed grant projects, trend analysis, and demographic forecasting. Interacts with the University’s computerized accounting budget systems; such as Data Warehouse, HCM, Hyperion and Enterprise Analytics. Annette received her Associates in Accounting from Northwest Vista College, and her Bachelor’s in Business Management from UTSA. Annette lives in San Antonio and enjoys volleyball and attending Spurs games.
Joe Zapata, Jr., M.S.S., is the Manager of Academic Programs for the South Texas AHEC, office of Research Initiative. He also serves as the Texas AHEC Consortium Project Evaluator representing the ST-AHEC and as the Clinic Coordinator for the Community Health Worker Opioid Use Disorder (CHW-OUD) Project ECHO. Joe is a 2010 graduate of UT-San Antonio, in which he received his Masters of Science in Sociology degree. Joe joined the South Texas AHEC in 2015 and currently serves under Dr. Janna Lesser at the School of Nursing. Joe’s research topics of interest include health disparities, demography, social stratification, and crime and delinquency. Joe lives in San Antonio with his lovely wife, Katherine, and two children, Zoe and Luke.