South Central Texas AHEC Director Name: Paula Winkler, M.Ed.
Director Bio: Paula Winkler, M.Ed. is a native Texan with over 30 years of experience developing linkages between academic programs to community based health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University and her Master of Education degree from Southern Methodist University. Ms. Winkler has been serving as the director of South Central Texas Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in San Antonio since 2004, prior to that, she worked with the Illinois AHEC Program for 10 years. She directs the Center within a catchment area of 12 counties, the largest county being Bexar county, which contains the San Antonio metro area. She has spent her entire professional career focusing on health disparity advocacy and community outreach through community-based initiatives. This has allowed her to develop strong working relationships with physician practices and community partners across South Texas. Ms. Winkler currently serves on numerous area community advisory committees and also serves on the board of the Texas Rural Health Association (TRHA). Ms. Winkler is currently a Co-Investigator on the Community Engagement Core Function of the NIH CTSA project award to UT Health San Antonio since 2008.
Director Contact: 210.562.5584 Winklerp@uthscsa.edu
7411 John Smith Drive, Suite 1050
San Antonio, Texas 78229
Staff: Ariel Gomez, BS, CHES-Health Educator
Bio: Ariel Gomez is a Health Educator for South Central AHEC. She is currently involved in the AHEC Scholars program, planning and managing Public Health Camp for middle and high school students, and helping plan and run Translation Advisory Boards across South Central AHEC’s 12 county region. She first joined AHEC as in intern in 2014 and officially became part of the AHEC team in 2016. Ariel graduated from UTSA with a BS in Community Health in 2014, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health in Health Promotion & Behavior Science. Her interests include bridging the gap between access to care in underserved and rural areas brought about by her experience living in a small South Texas town with a population of 11k during adolescence. Ariel grew up overseas, but has called Texas home since she moved here in 2002.
Staff Contact: 210.562.5568 Gomeza6@uthscsa.edu
Staff: Alvin Esacio, BS-Graduate Research Assistant
Bio: Alvin Estacio is South Central AHEC’s Graduate Research Assistant. A graduate of Florida Institute of Technology with a BS in Biomedical Engineering, he started as an intern in 2016 and officially joined AHEC Fall 2017. He’s now pursuing a Master of Science in Epidemiology and working on his thesis concerning the Persons Living with HIV/AIDS population. Alvin works with the family medicine residents doing their community rotation with AHEC on statistical analysis of projects concerning immunization rates and chronic pain management. He also manages and analyzes data for South Central AHEC and community partners we collaborate with. Alvin grew up in Tyler, TX (The Rose Capital of the world). He enjoys running and consuming copious amounts of coffee.
Staff Contact: 210.562.5568 EstacioA@uthscsa.edu