Celebrating Women’s History Month 2023

Women make up nearly two-thirds (65.5%) of the workforce at UT Health San Antonio, holding positions across the spectrum from administrative support to directors to faculty and research leaders to senior managers and executives. Women are integral to the operations and maintenance of the health science center, and they have made major contributions since its inception — through thought leadership, teaching, innovation and caring for all those we serve.

Women’s History Month is a national celebration of the achievements of accomplished and courageous women in history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” chosen by the National Women’s History Alliance to recognize women trailblazers, past and present, who have been active in all forms of storytelling, to include but not limited to publications, media, TV, radio, stage, blogs, podcasts and more.

We are proud to highlight just a few of the exceptional leaders who continue to tell our story and who have made major contributions at UT Health San Antonio along with other women who have also excelled in leadership roles by telling our unique story, some of whom you may not be familiar with, as we celebrate Women’s History Month!

Jan Patterson, MD, Barbara Taylor, MD, and Ruth Berggren, MD, served as media stalwarts during the pandemic helping to earn more than $150 million in media coverage in 2020–21 for community education and messaging.


Cindy Sickora, DNP, RN, professor/clinical, Howard & Betty Halff Endowed Professorship in Nursing Excellence for Patient Care, vice dean of practice and engagement in the School of Nursing, was awarded a 2021 Presidential Award in Clinical Excellence for her work with the School of Nursing’s COVID-19 response. In 2022, she was one of two nursing faculty from UT Health San Antonio to be inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Kyungeh An, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, professor and director of the PhD Program in the School of Nursing, is a dedicated educator and an accomplished researcher on the prevention of cardiovascular disease in vulnerable populations. In 2022, she was one of two nursing faculty from UT Health San Antonio to be inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Sylvia Medel, EdD,directs the Office for International Services, which serves as a resource regarding immigration matters by providing guidance to our international students, scholars, visitors, faculty, staff and their families on matters relating to their studies and employment.

Stacy A. Ogbeide, PSYD, ABPP, CSOWM, associate professor/clinical and assistant dean for faculty in the Long School of Medicine, director of Behavioral Health Education, Family Medicine Residency and Primary Care Track Coordinator of the Psychology Internship program, has been recognized by the Society for Health Psychology (a division of the American Psychological Association) for her innovative teaching and mentoring and honored with an Excellence in Clinical Health Psychology by an Early Career Professional Award (2020).

Leticia Bland, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, assistant professor and United States Air Force veteran (27 years of service), serves as associate clinical coordinator for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies and was named Bexar County Physician Assistant of the Year (2018) by the Bexar County Physician Assistant Society.

Shamimunisa B. Mustafa, PhD, associate professor and director of the Neonatal Research program, investigates treatments and therapies that can minimize neurological side effects for a chronic lung disease, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, that affects a significant number of premature babies. Last year, she was recognized for her teaching and named a 2022 Fall STAR Educator Recipient.

Yong-Hee P. Chun, DDS, MS, PhD, is an associate professor and a dentist scientist who examines the link between advanced gum disease, also called periodontitis, and the onset of lung cancer and other cancer types. She is the TL1 co-director for the Translational Science Training Program of predoctoral and postdoctoral scholars which is affiliated with the CTSA award housed in the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science.

Heather Adkins, MS, vice president and chief marketing and communications officer, leads a group of highly talented professionals in communications and public relations, digital content and social media, photo and video, creative media, and web design and development. She has demonstrated excellence, innovation and success in elevating the marketing and branding of the university. As a testament to her efforts, she was named the PR Professional of the Year by the San Antonio chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (2017), the nation’s leading professional communications organization.

We encourage you to explore the following activities in recognition of Women’s History Month:

  • Listen to: The UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing’s Florence Nightingale Podcast Series, three short episodes highlighting notable and famous trailblazers in nursing.
  • Watcha! Film Series “Latina Spring:” A curated showcase of inspiring short films by Hispanic and Indigenous directors spotlighting San Antonio artists and filmmakers (March 30, 8–11 p.m. CDT).  
  • Join a free seminar: New York Times best-selling author and literary changemaker, Sara Shepard, for a virtual keynote hosted by Compass Family Services, an organization that offers services to families experiencing housing insecurity (March 28, 3–4 p.m. CDT).


Chiquita A. Collins, PhD, MA

Pronouns: she/her/ella

Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Chief Diversity Officer



UT Health San Antonio logo

Share This Article!