Dear faculty and staff:
I am pleased to announce the promotion or appointment of three outstanding individuals at UT Health San Antonio. I am grateful to Dean Rob Hromas for his support and assistance in these important actions.
Ruben Mesa, MD, FACP, named Executive Director, Mays Cancer Center
Ruben Mesa, MD, FACP, has been named Executive Director of the Mays Cancer Center. This appointment broadens Dr. Mesa’s scope of responsibility in coordinating and integrating all aspects of cancer prevention, screening, care and survivorship with practice, education and research across UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Mesa will also lead the integration and development of the inpatient cancer services for the new UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital. This expanded appointment is part of the organization’s longer-term strategy for the Mays Cancer Center to earn comprehensive status as designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). As Executive Director, Dr. Mesa will continue to represent our university and the Mays Cancer Center with regional, state and national entities, as the center advances its mission to reduce the burden of cancer and grows its national footprint and impact.
Dr. Mesa has more than 25 years of clinical oncology translational research experience and serves as an international expert on myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) along with expertise in numerous patient-centered research programs. He has been a principal or co-principal investigator in more than 70 clinical trials for patients and has led in obtaining FDA approval on several new cancer drugs. Recruited from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona in mid-2017, where he served as the clinic’s Deputy Director and Chair of the Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology, Dr. Mesa recently led a successful effort to renew the Mays Cancer Center’s National Cancer Institute-designated status.
Chiquita Collins, PhD, appointed as Associate Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and Health Equity
Chiquita Collins, PhD, who serves as the Chief Diversity Officer, Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity and Associate Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences, in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, has been appointed to a new part-time role as Associate Vice President, Inclusive Excellence and Health Equity for UT Health San Antonio. In this role, Dr. Collins will serve as an institutional resource, catalyst and advisor to the President and other university leaders to successfully lead the creation of improved diversity initiatives, collaborating with a broad range of constituencies in their implementation. Dr. Collins will guide efforts and facilitate opportunities to further define, assess and promote diversity and inclusive excellence, cultural competency proficiency and health equity across UT Health San Antonio. She will spend 70% of her effort within the LSOM and 30% of her effort across UT Health San Antonio, working closely with all Deans and Vice Presidents to advance diversity and inclusion efforts.
Dr. Collins is recognized at both state and national levels for her work in health disparities, primarily as it relates to the social context and various societal influences that contribute to health differences (e.g., childhood obesity) among racial/ethnic and across socioeconomic groups. She is actively engaged in the Association of Medical Colleges in numerous capacities related to diversity, equity and inclusion. In April 2019, she was selected to join the 25th anniversary class of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program. Dr. Collins received her doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. She has served as Vice Dean in the LSOM since September of 2017.
Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH, appointed as Associate Vice President for South Texas Public Health Initiatives
Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH, has been appointed to a new UT Health San Antonio part-time role as Associate Vice President for South Texas Public Health Initiatives. In this role, she will support the President through the Chief Operating Officer and the Dean of the Regional Campus Laredo to oversee programming related to public health and community outreach in South Texas. In this way, she will promote UT Health San Antonio research opportunities, community engagement and ongoing research efforts, working in concert with numerous talented investigators for the improvement of public health across South Texas.
Dr. Potter serves as Vice Dean for Research and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine. She is a national expert on opioid use disorder. Working with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Dr. Potter oversees major public health initiatives to expand access to evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder, including a recent contract to provide additional support for substance use disorder in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to her public health activities in Texas, she is principal investigator with the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network Big South/West Node, a partnership with UT Southwestern and UCLA. Dr. Potter joined UT Health San Antonio in September 2008 from Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. She received her Master’s of Public Health from Emory University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia.
Please join me in congratulating these three exceptional leaders on their promotions and additional responsibilities.
William L. Henrich, MD, MACP
President and Professor of Medicine