STEER | South Texas Environmental Education and Research
PEOPLE | FACULTY
- CLAUDIA S. MILLER, MD, MS
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Miller is the Director of STEER and Course Director for the Environmental Medicine/Border Health Elective. She is a tenured professor in environmental and occupational medicine and Vice Chair for Community Medicine and Environmental Health in the Department of Family and Community Medicine of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). She coauthored the landmark New Jersey Report on Chemical Sensitivity, for which the New Jersey Department of Health received the World Health Organization’s Macedo Award, and a professionally acclaimed book, Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes (2nd ed. [New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1998]). She also has numerous peer-reviewed publications on the health effects of low-level chemical exposures.
Dr. Miller has held appointments to federal advisory committees, including the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs Persian Gulf Expert Scientific Committee, and the National Toxicology Program Board of Scientific Counselors. She has served as a consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Canadian government. Board-certified in allergy/immunology and internal medicine, she holds a staff appointment at University Hospital in San Antonio.
Dr. Miller earned a B.A. in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and an M.S. in environmental health from the University of California School of Public Health - Berkeley. After receiving her M.D. from the UTHSCSA, she completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas, and her fellowship in allergy/immunology at the UTHSCSA. Prior to attending medical school, she worked as an industrial hygienist for twelve years and directed occupational health training for compliance officers at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s National Training Institute.
- ROGER B. PERALES, MPH, RS
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/SENIOR LECTURER
- E-mail: email@example.com
Mr. Perales has been an environmental medicine training coordinator for the STEER program since its inception in 1996. He is the Assistant Director for the STEER program, and is Faculty Associate in the UTHSCSA Department of Family and Community Medicine. He is the lead coordinator for the one-month environmental medicine and public health elective, spending much of his time with students in the field, teaching them about the border region, the Rio Grande, colonias, sanitation, infectious diseases, and air and water pollution.
A native of San Antonio, Perales moved to Laredo in 1990 to become the general manager for a group of family-owned restaurants. In 1991, Perales began his public health career with the City of Laredo Health Department, where he held and managed several positions including food inspector, animal control supervisor, recycling coordinator, health educator, and interim director of the continuous air-monitoring program. He is a registered sanitarian in the state of Texas. As adjunct faculty at Laredo Community College, he has taught classes in food management and food safety.
Perales earned a bachelors degree in biology from St. Mary’s University, and attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. In December of 2005, he received his M.P.H. degree from the University Of Texas - Houston School Of Public Health. His thesis focused on a “Retrospective Assessment of the Environmental House Call Pilot (EHC) Study," which studied the ability of trained health professionals to measure potential exposures to asthma triggers in the homes of children with asthma.
Perales holds various positions within the community. He has been appointed vice-president of the Board of Directors for the Domestic Violence Shelter, which is part of the Mercy Ministries of Laredo. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mercy Ministries of Laredo, which oversees primary health care clinics, the domestic violence shelter and a food bank.
Perales is a 2007 Fellow in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI). He was an invited speaker at the 2006 Annual Conference of the National Environmental Health Association. He has also presented at six of the past eight annual meetings of the American Public Health.
He was awarded the prestigious UTHSCSA Presidential Employee Excellence in Service Award in 2003, and the Hispanic Staff Excellence Award in 2002.
- RODOLFO “Rudy” RINCON MD, MPH
- SENIOR LECTURER
- E-mail: RinconR@uthscsa.edu
Dr. Rincon is Faculty Associate for STEER in Laredo.
Before joining STEER in 2010, he was supervisor of the Child Nutrition Program for the Laredo Independent School District, where he introduced a food safety program called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points to the district’s cafeterias. The implementation of this program in 2005-2006 allowed the district to achieve total control of food-borne diseases. At the same time, Dr. Rincon was an adjunct professor at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). He initiated the public health track within the Master of Public Administration in 2006, and has taught courses in Health Economics, Health Administration, Epidemiology, Health Law, Health Insurance, and Health Care Delivery in the US.
Dr. Rincon was also a Health Sanitarian with the City of Laredo Health Department from May 2002 to June 2005. He coordinated environmental activities for mosquito control. During that time, ecologically sound mosquito control activities such as city-wide distribution of larvae-eating fish and larvae-eating bacteria were introduced, while ULV pesticide application was drastically reduced. He was also responsible for enforcing food sanitation regulations among food establishments in Laredo, and, with his medical background, he was responsible for investigating food-borne diseases.
Dr. Rincon served as Director of the Laredo Health Department’s HIV/AIDS/STD Program from 1987 to 1999. He planned and implemented health education strategies targeting high risk groups for HIV and STDs and wrote and administered a number of state and federal grants related to HIV/AIDS education, prevention and services directed to people with HIV. He also supervised a team of outreach educators and counselors who targeted high-risk groups, promoting behavior modification conducive to healthier lifestyles.
Dr. Rincon has been a member of the U.S. – Mexico Border Health Association, Bi-national Health Council, Club Rotario de Nuevo Laredo, Sociedad Interamericana de Infectologia, Sociedad Mexicana de Medicos Familiares, and the Texas Association of School Nutrition. He received his MD from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), a Family Practice Specialty from the University of Tamaulipas, and his MPH from Texas A&M University, College Station.
- BEATRIZ TAPIA, MD, MPH
- SENIOR LECTURER
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Tapia is an environmental medicine training coordinator for the STEER program, and is Faculty Associate in the UTHSCSA Department of Family and Community Medicine. She assists the month-long Harlingen elective in environmental and occupational medicine. She is active in various border health organizations, and was recently appointed member to the epidemiology subcommittee for United States – México Border Health Association.
Dr. Tapia is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She attended Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexico, where she received her MD, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHSPH), in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received her Masters in Public Health. In addition to her MPH, Dr. Tapia trained in occupational health and health disparities at the JHSPH. After medical school, Dr. Tapia returned to her hometown of Chicago and worked on several programs aimed at educating Hispanic women on the need for contraception to prevent both HIV/AIDS and pregnancy. She identifies herself as a bi-cultural and bi-national public health practitioner, trained on both sides of the border.
In the summer of 2005, Dr. Tapia was among the first group from the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to participate in the STEER Program. In March 2006, she joined STEER as Faculty Associate in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UTHSCSA.