STEER | South Texas Environmental Education and Research


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  • 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.


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  • 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.