Meet the Team

Barbara J Turner, MD, MSED, MA, MACP is a practicing general internist and health services researcher focusing on improving quality and outcomes of primary care for vulnerable populations.  She is a Research Professor of Medicine, Family & Community Medicine and Nursing at UT Health San Antonio and the Founding and Former Director of the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH).  She received her medical training at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by research fellowships at St. Thomas Hospital in London and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.  Since 2013 she has led studies to implement universal screening for hepatitis C virus in baby boomers (born 1945 –1965).  This research has advanced our knowledge of the infrastructure necessary to successfully conduct screening and ensure that patients receive adequate support to access highly effective anti-HCV medication. For this work, she has received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Viral Hepatitis Testing Recognition Award.  She currently leads two federally funded and two CPRIT state funded projects to implement baby boomer screening in primary care practices across Texas.

Laura Tenner, MD is an Assistant Professor at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. She has special training in populations research and clinical ethics. Her area of research includes cancer prevention and access to care. She is a board member for the American Society of Clinical Oncology Ethics board as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Prevention board.




Bertha “Penny” Flores, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC Is a bilingual/bicultural Hispanic Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Assistant Professor, and new investigator at UT Health San Antonio, School of Nursing. She has clinical and research experience working with Hispanic populations in South Texas. Her clinical experience caring for Hispanic women gave her the impetus to pursue further education. She obtained a PhD in Nursing with certification in the graduate portfolio program of Women’s and Gender studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation, she received the Outstanding Graduate Award from the School of Nursing. Being a practicing Women’s Healthcare Nurse Practitioner for many years has given Dr. Flores a unique perspective and developed her passion for helping underrepresented groups, which gave her valuable experience in how education is fundamental in bridging health disparities.

Charles W. Mathias, PhD is a behavioral health scientist and Associate Professor (tenured) in the Department of Psychiatry at the UT Health San Antonio.  His research career has focused on individuals whose functional status has declined to a point where they have come into contact with safety net systems; testing underlying mechanisms leading to these declines and more importantly, factors that promote restoration of function allowing for independent living.  More recently, this work has included administering health services delivery for those with criminal justice involvement; an alcohol treatment for adults arrested for driving while intoxicated offenses and under pretrial supervision.  Increasingly, this work is focused on policy issues around mental illness and substance use disorders resulting in criminal justice system contact.


Paula Winkler, MEd is the Director of the South Central Area Health Education (AHEC) Center at UT Health San Antonio. She has her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Latin American Studies from Texas Tech University and a Masters of Education from Southern Methodist University. She is a bilingual, native Texan health educator with over 25 years’ experience working with underserved communities in rural Illinois and south Texas.  Ms. Winkler has developed strong working relationships with physician practices across the vast 38 counties, primarily Hispanic, region of South Texas and with both rural and urban stakeholder groups that are county-based. Since 2008, the South Central AHEC has partnered with the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) Institute of the Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS) to develop community engagement initiatives for the Health Science Center’s Clinical Translation Science Award (CTSA). She participates as a Community Liaison to facilitate program connection to community-based stakeholders and organizations.


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