LSA Crosses Paths with Bioscience, Medicine, and Healthcare

Members of Leadership San Antonio 44 recently completed their fifth class, focusing on Bioscience, Medicine and Healthcare. The class began the day at The Rim where they enjoyed Quick Sip cold brew coffee, and refreshments provided by Zedric’s before heading to University Health System (UHS).

Upon arriving, participants received a warm welcome from George Hernandez, President/CEO of UHS, and County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez, while enjoying a delicious breakfast buffet. Dr Larry Schlesinger, President/CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute, then provided an overview of the local medical landscape including the “four pillars” of the San Antonio healthcare ecosystem: Health Professions Education, Medical & Health Services, Biomed Research, and Bioscience Firms. Following a short break the entire group participated in Stop the Bleed training. Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call-to-action to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. The training was put into context as the class watched a video on the Sutherland Springs shooting, a tragedy that occurred just outside San Antonio. The class then headed to BioBridge Global, a nonprofit that oversees and supports the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC).

While at BioBridge, the leadership class enjoyed a catered lunch from Bakery Lorraine and learned about Brothers in Arms, an initiative by STBTC to help establish a stable, easily replenished blood product that can be used in emergency situations. San Antonio is one of the first cities to implement the program. After an informative panel discussion the class stepped outside to enjoy paletas, and witnessed the precision landing of a medical evacuation helicopter courtesy of Methodist Air Care. Afterwards the class split into groups to tour the facility and helicopter, determine their blood type, and had an opportunity to ask questions. After wrapping up, the next stop for the class was Texas Diabetes Institute (TDI), America’s largest and most comprehensive center completely dedicated to the prevention and treatment of diabetes. As a collaboration between UHS and UT Health San Antonio, it is located on the west side of San Antonio, where the prevalence of diabetes is one of the highest in the nation.

Dr. Ralph DeFronzo, Deputy Director of the Texas Diabetes Institute and Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Diabetes Division at the UT Health San Antonio and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division in San Antonio addressed the group on the history and future of diabetes treatment. Following a brief tour of the TDI facilities, the class participated in a panel discussion regarding equity in healthcare with Dr. Anil T. Mangla, Director of Public Health and Associate Professor of Biomedical Research at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathy and Public Health, and Dr. Lyssa Ochoa, San Antonio Vascular and Endovascular Clinic.

After leaving TDI, the leadership class arrived at Santikos Palladium for a concluding innovation panel. Santikos graciously provided the location, along with popcorn and other concession upon arrival. Tim Handren, President/CEO of Santikos Entertainment and Mayor of Boerne, TX welcomed the group. Bonnie Petrie, Texas Public Radio bioscience and medicine reporter moderated the discussion between David Baer, Director, Research Division at US Army Institute of Surgical Research; Colonel (Dr.) Jerome Buller, Commander US Army Institute of Surgical Research; Colonel (Ret.) George E. Peoples, Founder/CEO of Cancer Insight as well as the Cancer Vaccine Development Program (CVDP); and Randy Harig, President/CEO of Texas Research and Technology Foundation and President/CEO of Velocity Texas.

Once the panel concluded, the group enjoyed a networking happy hour hosted by The Rustic including heavy hors d’oeuvres, with drinks provided by Hops & Vines Distributing. The event featured a Lost Draw Cellars Red Blend made specifically for the LSA44 BioMed class day, along with a discount code graciously provided by Lyft to ensure everyone had a safe trip home.

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Dear LSA Family,

We hope you and your families are remaining healthy and safe. During these past two months our great city has taken many necessary measures to ensure that our community stays safe and slows the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing measures that help to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus has greatly impacted our businesses, our schools, our families. We are all finding new ways to stay engaged, stay productive, and stay connected while supporting and rallying behind many of our LSA family who are struggling in our hotel, restaurant, tourism and travel industries, small business and non-profit sectors, as well as many others who have been professionally and personally affected.

With that said, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have agreed to continue LSA 45 (aka LSA 2020) into 2021, modifying our current class days using creative shortened virtual programs, challenging each other to serve the community and buy local, and to focus on the way ahead into next year. During these unprecedented times, our priorities are to ensure our businesses and families are safe and supported. We are challenged to improve ways that LSA can directly impact our neighbors and our community. In January 2021, we will reconnect to carry on the traditional mission of the program through full LSA class days – to educate and inform class members in the vital areas affecting San Antonio, as well as to encourage Chamber Business involvement and Community advocacy.

We find the COVID-19 challenges as a unique opportunity to leave a Legacy through Service and Action for our current class.

We look forward to seeing what LSA 45 can accomplish and we stand with you! We thank you for your continued commitment, leadership, and support to our great city!

We are all in this together!

Cristina J. Bazaldúa and Brian Hurtak
LSA 45 Co-Chairs