LSA 300 Explores Impact of Innovation, Collaboration, and Leadership in Healthcare and Biosciences

The Leadership San Antonio (LSA) 300 Healthcare team led its LSA class in a dynamic day showcasing the impact of leadership, innovation, and collaboration in the healthcare and biosciences sectors of the San Antonio economy.  Attendees, which included co-chairs Casandra Matej of VisitSA and Denise Hernandez of True Flavors, joined the Healthcare team in exploring healthcare delivery and education in San Antonio, the state of mental health care in our community, and the new frontiers in biomedicine being explored in our own backyard.

The class received a welcome by Dr. William Henrich, President of UT Health San Antonio and Ann Stevens, Founding President of BioMed SA, who discussed the current state of the healthcare community, the key players that helped shape the landscape, and the innovation and collaboration that have helped transform the

industries in the San Antonio economy, while keeping San Antonio competitive in health and biosciences. The LSA Class also heard from UT Health San Antonio’s Teresa Evans, PhD and Travis Block, PhD, on healthcare education, research and development, and stakeholder collaboration in San Antonio.

CEO Fred Hines invited the class to explore mental health resources throughout the City at Clarity Child Guidance Center. While there, attendees experienced first-hand Play with a Purpose ™, Clarity’s recreational therapy program. They practiced the same creative therapy that Clarity patients participate in including art, drumming, rock climbing wall exercises, and yoga.

Former Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau led a panel of representatives from Bexar County and the National Alliance on Mental Illness San Antonio, exposing the staggering number of mental health care

patients caught up in the criminal justice system in the

United States. The panel also shared the effects of the crippling stigma of mental health and the importance of championing proactive strategies, such as the development of community jail diversion, to support treatment for people who suffer from mental illness.

Attendees enjoyed an intimate conservation with mental health care leaders, including the Center for Healthcare Services, Methodist Healthcare System, San Antonio Clubhouse, Southwest Texas Veterans Healthcare System, Laurel Ridge Treatment Center, Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council, San Antonio State Hospital, UT Health San Antonio Department of Psychiatry, and the American GI Forum. In-depth discussions occurred regarding the various innovations in mental healthcare, the gaps that exist in the current mental health system, and potential remedies that the business community can support.

Wellness played a key role on Healthcare day. A stretch and flex exercise was led by Momentum Physical Therapy and a plethora of nutritious meals and snacks were enjoyed. Attendees also received a surprise visit by a Xenex germ-zapping robot used to eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, and spores. This has become a new method for disinfection in healthcare facilities.

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) President Adam Hamilton, along with key community connectors Ann Stevens of BioMed SA, Elizabeth Waltman of BioBridge Global, and Dr. Tim Anderson of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute showcased the importance of collaboration in the acceleration of growth and establishment of San Antonio as a leader in the biosciences sector. Attendees received a close-up look at innovative practical applications in pharmaceutics and bioengineering taking place at SwRI, including microencapsulation, pharmaceutical development, Rhodium modeling of drug interactions, and human performance.

The day ended with a presentation on healthcare in the workplace from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Chief Medical Officer Dr. Esteban Lopez. An opportunity to mingle one on one with speakers from the day and leadership connectors from across the healthcare and bioscience fields occurred at an evening reception.  To learn more about the LSA 300 Healthcare day, please visit

Rebecca De La Garza, LSA 300 Class member