$500 Student Essay Award

Painting of Avicenna

Avicenna c.980-1037

For the fifth year, the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library are welcoming submissions for a student essay award in memory of Danny Jones, M.L.S., who served as Head of Special Collections at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Library and who was also a Past President of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library. The essay can be on any topic related to the history of the health sciences, including medicine, dentistry, nursing, public health, or any other health science subject or profession.

The contest is open to current students in any of UT Health San Antonio’s five schools, as well as affiliated interns, residents, and fellows. This year, eligibility has also been extended to UTSA students. Unpublished essays in broad areas related to the history of the health sciences are eligible for submission. Previous essays not selected are also eligible for re-submission.

A prize of $500 will be awarded to the best essay as chosen by a panel of three judges. Deadline for submission is January 31, 2018. The prize will be awarded at the spring P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library open house.

Click here for more details on contest rules.

2016 San Fernando Health and Safety Fair

sanfernando_2016b   fernandofair

For over 10 years the University of Texas Health Science Center Briscoe Library has provided health information resources from the National Library of Medicine to attendees of the San Fernando Health & Safety Fair. The fair offers health screening to individuals in the community who have no insurance or are underinsured. Over 400 volunteer doctors, nurses, health specialists, community volunteers and students provide the screening services.

Briscoe  Outreach Librarian Peg Seger met with over 75 exhibit table visitors on the morning of October 1 to discuss ways to find reliable health information. A key part of the Briscoe Library outreach services is to improve community health literacy through the promotion of accurate and authoritative health information.


2016 Texas Health Literacy Conference


The San Antonio Health Literacy Initiative (SAHLI) is a comprehensive program that aims to increase health literacy awareness and efficacy through strategically addressing primary gaps in health literacy.  The Texas Health Literacy conference, through the efforts of SAHLI, has grown to be the largest one of its kind in the state. This year, October 6th and 7th, marked the 12th annual conference. The conference is attended by healthcare administrators, clinicians, social workers, pharmacists, health educators, nurses, and community members interested in health literacy.

Health Literacy is commonly defined as the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, only 12% of adults are considered to be proficient in health literacy.

Briscoe staff librarians Karen Barton (pictured; left) and Peg Seger exhibited at the conference, providing information on consumer and professional health information resources from the National Library of Medicine.

3D Print Request – Finished

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AHEC Summer Public Health Camp Visits Briscoe Library


On July 21st, librarians John Weed, Kelley Minars, and Library Associate Diane Fotinos hosted 17 Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Public Health Camp students for a demonstration of library technology, including 3D printing and virtual reality. The public health camp is provided each summer by the South Central AHEC. This year, the week-long camps served both high school sophomores and juniors interested in public health careers.

Sadly, this was one of the last official duties performed by Librarian John Weed (pictured far left). John has been with the UT Health Library for 17 years and most recently served as the Head of the Library Simulation and Immersion Technology unit. We wish John well in his new career path in Physical Therapy.




Author of The Covered Smile to Speak, April 15

Sonja Lauren is the author of The Covered Smile, a true story of childhood abuse, neglect, forgiveness and triumph. Ms. Lauren will be speaking,  Wednesday, April 15, noon-1:00 p.m., Lecture Hall 3.102B, next to Starbuck’s, lunch will be provided..  During her childhood, Ms. Lauren suffered from dental neglect.  At the age of twelve, dentists wrote “situation-hopeless” on her dental records and proceeded to extract all of her teeth leaving her to begin wearing dentures at the age of thirteen. Ms. Lauren’s objectives are to describe the seriousness of dental neglect from a patient’s point of view, raise professional awareness of the importance of treating all patients equally, understand the effects of dental neglect on self-esteem and share the importance of the dental professional in the office, community, and in society.  The Covered Smile is available for check-out at the UT Health Science Center Briscoe Library, call number WA 320 L378c 2003.  Ms. Lauren’s presentation is sponsored by the San Antonio Public Health and Diversity Pre-Doctoral Education Program HRSA D85HP20041.

Believing in Race: Its Legacy in Our Nation’s Health

Presentation at the 47th Annual Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Dinner

Believing in Race: Its Legacy in Our Nation’s Health

Speaker: Dr. Jill Fleuriet

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Dr. Jill Fleuriet is a cultural and medical anthropologist. She is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Associate Dean of the Honors College at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Her roots are in South Texas. She grew up in Harlingen, Texas, in a family with a long history of professional and volunteer service. She earned her BA in Anthropology from Harvard College, MA from San Diego State University, MA from Stanford University, and PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University. What drew her to UTSA remains her primary professional motivation: to engage in research, teaching, and service that help to understand sociocultural processes that influence ethnic and gendered health disparities in South Texas. In 2015, Dr. Fleuriet won the UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2016, won the UTSA President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Community Engagement. This summer, Dr. Fleuriet was honored with the prestigious UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award.

Where: Old San Francisco Steak House | 10223 Sahara Street

Located north of Loop 410. From San Pedro, turn right onto Sahara Street.

Cost: $55 per person, $35 for students

Paid sponsorships for students are available on request. Advance registration is required.

Register online at: https://goo.gl/forms/T1GOLjrLa0QQVSzn2



Briscoe Library Builds a Wall

It all started with a request to the library from Sandra Sanchez-Reilly MD (Clinical Professor in the Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Medicine) on behalf of a project in collaboration with community partners (Vitas Hospice, University Health System, GRECC, Audie L. Murphy VA) and UT Health San Antonio. Starting with just one two-sided wall section, librarians and staff began the wall building process utilizing mobile poster boards.

Librarians Chris Gaspard, Christy Tyson, and Kirsten Lorenzen

1st wall section in the library

The wall was designed based on an international interactive public art project entitled Before I Die created by artist Candy Chang. Materials were provided by project partners facilitated by Jennifer LaCoss MD ( Assistant Professor of Medicine UT Health Palliative Medicine) and Rachel Vandermeer MD (Assistant Professor Pediatrics – Ambulatory Care) pictured below.

Rachel Vandermeer MD and Jennifer LaCoss MD

I want to…Be a Grandma!

From May 8 to 16, the wall eventually grew to 6 sections, 12 sides, as over 300 people contributed their personal responses to the statement, Before I die, I want to… Later in conjunction with a showing of the FRONTLINE documentary Being Mortal featuring author Atul Gwande, the wall was moved to the Lecture hall commons area just outside of the Pestana Lecture Hall.

Wall in Lecture Commons area

Sandra Sanchez-Reilly MD

Briscoe Library Hosts NW Vista Community Health Worker (CHW) Continuing Education Program



In collaboration with the NW Vista Community Health Worker (CHW) program directed by Dr. Fernando Martinez, the library hosted a continuing education program for area CHWs and promotoras.  In the state of Texas, CHWs are certified and must accrue CEU credits in order to main their certification. CHWs play a crucial role in improving the health literacy of their communities and the UT Health Library seeks partnerships with area CHWs to improve outreach effectiveness in community health initiatives.

Over forty CHWs from around the state attended the program held on Saturday, July 15. The program was held at the library to encourage CHWs to use library resources for professional development and for the benefit of the communities they serve.  While chronic disease was the study topic of the day, CHWs were also instructed on how to use library resources and about opportunities to partner with library outreach services. CSL student volunteers also provided a demonstration for the CHWs on a mobile application they have developed, SA Access, which covers information found at HealthCare.gov as well as Bexar County health resources.