Public Health Task Force

Current StatusOperationalized


This task force will help to guide the tactical teams as they explore how best to protect the health of the UTSA community as an integral part of the planning for re-opening UTSA’s campuses this fall. Using guidance from UT System and the State of Texas, the work of this task force is critical to addressing the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty. 

Dr. Bernard Arulanandam, Co-chair 
Jane and Roland Blumberg Professor of Biology & Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Knowledge Enterprise

Dr. Lynne Cossman, Co-chair 
Mark G. Yudof Endowed Professor of Sociology and Demography & Inaugural Dean, College for Health, Community and Policy (HCaP)

Stephanie De Leon Ansley 
Ph.D. Translational Science candidate, HCaP and UTHSCA, UT Austin and UT School of Public Health Houston

Dan Bellamy 
Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine, Athletics Department 

Wanda Boller 
Executive Director, Human Resources Business Partner, People Excellence

Thomas Forsthuber 
Jesse and Mary Gibbs Jones Professor in Biotechnology, Biology Department, College of Science and UT Health San Antonio

Paul Goodman 
Associate Vice President, Facilities

Dr. Juan Gutiérrez
Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics, College of Sciences, representing the Department Chairs Council

Melissa Hernandez 
Director, Counseling Center

Dr. Jose Lopez-Ribot 
Margaret Batts Tobin Distinguished Chair in Biotechnology, Professor, Biology Department and Associate Dean for Research, College of Science

Daisy Paredes 
Anthropology and Public Health major, HCaP, UTSA Top Scholar & President’s Student Advisory Council

Crystal Martinez 
Program Manager, First Generation and Transfer Student Center, representing the Staff Senate

Jay Rosselló
Chief Legal Officer, Office of Legal Affairs

Dr. Lorenzo Sanchez 
Director, Office of Risk and Emergency Management

Anjali Shah 
Kinesiology major, HCaP, representing the Student Government Association

Dr. Beth Wichman 
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Zenong Yin
oreta J. Lowak Clarke Distinguished Professor in Health and Kinesiology, HCaP Public Health, representing the Faculty Senate

Strategic Plan Midpoint Update (Fall 2022)

The COVID-19 pandemic presented extraordinary challenges for our Roadrunner community. UTSA's ability to navigate UTSA through these difficult times was primarily due to the expert guidance we received from our Public Health Task Force, led by co-chairs (former) Vice President Bernard Arulanandam and Dean Lynne Cossman. Throughout the pandemic, the Task Force met regularly to monitor operations, review federal and state public health recommendations, and develop campus policies and protocols to keep the UTSA community safe in an ever-changing public health landscape. Task Force leaders informed the campus through regular communications, including frequently updated reports, informational town halls, and timely all-campus email updates.

On May 31, 2022, UTSA disbanded the Task Force and adopted a new, shared governance structure to guide the University's future pandemic-related protocols and procedures. The Task Force’s incredible expertise remains available should new situations arise.

This Initiative Supports Strategic Destinations

Public Health Expert Advisory Group

The Public Health Task Force will work with a three-member Public Health Expert Advisory Group to develop standards and practices specific to UTSA operations regarding personal protective equipment, social distancing, contact tracing, testing, groups at risk and related matters. The task force, in turn, will provide important input to the Tactical Teams about implementing these public health best practices. Members of the Public Health Expert Advisory Group include:
  • Dr. David Lakey
    Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, The University of Texas System
    Area of Expertise: Disease Prevention, Community Health Services and Infectious Disease Outbreaks

  • Dr. Colleen Bridger
    Assistant City Manager and Interim Director, San Antonio Metro Health
    Area of Expertise: Public Health

  • Dr. Jason Bowling
    Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, UT Health San Antonio
    Areas of Expertise: Infectious Diseases

Recovery Operations Committee (ROC)

The Recovery Operations Committee works with the Tactical Teams and university leadership to operationalize the recommendations and offers a consolidated operational response to plan for a successful return to campus operations