Kristen Plastino, MD, Program Director
Dr. Kristen Plastino is a board certified Ob/Gyn physician whose special interests include adolescent gynecology and reproductive health. Dr. Plastino has led the way in adolescent health since 2003, providing education and curriculum to adolescents and adults on the benefits of delaying sex. Dr. Plastino is a Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and is the Director of the UT Teen Health Program which has both Tier 1A and Tier 1B Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention funding. Her collaborative approach includes community mobilization, stakeholder education, evidence-based sex education and best clinical practices. She has successfully led a community-wide initiative that has contributed to a 24% decrease in the teen birth rate and a 43% reduction in repeat teen births in South San Antonio while mobilizing the community to sustain teen pregnancy prevention.
Jennifer Todd, JD, RN, Project Manager, OAH Replicating Project
Jennifer Todd has worked in teen pregnancy prevention since 2005 in the San Antonio community. She is currently the Project Manager for “Replicating Evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs to Scale”, a project funded by the Office of Adolescent Health where she supervises a team of health educators. She and her team serve as a link to facilitate program components between community partners, schools and clinics while guiding community mobilization, educating program stakeholders in non-legislative policy, and assisting in all aspects of the project. Jennifer graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin, has a B.S.N. from Southern Connecticut State University, and a law degree from Yale Law School. She has experience working with federal grants, building staff capacity, and utilizing best practices to promote sustainability.
Diana Lowe, RN, Project Manager, OAH Capacity Building and Replicating Projects
Diana Lowe has been working in teen pregnancy prevention in the San Antonio community since 2006. She is experienced in all phases of project development and coordination, and is currently contributing to various initiatives under the umbrella of UT Teen Health. Diana graduated with a degree in Biology from Hope College and has a B.S.N. from St. Louis University. She lived in Mexico City, Mexico for fifteen years and is bi-lingual, strengthening her understanding of the heritage of the predominantly Hispanic San Antonio community. Diana is married and the mother of three.
Esmeralda Jeffries, BA, NPMC, Project Coordinator, OAH Capacity Building Project
Esmeralda Jeffries has been working in teen pregnancy prevention in the San Antonio community since 2011. She is currently the Project Coordinator for “Capacity Building to Support Replication of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs” a project funded by the Office of Adolescent Health, where she supervises a team of health educators. She and her team serve community partners by assisting them in choosing evidence-based programs, training partners to facilitate program components, and equipping partners to plan for sustainability of successful programs. Esmeralda graduated with a degree in Political Science from Our Lady of the Lake University and has a Nonprofit Management Certificate from The University of Texas at San Antonio. She has experience working with youth as a youth group leader at her church. Her past experience includes work in the criminal justice system with domestic violence and sexual abuse survivors, and youth in the juvenile justice system. Esmeralda is married with two children, and enjoys spending time with her family.
Gabe Aguilar, BA, Health Educator, OAH Capacity Building Project
Gabe Aguilar graduated from Lubbock Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology. For over a decade he has been working with at-risk youth and communities in projects ranging from workforce development, childhood obesity prevention, community development, and teen pregnancy prevention. He has a passion for seeing community change across sectors and finding new solutions to complex societal issues and injustices. This passion is inspired by his faith and a desire to build a better world for his wife and two sons.
Nicole Dierschke, MPH, Evaluator, OAH Capacity Building and Replicating Projects
Nicole Dierschke has worked in teen pregnancy prevention in San Antonio school districts since 2012. Currently, she is the evaluator working with both the Replicating and Capacity Building Projects. Her previous experience includes extensive research across diverse content areas, including clinical trials, patient safety, and military health. Her skills also include proficiency in study design, program planning, health promotion, intervention mapping, and database design. Her background in organizational behavior and capacity building assists the San Antonio community in building sustainable partnerships to implement TPP programming. Nicole graduated with a degree in Biology from the University of Dallas, has an MPH from the University of Texas School of Public Health, and anticipates completing her doctoral degree in Community Health Practice from the UT School of Public Health soon.
Lynette Forero, BS, Health Educator, OAH Replicating Project
Lynette Forero graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Chemistry minor. She has 12 years of teaching experience. Lynette’s strong love of science led her to spend some years as a research associate for Tulane University and later for Penn State University. She was a parent volunteer in her children’s school, serving as the director of adult mentors for student enrichment and the PTA science coordinator. For these positions, she was recognized with a PTA lifetime award and was a recipient of the superintendent’s award. She values her position as a health educator with UT Teen Health as a way to give back to the community.
Angela Garcia, MA, Health Educator, OAH Capacity Building Project
Angela Garcia earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology in 2002 from Our Lady of the Lake University and completed her Master of Arts in Biology in 2004 from the University of the Incarnate Word. Much of her interest and research has been in the prevention of diabetes. She joined the University of Texas Health Science Center in 2005 as a Health Promotions Coordinator for the NIH HEALTHY Study in which she promoted the prevention of Diabetes Type 2 in middle schools. In 2009, she coordinated a diabetes risk reduction study with a local school district. Angela joined the UT Teen Health staff in 2013 and brings her experience in community outreach, leadership, and ability to work closely with school and clinical staff to enhance the evaluation efforts of the OAH project. In her spare time she enjoys attending local art and music events.
Joette Garza-Garibay, MHA, Health Educator, OAH Replicating Project
Joette Garza-Garibay, earned a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the University of Texas San Antonio and completed her Masters of Healthcare Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word. In 2007, she began her health education work with the NIH HEALTHY Study assisting with the promotion of Type 2 Diabetes prevention among SAISD middle schools. In 2009 she began working with the City of San Antonio – Metro Health, Project WORTH program as a Health Program Specialist, working with middle and high schools in SAISD, and community organizations in teen pregnancy prevention. Joette has teaching skills with grade levels 6-12, along with evidence- based program training among school districts and community partners. She also has skills working with teens in clinical settings thru the City of San Antonio Metro Health department.
Denise Lewis, BA, Health Educator, OAH Replicating Project
Bonnie Moreno, BA, Administrative Assist. - Senior, OAH Replicating Project
Bonnie Moreno has a degree in Human Resources and is a master at multi-tasking. She has a background in sales, marketing and management. Her past experience in the Reproductive, Endocrinology and Infertility Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology is an asset to the UT Teen Health administrative team. Bonnie has a passion for helping others. She enjoys cycling, roller skating and spending time with her three nephews.
Maria Peché, Office Manager, OAH Capacity Building and Replicating Projects
Maria Peché performs a wide range of ancillary duties to support UT Teen Health, ensuring a high level of professionalism and smooth operation of its day to day mission. Maria serves as the course facilitator for all Program training activities and conferences and is responsible for the logistics for these activities. Her technical writing certification and experience is instrumental in the development of training presentations, program literature and materials as well as preparing research articles for publication. Maria enjoys reading, and spending quality time with her family.
Ámbar Ríos, MS, LPC-Intern, Health Educator, OAH Capacity Building and Replicating Projects
Ámbar Ríos is a native of San Antonio. In 2003, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Our Lady of the Lake University where she also holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy, and a certification in Psychological Services for Spanish Speaking Populations. Ámbar is currently working towards her professional counselor’s license. She has been a member of UT Teen Health for over five years and truly enjoys working in the community. Ámbar provides training and technical assistance to partners in Bexar County and throughout Texas.
William Sandburg, MA, Clinical Coordinator, OAH Replicating Project
William (Bill) Sandburg joined the UT Teen Health Program as the Clinical Coordinator in October 2013. He came to UT Teen Health after closing out a five year Men’s Health Project with University Health System. Bill has an undergraduate degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Family and Child Development plus he is certified as a Community Health Worker. After completing 27 years of military service Bill worked as an investigator for Child Protective Services and Program Coordinator for The Children’s Shelter of San Antonio. He brings extensive knowledge of the social services available within the San Antonio area to the UT Teen Health team. Bill and his wife, Connie, have been married for 47 plus years and have six grandchildren.
Amelia Teodosio, BA, Health Educator, OAH Replicating Project
Amelia Teodosio graduated from the University of Minnesota with a double major in Speech Communication and Spanish and has been working with relationship education ever since. She has served as the Executive Director of Wise Choices For Youth, Inc. and the National Media Production Manager of True Love Waits in the Philippines. “Mrs. T,” as students call her, is one of the Youth Leadership Council coordinators. Her passion is to develop student leaders and engage them in serving their community. Amelia enjoys traveling, trying out new restaurants, spending time with family, and interior decorating.
Carolyn Welker, BA, Health Educator, OAH Replicating Project
Carolyn is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned her degree in Sociology. Prior to joining the UT Teen Health team, she served as a Program Coordinator for a local non-profit that focuses on empowering girls and their parents in the East and Southeast sides of San Antonio. Carolyn's experience includes program management, implementation and creating safe spaces. She has a special interest in creating safe and supportive environments for youth of minority populations. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying any genre of live music, binge watching some cerebral T.V. series, or hiking with her dog Lock.