New HSC holiday schedule
includes personal days
The 1999-2000 holiday schedule for the Health Science Center and vacation accrual rates have been released with a new twist this year--personal leave time.
Beginning Sept. 1, each department will credit regular employees with eight hours of personal leave time at the start of each four-month period during the fiscal year, for a total of 24 hours.
Personal leave time may be taken at any time (with the appropriate departmental approvals similar to vacation leave) and may be carried forward to the next year. There is no maximum amount that can be carried forward and employees will be paid for any unused personal leave time when they leave state service. New faculty and staff who have not completed the six-month probationary period also may use personal leave time. This time may be used in conjunction with Family Medical Leave.
Only regular employees--those who have worked at the Health Science Center 20 hours or more a week for four months or more--are eligible to earn personal leave.
The decision to provide Health Science Center employees with personal leave is the result of an action taken during the 76th Texas Legislature. A law was enacted that mandates the vacation accrual and carry-forward rates for all state agencies and higher education institutions.
The Health Science Center previously had the flexibility to convert three holidays (24 hours) to vacation hours, and did so in an effort to boost the monthly vacation accrual rate by two hours for employees.
With the enactment of Senate Bill 174 this year, the Health Science Center must change its accrual rates to comply with the state statute, decreasing each month's vacation accrual rate by two hours, but adding those two hours as personal leave accrual. There is no loss of hours to the employee.
The Health Science Center opted to convert the 24 hours of
vacation per year into three days of personal leave time
that can be taken at the discretion of the employee and
his or her supervisor.
Employees receive personal leave time
To comply with legislative action, the Health Science Center has changed the holiday and vacation schedule for the 1999-2000 fiscal year.
Q. Will there be changes in the holiday schedule for the Health Science Center?
A. Each year U. T. System components, including the Health Science Center, are granted nine national holidays and eight state holidays, provided those holidays fall on a weekday. During the fiscal year ending with this month, 13 out of a possible 17 holidays fell on a Monday through Friday. Because of the new vacation accrual mandate from the Texas Legislature, the Health Science Center has chosen to designate three holidays as personal leave time, so that employees accrue 24 hours of personal time during the year.
In compliance with state law, the Health Science Center
calendar will include 10 full holidays plus three days
of personal leave. Those three personal leave days may
be taken as "days off" or carried forward for future use.
Q. What is the difference between a full holiday and a skeleton holiday?
A. National holidays are the only holidays when the university can be fully closed. According to state law, the Health Science Center cannot fully close on state holidays or on those holidays that are neither national nor state holidays (e.g., Jan. 3 Y2K holiday, San Jacinto holiday). Therefore, those days are designated as skeleton holidays because the Health Science Center must be staffed by a skeleton crew and be open for public business.
Q. Can anyone take time off for special religious holidays or other reasons?
A. With a supervisor's approval, any employee is
entitled to observe Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Good
Friday and Cesar Chavez Day in lieu of any state holiday on which a skeleton crew is required.
Q. Will the leave-earned reports be changed to reflect these accrual and personal leave changes?
A. Yes. Each department will keep a record of the personal leave time. The accruals will automatically be adjusted monthly based on the service time on record.
Gordon honored with
American Heart Association appointment
Dr. Donald Gordon, emergency medical technology, has been
selected as a National Faculty member of the American Heart
Association (AHA). Dr. Gordon, chair of the Department of
Emergency Medical Technology, was appointed to serve a
two-year term as Advanced Cardiac Support National Faculty
member for the AHA.
As a member, Dr. Gordon will serve as a liaison between
AHA National Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) program
volunteers and staff and local ECC committees. Dr. Gordon
also will serve as a consultant, reviewing exams and products
and completing training surveys. As part of his duties, Dr.
Gordon has been invited to attend the International
Guidelines 2000 Conference in San Diego, Calif., in
September, where he will receive training in new ECC
techniques, which he will be able to teach to regional
A room with a view
Optical Imaging Center opens for researchers
Elizabeth Chang, research technician for the Department of
Cellular and Structural Biology, works with a multiphoton
microscope in the department's new Optical Imaging Center.
The center recently opened and is designed to provide
researchers with sophisticated high-resolution microscopic
The Health Science Center's Department of Cellular and
Structural Biology is offering researchers an opportunity
to probe the inner workings of living cells and tissues
with an array of optical microscope technology.
The recently opened Optical Imaging Center is the gateway,
with three different optical imaging technologies for use in
everything from looking at changes in the level of acidity
of a cell to how cellular constituents interact with one
We are able to look at a variety of different events as
they occur in the cells," said Dr. Brian Herman, chair
of the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, who
is the director of the new facility. "And more
importantly, we can observe the process in a more natural
With the use of the center's confocal and multiphoton
microscopes, as well as its wide-field microscopes,
researchers can obtain a three-dimensional view of cells
or tissues, look deeper into tissue samples, and record
changes in the physiology of a cell over extended periods
The center is available to investigators within the Health
Science Center and those outside the university. Dr.
Victoria Frohlich, a research assistant professor skilled
in the design, development and applications of the various
microscopes, operates the facility along with a computer
Applications for the technology, said Dr. Herman,
include uses in clinical diagnostics, cancer research
and the development of virtual reality educational tools.
Investigators are using the optical imaging technology to
understand what regulates normal vs. abnormal heart
contractions, to study how to lessen damage to the brain
following stroke, to develop more specific chemotherapeutic
agents and to look at the basic changes in normal cells that
lead to cancer.
Plans are being developed for future uses for the center,
including a biennial course in optical microscopy for the
biological sciences, jointly sponsored by the Health Science
Center and Hamamatsu Photonics. This weeklong course will
teach students and faculty members how to use the different
types of microscopes. During alternating years, an
international meeting on recent advances in microscopy
will be sponsored by the Health Science Center and
For more information on the center, contact Dr. Victoria
Frohlich at <Frohlich@uthscsa.edu>.
Spurs Coyote joins giving campaign
A special State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) event
on Sept. 16 will include a visit from the San Antonio
Spurs Coyote at the Health Science Center "food fest.
The SECC begins Sept. 1 and continues through Sept. 17.
The "food fest" will be held in the auditorium
foyer from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with the Coyote arriving at
11:30 a.m. The Coyote will bring along the Spurs' own
1999 National Basketball Association championship trophy,
NBA highlight clips and music from the Spurs games. For $5,
SECC donors can be photographed with the Coyote and the
trophy. Donors will be allowed to keep the negatives from
the photos. The proceeds from this event will go to the
Fundraisers such as bake sales, taco sales and book sales
will take place during the campaign's 2 1/2-week run.
Silly Hat Day is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10.
Employees who contribute a minimum of $24 to United Way
or its affiliated agencies during the campiagn will be
eligible to win two airline tickets to anywhere in the
world, except Hawaii or Tokyo. Employees who contribute
a minimum of $60 to any SECC-eligible organization will
receive discount coupons for lunch and dinner at either
Saltgrass Steak House location in San Antonio.
In the past year, most of the proceeds from activities
and donations benefited local organizations such as the
American Cancer Society,
Any Baby Can of San Antonio, the Association for Retarded
Citizens of San Antonio, the Child Guidance Center of San
Antonio, the Jewish Community Center and the Santa Rosa
Instrumentation Services reorganizes
Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jerry York
has announced the reorganization of the Department of
Instrumentation Services, which builds and repairs
scientific research equipment and handles PC maintenance at
the Health Science Center. The PC maintenance division will
become a component of the Department of Computing Resources
under the direction of Dr. Frank Stafford. Michael Favor,
director of desktop customer services, will run the
The remaining operations, under the direction of Frank
Quijano, will be a part of the Office of Educational
Resources, which Dr. James Waldron heads. "This
reorganization will allow us to broaden our resource
base to enhance service, while streamlining processing
and reducing overhead," York said.
Research profiles provide
When a representative from Pfizer's Central Research
Group recently planned a visit with members of the Health
Science Center faculty, he asked for a list of the research
being conducted that might be of interest to Pfizer.
important link to
The task of compiling the list was made easier with the
help of Faculty Research Profiles, a keyword-searchable,
online database that provides contact information and
briefly describes research activities of individual
investigators at the Health Science Center.
The database is maintained by the Industry-University
Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC), which obtains the
information directly from Health Science Center
investigators. During a Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools reaccreditation review of the campus, the
database was identified as an important resource of the
The IUCRC would like to ensure that each faculty member who
conducts research at the Health Science Center submits
an updated Faculty Research Profile for the
If you do not have a profile on the FRP Web site,
the following information is needed: name, degree,
position, department, division (if appropriate), building,
room number, phone number, fax number, e-mail address,
research interests, unique technical and clinical research
capabilities/instrumentation, list of publications from
professional journals and key words. Please use this as
your guide, or copy a completed profile from the Faculty
Research Profiles Web site paste it into your word processor,
and replace the contents with your own information.
If you do have a profile on the FRP Web site, please
look at your page and e-mail an update, if necessary.
If there is information about you on your department's
site, a link to that site can be added to your Faculty
Research Profile. This will increase the odds that you
will be found by those who have the potential to benefit
you and vice versa.
The profile can be updated as often as you wish and should
be no longer than one 8 1/2-inch-by-11-inch page, if
Please call Lea Harlow at ext. 2048 for more information,
or e-mail your profile to her at
Calendar for August 16-22, 1999
Monday, August 16, 1999
Orthopaedic Teaching Conf. "Pelvic Fractures," Dr. Attila Poka (MED: 309L)
Medical Housestaff Specialty Conf. "Resident & Intern M&M" (MED: 409L)
Tuesday, August 17, 1999
Podiatry Case Conf. (LEC: 2.010)
Medical Housestaff Specialty Conf., Dr. Deborah Hunt
TNT "Cytology: Lawsuits--Fashions for the Future,"
Karen Walker, Unipath, Dallas (call ext. 2700)
TNT "Laboratory Technology Issues: Case Studies in Microbiology," Dr. Andrea Linscott, UCLA Medical Center (call ext. 2700 for information)
Wednesday, August 18
Podiatry Grand Rounds "Case Presentations," Dr. Rothenberg (MED: 309L)
Vascular Surgery Grand Rounds, Dr. Mellick Sykes (MED: 209L)
Medical Grand Rounds, "Radiation Injury to the
Gastrointestinal Tract," Dr. Glenn Gross (MED: 409L)
Surgery Trauma M&M Conf., Dr. Ronald Stewart (MED:
TNT "Women's Health Issues & Trends: Mental Health Issues for Older Women: Depression & Anxiety," Pamela Marcus, private practice, Marlborough, Md. (call ext. 2700 for information)
TNT "Health Care Commentaries: Treatment of Obese Women by Health Care Providers," Betsy Stausberg, City College of San Francisco (call ext. 2700 for information)
Thursday, August 19, 1999
Thoracic Surgery Resident Teaching Conf. (VA: 4th-floor CT Library A404)
Neurology Grand Rounds "Treatment of Diabetic
Neuropathy," Dr. Richard Barohn, U. T. Southwestern
Medical Center (MED: 444B)
Pulmonary, Thoracic & Oncology Conf. (MED:209L)
Psychiatry Grand Rounds "Downstream Targets of the
Noradrenergic Pathway in the Pathophysiology &
Treatment of Bipolar Disorder," Dr. L. Trevor
Young (MED: 409L)
Surgery Tumor Conference, Dr. Anatolio Cruz (MED: 209L)
Citywide Thoracic Grand Rounds Conf. "New Advances in Cardiac Transplantation & Role of Mechanical Circulatory Support in the Treatment of End-Stage Heart Failure," Dr. Branislav Radovancevic, Texas Heart Institute Transplant Service (Santa Rosa Northwest: Villa Rosa main dining room)
Friday, August 20, 1999
Pediatric Grand Rounds "Herbal Medicines: Fact or Fiction," Dr. Alexander Shepherd (MED: 409L)
Rehab Medicine Research Conf. "Gabapentin & Neurogenic Pain in Spinal Cord Injury: Retrospective Study," Drs. Michael Salas & Douglas Barber (UH: Reeves Rehab Center 3rd-floor classroom)
Medical Housestaff Specialty Conf. "Emergency
Series: Bradyarrythmias," Dr. Laura Collins
Saturday, August 21, 1999
Surgical Physiology Conf., Dr. Kenneth Sirinek (MED: 209L)
General Surgery Grand Rounds, Dr. Wayne Schwesinger
Index of issues
THE NEWS is published Fridays by the Office of Public Affairs for faculty and staff of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Vice President for University Relations.....Judy Petty Wolf
Executive Director of Development & Public Affairs.....Dr. Charles Rodriguez
Writers.....Myong Covert, Catherine Duncan, Heather Feldman, Jennifer Lorenzo
Photographers.....Jeff Anderson, Lee Bennack, Lester Rosebrock
Web Editor.....Joanne Shaw
Office of Public Affairs, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive,
San Antonio, Texas 78284-7768