By Kate Hunger
The department of physical therapy recently welcomed Alexis Ortiz, PT, Ph.D., SCS, CSCS, FACSM as its new chair and professor.
Dr. Ortiz joined the faculty in May. He was most recently a tenured professor of physical therapy at Texas Woman's University.
Ortiz said the opportunity to come to UT Health San Antonio was particularly appealing because of the potential for meaningful collaboration among its Schools and centers, particularly the Long School of Medicine and the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson.
"I can see that UT Health San Antonio has a lot of momentum right now to be a top-notch, top-level institution, and I really want to be part of that," Ortiz said.
Raising the program's profile is among Ortiz's goals in his new role.
"One of my goals is to increase the visibility of the program in different endeavors," he said. "Research is one. The more collaboration through research we get, the more we can put our name out there."
The department of physical therapy already has developed an active community service program, something Ortiz believes could serve as a model for other areas.
"I would like to expand that to not only provide the service for disease management but also for enhancing the focus on prevention to lead to a healthier lifestyle," he said.
Ortiz's past research has included studying the area of fitness and function in patients with HIV, breast cancer, and chronic musculoskeletal disorders and he plans to continue researching the impact of physical activity on these populations.
There is a significant need for robust research on physical activity and its impact on chronic health conditions, Ortiz noted.
"People are not getting any healthier," he said.