Health & Wellness

The pandemic has tested our strength, our collective public health and our resiliency. We’ve lost far too many. The cracks in our systems were exposed. The inequities in our community were magnified. What can we as community leaders do to address these issues?  

Join the Health and Wellness Team on our day-long journey to strengthen our minds, bodies and hearts.


Claude A. Jacob

Claude A. Jacob

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District Director

Claude A. Jacob was appointed public health director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District effective July 6, 2021. He oversees more than 30 programs of the Communicable Disease, Community Health & Safety, and Environmental Health & Operations divisions.

Prior to joining Metro Health, Jacob was chief public health officer for the City of Cambridge in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has over 20 years of experience in public health and led the operations of the Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) since 2007. Under Jacob’s leadership, the CPHD developed a model in which local government and the community are partners in improving health. In 2018, CPHD became one of the first in the Commonwealth to meet the standards for accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), a voluntary designation achieved by state, tribal, local & territorial health departments nationwide.

Jacob spearheaded Cambridge’s COVID-19 response efforts along with the support of the city’s leadership, passionate staff and dedicated community partners. As a result, the city established a robust COVID-19 testing program and consistently maintained one of the lowest COVID-19 positivity rates among the largest municipalities in the state. He also launched an innovative neighborhood ambassador program that encouraged residents to adopt safer practices in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

His previous professional experiences include serving as a senior health administrator at the Illinois Department of Public Health, chief of the Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control with the Baltimore City Health Department, and director of community affairs at the Sinai Community Institute affiliated with the Sinai Health System in Chicago.

Jacob is a past president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and serves on the PHAB board of directors. He has also served as both a national chair and board member of the Black Caucus of Health Workers of the American Public Health Association. Jacob also completed fellowships with the W.K. Kellogg Emerging Leadership in Public Health and National Public Health Leadership Institute.

He received a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and is currently a doctoral candidate in health leadership at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health.

In 2021, he was recognized by City Manager Louis A. DePasquale as the recipient of the Brian Murphy Award as an Outstanding City Employee for the City of Cambridge and is the 2018 Curtis M. Hilliard Award recipient for outstanding achievement in public health given by the Massachusetts Health Officers Association. Jacob also received the 2009 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Health Award as recognized by the Cambridge Branch NAACP.

Jacob has completed five full marathon races and is a former youth soccer coach. He and his wife, Nicole, have three children Alex, Ania and Max.


Brad Parrott

Brad Parrott

UTSA Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs

Brad Parrott is in his 10th year as a senior associate athletics director for external affairs after serving as the department’s director of community relations for one year. In his current position, he is responsible for strategic planning, marketing and promotions and community relations.

He spent the previous 23 years with SBC (now AT&T) prior to arriving at UTSA in September 2001. In his last assignment at SBC, he was Area Vice President-External Affairs managing community and government relations operations throughout South Texas.

Prior to that Parrott worked in a variety of positions with SBC, including corporate communications, government relations, media relations, economic development, external affairs, advertising, employee communications and consumer affairs.

Parrott is a 1975 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. While in college and before joining SBC, he was a sports reporter for the Oklahoma City Times for four years.


Councilwoman Ana Sandoval

Councilwoman Ana Sandoval

City of San Antonio

Ana Sandoval was elected to represent the City Council District 7 of San Antonio in May 2017. During her time on City Council, she has aggressively pursued funding for basic infrastructure in District 7 and been a champion for public health, open and transparent government, climate resiliency, and transportation.

Ana was born in Monterrey, Mexico and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was a year old. After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1993, Ms. Sandoval went on to obtain a B.S. from MIT in Chemical Engineering, a M.S. at Stanford University in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Master’s in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. As a Fulbright Scholar in 1997-1998, she also obtained a Diplomado in Binational Business from the ITAM in Mexico City.

Sandoval’s career has been dedicated to public service. She has over ten years of professional experience working with local governments. She began her professional career working as a strategic transportation planner for San Antonio’s major transit agency, VIA Metropolitan Transit. Sandoval also has worked at the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District on air quality and climate change, environmental justice, and public information and engagement programs; as well as with the Harvard School of Public Health and the UT School of Public Health San Antonio on environmental health research projects.

She was elected to the San Antonio City Council in 2017 and is the first naturalized Latinx citizen to serve on the Council.

Today, Sandoval resides in the neighborhood where she was raised. She lives next door to her mother, who still lives in Ana’s childhood home.


Dr. Jason Rosenfeld

Dr. Jason Rosenfeld

MPH, Assistant Director of Global Health, UT Health San Antonio

“Serving others has always given my life meaning and this orientation was the impetus behind my initial venture into global health with the United States Peace Corps. Little did I know that this passion would take me to the far reaches of Africa and back again to Texas where I was born and raised. I view it as an honor and a privilege to serve impoverished and at times voiceless communities both at home and abroad and to now be in a position to share my experiences and mentor the next generation of health care providers. When my wife and I left Zimbabwe in 2011, I never thought I would find a ‘home’ to pursue my passion and vision of the world in Texas. However, the boundless energy, enthusiasm, thirst for knowledge and service orientation of our students is inspiring and now I cannot imagine a better place to call home than the Center.”


Jelynne LeBlanc Jamison

Jelynne LeBlanc Jamison

President and CEO, Center for Health Care Services

Jelynne LeBlanc Jamison is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Health Care Services (CHCS), the mental health authority for Bexar County. Opened in 1966, CHCS has an operating budget of $129 million and over 1300 skilled and compassionate team members who help people find the solutions they need to live healthy and productive lives.  CHCS works with children and families at 35 locations around Bexar County, providing them with the resources and support they need to make their life better.  CHCS’ mission is to share hope and support recovery with a full spectrum of innovative services that promote healing and help people live life to their full potential.

Jamison brings over 38 years of leadership experience with complex governmental organizations to the position.  She previously served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Delivery Officer for CPS Energy, the largest municipally owned electric and gas provider in the nation, where she led a team of 1,853 employees and managed an operational budget of $158 million and a capital budget of $304 million. She led the organization with a customer-focused approach to service delivery and brought about technological, operational, and cultural enhancements. During her tenure with CPS, Burley served as the Acting General Manager in 2009 and helped build public trust and stakeholder relationships, re-established a stable outlook with the bond rating agencies, and secured unanimous City Council approval for a new rate structure. 

Prior to that, Jamison served as Deputy City Manager for Planning and Development with the City of San Antonio, with oversight for departments of Economic Development, Development Services, International Relations, Comprehensive Planning, Housing and Community Development, Public Works, Parks & Recreation, Code Compliance and the City Council Action Team. During her 24 years with the city, Jamison helped develop many economic and cultural development projects across the city, such as the development of the Alamodome, the 2001 expansion of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the renovation of the Carver Community Cultural Center.  Key economic development projects include Toyota Motor Manufacturing Plant, Rackspace Corporate Relocation, Texas A&M University, San Antonio Campus and over half a billion in capital improvement projects across the City of San Antonio. 

In addition to her public executive level leadership, Jamison is an Independent Director for NuStar Energy – a leader in the petroleum pipeline and terminal industry with terminal and storage facilities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. 

Jamison is also actively involved with a wide range of professional and nonprofit organizations.  She is currently the Chairwoman for the San Antonio Water System.  She serves on the   Trinity University Board of Trustees; CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Board of Directors; San Antonio Medical Foundation Board; Texas Public Radio Board of Directors; Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, Vice President, Board of Directors;  Masters Leadership Board of Directors; and has served as the National President of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. 

A native of Louisiana, Jamison holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Southern University, a Master of Arts in urban studies from Trinity University and a Construction Executive Certification from Texas A&M University.


Joey Palacios

Joey Palacios

Reporter Texas Public Radio

Born and raised in San Antonio, Joey joined the Texas Public Radio newsroom in October of 2011. Joey graduated from Roosevelt High School and obtained an associate of applied science degree in radio and television broadcasting from San Antonio College in 2010.

Joey started his broadcasting career in 2007 at KSYM-90.1 FM as a DJ and later became program director of the station. After graduation, he interned at  KTSA-550 AM and was hired as a reporter covering elections, breaking news, and the 2011 legislative session.

For TPR, Joey covers a variety of general assignments including breaking news, local school districts, higher education, police, fire, capital improvement, non-profits, health care, community issues and local politics. Joey has also had several stories aired on NPR national newscasts. When not working, Joey enjoys biking, hiking, cooking, and socializing.


Michael Vela

Michael Vela

Executive Director American Red Cross Greater San Antonio Chapter

Michael Vela is a Texas native of the City of San Antonio. Throughout his academic and professional careers he has been strongly devoted to service, community development and economic activism by working with organizations and government entities dedicated to those very initiatives. He is currently the Executive Director of the American Red Cross Serving Greater San Antonio.  Since 2018, with the Red Cross, he is redefining partnerships for synergistic growth in the sector of emergency management, overseeing 13 counties in Central & South Texas Region of the American Red Cross: Bexar, Atascosa, Comal, Guadalupe, Gonzales, Wilson, Karnes, Frio, Zavala, Dimmit, La Salle, Webb, and Zapata.

Furthermore, during his time at the Hispanic Chamber as Vice President of Communication in 2012-2016, Michael represented the community in several government and diplomatic roles to create collaborations that have grown the economic vibrancy of our city. In that role he was dedicated to developing new communications and marketing processes and procedures that enhanced the evolution of Hispanic Business in San Antonio and abroad. These efforts earned the first Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the United States a five-star accreditation from the United States Chamber of Commerce – the first to be received by any other business organization in the City of San Antonio. 

Michael is a dynamic community thought leader who has led our City of San Antonio and Bexar County in diverse efforts to celebrate arts, culture, history, and education through his work with the San Antonio Tricentennial Celebration Commission from 2016 -2018, as the non-profit’s head of marketing.

Now, in 2022, Michael continues his community involvement through the American Red Cross and is also currently serving his fourth term on the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber’s board of directors, as an appointed Executive Board Member overseeing the Marketing & Communications Committee, and sits on the Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University. 

A graduate of Texas State University, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations, and holds a Nonprofit Executive Certification in Social Media from the University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business. 

Dr. Bryan Bayles

Dr. Bryan Bayles

Research Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University San Antonio

Dr. Bayles currently is a Research Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Department of Life Sciences at Texas A&M University San Antonio. Dr. Bayles has also held faculty appointments in the University of Texas Health at San Antonio’s Department of Family and Community Medicine for over 15 years, where he has taught medical, nursing and allied health students and Family Medicine Residents, while also serving as the Assistant Director of the Center for Integrative Health. Prior to his current position, Dr Bayles was Curator of Anthropology and Health at the Witte Museum, where he spearheaded content, educational health programming and data analysis for the Witte’s pioneering exhibition The H-E-B Body Adventure Powered by University Health System. This permanent 4-story exhibition has won multiple awards for its innovative use of interactive technologies and multimedia to nurture health education while generating actionable health behavior data at the zip-code level for tens of thousands of school-age youth and adults in central Texas.

 Dr. Bayles received his first Masters degree studying art history with the eminent late Mayan epigrapher Linda Schele at the University of Texas Austin. He subsequently received a PhD in Anthropology and a Masters Degree in Public Health, working closely with indigenous midwives and traditional healers in Chiapas, Mexico, as well as curanderos (folk healers) and biomedical clinicians throughout South Texas and the Texas-Mexico border. Upon receiving a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral National Service Award, Dr. Bayles gained further experience in epidemiological methods and community health promotion, with an emphasis on cultural issues in chronic disease prevention and management and health equity.  Dr. Bayles has a particular passion for merging qualitative and quantitative research designs for the design, implementation and evaluation of community public health and teaching innovations.  He is the Vice Chair of the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council, a member of the Board of Directors of Community First Health Plans, and consults with the City of San Antonio’s COVID-19 Community Response and Equity Coalition. Dr. Bayles works to nurture creative, sustained partnerships that will result in culturally humble community health initiatives and transformative social change



Darnell Smith

Darnell Smith

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

Darnell Smith is the inaugural director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports program for Texas A&M University-San Antonio. The program, established by House Bill 1439 and approved August 8, 2019 by A&M University System’s Board of Regents, set the stage for creating the first intercollegiate athletics program in South Bexar County.

Smith returns to San Antonio bringing with him over 15 years of experience in strategy, compliance, equity and inclusivity as well as a deep understanding of the student-athlete experience. He will lead A&M-San Antonio’s intercollegiate sports programs with plans to start women’s softball, men’s golf and men’s and women’s soccer in Fall 2020. Smith will oversee the implementation of the university’s intercollegiate athletics strategic plan and manage resources, facilities, finances and fundraising efforts for the division of athletics.

Smith recently served as the assistant athletic director of compliance at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he spent the past decade overseeing NCAA compliance, student-athlete services and student-athlete welfare programming. He was also the deputy Title IX coordinator for athletics, and he chaired the Division II Ethnic Minority and Women’s Internship Grant Committee.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree of natural and applied sciences from Oklahoma State University (OSU), where he played defensive end from 2002 to 2006. He is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma in adult and higher education with an emphasis in intercollegiate athletics administration. A three-time recipient of the Arthur Ashe Scholar Award at OSU, he earned second team honors on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Team. He received the John McLendon Minority Foundation Scholarship.

Before his success at OSU – on and off the field – Smith spent his junior and senior years as a defensive end and linebacker at San Antonio’s Taft High School, where he earned all-district and co-Defensive Most Valuable Player honors, playing for former coach Lee Bridges. His senior team was runner-up in Texas Class 5A in 2001.

Smith attended Virginia Allred Stacey Junior-Senior High School (Stacey) on Lackland Air Force Base as a freshman and sophomore, and competed in men’s track and field and men’s basketball. He was instrumental in helping Stacey reach the men’s basketball playoffs (Area) during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, respectively.

Dr. Carmen Tafolla

Dr. Carmen Tafolla

Professor of Transformative Children’s Literature

Named State Poet Laureate of Texas in 2015, Dr. Carmen Tafolla is an award-winning poet and children’s author, storyteller, performance artist, motivational speaker, scholar and university professor.

 The author of more than 30 books and a Professor of Transformative Children’s Literature at UT San Antonio, she holds a Ph.D. in Bilingual Education from the University of Texas and a B.A. , M.A., and a Doctorate Honoris Causa in Humane Letters from Austin College. Tafolla has performed her one-woman show throughout the Americas, Europe, and New Zealand, and her work appears internationally in textbooks, newspapers, journals, magazines, elementary school Big Books & posters on city buses, and engraved on sidewalks and museum walls. Tafolla credits the community around her with her inspiration and her training, and says her works are inspired by “ancestors whispering over my shoulder.” 

 A native of the West-Side barrio schools of San Antonio, Texas, where teachers’ stereotypes of Mexican students as hoods resulted in daily frisking, Tafolla was told by her junior high principal that she had potential to make it all the way to high school. Instead, she completed high school, a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. In 1973, she became Director of the Mexican-American Studies Center at Texas Lutheran College, formed part of the Chicano Literary Movement of the 70s and 80s, and in 1978, Head Writer for Sonrisas, a bilingual children’s television series. Tafolla went on to work at universities and educational research centers throughout the Southwest.

 Tafolla has received numerous distinctions, including the prestigious Americas Award, presented to her at the Library of Congress in 2010; first Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio 2012-2014; five International Latino Book Awards; two Tomas Rivera Book Awards; two ALA Notable Books; the Art of Peace Award; the Texas 2 by 2 Award; and Top Ten Books for Babies. Called by Rigoberto Gonzales “the Zora Neale Hurston of the Chicano Community” and by Alex Haley “a world-class writer”, Tafolla has been recognized by the National Association for Chican@ Studies for work which “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.”

 The current President of the Texas Institute of Letters, Tafolla is at work on the biography of noted 1930s civil rights organizer Emma Tenayuca.

Lisa Ingle-Stevens

Lisa Ingle-Stevens

Yoga Instructor

Lisa Ingle-Stevens has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 20 years. Her passion for people and learning are evident from the moment you meet her. She believes that hard work, consistency, life-long learning and fun are the keys to continuing to grow as a person. Her goal is to help spread the practice of yoga and movement and inspire others to become their best in all aspects of their lives. 

Lisa is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with a degree in Business Administration. Lisa took her first Bikram Yoga class in 1999, and immediately following her first class knew she wanted to teach yoga and help people heal and stay healthy through this incredible life-changing practice. In the fall of 2002, Lisa completed the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Certification program in Los Angeles, California. She is the co-founder of The Union Fitness and Fun where her first yoga studio opened in the spring of 2004. Since then she has co-opened an additional two yoga studio locations with one of her closest friends Stevan Falk, to help spread and expand the healing benefits of yoga and movement to the San Antonio community. She serves as a mentoring teacher and studio owner around the globe and currently teaches Bikram Yoga, Power Yoga, Inferno Hot Pilates and Fusion classes at The Union. She holds a 500-RYT through Yoga Alliance and is on faculty with Beryl Bender Birch through the Hard & Soft Institute. 

Lisa holds certifications in the area of Leadership Development through the PAX Mastery Program with Alison Armstrong and is a Lightyear Leadership coach with Susanne Conrad, Lisa co-founded The U Institute in 2019, which is a Leadership and Education learning company dedicated to creating life-long learners and help provide physical and mental tools for people to live their best lives. 

Lisa loves spending time with her husband Kyle, daughter Olivia and dogs Abby, Charlie & JoJo. She enjoys nothing more than being with her friends and family and making the most out of life. Besides teaching yoga Lisa loves to dance, read, travel, eat and challenge herself constantly to try and learn new things.


Evelyn Delgado

Evelyn Delgado

Executive Director, Healthy Futures of Texas

Evelyn Delgado is Executive Director at Healthy Futures of Texas whose mission is to support development of teens, young adults, and strong families to positively impact the future of our community by reducing teen and unplanned pregnancy in San Antonio and Texas.  Evelyn serves as Chair of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, a Healthy Futures statewide initiative that advocates for access to preventive healthcare. Evelyn has extensive experience as a senior public health executive at Texas Department of State Health Services, overseeing women’s and children’s health programs that annually served one million Texans, delivering $950 million in public health services.