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Beatriz Tapia, M.D., M.P.H.

Faculty Associate

South Texas Environmental Education and Research (STEER) Program, Regional Academic Health Center

Harlingen, Texas 78550


Beatriz Tapia, MD, MPH, is Faculty Associate of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio at the Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen, Texas (UTHSCSA). She teaches and co-coordinates an environmental medicine elective for the South Texas Environmental Education and Research Program (STEER). Dr. Tapia is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She attended Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexico, where she received her MD, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University (JHSPH), in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received her Master’s in Public Health. In addition to her MPH, Dr. Tapia trained in occupational health and health disparities at the JHSPH.


In the summer of 2005, Dr. Tapia was among the first group of interns from the Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to participate in the STEER Program. In March 2006, she joined STEER as Faculty Associate in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UTHSCSA. STEER is a four-week elective for medical students, residents and other healthcare professionals in training (MD/MPH, nursing, physician assistants, dental, etc.). Its mission is to unite medicine, public health and environmental health. Dr. Tapia serves as a mentor to HSHPS/CDC interns and fellows on a variety of environmental and public health topics since the summer of 2006. Dr. Tapia is a strong advocate for the medically underserved; she continuously provides environmental and public health education to promotoras (lay healthcare workers), public health nurses and community centers.


She is active in numerous border health organizations, and was recently appointed to be a member of the epidemiology and environmental education subcommittee of the United States – México Border Health Commission. She also served on the expert advisory group for Border 2012, which was charged with updating a training module of the Physician’s Guide to Pesticide Poisoning for border physicians.


Leadership Development Opportunities

The Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute fellowship has been truly beneficial in the advancement of my personal and professional career. The Institute has a well-structured program that helps one identify strengths and weaknesses based on personality traits, managerial skills and leadership traits to modify and build on, giving you all of the necessary tools to be a successful leader. This is further developed by the Individual Development Plan (IDP) and encouraged by the IDP coach. This information has proven to be invaluable; it would have been very difficult and probably much later in my professional career to see this as a critical need to be a truly well-rounded leader. EPHLI has given me a step up in advancing my future personal and professional goals.


I am truly grateful to have been part of EPHLI cohort VI. I have learned much, not only for the institution itself but from my colleagues. They have provided me with an array of resources, critical feedback and insight from different perspectives that have positively influenced my vision of the future of environmental public health. Last but not least, an infinite thank-you to my mentor and teammate who have accompanied me on this amazing and transformative journey of professional growth.