Community Advisory Board

Click on name for Biography.
Luz Neira is the Director of Nutrition, Health & Wellness Division of the San Antonio Food Bank. She has over 40 years of experience in Public Health, Academics and Research. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. She then pursued her Masters of Science in Food and Nutrition from Iowa State University and subsequently received her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maryland. Luz is an adjunct Nutrition Instructor at the University of Incarnate World as well as a Mentor for the Dietetic Internship Program at the University. Luz is also a Member of the San Antonio Food Policy Council, San Antonio Mayor Fitness Council, and San Antonio Diabetes Collaborative Advisory Board. She currently has her certification as a Public Health Nutritionist and is a Member of the American Dietetic Association.
Kathy Shields is the Chronic Disease Prevention Manager for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (SAMHD). Kathy has over 18 years of experience in public health with familiarity at both the local and state level. She received her Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Kathy has extensive experience planning, implementing and evaluating health education and promotion programs in the areas of healthy eating, active living, and chronic disease self-management. Kathy has been successful in securing numerous public health grants from the federal government as well as private foundations, and has expertise in coalition building and partnership development. Kathy currently oversees San Antonio’s “Por Vida” Healthy Menu Initiative, the “Viva Health” Nutrition Education Campaign, the San Antonio Diabetes Collaborative, the Community Diabetes Prevention and Control project, the Healthy Neighborhoods Program, and the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council.
Veronica Haywood has six years of Registered Nurse experience in the public, private, military, and nonprofit sectors and has earned a Master’s degree in Leadership in Nursing Systems from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. She also is currently completing her studies for Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She has experience with various sexual, reproductive and maternal health programs as well as worked with at risk youth in communities. Veronica enjoys working to improve access to reproductive health services for youth while championing the rights of women to access contraceptive services through advocacy. She recently co-founded a nonprofit, Latched Support, which works to increase awareness and support to all San Antonio breastfeeding mothers but with African American women as a priority. Her personal focuses are on eliminating stigma from health care providers towards women of color especially among pregnant women and women of reproductive age, and championing women empowerment, rights and equality.
Robert Salcido is a social justice advocate and activist. He has extensive experience working with issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, LGBTQ+ education, and nondiscrimination. His ability to engage people and organizations across the full range of the LGBTQ spectrum, knowledge of local to state power structures, its grassroots structure, and the many unique qualities of the LGBTQ community along with his knowledge of the political and policy-making processes prepares him to undertake action-oriented, policy-relevant research activities and has made him sought after for workshop facilitation, training and speaking engagements. Professionally, Salcido is the statewide field coordinator for Equality Texas, the largest statewide LGBTQ+ rights advocacy group in Texas. He oversees field operations to include educational initiatives aimed at creating a greater understanding of discrimination issues. He also serves as the volunteer executive director and board chair for The Center - Pride Center San Antonio. Committed to equity and inclusion of underrepresented individuals he is active in various capacities in the community. Locally, Robert serves on the Mayor’s Housing Task Force and City of San Antonio's Metro Health's Office of Health Equity LGBTQIA Health Disparity and Advocacy group. Currently, he is an Interdisciplinary Research Leaders fellow led by the University of Minnesota and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.