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Elias Villarreal, Jr., MPAS, PA-C
UTPA Physician Assistant Department
Clinical Assistant Professor
Mr. Villarreal has been a practicing physician assistant for 16 years. Mr. Villarreal received a B.A. in Biology & Zoology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1994. He completed a graduate certificate in Physician Associate Studies from Yale University School of Medicine in 1997. He completed the Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2010 from The University of Texas – Pan American. Mr. Villarreal is currently EdD – ABD in the Doctoral Educational Leadership Department at The University of Texas – Pan American. Currently, he has a total of 81 semester credit hours of doctoral coursework in educational leadership.
Mr. Villarreal has 14 years of experience in health care academia. He began teaching part-time in 1998 for the University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston Physician Assistant Studies Program. In 1999, he transitioned to a full-time position with the UTPA program where he has held various roles within the department. He has held the positions of academic coordinator, clinical coordinator and is currently serving as admissions coordinator since 2006. Because of his background in educational theory, leadership and curriculum, Mr. Villarreal was instrumental in designing the curriculum for the UTPA PA program’s transition from Bachelor’s to Master’s status in 2008 - 2010.
Mr. Villarreal’s leadership experience is extensive. He served the Board of Directors of the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants for 10 years completing his service in 2011. He served the roles of committee chair, secretary, director-at-large, president-elect, president and immediate past president. He also served and continues to serve on the Board of Directors for the Texas Physician Assistant Foundation where he has held the positions of member-at-large, charity auction chair, secretary and president. In addition, Mr. Villarreal served on the Board of Directors for the Valley AIDS Council for one year in 2011 – 2012. On a national level, Mr. Villarreal is currently serving as Awards Committee Chair for the Physician Assistant Education Association.
Mr. Villarreal’s interests are in educational technology, curriculum design and learning theory.
Frank Ambriz PA-C, MPAS
Chair and Program Director UTPA Physician Assistant Department
Clinical Assistant Professor
Mr. Ambriz has been a practicing physician assistant for over 34 years. Mr. Ambriz received a B.S in Biology from Pan American University in 1977. He completed his B.S in Health Care Sciences and Physician Assistant Studies from UTMB-Galveston in 1979. He then went on to complete his Masters from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Family and Urgent Care. In 2003, he completed the first year of law school from Concord Law School in Los Angeles, California. In 2005, He completed 40 post graduate doctoral hours in basic medical sciences.
He served as a clinical assistant professor with the University Of Texas Medical Branch School of Allied health for 10 years, teaching physician assistants, medical students, and residents.
During this time, he has managed several clinics and computer companies. He currently serves as the Chair of the Physician Assistant Department at the University of Texas Pan American.
He was recruited by UTMB to launch the PA Program at UTPA. In 1994, he was appointed by Governor Ann Richards to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiner Physician Assistant Board instrumental in developing the rules and procedures for PA practice. During his six-year term on the board, he chaired of the Licensing committee for physician assistants. He continues to serve the Texas Medical Board as a member of the Ad-Hoc Stakeholder’s Advisory committee.
As Chair and Program Director of the UTPA – PA Program Mr. Ambriz has received state recognition as an Educator of the year and national recognition as one of six members of the Board Member, American Academy of Physician Assistant, Educational Council. The Education Council was instrumental in developing the PA competencies.
Currently, Mr. Ambriz is the Co-Director for the Transition in Medical Education (TIME) initiative. Working with two medical school (UTHSC- Houston and UTMB-Galveston), TIME is piloting a new curriculum base on competencies ( by the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
His current interest is in new technology, EMR implementation and cyber security. Mr. Ambriz has over 30 years of experience with HIT and medical Billing.