Diana's interest for nutrition bloomed upon learning the power that food and nutrition can have in preventing disease. Her passion for helping others adopt a healthier lifestyle in an easy and delicious way has led her to become our Community Health Education Specialist. One of our own, Diana is a graduate of the UTHealth Dietetic Internship Program. After completing her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from The University of Texas at Austin, she continued on to complete her Masters in Public Health and dietetic internship. As a registered dietitian, Diana started her career in corporate wellness in Lake Buena Vista, FL. She later returned to serve her Houston community as an outpatient clinical dietitian where she took part in the first Food Prescription program to be established in the state of Texas. Diana has worked primarily with patients with Type 2 Diabetes and has experience in individual counseling, nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, and cooking classes. Diana is bilingual in both English and Spanish.
Deanna M. Hoelscher, is the John P. McGovern Professor in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, founding Director of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, and Regional Dean at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in Austin. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist licensed in Texas and a Certified Nutrition Specialist, her research interests focus on teaching families how to engage in healthier behaviors to avoid the development of chronic disease. Her work includes research in child and adolescent nutrition, school-and community-based health promotion programs, dietary assessment methodology, evaluation of child obesity policies, linkages between primary care and public health, and dissemination of school health programs. As a faculty member in public health, her mission is to engage in practice-based teaching, research and service, to better mentor the next generation of public health professionals. Dr. Hoelscher received her B.S. in food science and technology from Texas A&M University and her M.A. in nutrition and Ph.D. in biological sciences from The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Sharma is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston, TX. Dr. Sharma is a behavioral epidemiologist with specific interest in food insecurity, nutritional epidemiology and diet-related chronic diseases in vulnerable, underserved populations and has a robust, federally-funded research program in this area. Dr. Sharma has led several different studies to develop and evaluate the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program, including the NIH-funded CATCH Healthy Smiles for oral health promotion among elementary age children. Dr. Sharma is committed to serving the community; she is co-founder and principal investigator in the evaluation of Brighter Bites, a nationwide non-profit dedicated to providing fresh produce and nutrition education to low-income children and their families. She serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Houston Friends of Women’s and Gender Studies Program. On behalf of UTHealth, Dr. Sharma co-leads the Greater Houston Coalition on Social Determinants of Health, a Harris-county wide effort focused on mitigating food insecurity and other social determinants of health among its residents. She has a PhD in Epidemiology with a minor in biostatistics, and is a registered dietitian in the state of Texas.
Dolores Woods is a Nutritionist Supervisor for the Nourish Program at the Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health (SPH). After completing her undergraduate education at UC Riverside, Ms. Woods moved to New York City to attend culinary school and received a Grand Diplôme in Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute. She has worked in the restaurant industry and taught cooking classes for several years. Her interest in food, cooking and sustainability led her to complete a Master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University. Later, she attended the Coordinated Dietetics Program at California State University, Los Angeles to become a registered dietitian. Dolores has worked in the field culinary arts, nutrition education and university food service. She is bilingual in both English and Spanish. Dolores is enthusiastic about teaching others about nutrition and working toward healthy lifestyles.