UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Lunsford, Tisha N

School of Medicine
(210) 567-4880

Tisha Lunsford, MD, FACG, AGAF is a clinical gastroenterologist who specializes in education, community outreach and outcomes of culinary nutrition fluency among physicians and patients in an effort to highlight the importance of using nutrition and behaviors to treat and prevent chronic diseases. She completed her medical training at UT Southwestern in Dallas and is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology Fellowship Program Director at UT Health San Antonio and a clinician privileged to be caring for our country?s heroes at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial VA Hospital STVHCS. She has been identified as an accomplished provider, educator, mentor and creator of medical school curriculum. She specializes in diagnosing and treating functional gastrointestinal issues, which has allowed her to work collaboratively with faculty in other specialties both in the interdisciplinary care of patients with pelvic floor dysfunction and functional disorders as well as in educational endeavors related to these areas. With her special expertise in gastrointestinal motility and nutrition, refined during seven years as a faculty physician at the Mayo Clinic, she was blessed to return to Texas, the state of her training, to share those skills and to pursue her love of medical education and care of those at risk for health care access disparity. She is known for taking time to listen to patients, colleagues and learners alike and for maintaining committed and trustworthy relationships marked by transparency and open communication. These gifts have allowed her to achieve major accomplishments in the Gastroenterology Fellowship program since assuming the role of Program Director. These advances are exemplified in part by a growth of the fellowship by almost 100%, by increased trainee satisfaction with feedback and delineation of expectations; by mentorship and implementation of quality and process improvement projects by multiple GI trainees, residents and medical students; and by a 50% increase in fellow research productivity with collaborative efforts from the VA and UT. Her passion for nutrition and its application to GI medicine grew out of a realization that the many prescriptions she writes are woefully inadequate to treat the growing issues related to gut distress including inflammation and dysfunction as well as obesity and associated malnutrition. She is currently working diligently within the confines of conventional medicine to educate herself on the biochemical mechanisms and evidence-based influences of macro- and micronutrients on the gut and health with the increasing realization that food is indeed medicine and literacy in nutrition is essential to preservation of value in health care. Through these efforts and in partnership with culinary medicine leaders at Tulane University School of Medicine and H-E-B corporate chefs, she developed the Introduction to Clinical Nutrition course for medical students as well as outreach efforts for patients, the community and elementary school aged children adapted to the unique and flavorful South Texas demographic. Her goal is to exponentially grow Culinary Medicine through interprofessional partnerships with the UT Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics and Divisions within the Department of Medicine as well as to make an impact in her community and beyond with the Community Health Club model with directed outreach to targeted civilian and veteran populations throughout South Texas. Her ultimate goal is to train learners how to integrate nutritional consultation, stress-reducing techniques such as biofeedback and counseling and exercise physiology into the modern medical approach. She has a fervent belief that diagnosis and treatment are best delivered in an integrative setting, where attention to diet, proper nutrition and lifestyle choices and access are taken into consideration, along with the specific gastrointestinal disease process. The gut microbiome is a key player in wellness and it is developed prenatally and most certainly is influenced by perinatal, childhood diet, adult diet, exposures and significant life stressors. Dr. Lunsford hopes to explore, with colleagues in endocrinology and cardiology, how to translate these exciting new endeavors into promising patient and community outcomes as she continues to care for her patients and train up the next generation of caregivers.

9/2015 - Present Associate Professor / Clinical and Associate Professor of Medicine UT Health Science Center, Medicine, San Antonio, TX
5/2010 - Present Staff Physician University Health System, Medicine, San Antonio, TX
5/2010 - Present Staff Physician STVHCS, Audie L Murphy VA Hospital, Medicine, San Antonio, TX