Dr. Lapiz-Bluhm is an associate professor and the Director of International Programs at the School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She is a registered nurse from the Philippines with graduate degrees in neuroscience and clinical investigation. She completed her Bachelor of Science Honours degree at the University of Queensland, Australia; her Bachelor of Science in Nursing as cum laude at Cebu State University (now Cebu Normal University), Philippines; pre-doctoral experience at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Nottingham, England, and her Masters in Clinical Investigation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas. She completed a postdoctoral scientific appointment at H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark.
Having lived in Third and First World countries, she observed how stress and trauma transcend social boundaries and affect health. This experience has influenced her program of science, which focuses on the health of diverse, vulnerable populations. She had a track record funded research on preclinical models for neuropsychiatric disorders, investigating the neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms associated with the effects of stress. She has numerous manuscripts and presented at local, regional, national, and international venues. She co-authored the book the Neurobiology of Stress-Related Disorders. At the School of Nursing, she has been engaged in translational clinical research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as education-based and community service-based diversity research. Funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has provided her with opportunities to build capacity and engage Veterans and Filipino-Americans at a national level on patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR), advocacy, and full partners of research. Her current PCORI-funded study reaches out to Filipinos in five states: California, Hawaii, Texas, New Jersey, and New York. She and student leaders have funded research to assess and address South Texas’s Vietnamese and South Asian communities’ needs. Her main goal is to improve patient outcomes among vulnerable populations, especially Veterans, Filipino Americans, and other Asian Americans. She has received numerous awards including, but not limited to, South Texas Nurse Imagemaker Award, Ruth Stewart Award for Nurse Imagemaking, PNAA Research Excellence Award, PNAA Nurse Educator Award, Presidential Teaching Award, 25 Best Nurses of South Texas, and was inducted as Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
She is very active with the community. She currently serves on the Board of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Central Texas Region, Asian American Alliance of San Antonio, and Philippine Nurses Association of San Antonio. She is co-Chair of the Research Committee of the Philippine Nurses Association of America. She is a member of the House of Delegates for the Texas Nurses Association. She was an Honorary Medical Commander of the 149th Fighter Wing of the Texas Air National Guard. She regularly conducts diabetes and cardiovascular health screening among Vietnamese, Filipino, and other minority populations in South Texas.
She is married to Dr. James Michael Bluhm of Footprints Podiatric Medicine & Surgery, PLLC. They have two kids, Dane and Mikaela.