Dr. Perez is a three-time University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) School of Nursing alumni and UTMB Hall of Fame inductee. She is an adult and geriatric nurse practitioner that subspecializes in palliative and hospice care. Dr. Perez is an avid advocate for the nursing profession and high-risk patient populations. She is recognized as a pioneer to advance Supportive Palliative Care for vulnerable Texans. Her scholarly project, completed during her doctoral program, “Defining Supportive Palliative Care” was selected for an award at the 2019 Center to Advance Palliative Care national conference and helped the national organization in creating a toolbox for other states in policy communication and coordination for best legislative practices.
In May of 2021 Dr. Perez won her first elected position for Live Oak City Council Place three by 60% of the vote. Her work and advocacy has also changed the landscape by creating a new service line in Senate Bill (SB) 916 for the 86th legislative session that defined Supportive Palliative Care from Hospice Care in Texas statute. SB 916 also created a statewide study funded through creative resource allocation which is set to be published fall of 2022 by the Texas Health and Human Services (HHSC). In the 87th legislative session her enduring advocacy aided in the passage of House Bill (HB) 4048, allowed for all health care providers (MD/DO/APRN/PA) to sign death certificates for their patients at end of life regardless of their supportive palliative care or hospice service line enrollment. She has been a lead contributor for the legislative report recommendations, bill drafting and state deliverables for the Texas Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council since the inception from the 84th legislative session.
Dr. Perez is highly active in professional organizations. She is currently the elected Chair for the Texas Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council and is the first nurse practitioner to chair for an Advisory Council in Texas. She is the Vice President for Texas Nurse Practitioners which is the largest state nurse practitioner organization the United States. She serves in various board and leadership positions for policy and practice councils, committees, ambassadors and task forces for Nurses Care Hub, Texas Nurses Association, Texas Nurse Practitioners and the Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association.
Dr. Perez, has been featured in publications, and media, including news and radio specifically related to supportive palliative and hospice care, advanced practice nursing and policy. She was selected in 2019 as 1 of 2 from Texas to present at the National Academy of State Health Policy for their palliative care summit. She is a local, state, national and international educator. The World Health Organization has published one of her interviews on their website under COVID-19 resources in the fall of 2020. She was named the national Hospice and Palliative Care advanced certified nurse practitioner of the year in 2020. Dr. Perez was a winner in the 2020 national essay-writing contest held by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) inviting firsthand accounts and reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Perez’s poem entitled “Today I Held a Hand” was recognized not only nationally by the AANP but also by the Texas Nurses Association and Texas Nurse Practitioners. In addition, she published a bilingual guidebook with an accompanied master class video on Goals, Wishes and Advanced Care Planning through Nurses Care Hub for health care clinicians, patients and families. In 2021, she was recognized as a Top Nurse in the San Antonio Express-News Salute to Nurses and her peers and colleagues selected her for the San Antonio Scene Magazine Best Nurses edition and the Top Doctor for Palliative Care.
Dr. Perez looks forward to continuing her public service as a servant leader to advance the nursing profession and improve the health and quality of life of all Texans.