BIPAI's Nancy Calles named one of the "Top 25 Women of Houston"

November 1, 2010

Nancy Calles
From left, keynote speaker and stage and screen star Sheryl Lee Ralph, U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Nancy Calles and Dr. Mark Kline at 2010 Women of Houston awards ceremony.

Nancy Calles has made a significant impact on caring for the world's poorest and least fortunate children. A founding member of the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, she has played a tremendous role in the creation and phenomenal growth of the program which has provided HIV/AIDS care and treatment to almost 90,000 HIV-infected children in Africa.

A local organization has taken note of her remarkable accomplishments. On Oct. 15, Calles was presented as one of the Female Success Factor's 2010 Top 25 Women of Houston. Sponsored by Rolling Out magazine and Comerica Bank, awardees are recognized for their hard work, discipline, diligence and having broken barriers in their respective fields.

Career start

Calles began her nursing career in the pediatric unit at Ben Taub General Hospital. Shortly after, she gravitated to the newly established pediatric HIV/AIDS program at Texas Children's Hospital (now named BIPAI). She has been an integral part of Texas Children's Hospital's internationally recognized pediatric HIV/AIDS program for 20 years and has been a leader in BIPAI since its founding in 1996.

"Nancy Calles has been integral to absolutely everything BIPAI has accomplished," said BIPAI founder Dr. Mark Kline, chair of pediatrics at BCM and physician-in-chief at Texas Children's. "Her impact on the care and treatment of HIV-infected children globally has been huge."

BIPAI role

Through BIPAI's Children's Clinical Centers of Excellence in Africa, the program has provided care and treatment to HIV-infected children with limited resources. As BIPAI's senior vice president, Calles plays a key role in selecting new sites for children's centers, working with architects and builders in the design and outfitting of facilities and organizing the hiring and training of local staff.

Born in Houston to Mexican immigrant parents, Calles graduated from Houston's High School for Health Professions in 1984. She earned her undergraduate degree in nursing and two master's degrees (nursing and public health) from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also an AIDS Certified Registered Nurse.

"It's an honor to receive this award," said Calles. "I never thought of myself to be in the same league as the other women who received this award."

See a complete list of awardees.