PREMIEre Program

a healthcare professional asseses a little girl looking at pictures in a bookThe mission of the PREMIEre Program is to ensure infants at risk of developmental delays due to prematurity, catastrophic illness at birth, or environmental factors are evaluated for growth, neurological, and developmental abnormalities in an intense follow up program with developmental testing, appropriate interventions, and family education.


  • To have a specialized program for all South Texas babies born prematurely and weighing less than 3.5 lbs at birth available through referral by the primary care physicians.
  • To have a parent education program that begins before the infant is discharged home from the nursery. To enable the family to become knowledgeable about their baby’s developmental needs, help the infant to achieve maximum potential and to empower families with information to access healthcare.
  • To provide developmental age-appropriate testing and enhance development.
  • To conduct research and educational programs that will further the knowledge of premature infant development, how families access healthcare for their children, and health disparities in those areas.

a little boy in a orange shirt plays with blocks during a developmental skills assessmentThe program offers extensive developmental assessments in the areas of growth and nutrition, mental and motor development and speech and behavior up to three years of age. The clinic is staffed by a developmental psychologist, a full-time nurse coordinator, a nurse case manager and a medical director specialized in neonatology. Early intervention is planned as needed and the family is connected with appropriate services taking into account transportation and insurance. The assessments also serve as framework for teaching parents about infant development and their role in guiding the growth of their own baby. The program is open for referral of premature infants (birth weight < 3.5 pounds) throughout San Antonio and South Texas. It began in 1979 and serves about 800 patient visits a year with 70-80 new patients added every year.

A PREMIEre Reunion is organized every year in October for graduates of the program. Contact: 210-567-5235.

PREMIEre Program Physicians

Kathleen Matula-Linkhart, Ph.D.

matula K Clinical assistant professor PREMIEre programClinical Assistant Professor
PREMIEre Program
Phone: 210-567-5235

Ph.D., child development and family relations, University of Texas, Austin, 1990

Recent Publications:
Black, M.M. & Matula, K. (2000). Essentials of Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II Assessment. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Matula, K., Gyurke, J.S., & Aylward, G. (1997). Response to commentary: Bayley Scales II. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 18, 112-113.

Thompson, B., Wasserman, J. D., & Matula, K. (1996). The factor structure of the Behavior Rating Scale of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 56(3), 460-474.

Efficacy of parenting intervention, parent-child interaction and outcomes on child development, identify formation and mastery/achievement motivation.