Verna Chen

Physical Therapist

Verna Chen, PT, DPT

Dr. Verna Chen graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science. She went on to earn her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in Austin, Texas.

Prior to Serenity Medical Centers, Dr. Chen practiced in both the hospital setting as well as in outpatient clinics. This gave her the unique experience of treating patients through all their stages of recovery, from post-op day one through completion of physical therapy. Dr. Chen holds a holistic approach to patient care and healing, treating the whole unique person in relation to their injury in order to optimize recovery. She utilizes a multi-modal approach to healthcare that includes manual therapy and functional training to help active people get back to moving without pain.

Dr. Chen is Certified in Dry Needling (CDN). She continues to pursue higher education and is currently actively working to complete her Orthopedic Clinical Specialist board certification. When she’s not in the clinic, Dr. Chen enjoys staying active on the many hiking trails of Austin with her partner and their foster pups, and has a passion for the outdoors, reading, and bubble tea.

Elijah Eby

Physical Therapist

Elijah Eby, PT DPT

Dr. Elijah Eby graduated from Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH with an Associates of Applied Science as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2011. He returned to school and graduated from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in Houston, Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Human Fitness and Performance in 2017 and completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) in 2020 at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Prior to Serenity Medical Centers, Dr. Eby practiced in multiple settings including 5 years in outpatient orthopedics and sports medicine, where he was a staff therapist prior to opening his own clinic in Webster, Texas. He was the Director of Rehabilitation for two years in skilled nursing and long-term care settings and worked in home health while working his way through undergraduate and graduate school. Dr. Eby believes in treating the patient, and not the diagnosis, and that each person is unique in their presentation. He believes that patient education and patient perspective is essential to developing a plan of care. He utilizes a multi-modal approach to healthcare that includes manual therapy, progressive therapeutic exercise and functional training to promote return to prior levels of function and an active lifestyle.

Dr. Eby is constantly pursuing new avenues to further his education and is currently working to complete his Orthopedic Clinical Specialist board certification. When he’s not in the clinic, Dr. Eby enjoys playing golf, bowling, billiards, flat track motorcycle racing, hunting, fishing, camping and floating the river on the weekends. 

Rey Hernandez

Physical Therapy Assistant

Rey Hernandez, PTA

Rey graduated with his Associate of Applied Science, Physical Therapist Assistant degree from Concorde Career College – San Antonio. He comes from an extensive career in the healthcare field, working in an administrative capacity with a focus on marketing and business development. Rey has always had the goal of working directly with patients to positively affect their lives and considers himself very fortunate to have found his career calling.

With his background in healthcare, Rey is at ease working with all age groups and populations. Rey seeks out learning new techniques to treat patients and getting them back to living their best life. Outside of the clinic, Rey enjoys being outdoors, gardening, and spending time with his spouse, family, and friends. He also enjoys tending to his koi pond, playing with his dog, and exploring all San Antonio has to offer.

Amy Hurst

Director of Clinic Operations

Amy Hurst

Amy has over 20 years of healthcare experience and a wealth of knowledge in clinical skin analysis and treatment, as well as business development and marketing. Amy started her career as a Certified Medical Assistant in 1998 assisting renowned surgeons. She moved into medical office management thereafter. Her passion for medical aesthetics and the empowerment of women led her to obtain her laser certifications in laser hair removal and laser facial resurfacing. Amy is a seventh-generation Texan and a certified advanced scuba diver. She spends as much time as possible with her granddaughter, Ava, and pups, Mason and Frankie.

Maria Gutierrez Cash

Director of Patient Services

Maria Gutierrez Cash

Maria has over 20 years of healthcare clinical and administrative experience, and is a wealth of knowledge in insurance and work comp case management. Maria started her career as a Certified Dental Assistant, then as a TX Licensed Massage Therapist. She moved into clinical case management and medical office management in 2016. Maria describes her life purpose as helping people and she has a passion for being alongside our patients during their injury recovery journey. Maria spends as much time as possible with her family as she can, enjoying traveling, reading, and loom-knitting while listening to Texas country music.

Dr. Alina Sholar

CEO, Practice Owner

Dr. Alina Sholar

Dr. Alina Sholar is blazing a trail in female-led health care businesses, owning and leading Serenity Medical Centers, Skin Science Soul, and Sage Practice Solutions. At Serenity Medical Centers, Sholar’s leadership style is centered on personal and professional development to give her team the resources to expand their careers. Through these businesses, and in honoring her own professional upbringing in biomedical sciences, medicine, surgery and business, she mentors young women in STEM and medicine and passes on her business acumen to women around the globe to build their own startups.

Dr. Sholar is the first physician in her family, but she knew even in her elementary years what she may become. At age 7, she predicted she would be a doctor- either for people or animals. After receiving a full-tuition merit scholarship from the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation in Orange, she received her BS degree in Biomedical Sciences with Magna Cum Laude honors from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University in December 1994.

She started medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1995. During her medical education, it became apparent that a surgical specialty was her calling. She did surgical research in an esteemed scientific laboratory at University of Texas with her culminating in publication in a prominent scientific journal, Perfusion. She was there awarded the prestigious Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Award and Achievement Citation for Women in Medicine, along with other meritorious honors and accolades like the Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship Award in medicine. She graduated from University of Texas Medical Branch in 1999 then went on to her surgical residencies.

She completed a full five-year residency, including Chief Resident, in General Surgery at the University of Louisville in 2004, where she was awarded Best Resident Instructor and Mentor by the students of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Dr. Sholar published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology during her General Surgery residency.

She continued her study of surgery by completing an additional residency in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Tennessee, serving as Chief Resident in 2006. Her plastic surgery training included not only aesthetic surgery, but also dermatology, non-invasive and laser aesthetic treatments, reconstruction related to cranio-facial surgery, microsurgery, hand surgery, burn surgery, and breast surgery. She received multiple awards and publications in research areas such as the efficacy of treatment at Tertiary Care Wound Centers and the advanced reconstructive techniques required after major facial trauma and infections in journals including the prestigious Annals of Plastic Surgery. During this time, she also had the privilege of spending time on mission trips in the Republic of Panama where she repaired cleft lip and palates and assisted in complex reconstructive craniofacial procedures for children. She was certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 2008.

She has additionally received training and certification from the World Health Organization in Operational Planning regarding preparedness and response for COVID-19, as well as from Johns Hopkins for Epidemics & Outbreaks.

Serenity Medical Centers has a global service initiative as well as locally in the Austin and San Antonio communities.