Advisory Council

Presiding Officers

David Lakey
UT System

Lewis Foxhall
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Members

Jordana Barton
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio

Karen Batory
Texas Medical Association

Nora Belcher
Texas e-Health Alliance

Ann Bishop
Employees Retirement System of Texas

Eric Boerwinkle
UTHealth

Katrina Daniel
Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Nancy Dickey
Texas A&M University

Kirk Calhoun
UTHealth Northeast

Lynn Crismon
University of Texas at Austin

Epifanio Elizando
US Public Health Service (Ret.)

Sonja Gaines
Helath and Human Services Commission

Rebecca Garcia
CPRIT

Kay Ghahremani
Texas Association of Community-based Health Plans

 

John Hellerstedt
Texas Department of State Health Services

Denise Koo
Centers for Disease Control (Ret.)

Elena Marks
Episcopal Health Foundation

Octavio N. Martinez, Jr.
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Billy Philips
Texas Tech Health Sciences Center

Mitzi Ressman
Texas Hospital Association

 

Eduardo Sanchez
American Heart Association

Alan Stevens
Texas A&M College of Medicine

Dennis Thombs
UNT Health Science Center

Jaime Wesolowski
Methodist Healthcare System

Stephen Williams
Houston Department of Health and Human Services

Cecile Young
Health and Human Services Commission


Jordana Barton
Senior Community Development Advisor
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio

Jordana Barton is Senior Advisor in Community Development for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio Branch. She supports the Federal Reserve System’s economic growth objectives by promoting community and economic development and fair and impartial access to credit in low- and moderate-income communities. Jordana is lead author of the recently released report, “Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas-Mexico Border” (2015). Works in progress for 2016 include “Digital Equity and Opportunity: A Framework for Meeting CRA Obligations” and “Broadband Access and Telemedicine on the Texas-Mexico Border”. She holds an MPA from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to working with the Federal Reserve, Jordana served as Vice President for Community Development Banking, Capital One Bank. In this role, Jordana built community partnerships and managed investments to promote economic revitalization and access to financial services in low- and moderate-income communities.


Karen Batory
Vice President, Division of Public Health and Medical Education
Texas Medical Association

Karen is currently Vice President of the Division of Population Health and Medical Education at the Texas Medical Association. She has worked for TMA since 1989 and has conducted extensive policy research and program development for physicians on a vast number of timely subjects including patient safety, immunizations, obesity, the uninsured, cancer control and bioterrorism. 

Since 2011, she has been the lead staff for the Texas Public Health Coalition which represents more than 30 health organizations dedicated to promotion and protection of a healthy and safe environment for all Texans.  Prior to working for the Texas Medical Association, she worked for the Texas Association of Community Health Centers (TACHC) as Director of Research. Before working for TACHC, she was employed as a policy analyst for the Legislative Task Force on Indigent Health Care.

Batory holds a Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin and a BA in political science from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa.  


Nora Belcher
Executive Director
Texas e-Health Alliance

Nora Belcher is the Executive Director of the Texas e-Health Alliance, a non-profit advocacy group that she started in 2009 to give health information technology stakeholders a voice in public policy. The Texas e-Health Alliance serves as the state's leading advocate, from local communities to the national level, for the use of information technology to improve the health care system for patients. Prior to starting the Alliance, Ms. Belcher worked in the private sector as a consultant advising health information technology companies on how to do business with government. She also served in Governor Perry's office for five years as deputy director in the Governor’s Office of Budget, Planning and Policy, where she was responsible for managing the policy and budget issues for the Texas health and human services system. Ms. Belcher holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin.


Ann Bishop
Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) - Retired

During Bishop’s 11- year tenure as executive director of the Employees Retirement System, she oversaw the management and growth of a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio, disbursement of more than $7B annually in retirement and insurance benefits for more than 500,000 state and higher education employees, retirees and their families. Before heading the ERS, Bishop operated an independent business consulting service and served as deputy comptroller of public accounts. She also served as the first executive director of the state Department of Information Resources. After earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Bishop received her law degree from Texas Tech University.


Eric Boerwinkle
Dean of UTHealth School of Public Health
MD Anderson Center

 Eric Boerwinkle is dean and M. David Low Chair of Public Health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. Boerwinkle joined the UTHealth faculty in 1986 and served as chair of the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Health at UTHealth School of Public Health from 2003-2015. He has also directed the Human Genetics Center at the School of Public Health and the Brown Foundation Institute for Molecular Medicine (IMM) for the Prevention of Human Diseases, which are a part of UTHealth. He holds the Kozmetsky Family Chair in Human Genetics at the School of Public Health as well.

Author of more than 800 scientific papers, Boerwinkle has led groundbreaking research on the connection between genes and health. He and his colleagues completed the world’s first genome-wide analyses for a variety of cardiovascular disease risk factors, including hypertension and diabetes.


Kirk Calhoun
President
UT Health Northeast

Dr. Kirk Calhoun has been president of UT Health Northeast since November 2002. He is a board member of the Association of American Medical Colleges and was the past chair of the National Association of Public Hospitals. 

From 2000 to 2002 Dr. Calhoun was at Parkland as the Senior Vice President and Medical Director and on the faculty of U. T. Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs. Prior to the Parkland tenure, Dr. Calhoun spent over nine years at UT Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB).

Dr. Calhoun, a native of Chicago, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and an M.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He served an internship and residency in internal medicine at Northwestern University and Medical Center in Evanston, Illinois, as well as a fellowship in clinical nephrology, hypertension, and metabolism at the University of Chicago.


Lynn Crismon
Dean of the College of Pharmacy
University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Crismon is Dean, James T. Doluisio Regents Chair and Behrens Centennial Professor at The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy. He also teaches clinical psychopharmacology for the psychiatry residency program and the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship for the Dell Medical School and the Seton Mind Institute.

Dr. Crismon received his BS degree in Pharmacy from The University of Oklahoma and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from a joint program of The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

His research, scholarship, and practice have focused on the development and evaluation of strategies to improve the pharmacotherapy, pharmacoeconomics, and health outcomes of adults and children with severe mental disorders. Dr. Crismon served as Co-Director of the Texas Medication Algorithm Project and as Director of the Children’s Medication Algorithm Project

Dr. Crismon is a past chair of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Council of Deans, and past member of the AACP Board of Directors.


Katrina Daniel
Chief Health Care Officer
Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Katrina Daniel is the Chief Health Care Officer with the Texas Teacher Retirement System. She began her career in healthcare as a registered nurse in Houston at Ben Taub General Hospital, one of the nation’s largest and busiest. While completing her Master of Public Health Degree at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Daniel came to Austin to work as a legislative aide for State Representative Garnet F. Coleman. In Subsequent years she attained a significant deal of public healthcare experience in a variety of legislative, planning and public policy development positions with organizations such as the Texas Department of Health, the Sunset Advisory Commission, and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

Ms. Daniel graduated from Texas Woman’s University School of Nursing with a Baccalaureate in Science and has completed coursework for a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health.


Nancy W. Dickey
President Emeritus & Professor of Medicine
Texas A&M Health Science Center

After nearly 12 years of service as president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) and vice chancellor for health affairs for The Texas A&M University System, Dr. Dickey returned to the College of Medicine where she serves a number of roles both academic and administrative. She serves as executive director of the Rural and Community Health Institute working with physicians and hospitals across the state of Texas to facilitate best practices in patient safety, enhanced quality of care, and physician excellence and demonstrating the importance of translation of sound policy and evidence based medicine across the spectrum of practice sites and care delivery.  Since July 2017, she has been the Department Head of the Department of Primary Care Medicine.

Other roles at A&M include service as interim dean of the TAMHSC-College of Medicine and founding director of the TAMU Family Medicine Residency. Dickey was the first woman elected president of the American Medical Association. She is the recipient of numerous awards: Institute of Medicine (2007), Texas’s Women’s Hall of Fame (2010), and six honorary doctorate degrees.  
 


Epifanio Elizando
Regional Health Administrator, US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Region 6

RADM Elizondo was selected by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin as the Chief Professional Officer for the Health Services Officer category effective August 10, 2010. He began his USPHS career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Since his transfer from the U.S. Air Force, he has served in a variety of positions including a PA clinician, Assistant Health Services Administrator, Chief Physician Assistant (PA), Regional Minority Health Consultant, Deputy Regional Health Administrator (DRHA), and currently as the Regional Health Administrator (RHA) for HHS/OASH Region VI.

Prior to being commissioned in the Corps, RADM Elizondo served as an enlisted Hospital Corpsmen in the U.S. Navy, as a Warrant Officer and commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and Kansas National Guard, and as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force.

RADM Elizondo holds bachelor degrees from the University of Washington and Wichita State University, master degrees from Wichita State University and the University of Nebraska, and a doctorate (Ph.D.) from Kansas State University.


Lewis Foxhall
THIN Presiding Officer
Vice President for Health Policy
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Foxhall is a practicing physician, professor, and lecturer on cancer prevention, survivorship, and other cancer-related issues. In addition to his professional duties, Dr. Foxhall is a Member of the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society High Plains Division, serving on a variety of committees, including as chair of the Primary Care Advisory Group. He is also on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Dr. Foxhall sits on several editorial boards, including co-chair of the editorial board for Cancer Survivorship Management Textbook, UT MD Anderson Cancer Series.

He has received numerous awards, including the Texas Academy of Family Physicians Advocacy Award from the Texas Academy of Family Physicians.

He received a bachelor’s degree in engineering science with highest honors from the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, and his Doctor of Medicine in Family Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. He did his residency in family medicine at Memorial Medical Center, Corpus Christi, Texas.


Rebecca Garcia
Chief Prevention and Communications Officer
CPRIT

Dr. Rebecca Garcia heads up CPRIT’s prevention and communications efforts. Her responsibilities include directing the prevention program and fostering collaboration among the cancer and disease prevention community to maximize CPRIT's impact. In addition, she is responsible for overseeing CPRIT’s strategic communications efforts.

Prior to joining CPRIT in August of 2009, she served as Vice President, Continuing Professional Development, for Physicians' Education Resource (PER), a medical education and communications company. Previously, Dr. Garcia was Vice President of Health Sciences for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure where she was responsible for the development and implementation of scientific and outreach strategies.

Dr. Garcia attended the University of Texas at Austin and received a bachelor's degree in medical technology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas. She obtained a master's degree in instructional design from the department of Biomedical Communications at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas and a doctorate in adult education from the Department of Higher Education at the University of North Texas.


Kay Ghahremani
CEO
Texas Association of Community-based Health Plans

Kay Ghahremani is the President and Chief Executive Officer for the Texas Association of Community Health Plans (TACHP). TACHP represents 11 Texas health plans affiliated with health care systems across the state, serving over two million Texans.  Ms. Ghahremani  formerly directed the Texas Medicaid and CHIP programs for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), heading up operations for the state, providing strategic direction and managing Texas’ relationship with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Ms. Ghahremani has 25 years of experience in health care administration and management. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.


John W. Hellerstedt
Commissioner
Texas Department of State Health Services

John Hellerstedt, M.D., serves as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, leading one of the state’s largest agencies with a staff of 12,000 and an annual budget of $3.3 billion. As Commissioner, Dr. Hellerstedt oversees programs such as disease prevention and disaster preparedness, community health services, environmental and consumer safety, state mental health facilities, and regulatory programs. Dr. Hellerstedt became Commissioner on January 4, 2016.

Prior to becoming Commissioner, Dr. Hellerstedt served as Chief Medical Officer at Seton Family of Hospitals.  He also served as the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and as the Medical Director of Texas Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Dr. Hellerstedt earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, graduating with high honors from Allegheny College, and received his medical degree from Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  Dr. Hellerstedt completed his residency in general pediatrics at the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center, and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.


Denise Koo
Community Health and Health Systems Consultant

Denise Koo, MD, MPH, recently retired from her position as Senior Advisor to the CDC Associate Director for Policy. In the Office of the Associate Director for Policy, she led the development of the recently released CDC Community Health Improvement Navigator (www.cdc.gov/CHInav), which provides an important unifying framework and tools to support hospitals, health systems, public health, and other community organizations and stakeholders that are interested in improving the health of their communities. Dr. Koo was graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Biochemical Sciences. After combining medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, with an MPH in epidemiology at University of California, Berkeley, she completed a primary care internal medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Koo is a graduate of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and Preventive Medicine Residency. Prior CDC positions have included running the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System, serving as Director of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Informatics, and serving as Director of CDC’s Division of Scientific Education and Professional Development. Dr. Koo holds appointments as Adjunct Professor of Global Health and of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, and Consulting Professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center.


David Lakey
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer
The University of Texas System

David Lakey, M.D., an expert in disease prevention, community health services and infectious disease outbreaks, serves a dual role as the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at The University of Texas System and as Senior Advisor to the President and Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center Tyler.

Dr. Lakey served as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from January 2007 to February 2015. Prior to being appointed commissioner, Dr. Lakey served as an associate professor of medicine, chief of the Division of Clinical Infectious Disease and medical director of the Center for Pulmonary and Infectious Disease Control at the University of Texas Health Center in Tyler. He had been a faculty member there since 1998.

Dr. Lakey served as president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials in 2011-2012 and currently serves on the board of alumni. Additionally, Dr. Lakey serves on the boards at March of Dimes and Trust for America’s Health.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, and received his medical degree with honors from Indiana University School of Medicine.  Dr. Lakey was a resident in internal medicine and pediatric medicine and completed a fellowship in adult and pediatric infectious disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.


Elena Marks
President and Chief Executive Officer
Episcopal Health Foundation

Elena M. Marks is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Episcopal Health Foundation and a nonresident Fellow in Health Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Ms. Marks previously served as the Director of Health and Environmental Policy for the City of Houston. Prior to joining the Mayor’s staff, Ms. Marks practiced trial and appellate law with major law firms, started and directed a successful legal placement firm, and developed strategic, long-range, and operating plans for service lines and system centers at a major health system. 

Ms. Marks holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University, a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health. 


Octavio N. Martinez, Jr.
Executive Director
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

Dr. Martinez is the executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. He is also a licensed psychiatrist, a clinical professor in the The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, and an adjunct professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry.

He currently serves on the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities. He is the chair of the board of the National Hispanic Council on Aging, chair of the board for the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, and committee chair for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission – Behavioral Health Integration Advisory Committee.

He has a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, a doctor’s degree in medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration with a concentration in finance from The University of Texas at Austin.


Billy Philips
Executive Vice-President for Rural and Community Health
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center


Dr. Philips is the Executive Vice President and Director for the F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.  He is Professor of Family and Community Medicine.  In addition to his other duties, he is responsible for the direction, implantation, and overall programming of telemedicine for the multi-campus Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He is also the principal investigator for the TexLa Telehealth Resource Center, one of the 15 nationally chartered resource centers for advancement and innovation in Telehealth. Dr. Philips has a long and distinguished career supporting preventive medicine and public health initiatives, which includes a substantial commitment to innovation in rural health. 


Mitzi Ressman
President and CEO, THA Foundation
Senior Vice-President, THA
Texas Hospital Association

Mitzi Ressmann, RN, FACHE is the chief operating officer for the Texas Hospital Association and president ofthe Texas Hospital Association Foundation, where she is responsible for strategic and operational leadership. Her other work responsibilities include oversight of the THA Hospital Physician Executives Council, the Texas Center for Quality & Patient Safety, and the Texas Healthcare Trustees.

Ressmann has served the Texas Hospital Association for over 13 years in a variety of leadership capacities and has more than 30 years of experience in health care and quality improvement, policy analysis, program evaluation, clinical and organizational development and management in military, private and public community-based health care delivery organizations, managed care organizations and a state level healthcare industry association.

Ressmann has a master's degree in health administration, a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She served in the U.S. Air Force as a registered nurse from 1985 to 1991, achieving the rank of captain.


Eduardo Sanchez
Chief Medical Officer for Prevention and Chief of the Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation
American Heart Association

Eduardo Sanchez serves as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Prevention and Chief of the Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation for the American Heart Association (AHA).  Prior to joining AHA, he served as Vice President and CMO for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX). Dr. Sanchez led the Institute for Health Policy at the University of Texas (UT) School of Public Health as director from 2006 to 2008. He was Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from 2004 to 2006, and of the Texas Department of Health from 2001 to 2004. Dr. Sanchez obtained his M.D. from the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1988, an M.P.H. from the UT Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health in 1993, and an M.S. in biomedical engineering from Duke University. He holds a B.S. in biomedical engineering and a B.A. in chemistry from Boston University. Dr. Sanchez is board certified in family medicine.


Alan Stevens
Vernon-Rampy Centennial Chair of Gerontology; Professor, Texas A&M College of Medicine
Baylor Scott & White Health, Texas A&M College of Medicine

Alan Stevens holds the Vernon D. Holleman-Lewis M. Rampy Centennial Chair in Gerontology at Scott & White Memorial Hospital, and is a Professor of Medicine at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. He is the director of the Aging and Care Research Program at Scott & White.

He received a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of New Orleans in 1993. From 1993 until October 2005, he served as a faculty member in the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dr. Stevens leads a research team in the investigation of clinical and organizational issues related to care delivery for older adults and their caregivers. Specific attention is given to the creation and evaluation of clinical interventions to address both the behavioral and affective symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and the consequences associated with family care giving.

He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a member of the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Directors Association.


Jaime Wesolowski
President and CEO
Methodist Healthcare System

Jaime A. Wesolowski was appointed President and CEO of the Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio in 2007. Before joining the Methodist Healthcare System, Mr. Wesolowski served as the CEO of Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, CA from 2003 to 2007. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill, FL for four years. He also spent ten years as the CEO of Meadowcrest Hospital in Gretna, LA. Mr. Wesolowski's professional affiliations include memberships in the American Hospital Association and the Texas Hospital Association. He currently serves on the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was the Co-Chair, with his wife, of the 2010 American Cancer Society's Cattle Baron's Gala. Mr. Wesolowski earned his Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, and he has a B.S. from Indiana University.


Stephen Williams
Director
Houston Department of Health and Human Services

Stephen Williams joined the City of Houston as the director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) in June of 2004. He received his Masters in Public Administration from Baruch College, City University New York, a Masters of Education from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama and his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Social Work from Huntingdon College also in Montgomery, Alabama.

Stephen Williams serves on several boards of community, professional and civil rights organizations. He is the most recent past president of the Texas Association of Local Health Officials.


Cecile Young
Chief of Staff
Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Cecile Erwin Young has almost thirty years of state government experience in Texas. Ms. Young began her state career as a lecture and research engineer at Texas Tech University. She served as the conference committee clerk for HB 7 which created the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in 1991 and came to work at HHSC to implement the legislation. From 2007 to 2011, she served as Associate Commissioner for Health Coordination and Consumer Services at HHSC and returned as Chief of Staff in January 2015. On June 1, 2016, Ms. Young was promoted to serve as the new Chief Deputy Executive Commissioner. 

In her career in state government, Ms. Young has served four governors, an attorney general, and a state representative. She has performed budget and policy work since 1987.