Faculty Information

 

Margaret Lehman Blake, PhD
Dept. Communication Sciences & Disorders
University of Houston
 
Cristina Bocirnea, M. D.Cristina Bocirnea, MD

Dr. Cristina Bocirnea received her medical degree from the University of Rochester, Rochester NY, where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Bocirnea earned an MS degree in clinical research from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, OH. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Bocirnea sees patients in the  Acute Care for Elders Unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital. Her current research includes the detection of functional decline in elderly patients hospitalized for medical illnesses, and limited trans-thoracic echocardiogram use by non-cardiologists for fluid management in elderly, non-critically ill, hospitalized patients.


Image of Carmen Castro, BA, MS
Carmen Castro, BA, MS
 
UTHealth School of Nursing,
Harris County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Carmen Castro is the director of the Harris County Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.  She has extensive expertise in advocating for the rights of long-term care residents. Prior to this position, she served as a staff ombudsman with Harris County and as a policy liaison at the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in Texas. While at the state office, she reviewed proposed legislation for its impact on long-term care residents and the Ombudsman Program. At both the state and local levels, she has developed curricula to train future long-term care ombudsman. She received her BA in Psychology and Spanish from Texas A&M University, and her MS in Health Education & Promotion at The University of Texas Medical Branch.


Sally Davis, MSN, RN
Sally Davis, MSN, RN

UTHealth School of Nursing

Sally Davis is a Nurse Educator for the UTHealth School of Nursing’s Center on Aging. She received her BSN from DePauw University and her MSN from the University of Tennessee. She was a Research Nurse in the UTHealth Center on Aging prior to becoming a Nurse Educator. In her role as Nurse Educator, she provides educational opportunities for the public and family caregivers to enhance their knowledge of aging self-care and care giving.



Carolyn DaSilva, PT, DSc, NCSn
    
Texas Woman’s University,
School of Physical Therapy

Dr. DaSilva received her BA in biology and psychology from Rice University, MS in physical therapy from Texas Woman’s University, and DSc in physical therapy from University of Alabama at Birmingham. After almost 15 years of practicing physical therapy and serving as a clinical instructor, she joined the faculty of Texas Woman’s University in 1997 and now holds the academic rank of Associate Professor. She received her certification in the treatment of adult hemiplegia from the Neurodevelopmental Treatment Association in 1987 and became an APTA-certified Neurologic Clinical Specialist (NCS) in 2001. Dr. DaSilva has contributed her physical therapy expertise to several grants, on topics including interventions for stroke survivors and spousal caregivers and improving ambulation post-stroke with robotic training; she is a consultant to the current Houston Geriatric Education Center. She authored or co-authored several publications on physical therapy topics and educational guidelines for stroke survivors and also authored a monograph on postpolio syndrome for the APTA Section on Geriatrics Home Study Course Topics in Geriatrics. Dr. DaSilva has presented on topics related to stroke, orthotics, robotic assisted treadmill training, caregiver burden, post-polio, and elder abuse/neglect at professional meetings both regionally and nationally, including APTA annual conferences and combined sections meetings, Gerontological Society of America Scientific Meeting, and International Stroke Conference.


Carmel Dyer
Carmel B. Dyer, MD  
UTHealth Medical School

Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD, Executive Director of the Consortium on Aging and the Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Chair in Gerontology, is Professor and Executive Vice-Chairman of Internal Medicine and Director of the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine at the UTHealth Medical School at Houston. She is a 1988 graduate of Baylor College of Medicine, where she completed her Internal Medicine residency and Geriatrics Fellowship. She founded the geriatrics programs at UTHealth School of Medicine in 2007 and at the Harris County Hospital District and also founded the Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Institute. Her research and publications have been in the area of elder mistreatment. She was a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and has addressed the U.S. Senate. She has received national and local recognition for her teaching abilities and her dedication to the health care of older persons. She was recently appointed as Chief of Staff at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, part of the Harris Health System.

Vaunette Fay, PhD, RN
Vaunette Fay, PhD, RN
Co-Investigator
UTHealth School of Nursing

Dr. Vaunette Fay received her PhD in nursing theory development and research from Texas Woman's University in 1992. She received her Master of Science with a major in nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from Texas Woman's University in Houston in 1974. She worked as a FNP for Harris County Hospital District- Sunnyside clinic and for Cardiology Associates prior to joining the faculty of University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing in 1981. She is currently an Associate Professor, and since 1990 has served as track director for the Gerontological Nurse Practitioner track. In 1993, she became head of the Division of Gerontology at the UTHSC-Houston School of Nursing and in 1997 was appointed as Associate Director for Education at the UTHSC-H Center on Aging. She is a certified family nurse practitioner and a gerontological nurse practitioner. Dr. Fay teaches gerontological nursing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has had faculty practice positions as a GNP with Harris County Hospital District Settegast Clinic and is currently working with an Alzheimer's Day Care Center. Dr. Fay has served on national review panels and on expert panel on geriatric nursing education. She is currently the Project Officer for the UTHSC-Houston portion of the Texas Consortium of Geriatric Education Centers grant and the John A. Hartford Foundation grant for developing new electronic media for disseminating gerontological nursing content.


David V. Flores, PhD, LMSW, MPH, CPH
David V. Flores, PhD, LMSW, MPH, CPH

UTHealth Medical School, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine 

Dr. Flores is an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine. He is also Associate Director of Clinical Administration for the Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Institute.  Dr. Flores received his PhD in Social Work from the University of Houston, a Master of Social Work from the University of Houston and a MPH in Health Promotions and Behaviors of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He also received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Houston. His research interests include aging over the life-course, geriatric substance abuse and disparities, elder ethnic minority health disparities with a concentration in older Hispanics, cancer and substance abuse.


John Halphen, MD, JD
John Halphen, MD, JD
UTHealth Medical School, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine

Dr. John Halphen received his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at St. Joseph Hospital in Houston. He completed a Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He is ABMS certified in Family Medicine, Geriatrics, Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He is a Certified Wound Specialist-Physician (AAWM). He also has a JD degree from the University of Houston. Dr. Halphen provides Geriatric services, Palliative services, as well as medical wound services at LBJ Hospital. His interests include the education of learners in geriatrics, elder mistreatment, capacity issues, end-of-life issues, palliative medicine, and wound care.



Gayle Hersch, PhD, OTR
     
Texas Woman’s University,
School of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Hersch received her BS in Occupational Therapy, MS in Allied Health Education, and PhD in Educational Psychology and Gerontology at Indiana University. In 1994 she joined the faculty of Texas Woman’s University (TWU) School of Occupational Therapy and is now a Professor. She was co-investigator on two TWU Institute for Women’s Health grants, “Decreasing Depression in Community Elder Women: A Feasibility Study” (2005) and “Cultural Intervention in Long-Term Care Settings” (2004-05); PI on the TWU Research Enhancement Program’s “Activity Based Intervention with the Alzheimer’s Early Stage Caregiver Dyad: A Pilot Study” (2001-02), and was co-PI and OT consultant on the NINR grant to UTHealth’s Center on Aging “Intervention for Stroke Survivors and Spousal Caregivers” (2001-2006). Dr. Hersch is actively engaged with the Alzheimer’s Association, Houston Chapter. She participated in the American Society on Aging CARE-PRO Project sponsored by the Administration on Aging to develop professional programming via Internet among nursing, social work, and OT; her role was on the Advisory Panel, “Meeting the Needs of Family Caregivers.”


Vineeth John, MD
Vineeth John, MD

UTHealth Medical School

Dr. John is Associate Professor of psychiatry at the UTHealth Medical School and director of the Adult Psychiatry Residency Program. He completed his medical training at the Christian Medical College in India and his residency in psychiatry at the Tufts University School of Medicine and the New England Medical Center. He is a geriatric psychiatrist, and his special interest areas are bipolar disorder, depression, psychosis, and metabolic syndrome.


Dr. Kathleen Pace Murphy
Kathleen Pace Murphy, PhD, GNP

UTHealth School of Nursing and Medical School

Kathleen Pace Murphy, PhD is the Suzie Conway Professor of Nursing at the UTHealth School of Nursing in Houston. She received her BSN from D'Youville College and her MS and PhD from Texas Woman's University. In 1996, she graduated from The UTHealth School of Nursing as a Geriatric/Adult Nurse Practitioner.

Linh Nguyen, MDLinh Nguyen, MD

Dr. Linh Nguyen is a 2006 graduate from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  She completed her Internal Medicine residency at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY.  At M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, she completed the Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship, then served as Chief/Research fellow before joining the UTHealth Medical School Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine.

Nancy Ordonez, PharmD, BCPS
Assistant Dean for Experiential Programs
University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Dr. Nancy Ordonez is Assistant Dean of Experiential Programs and Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Houston.  Dr. Ordonez is a consultant to the Houston Geriatric Education Center starting this year. She has been the recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award and Excellence in Leadership Award from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy.

Sharon Ostwald
Sharon K. Ostwald, PhD, R
   
UTHealth School of Nursing

Sharon Ostwald, PhD, RN, FGSA, Deputy Director of the Consortium on Aging, is Professor at the UTHealth School of Nursing at Houston and the Isla Carroll Turner Chair in Gerontological Nursing. Prior to that, she held the Theodore J. and Mary E. Trumble Professorship in Aging Research. She is an adjunct professor in the UTHealth School of Public Health and School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wheaton College and her Master of Science in Public Health and her PhD in Adult Education from the University of Minnesota. Prior to moving to Texas, Dr. Ostwald taught for 20 years at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and School of Nursing. She was certified by the ANA as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in 1976 and as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner in 1993. From 1996-2004, she served as the Director of the UTHealth School of Nursing’s Center on Aging. Dr. Ostwald has received numerous awards for outstanding research, teaching and community service, has presented and consulted nationally and internationally, and has over 50 publications.


Sabrina Pickens, Ph. D.(c) MSN, GNP, ANP
Sabrina Pickens, PhD(c), MSN, GNP, ANP

UTHealth School of Nursing

 

Sabrina Pickens is the Clinical Coordinator for the Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Institute (TEAM). She received her BSN from Incarnate Word College, her Adult and Gerontology MSN from the UTHealth School of Nursing, and she is currently working on her PhD at UTHealth. Her recent research, publications, and work experience have focused on elder mistreatment, in particular elder self-neglect. She is a frequent speaker on topics related to elder abuse, self-neglect and financial exploitation.


Nahid Rianon, MD, DrPH
Nahid Rianon, MD, DrPH
UTHealth Medical School, Department of Family and Community Medicine

Dr. Rianon is an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the UTHealth Medical School. She received her MD at the Sir Salimullah Medical College in Bangladesh and completed her residency at UTHealth in Family Medicine. She also completed a one year fellowship  in geriatric epidemiology at the National Institute on Aging of the NIH and a clinical geriatrics fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Her research interests include age-related bone loss and osteoporosis; fracture prevention; falls; and, functional status and mobility.


June Sadowsky, DDS, MPH
June Sadowsky, DDS, MPH

UTHealth School of Dentistry

Dr. Sadowsky is an associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterials at the UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston. She received her BS in Zoology at Southwest Texas State University, an MPH in Epidemiology at The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston, and a DDS at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). She also completed a fellowship in dental geriatrics at UTHSCSA. Dr. Sadowsky is a fellow of the American Society of Geriatric Dentistry and a diplomate of the Special Care Dentistry Association. She is currently serving as President of the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry. Dr. Sadowsky was the recipient of the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2008.

Paul Schulz, MD
Paul Schulz, MD

UTHealth Medical School

Dr. Schulz is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the UTHealth Medical School. He received his BA in Medical Sciences/Psychology and his MD from Boston University. He has more than 25 years of practice as a neurologist. His clinical research interests and expertise are in the areas of dementia, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD and other neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases

Gazala Siddiqui, MDGazala Siddiqui, MD

Dr. Gazala Siddiqui is Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at UT Houston Medical School. After completing her residency she completed a fellowship in urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery at UCLA. Her clinical and research interests are in urinary incontinence, pelvic floor disorders, and pelvic organ prolapsed.


Donna Warren-Morris
, RDH, MEd
Co-Investigator
UTHealth School of Dentistry

Donna Warren-Morris, RDH, MEd, is a professor in the Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene at the UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston. She received her Certificate in Dental Hygiene, a BS in Dental Auxiliary Teacher Education, and a MEd in Adult and Higher Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The author of more than 25 articles, Morris co-created a video for caregivers titled "Elder Loving Care" with June M. Sadowsky, DDS, MPH, FASGD, DABSCD. The pair present continuing education courses on oral care for stroke patients, elder abuse prevention, and geriatric oral care delivery in alternative settings. Morris was the co-recipient (with Dr. Sadowsky) of the Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2008.