Faculty & Staff
Carmel Bitondo Dyer, MD, AGSF, FACP
Dr. Carmel Bitondo Dyer is professor and director of the geriatric medicine division at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and the Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Chair in Gerontology. She is a 1988 graduate of Baylor College of Medicine, where she completed her Internal Medicine residency and Geriatrics Fellowship. She founded the geriatrics program at the Harris County Hospital District and 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.
Andrew Achenbaum, PhD
Dr. Achenbaum received his undergraduate degree in American Studies from Amherst College and his doctorate in History from the University of Michigan. He is the author of five books; the most recent one published in November, 2005 is entitled Older Americans: Vital Communities—Toward a Bold Vision of Societal Aging. A new book, Aesop’s Guide to Aging Boomers is currently under review. In addition, he is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles and the co-author of nine books.
Nasiya Ahmed, MD
Dr. Nasiya Ahmed is a 2002 graduate of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Arizona. She currently sees patients at the UT Physicians clinic as well as in the inpatient setting at Memorial Hermann Hospital ACE Unit. She also coordinates the geriatric didactics and clinical rotations for the residents.
Faith Atai, MD
Dr. Faith Atai completed her formal medical education at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in 1991. She completed a medical internship at St. Luke’s Hospital Anua in Uyo, Nigeria. Dr. Atai completed her Family Medicine residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 2008. After residency, Dr. Atai completed a Geriatric Fellowship at UT Health Science Center at Houston in 2009. Dr. Atai is board certified in Family Medicine. She currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine. She sees patients at the UT Physicians Center for Healthy Aging in Bellaire and UT Physicians at Sienna Village where she serves as the Assistant Medical Director.
Maureen Beck, RN, MSN, GNP-BC
Maureen Beck graduated from Duke University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After working in critical care for many years, she completed her Master of Science in Nursing in 1992 at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing. She is Board Certified as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. She is the Co-Medical Director of the Center for Healthy Aging and provides care to patients through outpatient clinics, nursing home and the House Call Program.
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 a 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 research interests are heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and frailty in the acute care setting.
Jason Burnett, PhD
Jason Burnett is the Associate Director of Clinical and Behavioral Research for the Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Institute (TEAM). Dr. Burnett earned his PhD from the University of Texas School of Public Health-Houston (Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences). His research focuses on the development of valid and reliable assessments of elder self-neglect and identifying intervention programs aimed at reducing the occurrence of elder self-neglect and its negative health outcomes.
Tom Cole, PhD
Thomas R. Cole is the McGovern Chair in Medical Humanities and Director of the McGovern Center for Health, Humanities, and the Human Spirit at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He is also a Visiting Professor in Religious Studies at Rice University. Dr. Cole graduated from Yale University (B.A. Philosophy, 1971), Wesleyan University (M.A., History, 1975) and the University of Rochester, (Ph.D., History, 1981).
Jeanette Ferrer, DO
Dr. Jeanette Ferrer completed her medical school education at Western University of Health Sciences. She completed her Family Medicine training at Texas A&M Health Science Center, and she completed a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2011. Currently, Dr. Ferrer coordinates Palliative Care services and participates in the Geriatrics Services at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, LBJ Hospital. Her interests include providing optimal symptom management and supportive care to patients and families.
Susan Gorman, MSN
Susan Gorman completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1986 from The University of Texas School of Nursing in Austin and her Master of Science in Nursing in 1995 from The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing. She has been certified and practicing as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner since January 1996. Her role with The University of Texas Medical School Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Division is management of patients through outpatient clinics and our home visit program at Memorial Hermann Hospital and LBJ.
Caroline Ha, MD
Dr. Caroline Ha is a graduate of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. She completed her Family Medicine training at the Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Sugar Land, Texas. She went on to complete the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2012. Currently, Dr. Ha’s focus is in providing quality palliative care to patients and families at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center.
John M. Halphen, MD
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.
Maranda McCray-Dixon, MSN
Maranda McCray-Dixon is a graduate from the University of New York in Buffalo, where she completed her Masters of Science in Nursing. She is a Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and currently sees patients in the inpatient ACE Unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center.
Kathleen Pace Murphy, PhD, MS, GNP-BC, CNS
Kathleen Pace Murphy, PhD is the Suzie Conway Professor of Nursing at The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston. She graduated from D'Youville College (BSN, 1980) and Texas Woman's University (MS, 1988 and PhD, 1993). In 1996 she graduated from The University of Texas School of Nursing as a Geriatric/Adult Nurse Practitioner. She sees patients at the UT Physicians Center for Healthy Aging in Bellaire.
Linh 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.
Sharon Ostwald, PhD, RNC
Dr. Sharon Ostwald 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. She taught at the Unversity of Minnesota School of Public Health and School of Nursing for 20 years. Dr. Ostwald came to Texas in 1994 as a Professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing. She jointed the Center on Aging as the Associate Director of Aging Research and was name the Theodore J. and Mary E. Trumble Professor of Aging Research. In 1996, she became the Director for the COA for 8 years. Currently, she is co-PI with Dr. Carmel Dyer of the Houston Geriatric Education Center, focusing on the education of professionals who work with vulnerable elderly, particularly those experiencing neglect, abuse or exploitation.
Shreda Pairé, MS, RN, FNP-C, ACHPN
Shreda Pairé is a nurse practitioner who completed her Associate of Science from Houston Community in College in 1995, her Bachelor of Science from Texas Women’s University in 2000 and her Master of Science from Texas Women’s University in 2003. She is dually certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and as an Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse. She is one of eight nurses in her family, including both of her parents and shares her love of end of life care with her father, who is a hospice nurse. She develops and coordinates the Bridge Program at LBJ Hospital.
Michelle Peck, MPH, ANP-BC, GNP-BC
Michelle Peck is a 2006 graduate from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where she completed a Masters in Public Health and Masters of Science in Nursing. She is Board Certified as an Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. She coordinates the Geriatric Consultation Service and the Geriatric Resource Nursing training at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. She also follows patients at the UT Physicians Center for Healthy Aging in Bellaire. Her focus is on improving the health care of older adults.
Tammy Rivera, MSN, FNP-C
Tammy Browder-Rivera graduated from Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) in 2011 with Masters of Science in Nursing. She is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She obtained her BSN from PVAMU in 2004 and her BS in Biology in 1995 from Texas Southern University. She has an exciting new position with UT Health in the Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Division. She will manage patients through the outpatient clinics at the Silver Seniors Settegast and Baytown Health Centers, geriatric and palliative home visit program and LBJ geriatric and palliative team. Tammy has passion for the health and well being of the geriatric community.
Jenny Wei, DO
Dr. Jenny Wei received her medical degree at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. She completed her residency training at the Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Houston, TX. She went on to complete her fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care at UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2012. She provides palliative care to patients and their families at Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.
Kavon L. Young, MD
Dr. Young is a graduate of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. She completed her residency in Family Medicine and her fellowship in Geriatric Medicine also from the University of Texas Health Science Center. She is pleased to see patients at the Silver Seniors Clinics at Settegast Health Center and Baytown Health Center. She is also the Geriatric and Palliative Medicine Rotation Director as a part of the curriculum for students in the Internal Medicine Clerkship.
Joan Hernandez-McClain, MPH
Administrative Services Officer III
Elizabeth Huynh, MHA