Tanweer Kaleemullah, JD, LLM, MHA-MBA, is the Public Health Analyst – Health Systems Transformation for Harris County Public Health (HCPH). He works in the Office of Policy and Planning, and his primary roles are to create linkages and increase collaborations between the public health and healthcare sectors and to keep track of health-related regulations. Most of his work is focused on trying to encourage the health sector to incorporate more population health practices and address upstream issues/ social determinants of health. Tanweer has nearly two decades of experience in healthcare and public health. Prior to becoming an attorney, he worked in various management positions in several health organizations such as Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, Harris Health, and Gateway to Care.
Staci Lofton, JD, MPH, is a health equity and social justice strategist with over 15 years of experience leading community and organizational efforts to operationalize health equity and pursue racial justice. Staci has worked at every level of government and across various sectors to implement innovative, results driven policies and practices that aim to remedy inequities and dismantle structural discrimination.
At Harris County Public Health (HCPH), Staci builds organizational capacity to address health equity and guides the curation of equity strategies intended to transform the health and well-being of historically marginalized groups.
Prior to joining HCPH, Staci worked as a CDC Public Health Advisor and Health Scientist for eight years and later practiced law in New York City and Houston. Staci earned a Juris Doctorate from University of Houston Law Center, a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and is a proud alumna of Mount Holyoke College.
Robert Morrow, MD, MBA currently serves as part time faculty and Executive in Residence for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. Before joining the School of Public Health, he served as the market president of Houston and Southeast Texas at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX). He also led the company’s statewide efforts on media and public relations, executive communications, influence strategy and community affairs. His responsibilities included working with sales and account management, network, policy development and government relations. Prior to his role as President, Dr. Morrow served as the region’s Chief Medical Officer.
Before joining BCBSTX, Dr. Morrow served as the Director of Medical Quality for the Rural and Community Health Institute of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and now sits on their Board of Advisors. His previous career includes serving as the Chief Medical Officer for Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston and practicing privately in Family Medicine. Dr. Morrow is a graduate of the Memorial Hermann Southwest Family Practice training program in Houston and the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. He completed his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University and received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Tennessee.
As a champion for public health, he is on the Board of Directors for the Houston Division of the Southwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association, currently serving as President. In addition, Dr. Morrow served as Chairman of the Board of the Texas Medical Foundation, Health Quality Institute and recently as President of the Board of Directors of the Caring For Texas Foundation.
Active in the community, he serves on the Houston Health Connect Board, the Board of Affiliates for the Professional Science & Engineering Master’s Program at Rice University and the Boards of the Houston Health Museum and Faith in Practice. He was recently on the Board of the Greater Houston Partnership where he served on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Healthcare Advisory Committee.
He has been an active member of the Texas Medical Association (TMA) and the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) where his involvement includes serving in a number of leadership positions. For the TMA: Chair of the Council on Public Health as well as a member of the Councils on Legislation and Medical Education. Currently he serves on the Council on Health Care Quality. For HCMS: member of the Executive Board of the Medical Society and as President of the Houston Academy of Medicine. Dr. Morrow is a member of the TMA House of Delegates and completed 14 years as a delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA). He also served on the TMA-Practice Edge LLC Board of Directors.
Dr. Morrow is a native Houstonian and has been married to his wife, Beth, for over 33 years. Together they are blessed with two children and three grandchildren.
Dr. Shreela Sharma, PhD, RD, LD, is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston, TX. Dr. Sharma is a behavioral epidemiologist with specific interest in food insecurity, nutritional epidemiology and diet-related chronic diseases in vulnerable, underserved populations and has a robust, federally-funded research program in this area. Dr. Sharma has led several different studies to develop and evaluate the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) program, including CATCH Early Childhood proven to improve obesity prevention among at-risk preschool age children, and the NIH-funded CATCH Healthy Smiles for oral health promotion to prevent dental caries among elementary age children.
More recently, Dr. Sharma is engaged in several COVID-19 related projects including a Texas state-wide COVID-19 Symptom Tracking initiative, conducting rapid analysis of COVID-19 data for the Texas Medical Center, and the local health departments, developing resources such as www.texaspandemic.org, an interactive COVID-19 dashboard providing real-time assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, assessing the impact of COVID-19 and the related financial crisis on employment, food security, and other social needs among vulnerable populations in Texas, and providing recommendations for public health decision-making. As part of these efforts, Dr. Sharma is co-investigator for the NIH-funded RADx project to increased uptake of COVID-19 testing in high-risk Texas communities.
Dr. Sharma is committed to serving the community; she is co-founder and principal investigator in the evaluation of Brighter Bites, a nationwide non-profit dedicated to providing fresh produce and nutrition education to low-income children and their families. She serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Houston Friends of Women’s and Gender Studies Program
Heidi McPherson, MPH, has over 15 years professional experience in public health and community development, serving in local, national, and international roles. She is passionate about catalyzing collective capacity for improved population health outcomes. Since 2016, Heidi has served on the American Heart Association’s team working in Houston and across Texas. She collaborates with healthcare, public health, corporate, and community partners in building cultures of health. She co-leads both the Greater Houston Coalition on the Social Determinants of Health and the Texas Hypertension Control Movement. On a personal note, Heidi enjoys running, tango, birdwatching, reading, and exploring the world and the backyard with her family.
Emily Paul, MPH, is a Community Impact Director for the American Heart Association, working to support policy and system change for equitable health impact in the Greater Houston region. Her community health experience in Houston began as an elementary school nutrition educator for a local childhood obesity prevention non-profit. Prior to the AHA, she worked as a program manager with the YMCA of Greater Houston overseeing evidence-based health interventions and community health initiatives addressing chronic disease prevention and health maintenance.
Emily holds an MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, as well as a BA in Psychology from Smith College.
Nancy Correa, MPH, has dedicated her career to making systematic changes to improve the lives of vulnerable children. Nancy is currently the Practice Administrator for the Section of Public Health Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital. In addition to supporting clinical operations, Nancy utilizes a public health framework to strategically address gaps in practice and knowledge to mitigate and prevent childhood adversities and foster resilience in individuals, families, and communities. Nancy has over fifteen years of experience in public health conducting needs assessments, implementing evidence-based programs, leading evaluations, and facilitating collaboratives. Nancy’s areas of focus include: child maltreatment, children with incarcerated parents, intimate partner violence, postpartum depression, food insecurity, integrated behavioral health, early brain development, and expanding the role of pediatric practices to more comprehensively address the needs of children and families.
Ruth Rechis, PhD, serves on the Cancer Prevention and Control Platform at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to shape and stage new and emerging cancer prevention and early detection projects aimed at population level impact. Dr Rechis is the Director of Be Well Communities™ which aim to mobilize communities to promote wellness and stop cancer before it starts. Be Well Communities unites individuals, schools, workplaces, government agencies, health care providers, and policy-makers to carry out community-led solutions that will make positive, long-lasting change in people’s lives. Dr Rechis holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and has authored numerous publications and reports and spoken to scientific and lay audiences on topics such as community engagement, program evaluation, and cancer control. Prior to coming to MD Anderson, Dr. Rechis was the Vice President of Programs and Strategy for the LIVESTRONG Foundation. During her more than ten year tenure, Dr. Rechis worked on all mission-related initiatives of the Foundation including establishing and leading the Office of Evaluation and Research as well as building and enhancing high-value programs aimed at raising awareness, increasing knowledge, shaping attitudes and changing behaviors.
Melisa Portuondo Danho, MPH, RD, LD, is a Program Manager for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s School of Public Health. She has a diverse background that includes over a decade working in the legal field, a bachelor of science in Human Nutrition and Food Science and a bachelor of arts in Journalism from New Mexico State University. She earned her MPH at UT Health while completing her dietetic internship. Melisa is involved with community programs and research projects and enjoys getting opportunities to work with various communities. She is well versed in program development and implementation and has worked in the areas of child and maternal health, culinary nutrition and dental health. Her areas of interest include community health, nutrition and culinary education, food security, and stress management. When not working she enjoys writing, spending time with her family, cooking and shopping for interesting earrings.
Alicia Beth Johnston, MA, leads Humana’s population health strategy in Houston. Her responsibilities include managing relationships with business and community partners and helping build solutions to address clinical and social gaps in care.She has nearly ten years of experience at Humana. Prior to her current role, she supported business development and clinical operations, serving TRICARE East Region beneficiaries in their government business. She has also held client-facing roles at both Humana and American Specialty Health, where she collaborated with members across the United States and structured services to meet their healthcare needs. She began her career in sports medicine, assisting orthopedic physicians in private practice and hospital settings. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Psychology, where she spent a year studying cross-cultural transitions.Her husband, Tyler, develops distributed energy and infrastructure partnerships for Black & Veatch, an engineering, procurement, construction, and asset management firm based in Kansas City. Together they advise multiple early-stage businesses and hold equity in Shift.org, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company, and Airspace Experience Technologies. They also volunteer with Combined Arms, Travis Manion Foundation, and various other non-profits working throughout the country. In their spare time, you’ll find them enjoying life with each other and being active with family and friends.
Sean Haley, PhD, is an executive consultant and educational leader who focuses on organizational efficiency, equity and individual and community empowerment. As a strategist, thought partner, facilitator, developer, and executive coach, he has impacted outcomes in diverse communities, while working with hundreds of community leaders, stakeholders, and educators nationally. He is President of the Haley Responsive Education Corporation (HREC) which was founded in 2008. In this position Sean has served as a consultant on high-impact projects for the Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Center for Leadership in Education, Institute for Public School Initiatives, and National CARES Mentoring Movement.
He currently promotes individual and community empowerment through direct training services, partnership development, community engagement, strategy and advocacy in four particular areas of focus: Affordable Housing, Health/Healthcare, Safety/Criminal Justice, and Education. In the field of education, Sean has developed successful schools and tools that empower educators and students. His educational consulting work has taken him across 15 states and 1 U.S. Territory where he has provided school improvement and transformation support to leaders and teachers at levels Pre-Kindergarten through 12.
In addition to serving on the GHC-SDOH Steering Committee as Co-Chair of the Community Voice Workgroup, he is a member of the Texas Health Institute’s Statewide Steering Committee on Aligning Systems for Health in Texas. Sean serves as a Board Member of the Patient Care Intervention Center and is on the Board of Directors of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Houston Galveston. He grew up in Houston and is a graduate of Strake Jesuit College Preparatory. He earned a B.A. degree in Psychology from Morehouse College, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.
Veronica Reyes, BA, joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas in 2019 as the Community Outreach Specialist for the southeast Texas region. She oversees community investments, grants, and employee volunteerism. In addition, she provides PR/Media support and manages communications for the region.
She has nearly 15 years of experience in communications, marketing and community outreach. Having worked in the community, she knows firsthand the different barriers many face in accessing quality health care. As a result, she is very passionate about improving the quality of life and access to care in the community.
Prior to her current role, Veronica worked with local health care organizations such as United Healthcare, Texas Children’s Health Plan and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
In her free time, Veronica loves cheering on her beloved Houston Astros, traveling and enjoying the city’s culinary scene.
Mon-Ju Wu, PhD, has a bachelor of science from the National Taiwan University. He earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin – Madison specializing in medical image processing and the application of pattern recognition and machine learning in medical imaging. He currently works at the Louis A. Faillace, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In 2016, he co-founded Welnity with Dr. Benson Irungu with the goal to connect health and social service providers and address the social determinants of health and improve health equity as a collaborative effort. Together, they developed innovative technologies to improve capacity and efficiency in health and social services.
Nicole (Nikki) Browning, MA, brings more than 26 years of non-profit experience to her role as Director of Partner Services and Food for Change with the Houston Food Bank. Prior to joining the Houston Food Bank in April of 2019, Ms. Browning held various leadership positions within Houston’s nonprofit arena including: Community Investment Manager with United Way of Greater Houston, Executive Director of the Sickle Cell Association of the Texas Gulf Coast and President & CEO of the Lupus Foundation of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter. Notably, Ms. Browning served more than six years as Executive Director of Local Infant Formula for Emergencies, Houston, best known as L.I.F.E. Houston, which is the city’s only nonprofit food pantry for infants.
A native Houstonian, Ms. Browning holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Lamar University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. Ms. Browning is a results-oriented professional whose strengths include but are not limited to exceptional program development, management and evaluation. Ms. Browning has a proven track record of impacting organizational effectiveness through a focused approach on creating measurable outcomes and written policies and procedures. Ms. Browning is an expert in cultivating professional community partnerships.
Esperanza “Hope” Galvan, MS, RN, CVRN-BC, CDE, is Administrative Director of Clinical Integration in Population Health Transformation at Harris Health System, where she has served for over a decade in various leadership roles. In her current capacity, she successfully spearheaded the launch of the first cutting-edge, multi–sectoral food prescription initiative for food insecure and patients living with patients in the region.
As a board-certified cardiovascular nurse, Hope holds extensive clinical experience in inpatient and outpatient nursing. She serves as a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), Texas Diabetes Council Outcomes subcommittee, CDC and NIH National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) Hispanic/Latino Stakeholder Group, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
Hope, named twice in the Houston Chronicle’s Top 150 Nurses in Houston/Galveston, is further trained as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Her pervasive experiences in clinical practice, community education, and leadership inspire and enable her to be a powerful healthcare transformation trailblazer of the present and future.
Nadia Siddiqui, MPH, is Texas Health Institute’s inaugural Chief Health Equity Officer. Previously, she served as Director of Health Equity Programs leading a range of research, evaluation, and community programs to advance health equity at the national, state, and local levels. In her new role, as of September 2020, Nadia will work to embed health equity across the institute’s structure, process, and programs, while also working with cross-sector partners in Texas and across the nation to systemically and measurably advance health equity. Ms. Siddiqui holds a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics-Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. Her professional interests include health equity, racial and ethnic health disparities, community health, social determinants of health, cross-sector collaborations, and systems transformation.
Michael T. Walsh Jr., MAH, is Executive Director, Cancer Prevention & Control | Community & Social Impact at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He serves as senior leader with responsibility for creation, financing, implementation, and scale of novel community impact strategies with a focus on health equity. As leader of the Cancer Prevention & Control Platform, MD Anderson’s community and social impact incubator, Mr. Walsh leads the creation of novel place-based investments, risk-factor programs, health systems strengthening initiatives, and the concurrent design of partnership ecosystems in population health centered on health equity and high-impact public health practice. Mr. Walsh has leadership experience in public health, health systems, global health, and social impact spanning 20+ years and 45 countries with deep, in-country systems strengthening in 20 countries and 10 U.S. states.
Tim Schauer, MS, joined Cornerstone in 2011 as a co-lead of the firm’s flagship Texas office in Houston. Tim has more than 25 years of government relations experience working in Houston, Austin and Washington, DC. Tim has advocated for a broad range of policy issues including health care, health insurance, public health, tort reform, education, water financing, pensions, economic development and craft beer. In addition to his direct advocacy efforts, Tim specializes in public policy development with community organizations, as exemplified by his ongoing work with Healthy Living Matters – a Houston collaborative focused on solving childhood obesity since 2012. Tim is a recognized expert on the uninsured, Medicaid/CHIP funding and policy, he has delivered numerous presentations to health organizations and businesses alike.
In the 1990’s, Tim built extensive bipartisan experience as a Texas Senate staffer to former Lt. Governor Bob Bullock, Senators Judith Zaffirini, Bill Sims, and Chris Harris. He left the Texas Senate in 1998 to work on a special project for the Texas Hospital Association as the chief operating officer for the Texas Health Care Council, a statewide advocacy group dedicated to focusing public attention on the uninsured and the safety net health care delivery system.
In 2000, Tim moved his family to Houston to lead the advocacy efforts of the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, one of the largest non-profit health care systems in the country. In this capacity, Tim developed and managed the public policy agenda as well as guided the government relations efforts on local, state and national issues. Tim’s collaborative style and upbeat leadership skills were recognized when he chaired the Greater Houston Partnership’s Federal Relations Committee for three consecutive years in the mid-2000s.
While working at Memorial Hermann, Tim continued his education at the University of Houston at Victoria. In 2008, he moved from his advocacy role to a business development position, which afforded him the experiences of managing on the frontlines of the health care industry. While serving on the Memorial Hermann leadership team, he gained first-hand experience in disaster recovery after rebuilding from the damages from Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and Hurricane Ike in 2008.
As Tim transitioned from Memorial Hermann in 2010, he worked as a national health care consultant with the Ashcroft Group Consulting Services team based in Houston, focusing primarily on compliance activities in Fortune 200 medical device manufacturers.
Tim grew up in Littleton, CO, was an exchange student and soccer player in Hannover, Germany, and attended the University of Colorado in Boulder where he received a B.A. in Biology. He earned his Masters of Science in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston at Victoria School of Business. He is married, has two children in college, and enjoys playing hockey in the senior leagues in Sugar Land, TX.