Meet our Members of the Month
Nominate the next Member of the Month
If you know a family physician who should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you want to share your story, nominate the physician or yourself by sending a name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
February | Erica Swegler, MD | Austin
Austin FP has a strong committment to advocacy
Learn how advocacy has influenced her outlook on family medicine, why state-level influence through TAFPPAC is where it’s at, and how volunteering to serve as Physician of the Day kicked it all off.
January | Adrian Billings, MD | Alpine
Alpine family doc provides medical care for underserved rural and frontier medical communities
Learn what things led him to become a rural family physician and those things may or may not include a rabies scare, a phone book, and a family doc available on a Saturday afternoon.
December | Tricia Elliott, MD | Galveston
Galveston family doc becomes first black woman president of TAFP
Learn how Dr. Elliott went from a high school candy striper enthusiastic about the life sciences, to family medicine resident in the South Bronx, to the president of the Academy.
November | Linda Siy, MD | Fort Worth
Fort Worth FP chairs TAFPPAC Board of Trustees
Dr. Siy is passionate about advocacy on behalf of family docs and their patients. Read her interview to find out how TAFPPAC helps amplify your voice.
October | Amer Shakil, MD | Dallas
Dallas FP has a love of teaching and a passion to serve
Dr. Shakil says working with residents is among the best parts of his career. Read his interview to find out what he thinks makes a great family doctor.
September | Lisa Nash, DO | Fort Worth
Educator endeavors to recruit new family doctors from rural communities
Learn what Dr. Nash is doing to make sure that aspiring medical students from rural communities are not forgotten and how focusing on this demographic strengthens the #FMRevolution.
August | Shaun Garff, DO | Dallas
Community service and relationships with patients are key for this third-year resident
Resident Shaun Garff, DO, embraces the unique role family physicians play in the community, from fostering the reading program, Charlton Reads, at his current home clinic, to his vision of how he would like to contribute to his community in the future. Find out why he’s excited about what lies ahead.
July | Melinda Balarbar, MD, and JP Santiago, MD | Flower Mound
Husband and wife share passion and success in family medicine
Melinda Balarbar, MD, and JP Santiago, MD, know a little something about the struggle to lead balanced lives. With four kids, a busy practice, and interests ranging from travel, photography, triathlons, and aviation there is no shortage of things to do. And did we mention they work together?
June | Zaiba Jetpuri, DO | Dallas
DFW family doc embodies the concept of physician as teacher
Zaiba Jetpuri, DO, believes in caring for the underserved and in sharing the beauty of family medicine with students to bring more of the best and brightest to the specialty.
May | Christopher Trinh | Fort Worth
Medical student loves the breadth and scope of family medicine
Christopher Trinh is a fourth-year med student at UNT Health Science Center. He has served as chair of the TAFP Section of Medical Students as has represented medical students on the TAFP Board of Directors.
April | Mark Nadeau, MD | Beaumont
Residency director emphasizes flexibility of family medicine
Dr. Nadeau is currently the director for the family medicine residency program at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. He previously served for 27 years as an Air Force Medical Corps officer.
March | Farron Hunt, MD | Beaumont
TAFP Board member practices in hometown
Dr. Hunt is a new physician practicing in Beaumont, near her hometown of Port Arthur. She was recently elected as the special constituencies director of the TAFP Board of Directors.
February | Irvin Sulapas, MD | Houston
New physician enjoys sports medicine
Dr. Sulapas is a new physician (out of residency for seven years or fewer) and an assistant professor in the Family and Community Medicine department at Baylor College of Medicine, and acts as a team physician for Texas Southern University and local Houston high schools.
January | Darnel Dabu, MD, MPH | Lubbock
Lubbock physician helps build a healthier West Texas
Dr. Dabu has been the medical director of Community Health Center of Lubbock since he completed residency in 2010. He is active in many professional organizations, including chairing TAFP’s Commission on Public Health, Research, and Clinical Affairs.
December | James Mobley, MD, MPH | Portland
Retired Army doc contributes to public health of Texas
After 38 years of service to the Army, Dr. Mobley retired from active duty in 1981 with the rank of brigadier general. Since then, he has been in private practice in Portland, Texas, acting as the health authority for San Patricio County, and earning his Master of Public Health.
November | Rebecca Hart, MD | League City
League City doc enjoys evolving practice
Dr. Hart received her medical degree from UT Southwestern, then completed a residency at Baylor Houston. She started her career as a family doc in La Grange, Texas, where she practiced full obstetrics, an experience she says made her fearless as a physician.
October | Janet Hurley, MD | Whitehouse
TAFP officer sees importance of caring for entire community
TAFP officer Janet Hurley, MD, practices in a small East Texas town, Whitehouse, in a multispecialty medical group within the Trinity Clinic. As a child she was interested in biology, leading her to medical school. A preceptorship with a family doc in another small Texas town led her to choose family medicine.
September | Anthony Lyssy, DO | Dallas
Direct primary care doc helps patients focus on prevention
Anthony Lyssy, DO, founded his direct primary care practice, Diamond Physicians, in Dallas with partner James Pinckney, MD, to provide patients with great care without insurance restrictions. He aims to help patients focus on prevention through nutrition and fitness.
July | Ahmad Abazid, MD | Wichita Falls
Residency faculty enjoys womb-to-tomb aspect of specialty
Born and raised in Syria, Ahmad Abazid, MD, moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, for an internship at a Carolina Medical Lab, and later to Wichita Falls for his residency, where he is currently full-time core faculty at the Wichita Falls Family Practice Residency Program.
June | Tasaduq Mir, MD | Denton
International medical graduate passionate about treating the whole patient
Tasaduq Mir, MD, came to the U.S. after a childhood in India and completing medical school in Shiraz, Iran. After completing a residency in Minnesota and a fellowship in Fort Worth, Mir became faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at UT Southwestern. He lives in Denton with his wife, Sadaf, and his two children, Anoush and Urooj.
May | Natalia Gutierrez, MD | Carrollton
International medical graduate cares for the underserved
Natalia Gutierrez, MD, was born and raised in Colombia by parents both in the medical field. Her mother, a dentist, and her father, a general practitioner, greatly impacted her decision to become a physician. She is now working in Carrollton, Texas, at Jose Burbano, MD, and Associates, part of the Texas Health Physicians Group.
April | Patrick Leung, MD | Midland
TAFP Foundation donor practices alongside wife
TAFP member Patrick Leung, MD, and his wife Nancy Leung, RN, run a family medicine clinic in Midland, where they have lived since 1980 and raised three children who now work in health care. The Leungs recently made a generous donation to the TAFP Foundation that will provide scholarships to medical students participating in the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program.
February | Brittany Taute | UTMB
Medical student Board member hopes to practice in rural setting
Fourth-year medical student and TAFP Board member Brittany Taute had the perfect kind of childhood to succeed in rural medicine. Being from the outskirts of Amarillo, she was raised with horses and cattle, showing animals, farming land, and building fence. Her background and experiences at UTMB have helped her decide to go into rural medicine post-residency.
January | Jake Margo, MD | Rio Grande City
Rural physician active in community and TAFP business
TAFP Valley Chapter president and Hidalgo Starr County Medical Society president are just two of the many hats Jake Margo, MD, wears. After finishing a family medicine residney in 2004, Margo returned to his rural hometown of Rio Grande City and remains there today, practicing full scope family medicine.
November | Nish Shah, MD | Houston
Resident member chose family medicine long before medical school
Long before even entering the Baylor College of Medicine, Shah knew family medicine was the path for him. He was born and raised in Houston by parents who firmly believed in academics and that hard work and discipline allow you to accomplish anything. Now in his second year at the Houston Methodist San Jacinto Family Medicine Residency program, Shah is very active in TAFP’s Section on Residents.
October | Terrance Hines, MD | Austin
TAFP Board member followed parents’ footsteps into health care
After completing an undergraduate degree and a medical degree at Texas A&M and a residency at John Peter Smith, choosing family medicine was a natural decision for Terrance Hines, MD, who knew he wanted to be a family doctor since before beginning medical school, thanks to his nurse parents and his childhood physician.
September | Emily Briggs, MD, MPH | New Braunfels
New physician Board member hopes to speak for younger doctors
After finishing a residency at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, Dr. Emily Briggs set up camp and her own private practice in New Braunfels, Texas. It is now five years later and her full scope practice is thriving enough that in 2012 she hired a second physician. Briggs was recently elected as the new physician member for not only the TAFP Board of Directors, but also for the AAFP Board.
July | Joe Anzaldúa, MD | Sugar Land
Sugar Land doctor loyal to community
Dr. Joe Anzaldúa has been in private practice in the Sugar Land area since 1985 and has been on faculty at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston since 1994. He is also the medical director of Emergency Medical Services for Sugar Land, Stafford, and Missouri City.
June | Linda May, MD | San Antonio
TAFP Board member hopes to be voice of Texas residents
After attending the University of Texas at Austin for her undergraduate degree, Linda May, MD, moved to Bayamon, Puerto Rico to attend the Universidad Central del Caribe for medical school. She then completed a residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she is currently the chief resident.
May | Mary Nguyen, MD | Castroville
Rural doc enjoys caring for multiple generations of families
After earning her undergraduate degrees from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, a medical degree from UTHSC at Houston, and completing a residency with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, Dr. Mary Nguyen took her state boards and immediately jumped into practicing. Literally. “Once I graduated from residency, I took my boards on a Friday and started work the following Monday,” says Nguyen.
April | Bruce Russell, MD | Port Aransas
Coastal Bend physician encourages patients to spend time in nature
While caring for patients in his community of Port Aransas, Dr. Bruce Russell encourages kids and families to be outside through the Nature Rocks program he is afiliated with in the Coastal Bend area. Family medicine was an easy choice for him while a student, thanks to the family physician that delivered him and cared for him through his medical school years.
March | Tracey Haas, DO, MPH | Austin
Austin physician interested in helping the world’s underserved and fellow physicians alike
While Texas native Tracey Haas, DO, MPH, has always claimed the state as home, her career in the medical field has allowed her to travel all over the globe. From a residency in New England where she met her husband to helping in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, Haas says she has been involved in medical missions for years and is interested in helping out the poverty stricken around the world.
February | Ajay Gupta, MD | Austin
TAFP officer values personal relationships with patients
After being raised by first generation immigrant parents in Chicago and Houston, TAFP Treasurer Ajay Gupta, MD, graduated with his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and completed a residency program in Corpus Christi. He quickly joined Jefferson Street Family Practice in Austin and is still there today.
January | Dan Sepdham, MD | Flower Mound
Former military physician advocates for primary care
Dan Sepdham, MD, went to medical school on a military scholarship and paid back his debt after residency by spending six years in the Air Force as a flight surgeon. After being stationed in Florida and the United Kingdom, Sepdham joined the faculty at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern, where he has been since 2006.
December | Drs. John and Judith Egerton | Austin
Physician couple follows golden rule in practice
John and Judith Egerton married as medical students in 1964 after meeting at The Welsh National School of Medicine in the United Kingdom. John joined the Royal Air Force as a medical student, and after graduating and finishing a residency was stationed in Singapore until 1971. In 1975, they moved with their four small children to Houston and established a joint practice in Friendswood in 1983.
November | Domingo Caparas, Jr., MD | Odessa
International medical graduate wants to serve home and adopted countries
After getting his undergrad and medical degrees, completing a residency, and practicing for three years at a veteran’s medical center all in his native country of the Philippines, Domingo Caparas, Jr., MD, came to the U.S. to become a physician. He is now chief resident for the family medicine residency program at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas and is scheduled to graduate next year.
October | Shiv Agarwal, MD | Fort Worth
First-year resident changes career path for family medicine
In his first year of residency at Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital, Shiv Agarwal, MD, currently describes his health care career aspirations as “to be determined.” The trail that led him to family medicine wasn’t necessarily direct, but he knows he’s now in the right place. After taking a position with a consulting firm in Manhattan, Agarwal’s career change of heart landed him back in Texas studying medicine.
September | Lamia Kadir, MD | Round Rock
Compassionate physician focuses on diabetes, vaccinations
Dr. Lamia Kadir’s several passions include patient education, chronic pain management, and women’s health. A champion of immunizations, she recently blogged for TAFP on the importance of school vaccinations and was interviewed by a local Austin news station on the same topic.
August | Joshua Splinter, MD | Baytown
Resident member passionate about others choosing family medicine
After being hired by physicians to do some information technology work, Joshua Splinter, MD, started thinking about medicine as a possible career field. Upon entering medical school at UTHSCSA, he chose to pursue family medicine because “it just fit.” Now a second-year resident at the San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown, Splinter also serves the Texas Army National Guard part time as a field surgeon.
July | Linda Siy, MD | Fort Worth
TAFP past president active in Academy business
In honor of this year’s Annual Session & Scientific Assembly taking place in Fort Worth, the July Member of the Month hails from there as well. Linda Siy, MD, has been with the JPS Health Network at a Community Health Center in Bedford since 1995. Siy says she enjoys her work there due to the tremendously diverse patient population, including immigrants from all over the world and a large amount of pediatric patients.
June | Ashok Tripathy, MD | Houston
Physician enjoys creating lasting relationships with patients
For 23 years now, Ashok Tripathy, MD, has been a board certified family physician, doing what he loves and caring for his patients. When asked what career would have been his second choice, he says he cannot see himself doing anything else – caring for his patients and creating relationships with them are his true passions.
May | Gregory Johnson, MD | Houston
Hospitalist raised attending TAFP meetings with father
Houston hospitalist Gregory Johnson, MD, is board certified in both family and internal medicine and serves as the chief medical officer for the central and southeast regions of Sound Physicians, a hospitalist organization founded and led by physicians. His father Glen, a former TAFP president and Physician Emeritus, began taking him to TAFP meetings over two decades ago.
April | Joey Koch, MD | Lufkin
New physician returns to hometown to practice
Hearing stories about his local physician grandfather and watching the local family physicians at work sparked an interest in family medicine for a young Joey Koch, MD He ventured to College Station, San Antonio, and Waco for his education, but returned to his hometown of Lufkin to begin his practice. After working within the Scott and White system for a year, Koch and his psychiatrist wife Rebekah began their own private practice at the Tall Pines Family Clinic.
March | Jane Sadler, MD | Garland
Physician is active in local community, also a published writer
Coming from a family of physicians, Jane Sadler, MD, had no trouble choosing medicine as a major. Her mother’s experience as a family physician drove her to choose the same specialty, leading to her current position practicing as a Baylor physician representative with the Family Medical Center at North Garland. As volunteer faculty with the Baylor Garland Family Practice program, Sadler says she enjoys “teaching young doctors the exclusive art of family medicine.”
February | Sister Rosanne Popp, MD | Houston
Physician serves the needy through religious life, family medicine
From a young age, our February Member of the Month knew she wanted to be a nurse. But after finishing nurse practitioner training, her goal to serve the poor drew her to pursue her medical degree and she found family medicine to be a good fit. In addition to her service as a family physician, she felt called to enter the sisterhood and become a nun.
January | Arie Marancenbaum, MD | Dallas
Wound care physician comes from medical family, loves teaching
Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Arie Marancenbaum, MD, now practices at the Lake Pointe Wound Care Center east of Dallas in Rowlett, Texas. His father’s work in engineering sparked his interest in science, while his two uncles in the medical field inspired him to become a physician. He says his career as a physician has exceeded his expectations, but he thinks eventually he will return to the academia world. “After all, the word doctor in Latin is ‘docere,’ which means to teach,” says Dr. Marancenbaum on his plans of becoming a teacher.
December | Jerry Abraham, MPH | San Antonio
Student member is a leader in the world of medicine
Jerry Abraham, MPH, a third-year medical student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is a busy man, to put it simply. He is a representative, delegate, member, and president to several organizations and committees throughout the state and around the world, including chair to the Academy’s Section on Medical Students. His love of people and desire to contribute to the greater good of public health drove him to choose primary care as a specialty.
November | Charles J. Caskey, MD | Beaumont
Life member reflects on life, medicine, and caring for patients like family
At age 84, 11 years after retirement from the Beaumont practice he ran for more than 40 years, Charles “Chuck” Caskey, MD, still visits with former patients and staff members. He watched medicine change greatly during this time, sometimes for the better and sometimes not, as he says, but his patients were like family and they made each day worth it.
October | Jorge Duchicela, MD | Weimar
Physician serves rural Texas and Ecuador through practice, institute
Jorge Duchicela, MD, is a rural private practice physician in Weimar where he serves a community of patients that is diverse in ethnicity, age, gender, geographical location, and social stratum. He also founded Cachamsi, a nonprofit medical immersion institute, in Cacha, Ecuador, that brings health professionals to this rural community to care for the patients there, learn Spanish so they can better communicate with their Spanish-speaking patients at home, and learn global and cross-cultural medicine.
September | Elizabeth Tran, MD | Houston
Resident member drawn to medicine through international volunteer work
Now chief resident for the Baylor Family Residency Program in Houston, Elizabeth Tran, MD, joined the U.S. Peace Corps after graduating from college to learn about other cultures, and at the same time gained a deep appreciation for her own life: her family and friends, health, and education. She realized she wanted to help people improve their lives through their health, which led her to pursue family- and community-based medicine with a focus on women’s health.
August | Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee, MD, MPH | Austin
Lone Star Circle of Care executive strives to help the underserved
A Chicago native, Dr. Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee moved to Texas in March 2011 to take the reins at Lone Star Circle of Care, a federally qualified health center with 26 locations across four counties in Central Texas. She’s passionate about access to care and patient-centered medicine.
July | Troy Russell | San Antonio
TAFP student member chooses family medicine through passion for public health, research
A fourth-year medical student, Troy Russell is certain that family medicine is the right specialty for him as it combines his passions for research, public health, and continuity of care. He feels fortunate to be joining the profession in a time when family physicians can reshape the medical profession for the better.
June | Christina Kelly, MD | Harker Heights
New physician finds renewal for specialty through AAFP involvement
As an Army wife, Christina Kelly, MD, has worked in a variety of practice settings — from employed to part-time residency program faculty to her current position as civilian faculty at the Family Medicine Residency at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. She has been involved in the Academy on the state and national level since medical school, feeling re-energized for family medicine with each conference.
May | Edwin Franks, MD | Iraan
TAFP Life Member recalls the golden years of family medicine
Edwin R. Franks, MD, now retired, practiced family medicine for 51 years in the small rural town of Iraan, Texas – pronounced “Ira-Ann,” a mash-up of the names of a cattle rancher and his wife. Over his career, he delivered 3,000 babies, spanning generations, and saw the full spectrum of family medicine, “from soup to nuts,” as he said when he sat down with TAFP at the C. Frank Webber Lectureship in March 2012.
April | Ikemefuna Charles Okwuwa, MD | Odessa
Resident dreams of teaching, tells first-years to “seize every opportunity”
Dr. Okwuwa is a third-year resident at Texas Tech Health Science Center Department of Family Medicine in Odessa, Texas. Though now a U.S. citizen, he was born in Nigeria and received medical training at the School of Medicine at the University of Benin in Nigeria. He loves family medicine for the variety and hopes to join his residency’s faculty to give back to future physicians what he has received from his residency mentors.
March | Dustin Pratt, MD | Childress
Family physician practices full-spectrum medicine in rural Texas
Dr. Pratt is a family physician in the small rural town of Childress, Texas, halfway between Wichita Falls and Amarillo in the Texas panhandle. He enjoys the diversity of family medicine, and certainly practices the full spectrum in his local clinic and hospital, though he worries about the “ever increasing difficulty to recruit new physicians that do full spectrum family medicine.”
February | John Redman, MD, MS | Anahuac
New physician drawn to breadth of specialty, serving the underserved
Dr. Redman is a family physician at Bayside Clinic, a federally qualified health center 50 miles east of Houston, where he serves the poor and indigent of Chambers County. He felt drawn to work at an FQHC because of his residency training at the Waco Family Medicine Program, another FQHC, and because he enjoys helping patients who would not otherwise have access to health care.
January | Lisa Doggett, MD, MPH | Austin
Austin physician “makes a difference” by caring for the underserved
In her 10 years as a family physician, Dr. Doggett has dedicated her career to caring for the uninsured, underinsured, and others in need, following in the footsteps of her parents for whom “public service is a way of life.”
November | Claudia Aguero-Vazquez, MD | Harlingen
Rio Grande Valley educator coaches residents, patients to be their best
Though Dr. Aguero-Vazquez began her career in private practice, she is now faculty at Valley Baptist Family Practice Residency Program. It’s here that she shines as a “remarkable leader, cheerleader, and coach.”
October | J. Mark Anderson, MD, and Walter Gaman, MD | Southlake
Southlake physicians share family medicine with broad audience
As hosts of a popular Dallas radio show and authors of a new book, Drs. Anderson and Gaman are no strangers to the media. The Southlake family physicians say it’s important to provide a family medicine perspective because family physicians are “on the front lines” and “see the big picture.”
September | Aaron Segal, MD | Plano
“Family practice” holds extra meaning for Plano physician
In practice with his wife and father, Dr. Segal reflects on his experience working with family, gives thoughts on the broken reimbursement model, and tells how one ride in a college campus ambulance sealed his destiny to become a physician.
August | Kevin P. Spencer, MD | Austin
Physician uses innovation and technology to deliver better patient care
A private practice physician at Premier Family Physicians in Austin, Texas, Dr. Spencer delivers quality patient care through traditional family medicine mixed with innovation and health information technology.
July | Emily Sullivan Meyer, MD | Hondo
Fourth-generation physician carries on tradition of patient care in rural Texas
Dr. Meyer is a rural physician in Hondo, Texas, who currently practices with her father and four other family physicians. Her family's medical tradition started with her great-grandfather when he moved to Hondo and opened a general practice in 1906.
June | Christine Criscuolo Higgins, MD | San Antonio
Academic physician’s love of fitness inspires community involvement
Clinical faculty at the Christus Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program in San Antonio, Dr. Higgins’ approach to medicine combines her family medicine training, passion for the underserved, and love of fitness.
May | Julie Graves Moy, MD, MPH | Austin
Physician explores many sides of family medicine
Dr. Graves Moy currently works for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, but has worked in academia, private practice, and emergency medicine as well. She’s currently working on her doctorate in policy management and biostatistics.
April | Loren S. Lasater, MD | Roanoke
Physician invigorates practice through military service
Dr. Lasater joined the U.S. Army Reserve to care for soldiers serving abroad and in the United States. Through this service he has gained knowledge and experience working with other physicians and in other health care systems that make him a better physician in his home practice.
March | Howard Brody, MD | Galveston
Galveston physician educates patients, promotes specialty through writing
Dr. Brody contributes columns to local newspapers to educate patients on their health and on the specialty of family medicine, and has dedicated his career to medical ethics.
February | Chrisette Dharma, MD | Dallas
Presenting our inaugural Member of the Month
Your Academy is proud to launch a new program that celebrates the breadth of family medicine, the Member of the Month program. Each month, TAFP will present a short biography and question-and-answer segment that spotlights a family physician’s unique approach to medicine. Read about our first member of the month, Chrisette Dharma, MD, of Dallas, and consider nominating a colleague.