UTMB Home Nursing Faculty Practice SON Nurse Practitioners School of Nursing Nurse PractitionersUniversity of Texas Medical Branch(Hover over and click on the faculty member to view their information) Kimberly AbrahamMSN, RN, CPNAssistant Professor Suzzanne AltonDNP, RN, FNP-BCAssistant ProfessorDr. Alton practices at the UTMB Victory Lakes Urgent Care. She provides care for many different conditions, including common illnesses and musculoskeletal problems. Dr. Alton assesses, diagnoses, and provides treatment options for patients age six months and older. She precepts NP students when able, and is skilled in suturing, splinting, and other minor procedures. Jacqueline AoughstenRN, DNP, ACNP-CAssistant ProfessorDr. Aoughsten is a board certified Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with over 30 years of experience as a nurse in Medical ICU, Emergency room, Radiology and Interventional Pain Management. She has been a practicing APRN for over 15 years with her primary practice in Interventional Radiology and Pain Management. She is skilled in image guided tunneled and non-tunneled central line insertion, as well as a variety of other image guided procedures. Dr. Aoughsten teaches in the MSN program and is Track Administrator for the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program. She has published articles on the Affordable Care Act and Opportunities for Advanced Practice Nurses and her areas of interest include early identification and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and focal therapies in the management of low Gleason score prostate cancer. Debra ArmentroutPhD, RN, MSN, NNP-BCAssistant ProfessorEducation PhD in Nursing (UTMB's Doctoral Program, 2005) and a Master of Science in Nursing (UT School of Nursing-Houston; High-Risk Perinatal, 1985) with preparation to function as either a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) or a neonatal clinical nurse specialist (CNS). She maintains national certification as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and is recognized by the Texas Board of Nurse Practitioners as an Advanced Practice Nurse. Selected Accomplishments 40+ years of experience in neonatal critical care nursing with 25+ years as an NNP with a major medical school functioning in a tertiary medical center. Job responsibilities have included infant management in the delivery room, the neonatal ICU (level II, III, IV), as well as ground and air transport. She has developed orientation programs for new staff and transport nurses and administratively functioned as NNP coordinator. In addition, she has served as adjunct faculty for UTMB's NNP program from 1991 to 2009. She has been a member of Sigma Theta Tau International since 1985 and Phi Kappa Phi member since 2004. Publications include several journal articles, book chapters, national Transport Standards and Guidelines, and Education Standards and Curriculum Guidelines for Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs. She has served on local, state, and national committees for neonatal nursing care. Dr. Armentrout assumed the role of Track Administrator for the NNP Master's Program at UTMB's School of Nursing in 2009. Clinical expertise is maintained by functioning as an NNP in an academic neonatal critical care unit. Jennifer BarnettDNP, FNP-BCAssociate Professor Maureen BiggsDNP, RN, FNP-BCAdjunct Associate ProfessorThe UTMB SON Nurse Managed Clinic at St. Vincent's provides primary care for patients with chronic diseases and limited access to care. The uninsured and underinsured population has the opportunity to receive consistent quality health care from SON Faculty Nurse Practitioners for screening/ prevention, management, and episodic care issues. Through teamwork, services including Patient Assistance Program, Community Health Program, Casebook, SOM and SHP student clinics, as well as Family Services Counseling are available for the providers to refer patients on to a multitude of specialty, allied health, medication, and counseling opportunities. As an R.N. with 15 years of experience and an N.P. with an additional 20 years of experience, I am proud to be a part of the clinic team at St. Vincent's. Ellen BoydRN, MSN, FNP-CAssistant ProfessorEllen Boyd is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 30 years of experience in Family Practice, Primary Care and Women's and Infant Health. Ms. Boyd has experience in nursing education teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She is currently the Track Administrator for the Nursing Education program. Gloria BrandburgPhD, RN, GNP-BCAssociate ProfessorDr. Brandburg is a board certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). She has over 10-years of practice experience working with older adults in long-term care and skilled rehabilitation settings. Her research has focused on resident adjustment to living in long-term care and she has published and presented on this topic. Dr. Brandburg’s teaching experience includes AGPCNP courses, geriatric syndromes, advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health assessment. She is currently the grant program director for the APPLAUSE project that focuses on educating nurse practitioner students to work with Hispanic underserved populations. Vicky EboneMSN, RN, GNP-BCAssistant Professor Sharon ForestDNP, RN, NNP-BCAssistant Professor Connie HeardDNP, RN, FNP-CAssistant ProfessorConnie Heard is a Family Nurse Practitioner, board certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and licensed by the state of Texas to provide family-centered healthcare to patients of all ages. Her scope of practice encompasses health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and management of common and complex disease processes throughout the lifespan. She began her career in healthcare at the age of 18 by working as a licensed vocational nurse in private practice and long term care facilities. Since that time, she has accumulated over 30 years of nursing experience and education in various practice sites (medical-surgical, women’s health, oncology, internal medicine, orthopedics, public health, and geriatric care). Connie has a unique blend of strong nursing skills and strives to provide quality healthcare at all times. She believes in building strong trusting relationships with her patients. Her focus is on holistic care and meeting the needs of her patients with their informed consent. As a regular practicing nurse practitioner at St. Vincent's Hope Clinic, Connie is able to impact the overall healthcare needs of the vulnerable patient population she cares for. Not only does she manage their healthcare needs but she often contributes to the family and personal needs. For example, helping the homeless patient acquire a bicycle to use as transportation to seek employment. She believes that simple acts of kindness can impact the overall well-being of patients and families. Jeri JaquisRN, MSN, ANP-BCAssistant ProfessorI currently practice as an Adult Nurse Practitioner at the Nurse Managed Clinic at the St. Vincent Clinic. The Nurse Managed Clinic at St. Vincent's is for the uninsured and indigent population. I see patients with a variety of acute and chronic illnesses. I have been an Adult Nurse Practitioner since May 1985 and I am an AACN Adult Nurse Practitioner. Mini JosePhD, RN, FNP-CAssociate ProfessorDr. Jose is a licensed family nurse practitioner with more than 5 years of experience as a nurse practitioner and more than 20 years of experience in nursing education and research. Dr. Jose has practiced in family practice and urgent care and has worked more than three years with underserved populations. Dr. Jose currently conducts research among minority women with emphasis on physiological stress modulation in metabolic syndrome. Dr. Jose has published nationally and internationally in peer reviewed publications. Cheryl JuneauDrPH, RN, FNP-BCAssociate ProfessorDr. Juneau is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner with 20+ years of clinical experience. Her job responsibilities have included Family Practice and Internal Medicine. She is currently employed at St. Vincent’s clinic where she cares for indigent patients. She holds a clinical doctorate in Public Health and has volunteered in Mexico and Central America delivering health care. Her research interests include Public Health issues such as Infectious diseases. Bruce LeonardPhD, RN, FNP-BC, NP-CProfessorDr. Leonard is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with 35 years of nursing experience as a nurse in community nursing, medical/surgical, emergency rooms, and rural primary care facilities. Dr. Leonard has taught in both the graduate and undergraduate programs at UTMB SON. He is an author of several articles related to the clinical management of hypertension and COPD along with book chapters is in community health nursing. Dr. Leonard's area of research is investigating sleep problems among persons with chronic illnesses in addition to research exploring perceptions of Nurse Practitioner Students and their levels of confidence in the performance of clinical skills using standardized patients. He has also presented at numerous national conferences on the pedagogy of Team-Based Leaning in on-line learning formats for Nurse Practitioner Students to improve learning outcomes. Dr. Leonard is a retired Navy Nurse Corps Officer. Sheba LukeDNP, RN, MSN, FNP-CAssistant ProfessorDr. Luke is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and as a Nurse Executive – Advanced with nursing experience in medical/surgical, cardiovascular, and retail health facilities. She has taught clinical courses in both graduate and undergraduate courses at UTMB SON. Dr. Luke’s Doctor of Nursing Practice scholarly project focused on the process of adverse event reporting using patient safety reporting systems as she is interested in quality and safety in healthcare. Her current position at UTMB is as the Academic Project Manager for the Graduate Nurse Education (GNE) Demonstration project funded through Centers for Medicare Services (CMS). As project manager she plans and oversees the placements for clinical training for nurse practitioner students in the GNE project. Her duties include coordinating the recruitment of students, organizing clinical placements and evaluating placement appropriateness. In addition, she manages and reports project data that is ultimately provided to CMS, and evaluates the program outcomes on a local level. Dr. Luke currently practices in nursing homes and rehabs, where she manages patients with multiple chronic and complex illnesses. Bushra ManakattDNP, RN, MSN, FNP-CAssistant Professor Dora MartinDNP, WHCNP, RNCAssistant Professor Thomas MendezPhD, RN-BC, CNSAssociate ProfessorDr. Thom Méndez is a psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialist with more than 23 years of experience in practice, administration, and education and is an associate professor in the School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His practice focus has been in the areas of individual and group therapy, as well as medication management in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Currently, Dr. Méndez is not active in clinical practice, but is active in the academic setting teaching psychiatric mental health nursing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, his research interests include the role of culture in mental health and mental illness with a focus on the Hispanic population. Dr. Méndez is published in a number of peer reviewed publications on psychiatric mental health issues. Kathleen MurphyDNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAANProfessorDr. Murphy is a family nurse practitioner with over 20 years of experience as a practitioner, educator, and nurse executive. Her practice has included primary care for immigrant and underserved populations, children, and communities. As a practitioner in outreach clinics, schools, health departments, community clinics and rural health posts (international), she mobilized resources to meet individual and community needs. Kathleen NaderRN, MSN, ANP-BC, GNPClinical Assistant ProfessorKathleen Nader RN MSN ANP-BC, GNP is an adult/geriatric nurse practitioner. She has been in active practice for over 21 years. For 19 years, she was an advanced nurse practitioner provider in the Department of Thoracic/Head & Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. When she transferred to UTMB in October 2014, she assumed the role of nurse practitioner provider for the UTMB Brazoria County Indigent Clinics in Alvin and Angleton, Texas. She performs physical exams, health screenings including maintenance, management of chronic health conditions and referrals to UTMB specialists as required. She is a certified adult nurse practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Ms. Nader, a UTMB School of Nursing Assistant Clinical Professor, is also involved with the School of Nursing DSRIP project which entails the integration of behavioral health with primary care. It is increasingly important that psychiatric care becomes a focus in the primary care arena. By including psychiatry management in the primary care setting especially among a vulnerable population such as the medically underserved, may increase better patient outcomes in patients’ general health care. Elizabeth PetittRN, MSN, FNP-C, DCNPClinical Assistant ProfessorElizabeth Petitt has been a RN since 1995 and a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner since 2008. She has practiced as a NP in family medicine and dermatology. She has been a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner since 2013. Ms. Petitt is currently pursuing her DNP and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the MSN FNP program at UTMB School of Nursing. Her areas of special interest include general medical dermatology, skin cancer prevention, and patient education. She is currently working on implementation of a video-based educational tool to increase perceived risk of skin cancer and use of sun protective behaviors and self-skin examination in dermatology clinic patients at high risk for skin cancer. Sandra PriestRN, MSN, NNP Assistant Professor Miriam Ramos-LeonRN, MSN, FNP-BCAssistant Professor Linda RoundsPhD, RN, FNP, FAANP, FAANProfessorDr. Rounds is a licensed family nurse practitioner with more than 35 years of experience as a nurse practitioner in practice, education, and regulation. Dr. Rounds has practiced in family primary care with an emphasis on geriatrics. Dr. Rounds has consulted nationally and internationally in development of nurse practitioner education programs and was instrumental in the development of online nurse practitioner programs at UTMB and in Texas. Dr. Rounds served 12 years on the Texas Board of Nursing as the advanced practice representative with 11 years as the President of the Board. Kimberly RumseyRN, MSN, FNPAssistant Professor Patricia SavardDNP, RN, ANP-CAssistant ProfessorDr. Savard has 32 years of nursing experience with 17 years as an AANP Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner. Most of Dr. Savard’s nursing experience has occurred in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. Some of her most memorable work places include The Methodist Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Prior to joining UTMB as an Assistant Professor in the MSN program; Dr. Savard work as an Adult Nurse Practitioner for the Internal Medicine service at HCA West Houston Medical Center, Houston, Texas. Currently Dr. Savard practices at Spinal Centers of Texas. She provides after hour care for patients with acute and chronic physical medicine needs. Dr. Savard received a DNP from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, MSN and BSN from Texas Women’s University, Houston, Texas. Gwenn ScottRN, DNP, CNS, FNP-BCProfessorDr. Scott currently practices at UTMB urgent care centers in Texas City, League City-Victory Lakes, and Alvin. During her 19 year career as a family nurse practitioner, she has worked in primary care, urgent care, and emergency department. She even opened up her own practice as the sole provider in her rural community. She is experienced in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of multiple chronic and urgent care needs. Dr. Scott is an assistant professor at UTMB in the family nurse practitioner tract. Her focus is on health literacy and other healthcare disparities. She is a graduate of University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio family nurse practitioner program and received her doctor of nursing practice from the University of Alabama. Jacquelyn SvobodaRNC, MSN, WHNPAssistant ProfessorJacquelyn Svoboda has been a registered nurse since 1999 when she received her BSN from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. After practicing in the inpatient and clinic based maternal-child health arena, Ms. Svoboda obtained her MSN from UT Health Science Center in Houston in 2003. Ms. Svoboda has worked as a Women’s Healthcare nurse practitioner in obstetrics & gynecology and in reproductive endocrinology. She now enjoys her role as an assistant professor for the BSN program at UTMB School of Nursing. She is also currently serving in the clinical setting with UTMB Regional Maternal Child Health Program & OB/GYN Department as an inpatient women’s health nurse practitioner. Ms. Svoboda is the lead faculty member for the BAMBI/SON Collaborative Project which is an innovative service learning project which allows student nurses to provide an educational series to incarcerated mothers as well as allowing students to serve in a birth companion role for incarcerated mothers. Ms. Svoboda is also the founder and president of a local service non-profit, Friends Thru the Fight, which provides financial, social and spiritual support for breast and gyn cancer patients in Galveston County. Along with this local community service project she has also served on mission trips, most recently to Haiti with MamaBabyHaiti focusing on maternal and neonatal outreach. Josie TombrellaRN, MSN, AGPCNP-BCAssistant ProfessorI graduated from UTMB with my MSN in 2008 and became certified as a gerontological nurse practitioner. I worked in long-term care for 2 years and then began teaching. I went back to school in 2012 and completed a post-Master’s to obtain certification as an adult-gerontological primary care nurse practitioner. I joined the SON faculty in 2013. I am currently practicing in the long-term care setting one day per week at The Meridian nursing home in Galveston. Teresa VerklanRNC, CCNS, PhD, FAANProfessorDr. Verklan is a neonatal clinical nurse specialist with over 30 years of experience in neonatal nursing. She is certified as a high-risk neonatal nurse by the National Certification Corporation and as a critical care clinical nurse specialist by the Association of Critical Care Nurses Certification Corporation. She has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for her program of research involving neonatal physiologic variability and transition to extrauterine life. She is the main editor of, Core Curriculum for Neonatal Nursing, a text used globally for the care of the high-risk neonate. As a Professor at the School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, she teaches in the Master’s and Doctoral programs, as well as mentors other biomedical researchers. Terese is a national and international consultant for several professional organizations as well as businesses that focus on providing care to neonates. Dr. Verklan has published multiple peer reviewed publications in research and clinical journals, and serves on multiple editorial boards and as a reviewer to professional publications. Carol WiggsPhD, RN, CNM, AHN-BCAssociate Professor Maureen WilderRN, DNP, ANP-BCAssociate ProfessorMaureen Wilder is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner with over 30 years of experience in primary care and nursing education. Dr. Wilder has practiced in occupational health, college health, and family medicine. Dr. Wilder has taught both undergraduate and graduate students. Currently she is the director of the MSN Program at UTMB School of Nursing.