Faculty & Staff



Patel, Janak26-2
Janak Patel, MD – DirectorDr. Janak A. Patel was appointed Director of Infection Control & Healthcare Epidemiology in January 2017. He joined UTMB in 1989 as Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases of Department of Pediatrics, and is currently  a tenured Professor. Since 1995, he has been Director the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. He has participated extensively in patient care, teaching, research and administration, including many in leadership role. Dr. Patel has been the principal investigator or co-investigator in more than 50 clinical and bench research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical corporations and other agencies. Dr. Patel has authored more than 100 articles which have been published in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks.
Dr. Patel earned his medical degree at the School of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He finished a pediatric residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey—Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He completed his fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, State University of New York at Buffalo.
E-mail: jpatel@utmb.edu - Phone: 409-772-3192
April McDougal, DO - Associate Director

April McDougal, DO is a native of North Texas. She graduated from The University of North Texas Health Science Center with her medical degree in 2015. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Loyola University Medical Center in 2018 and Infectious Diseases Fellowship at Tulane University School of Medicine in 2020. While in fellowship, Dr. McDougal completed the Tropical Medicine Certification Course at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Additionally, she was named as Fellow of The Year for 2019 - 2020 for her work relating to the COVID-19 response.

Dr. McDougal joined UTMB's Division of Infectious Diseases as an Assistant Professor and Division of Infection Control and Healthcare Epidemiology as the Associate Director in July 2020.

E-mail: apmcdoug@utmb.edu - Phone: 409-772-0476
L. Carol Jones – Administrative Associate
Carol has been with Infection Control & Healthcare Epidemiology since 2012. She performs the administrative functions for the department.
E-mail: linjones@utmb.edu - Phone: 409-772-3192
Brenda Tyler, B.S., Biology, CIC - Senior Infection Preventionist
Brenda has been with Infection Control & Healthcare Epidemiology since 2002 and currently covers SICU, Internal and Family Medicine, Dialysis, Staff and Student Education.
E-mail: btyler@utmb.edu - Phone: 409-772-0469 - Pager: 409-643-9974
Mary Ann DeMaet, MSN, RN, CIC – Operations Manager
Mary Ann has been with Infection Control & Healthcare Epidemiology since 2014 and is the Operations Manager for the Galveston campus and clinics. Mary Ann has 11 years of experience in both Nursing and Infection Control to her infection prevention practice. She received her Master's in Executive Leadership through the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, certified in Infection Control and Epidemiology and is actively involved in the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).E-mail: mademaet@utmb.edu - Phone: 409-772-0463 - Pager: 409-643-0498
O'Shaunna Griffin-Joe, BS, MA, CIC – Senior Infection Preventionist
O'Shaunna has been with Infection Control & Healthcare Epidemiology since 2005. She currently covers all of TDCJ Hospital.E-mail: osgriffi@utmb.edu - Phone: 409-772-0467 - Pager: 409-645-5962
Sarah Ben Achour
Sarah Ben Achour, MAS, BS, MLS (ASCP), CIC - Operations Manager for CLC, ADC and LCC
Sarah is the Operations Manager for the regional campuses and clinics and she brings 11 years of experience in Infection Prevention and Control. Sarah's background is in Medical Laboratory Science with experience in Clinical Microbiology and a Master's Degree in Healthcare Quality and Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University.
E-mail: snbenach@utmb.edu - Phone: 832-632-7057 - Pager: 409-643-0060

Ellen Li, RN, BS, BSN, PHD, CIC - Senior Infection Preventionist

Ellen has been with Infection Control and Healthcare Epidemiology since 2019 and is currently covering Cardio/Vascular, Surgery, Trans/Gyn/Onc as well as NCCU & MICU.    

Email: qiuli@utmb.edu  Phone: 409-772-5536


Dana Elhassani, MPH, CIC, CPH - Infection Preventionist for League City & Angleton Danbury Campuses

Dana has been with Infection Control and Healthcare Epidemiology since 2019 and is currently covering the League City and Angleton Danbury Campuses. In 2017, she obtained a Master’s in Public Health from the University of South Florida with a concentration in Epidemiology and a Graduate Certificate in Infection Control.  

Email: daelhass@utmb.edu  Phone: 832-505-0600 - Pager 409-643-1700_____________________________________________________________________________


Monica Voncannon, BSN, RN - Infection Preventionist

Monica has been with Infection Control & Healthcare Epidemiology since January, 2021 and currently covers the NICU, PICU, Pediatrics, Labor and Delivery and Mother-Baby Units on Galveston Campus.

Email: mmvoncan@utmb.edu  Phone: 409-772-0468 - Pager 409-643-0364_____________________________________________________________________________

Teresa York, BS, CIC - Senior Infection Preventionist

Teresa has 10+ years of experience in the delivery of Infection Prevention for various healthcare settings. CIC certified since 2009 and recognized for excellence in operations, leadership, regulatory readiness and staff development. Teresa's background is in public health with experience at the local and state levels.

Email: teyork@utmb.edu - Phone: 832-632-7611

Mischelle Rios – Data Coordinator II
Mischelle has been with Infection Control & Healthcare Epidemiology since 2009. She handles hand hygiene data, specimen collection and assists with HAI surveillance.
E-mail: mirios@utmb.edu - Phone: 409-772-5535