board of directors
former board members
Rachel Davis, MD
Bruce MacFadyen, MD
Catherine Chen, MD
Cheryl Person, MD
Jessica Lin, MD
Lea Sacca, PhD, MPH
Madhushree Zope, MD
Rohith Malay, MD, MSC FACEP
Susan Ramin, MD
Sue Ferguson, DNP, MBA, RN
Veronica Leautaud, PhD
HGHC Board Member Bios
Patricia Brock, MD
Dr. Patricia Brock is professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) serving as Deputy Chair and as Executive Medical Director for inpatient operations. During her time at MDACC she has gained a reputation as a collaborator and problem solver leading efforts to improve patient
throughput within her clinical department and address the challenges of COVID and overcrowding. Dr. Brock is also committed to advancing academics in the emerging field of oncologic emergency medicine. She founded and co-chairs the Oncologic Emergency Medicine Annual Conference, now in its 10th year, and helped to develop the first Oncologic Emergency Medicine Fellowship Program.
Dr. Brock graduated from The University of Louisville School of Medicine, began her surgical training at Parkland Hospital in Dallas at The University of Texas (UT), and completed her surgical residency at San Antonio’s UT Health Sciences Center. After a 10-year career as a general surgeon, Dr. Brock turned her energies to raising her growing family. During this brief hiatus she founded the international non-profit, Medical Bridges, which sends medical supplies and equipment globally. She serves on the board of this 27-year-old organization as chair emeritus.
Dr. Brock returned to the practice of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine’s Emergency Department (ED) and transitioned to MDACC 13 years ago. Her research activity has included HIV testing in an ED setting, altered mental status in the emergency oncologic patient, immunotherapy related toxicities, as well as integration of palliative care in the emergency department. She has authored several book chapters, written multiple peer-reviewed articles, and recently served as co-editor of the second edition of Oncologic Emergency Medicine, Principles and Practice. Continuing with her interest in global health she founded the networking entity Wainderdi Global Health RoundTable in 2012 which became part of the Houston Global
Health Collaborative (HGHC) the following year. Dr. Brock is the inaugural chair and continues to serve in this capacity.
Richard Caplan, MD
Dr. Caplan is part of a large family of Houston physicians. After medical school at UT Southwestern in Dallas, he completed his surgical residency at the affiliated hospitals in San Antonio. Starting practice in 1985, he has spent his entire career in the Texas Medical Center and has based his practice for over two decades at Houston Methodist Hospital. He practices a wide spectrum of general surgery, including endocrine surgery, surgical oncology, hernia and complex abdominal wall problems, and laparoscopic and robotic surgery.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Caplan is a staunch advocate for medical education and global health. He is interested in capacity building in global surgery and coordination of TMC institutions’ efforts in global health. Dr. Caplan is involved in the first American College of Surgeons pilot to improve the training of surgeons in Ethiopia. He has also made 7 mission trips to Haiti and has worked with Faith in Practice in Guatemala.
Lubna Khan, MD
Dr. Khan is a general surgery resident in the Global Surgery track at Baylor College of Medicine. She completed her Bachelor’s in Biochemistry & Biophysics with an Honors thesis in Civil Engineering at Oregon State University. While there, she served in multiple elected student government roles, which involved lobbying in Washington, DC, for affordable higher education. She is the Founder of Ettihad Cultural Center – the first-of-its-kind cultural center representing students from the Greater Middle East. She served as an advisor to Pakistan Mission to the United Nations prior to starting medical school at Oregon Health and Science University. Her research interests are in developing models of healthcare delivery systems for post-conflict war zones and post-disaster areas, as well as biomedical device innovation.
Yajur Maker, MD-PhD Student
Yajur Maker is an M.D./Ph.D. student from Houston, TX, currently in his 4th year as a Bioengineering Graduate Student at Rice University. With a strong commitment to Global Health, he has helped to develop and translate affordable designs for several low-cost medical devices, including an HIV Viral Load Monitoring System through his startup Worldcare Technologies, and more recently through his Ph.D. work, a Multimodal Colposcope for Cervical Cancer Diagnosis. Yajur served as Co-Chair for the 10th Annual Houston Global Health Conference in 2023.
Christine Markham, PhD
Dr. Markham is Professor and Department Chair of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and Deputy Director of the Texas Prevention Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. She has over 30 years of experience in health promotion and behavioral sciences research, including determinants studies, intervention development, program evaluation, dissemination, and implementation research. She has served as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on multiple NIH-, CDC-, and other federally funded HIV and STI prevention and self-management studies. She has directed multiple rigorous evaluation trials to develop and evaluate adolescent HIV prevention programs, including It’s Your Game…Keep It Real is recognized by the USDHHS as an effective HIV, STI, and pregnancy prevention program for middle school students in the US. She has HIV-related research experience in E Africa and S.E. Asia on NIH Fogarty, PEPFAR, and CFAR-funded projects. Having trained in anthropology, she is experienced in qualitative research and mixed methods studies. She has extensive experience in Intervention Mapping, a systematic framework for developing and implementing theory- and evidence-based health promotion programs, having taught graduate-level courses and workshops on Intervention Mapping nationally and internationally.
Brenda Moore, PhD
Dr. Moore is an associate professor of nursing and the director of the Center for Global Nursing at Texas Woman’s University, Houston, TX. As a Fulbright alum (Jordan and Egypt) and Middle East researcher Moore is keenly interested in the success of nursing faculty and students. As a registered nurse, Moore has decades of clinical nursing experience, in addition to a Ph.D. from the University of Nevada and a master’s degree in nursing education from Michigan State University. Today, as a researcher and educator, Dr. Moore strives to educate, support and mentor all students to become outstanding nurses in the global world of healthcare.
Natalia Rodriguez, MPH
Natalia has extensive training and experience in community health education, public health, infectious diseases, and health communications. She has worked with federally funded HIV and STI prevention organizations to help underserved communities reach better outcomes by designing, implementing, and evaluating programs. In 2021, she served as Community Ambassador for CDC’s Houston HIV Prevention program. She earned her Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology with a concentration in Public Health Informatics from UTHealth Houston. Natalia served as Conference Co-Chair for the 8th Annual Houston Global Health Conference in 2020 and Public Relations Chair for the 2019 UNLIMITED Conference.
Stephen Spann, MD, MBA
Dr. Spann, a family physician leader, educator, and researcher is the Founding Dean of the University of Houston College of Medicine. Dr. Spann has dedicated his career to improving health and health care worldwide by training future healthcare professionals, contributing to the scientific knowledge base of primary care, leading medical school faculty, physician medical groups, and hospital medical staff, and striving to practice excellent, evidence-based family medicine.
Dr. Spann has been active in the development of the specialty of Family Medicine both in the United States and abroad. He has served as a consultant to medical schools, residency programs, ministries of health, and health care delivery systems in many countries, focusing on primary care training programs and clinical practice development and implementation.
A graduate of Baylor University and Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Spann completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and received the M.B.A. degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Ahmar Hashmi, MD, MPH
Dr. Ahmar Hashmi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and Health Behavior in the School of Health Professions at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). He is also faculty in the Department of Global Health and Emerging Diseases in the School of Public and Population Health. He has 15 years of global public health experience, including 8 years of living and working in low- and middle-income settings. As a mixed methods researcher, he has interests in: nutrition; maternal, newborn, and child health; healthcare equity and access; behavioral health; and vulnerable populations (migrants, refugees, and corrections).