Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion
Dr. Omonele Nwokolo was named as the inaugural Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Anesthesiology. She is a graduate of UTHealth McGovern Medical School and did her anesthesia training here at the UTHealth McGovern Medical School department of Anesthesiology as well. She remains here on faculty and has been actively involved in the Residency Training Program. Her vision for Diversity and Inclusion in the department of Anesthesiology begins with providing resources and training for faculty, particularly those in leadership positions to recognize their own implicit biases, minimize its role; create transparency and accountability in hiring practices, compensation, and promotion in the department. She aims to create a platform with resources, guidelines, and support for department members who experience implicit/explicit biases, overt racism, or sexism. She also aims to celebrate the diverse nature of the department and has formed a team (Diversity Ambassadors) to achieve the mission and vision of the Diversity and Inclusion team.
Stephanie Bradley, MD, MPH, is a Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologist at UT Houston McGovern Medical School. She completed her residency in anesthesiology at UTHealth McGovern Medical School, followed by a fellowship in cardiothoracic anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Prior to residency, her medical training was completed at UTHealth McGovern Medical School while concurrently obtaining her master’s in public health at UT Houston School of Public Health.
Dr. Bradley’s academic interests include gender and socioeconomic disparities in medicine, education, and the community health.
D’Andrea Ceasar, MD, grew up in Houston, TX and obtained her undergraduate degree from Baylor University and her medical degree from University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of medicine. She is a current anesthesiology resident at McGovern Medical School. Being a Houston native, diversity has always been a large part of her upbringing. During her time in medical school, she was President of the SNMA, National Delegate for the AAMC-OSR, and Class representative during her MS4 year.
Dr. Ceasar’s passion for DEI motivated her to become a leader, advocate, and mentor during her time in medical school, and now residency. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, Harry Potter marathons, and music.
Dr. Guzman-Reyes attended the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo and completed her residency at the University Of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Guzman-Reyes is an Associate Professor and Assistant Residency Director at the University Of Texas McGovern Medical School Department Of Anesthesiology. Dr. Guzman-Reyes has been actively involved and has been serving in the McGovern Medical School Diversity and Inclusion committee for the past 4 years. Her areas of interest and practice include liver transplantation, Trauma, and Regional anesthesia. Dr. Guzman’s mentorship includes traditional educational initiatives but she has been on the forefront of implementing a more holistic approach to the residency and medical education. She was chosen by the McGovern School of Medicine to be the head of the Becky and Ralph S. O’Connor McGovern Medical School Society. She has also been an exceptional driver of change in clinical areas of patient safety within Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) and MHH. Patient Safety and optimizing patient outcomes through improved communication and teamwork is one of her main goals.
Sabina Khan, MD is a foreign medical graduate from Pakistan and completed her Anesthesiology Residency in 2014 at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas and Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship at UT Houston/ McGovern Medical School in 2015. She stayed at UT as a faculty till 2019 when she moved for 2 years to work at the only Children’s Hospital in UAE. Dr. Khan came back to rejoin UT last year as an Assistant Professor and is actively involved in residency and fellowship training program.
Dr. Khan is the Assistant Program Director of Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship Program and Assistant Director of Pediatric Anesthesia Scoliosis Program. She is a member of the Anesthesiology Perioperative Excellence Grand Rounds planning committee as well as a member of the Diversion and Inclusion Team in support of colleagues who believe in inclusivity and diversity. Her aim is to help promote an inclusive and safe environment where all individuals are treated fairly, have equal access to opportunities and are able to contribute to their full potential.
Her motto in life is T.E.A.M: Together Everyone Achieves More.
Sana Khan, M.D was born in Pakistan and moved to America during her early childhood years. Dr. Khan completed her anesthesiology residency in New York and went on to do an Acute Pain & Regional Anesthesia fellowship at UPMC. After completing her fellowship, she moved to Houston, Texas with her family. She was in private practice in the Houston area for approximately 4 years. She wanted to pursue a career in academic anesthesiology and was drawn to UT because of the diversity of the anesthesiology department.
Dr. Khan is passionate about diversity and inclusion and believes in representation. Her interests include Regional Anesthesia, Point-of-Care Ultrasound, and Resident Education. She currently serves as the patient liaison for the anesthesiology department.
Nneka Madu, MD, is currently a resident anesthesiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Her interests include mentoring underrepresented, minority pre-medical students to bridge the financial and knowledge gap that permeates this demographic of people. She achieved this by utilizing her virtual platform, The Chocolate Docs, to provide tips on academic success in medical school, donated medical prep course materials, offered feedback on personal statements, and hosted free mock interviews for current medical school applicants.
While in residency, Dr. Madu aims to continue her efforts by serving as an ambassador in the department of Diversity and Inclusion at UT. Outside of work, she enjoys shopping, hanging out with friends, and indulging in reality television.
Tejaswi Marri graduated from McGovern Medical School and is currently a resident anesthesiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Dr. Marri is passionate about delivering culturally competent care, reducing health care disparities, and creating an environment where individuals of all backgrounds can feel engaged and respected.
Mariam Mehrafza, MD was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She went to college at UT San Antonio and medical school at Texas A&M. She grew up in a household that was heavily influenced by Guatemalan and Persian background. Therefore, for residency, it was very important for her to train at a place where she felt that diversity was not only prevalent but celebrated. She immediately felt at home in Houston and at UTHealth.
Medea Mshvildadze MD, is a Foreign Medical Graduate from Georgia and completed residency training in Anesthesiology and CV Fellowship at UT- Houston Medical School. She joined the UT Anesthesiology faculty in 2007, however few months later, went into private practice where she practiced Cardiac, General and OB anesthesia for 9 years, and served as chief of Anesthesia at MHH GH and Medical Director of Houston Metro Urology Surgical Center. The passion to teach, along with missing the academic environment, brought her back to UT Houston as an assistant Professor in 2017, with specific interest in Cardiovascular, thoracic, transplant, OB and trauma anesthesiology.
Dr. Mshvildadze is actively involved in hands-on teaching of residents, and fellows along with imparting knowledge, and skills to the new generation of future anesthesiologists.
Lauren Nakazawa, MD MBA is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and did her residency training there as well, followed by a fellowship in Regional Anesthesiology at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She went on to earn her MBA at the Jones School of Business at Rice University. Her areas of interest include regional anesthesia, quality improvement, patient safety, and global health. She is a member of the Anesthesiology Perioperative Excellence Grand Rounds planning committee and serves as the Anesthesia Equipment & Supply Chain Liaison for Memorial Hermann Hospital – TMC.
Osamudiamen Obanor, MD was born in Nigeria and grew up in New Jersey for most of his childhood. He went to New York University School of Medicine where he along with a group of friends founded the Diversity and Inclusion group, aimed at improving matriculation rates of students from diverse backgrounds and improving knowledge about medical school amongst New York City public schools. Afterwards, he went to University of Texas- Southwestern for Anesthesia Residency, Duke University for Critical Care Fellowship and UTHealth – Houston for Cardiothoracic Fellowship.
Dr. Obanor joined the DEI Anesthesiology group because of his motto in life to always “be the person you needed when you were younger”. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of male African American Role models amongst physicians in the country. Being an Attending Physician gives him an opportunity to be one of those role models, and he intends not to squander it. To him, true diversity and inclusion means people from ALL walks of life interaction, sharing their life stories and learning from/growing with each other. I hope to see that as the future of medicine in future years.
Dennis M. O’Brien is the Assistant Chief, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. Dr. O’Brien holds a Bachelor of Science from Southeastern Louisiana University (2001), a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas (2006), where he also completed the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in 2012.
Dennis is committed to creating an inclusive environment and promoting equity within the department. His vision is to incorporate Diversity & Inclusion goals in department’s strategic outlook with actionable steps to achievement. Helping establish/maintain points above and adapting as needed are the driving force in his professional practice. He believes that diversity/equity/inclusion encourages achievement within a team, attracts top candidates for hire, promotes employee retention, and enriches our “bottom line”.
Hafeez Olalemi, MD is currently a resident anesthesiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Nigerian heritage. He has a passion for mentorship and promoting diversity and inclusion in the medical field. Outside of medicine he enjoys outdoor hikes, being in the gym, and traveling.
Dr. Olalemi strongly believes that the world is diverse and as such that diversity should be represented in all professional fields.
Dr. Onyi Onuoha received both her medical and public health degrees from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health respectively. She thereafter returned to her college alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed a residency in Anesthesiology and subsequent fellowship in Obstetric Anesthesiology.
She remained on faculty at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) as an Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care before relocating to Houston in 2021. At HUP, she focused on general and ambulatory anesthesiology, high-risk obstetric anesthesiology, resident wellness, and education. She was the Director of the Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and had a special interest in the care of the “critically-ill parturient”.
Dr. Onuoha was also one of the Assistant Residency Program Directors and spearheaded the mentoring and feedback program between the faculty and residents in the department, creating initiatives that fostered open discourse and self-reflection to improve workplace morale and address professionalism and culture-related issues among staff in the department.
Dr. Onuoha has published several book chapters and peer-reviewed papers in her area of expertise and continues to be involved in clinical research advancing the field of obstetric anesthesiology and resident wellness.
Mayada Shokeir is a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant. She was born in Egypt, raised in Saudi Arabia and moved to Houston in middle school. Mayada earned Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M ’19 #gigem and continued her education at Case Western Reserve, Houston. She completed her Masters of Science in Anesthesia from the CWRU Houston branch and graduated in May 2022. She finds herself lucky to train and work at Memorial Hermann, TMC! As a proud Arab-Muslim-American woman, she is very excited and honored to be part of the DEI.
Orlanda Smith is a Certified Registered Nurse Anethestist (CRNA) at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. Orlanda completed her undergraduate degree in nursing at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She then obtained a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia from the University of Texas HSC-Houston. Orlanda has worked as an Assistant Professor for the UTHealth School of Nursing and currently enjoys mentoring nurse anesthesia students in the clinical setting. In 2019 she completed the Family Nurse Practitioner program at UTHealth and obtained dual advanced practice licensure. She also completed post graduate studies at the School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth.
Mrs. Smith is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the work place because she feels our differences make us stronger and brings perspective that cultivates an impactful department and profession.
Danielle White, MD is originally from Dallas, but Houston has become her home over the past 10 years. She is a Xavier University of Louisiana Graduate and UT Houston lifer. Beyoncé Aficionado. You can find her doing epidurals and spinals on OB!
Dr. White is a big proponent of Diversity and Inclusion and believes that it helps foster a healthy environment and high organizational productivity.