UpdateNews & Notes
  • News & Notes

    Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

    Duke Appiah, PhD, associate professor, TTUHSC Department of Public Health, was appointed for an undated term by Texas Gov. Great Abbott to a task force on infectious disease preparedness and response.

  • Brianyell McDaniel, PhD, (’20) has launched a podcast, “Conversations with Dr. Yella,” to better understand a diagnosis by exploring the science behind the disease. You can follow her on YouTube and Facebook.
  • Kerri Spontarelli, MD/PhD student, and Valeria Jaramillo-Martinez, PhD student, presented at the 2022 Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco.
  • Tanvirul Hye, PhD, (’16) joined Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine Department of Foundational Medical Studies to teach pharmacology.
  • News & Notes

    Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy

    Nkechi Amadi, MPH, (’22) and her team won second place in the American Pharmacists Association’s Digital Health Rx Hackathon. With this win, their team secured a cash prize for their MedMood prototype.

  • Craig Cox, PharmD, (Pharmacy Resident ’00) TTUHSC professor of pharmacy practice and vice chair for experiential programs, was named president-elect of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
  • News & Notes

    School of Medicine

    Jason Acevedo, MD, MBA, FAAOA, (’05) joined West Texas Ear, Nose and Throat of Abilene in March.

  • Richard Jordan, MD, TTUHSC dean at Amarillo, received the 2021 Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation Friends of the Foundation award for his support in treating cancer patients and serving health care needs to residents in Amarillo and surrounding communities.
  • Jayaram Naidu, MD, a clinical assistant professor for TTUHSC at the Permian Basin, is serving a third term (through April 2027) on the Texas Medical Board.
  • Samuel Prien, PhD, professor, TTUHSC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Laboratory, was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors.
  • TTUHSC anesthesiology residents Aron Tidrick, DO, and Hillary Powers, MD, (’20) advocated for their profession’s future during Texas Society of Anesthesiologists’ Anesthesiologist Days at the Texas Capitol of Austin.
  • Davor Vugrin, MD, TTUHSC clinical professor in internal medicine, received the Hippocratic Award from the Lubbock County Medical Society where he’s been a faculty member for 30 years.
  • Aesha Singh, MD, (Resident ’20) joined Cullman Regional Medical Group as a rheumatologist.
  • James Wang, MD, PhD, (’16, ’14) joined Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, as a facial plastic surgeon.
  • Brittany Bankhead, MD, assistant professor of surgery at TTUHSC and trauma surgeon with Texas Tech Physicians, received the first Association of Women Surgeons 40 Under 40 Award.
  • Jasmin Aldridge, MD, MPH, (’19) joined Lake Norman Medical Group Family Medicine in Mooresville, North Carolina.
  • News & Notes

    School of Health Professions

    Eric Steinke, DPT, (’13) expanded the footprint of Precision Sports Physical Therapy in Forney, Texas, in November 2021. He opened the clinic in 2019.

  • Jeffery Barnhart, (’13) has been reappointed by Gov. Abbott to serve until Jan. 1, 2028, on the Advisory Council on Emergency Medical Services.
  • Sarah Yokum (’17, ’15) has joined Trustpoint Rehabilitation Hospital of Lubbock. She also serves as board secretary for the nonprofit global organization “The Storyteller & the World.”
  • Ram Haddas, PhD, (’13) serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation.
  • Cassie Patzig, OT, (’07) now provides contracted care in complimentary, alternative medicine through Lubbock Advanced Physical Medicine.
  • Cassandra Self, MSHA (’20) earned fellow status with American College of Healthcare Executives in December 2021. He is employed with Texas Health Resources as a program director in supply chain.
  • Kevin Johns, PT, ScD, OCS, COMT, ATC/L (’19) received the designation of board-certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties of the American Physical Therapy Association. He is a physical therapist at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute.
  • News & Notes

    School of Nursing

    Barbara Cherry, DNSc, MBA, RN, (’97) and Carol Boswell, EdD, MSN, BSN, (’91, ’87) were named as TTUHSC Professor Emeritus by the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents, as requested by Dean Michael Evans, PhD, RN, FAAN.

  • Laurita Old Hudec, BSN, RN, (’17) received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Texas Christian University in 2021 and now practices in San Antonio, Texas.
  • Steve Branham, DNP, RN, (’11) associate professor in the TTUHSC Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program, was selected as a recipient of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses 2023 “The Circle of Excellence Award.”
  • Alyce Ashcraft, PhD, RN, professor and associate dean for research, and Richard Pullen, EdD, MSN, RN, program director for the RN to BSN Program, both in the TTUHSC School of Nursing, were inducted as felows into the American Academy of Nursing.
  • News & Notes

    Friends We’ll Miss

    Kenneth H. Benson, MD, (Medicine ’75) died August 13, 2022.

  • Aaron Jiunn-Yeu Chen, MD, (Medicine ’20) died October 27, 2002. He was a family medicine resident at TTUHSC in Amarillo.
  • John Cheng, MD, (Medicine ’95) died May 15, 2022. He was a physician in California.
  • Barbara Elaine Ewalt died June 8, 2022. She served as director of admissions for the School of Medicine.
  • Amber Linnet Avara Fountain, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, (Nursing ’20) died March 22, 2022.
  • David J. Hentges, PhD, died Feb. 8, 2022. He served as professor and chairman of the TTUHSC School of Medicine Department of Microbiology. Hentges also served as vice provost for research, associate dean of basic sciences and dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
  • Thomas F. McGovern, EdD, founding director of the TTUHSC Center for Ethics, Humanities and Spirituality, died March 21, 2022. He worked to advance humanistic medicine.
  • Ailena Mulkey, director of clinical research operations, TTUHSC Permian Basin, died May 19, 2022.
He consistently provides exceptional care to his patients and is always willing to share his extensive knowledge with his coworkers and students. Kevin’s (Johns) certificate as an orthopedic specialist further strengthens our rehabilitation program with the ongoing expansion of the orthopedics and sports medicine services offered at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd.
— Gene Constantine, OTR, MHS, CHT
Director, Rehabilitation Services, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System