Dr. Baxter Montgomery – Founder and President of The Houston Cardiac Association (HCA) and the HCA Wellness Center, Houston, TX
Baxter D. Montgomery, MD, FACC received his high school diploma from Eisenhower Senior High School in Houston, Texas and his undergraduate degree from William Marsh Rice University in Houston. His Medical Degree was earned from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He completed an internship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine and affiliated Hospitals in Houston, Texas. He completed a fellowship in cardiovascular diseases along with completing special qualifications in clinical cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Dr. Montgomery is the founder and president of the Houston Cardiac Association (HCA) and the HCA Wellness Center, which guides clients and patients toward optimal health through nutritional excellence.
Dr. Montgomery is also the executive director of the Johnsie and Aubary Montgomery Institute of Medical Education and Research. He serves as clinical assistant professor of medicine in the division of cardiology/clinical cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he is responsible for teaching doctors who are undergoing sub-specialty training in general cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology.
Dr. Montgomery has acquired additional interests and expertise in the area of cardiovascular disease prevention and reversal using nutritional interventions. He noticed that despite treating his patients with the latest advances in technology and medication, they continued to gain weight and grow sicker.
He started researching nutrition’s role in disease reversal and found that plant foods were the common denominator in determining wellness. He has developed a novel food classification system and food prescription program that enables individuals to reverse chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes without medications or surgeries. He has refined this process over the past 10 years with profound positive results in severely ill patients.
Dr. Montgomery is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and member of the international Heart Rhythm Society. As a board-certified cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist, he has treated thousands of patients with severe cardiovascular diseases for well over a decade. The current scope of his practice includes treating patients with various forms of advanced heart disease with implantable medical devices, catheter procedures, and electrical ablation therapies. He is also very active in clinical research in areas of cardiovascular diseases and cardiac rhythm disorders. Other aspects of the practice consist of the use of noninvasive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for the evaluation and treatment of individuals with cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
Dr. Douglas Ray-Breaux – Author, Speaker and Professional Healthcare and Educational Consultant at SocialMedEd.Org, Houston, TX
He is the co-founder of Social MedEd.Org, established in 2005. Dr. Ray-Breaux promotes collaboration with HBCUs and faith base and community organizations to overcome educational and health disparities in African American and other underserved or disadvantage cultures.
Dr. Ray-Breaux is a graduate of Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received his Pharm. D. degree from University of Southern California in ’73. He practice as a clinical pharmacist at Kaiser Permanente Hospitals, Los Angeles, California and later became an Assistant Professor of clinical pharmacy at Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas.
He received his MD degree from Meharry Medical College in ‘87 and completed his internship at DC General Hospital, also known as Freedmen Hospital, and Howard University Washington, D.C.
Dr. Ray also served as a member of National Library of Medicine (NLM) and participated in Group Studies that collaborated with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to conduct studies on health disparities within the community.
He has written several articles on health disparities ““Inappropriate Use of Psychotropic Drugs in Foster Care Kids,” African American Health Institute of San Bernardino, California.
He has recently authored and is promoting, “The Color of Freedom after the Turbulent ‘60s”, (8/13) to increase the awareness of educational and health disparities that exist today in the African American and other underserved communities since the passing of the CRB’ 1964.
The book is being used at some colleges and is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles Bookstores.
Dr. Milton B. Daley – Adjunct Professor at College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, Prairie View, TX
Dr. Milton Daley is an adjunct professor with Prairie View A&M University where he teaches courses in Animal and Nutritional Science with the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences. He is also a program specialist within the Cooperative Extension Program and received both BSC and MSC in Animal Science at Prairie View A&M University and his Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition and Health/Biomedical Toxicology at the University of Guelph, Ontario Canada. The recipient of a number of scholarships including the Biomedical Toxicology Graduate Scholarship in 2008, Dr. Daley serves as the faculty advisor for the Pre Veterinarians Medicine Club including being a published author. His most recent article is titled “Single and Combined Effects of Organic Selenium on Egg, Fertility, Hatchability, and Embryonic Mortality of Exotic Cochin Hens”.
Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya – Research Scientist at College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, Prairie View, TX
Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya is a research scientist with Prairie View A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Human Sciences (CAHS) Cooperative Agricultural Research Center. Coming on board in January, 2013, Weerasooriya’s specialty is medicinal/herbal plants, and his research focuses on cutting edge methods of studying the beneficial compounds and extraction of the plant.
Prior to joining Prairie View A&M University, Weerasooriya was employed at the University of Mississippi. He earned a doctorate in Plant Systematics from the University of Hong Kong and trained as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in Molecular Systematics to differentiate various plant groups.
Dr. Weerasooriya states that his aim is to establish the first medicinal plant collection using botanical plants, incorporate financial benefits to small farmers for becoming medicinal growers and establish a cash crop while creating the first 1890 botanical garden at Prairie View A&M University.
He also works closely with the Cooperative Extension Program, the service component of the CAHS, to help educate the public regarding herbal medicines and the efficacy factor of research on certain medical drugs.
Health care services at the Center for Stress Management are provided by Kris Kerlin. Kris is a licensed professional counselor and supervisor. She obtained her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Phillips Graduate Institute in California. She has over ten years of experience helping clients and professionals manage challenging life situations. She specializes in helping people whose lives have been affected by an illness. She has worked with people with chronic pain, cancer, and other illnesses and caregivers and family members also impacted by their loved one’s illness. She began her work with people living with cancer and their loved ones over ten years ago at the Wellness Community in Los Angeles where counseling services and support groups and service are offered to those affected by cancer. Here in Houston she provided services to those impacted by cancer through Cancer Counseling. She also worked in multi-disciplinary pain management programs to assist people injured at work. She is trained in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, pain management, psychological first aid and ropes experiential learning modalities. In addition to her direct care with clients, she has worked in management in community mental health settings for seven years, supervising other mental health professionals and staff. In 2012 Kris founded the Center for Stress Management.
Janet M. Brooks’ experience includes more than 25 years in for and non-profit sectors. Presently, she is owner and CEO of Fortitude Health & Wellness, Inc., a for-profit wellness company based in Dallas, Texas. Under her leadership as a wellness expert, Fortitude has established external alliances that extend reach and influence, resulting in key statewide partnerships, increased market share, and cross-marketing opportunities. It is an established company making impact nationally and internationally.
The company was established in 2004 to take advantage of the void that existed in the market place for reliable wellness programs that actually worked. Wellness programs should use proactive approaches to address clients’ needs at risk with and developing chronic diseases. High insurance premiums, increasing number of employees in poor health, older workforce, and absenteeism due to health issues drive employers to reduce health care expenditures. Ms. Brooks, in effect, maximizes the value of current investments in wellness program benefits, as well as tangible basis for lowering insurance premiums based on reduction of chronic diseases.
Some of her clients include Veterans Administration, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Aetna, Inc., United Healthcare, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Minority Health Month, and the National Urban League. Working with these organizations have given Fortitude the opportunity to build healthier communities across the United States.
As Vice President of Health Initiatives for the American Heart Association, she created a nation-wide health initiative, implemented in 28 states to outreach and impact emerging populations at high-risk to reduce cardiovascular disease. She developed marketing communication strategies for statewide implementation, including large-scale special events, branding, collateral development, a national minority summit held in Atlanta, Georgia, multicultural faith-based prevention programs, and outcome evaluation tools. She also developed nation-wide ecosystem strategy to build and sustain relationships with community leaders, national media, elected officials, social service agencies, healthcare partners resulting in increased visibility.
Ms. Brooks has received numerous awards for her work in health and wellness in corporate, community, and faith-based programs. She re-engineered nationwide health education programs for Latino, Hispanic, African-American, and Asian markets through infrastructure building, and personnel development, which resulted in an aligned organizational structure and processes with outlined support systems and technologies that yielded productivity, measurable outcomes, and 4 million raised in the organization’s national budget in two years.
In addition, her background includes Educational Consultant for KCET Television; published abstracts, booklets, and articles for DHHS, CDC, The Urban Call Magazine, and lectures and interviews across the United States on a variety of health conditions and changing the paradigm for wellness and prevention.
Valorie King is a clinical psychologist serving in the Compensation and Pension Department of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. She also holds an Assistant Professorship at the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. King earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of Houston and her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Clinical Psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She is licensed as a clinical psychologist in the states of Texas and Delaware.
Charlie Marcol Jones, educator and life coach, is a graduate of the University of Houston, with an M. Ed in Counseling from Texas Southern University. Ms. Jones writes from her personal experience. The result of a failed marriage initiated the opportunity for Ms. Jones to share the pain and doubt of her personal journey. Charlie decided to take negative energy and transform it into a tool to help those struggling with the same issues. While cathartic, it also serves as a personal testimony of self-discovery and redemption.
Dr. Bernadine Duncan – Director of Student Counseling Services at Student Affairs, PVAMU, Prairie View, TX
Dr. Bernadine Duncan is Director of Student Counseling Services in the Division of Student Affairs at Prairie View A&M University. She held positions as assistant professor department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Prairie View A & M University and adjunct professor at Houston Community College in Houston, Texas. Dr. Duncan has spent most of her professional life in the field of psychotherapy and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Supervisor, a National Certified Counselor, and a Certified Chemical Dependency Specialist. She is motivated to giving back to her community and helping those in need.
Mr. Gregory Rose is a native of Dallas, Texas. Brought up by his lovely mother along with his two brothers and sister. Mr. Rose always tried to make people smile and bring joy to those around him. He was raised to stand out and be different. That is exactly what he did when he matriculated to Prairie View A&M University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. During his time at PVAMU, Mr. Rose was involved in numerous student organizations such as S.G.A., S.I.F.E., and Phi Beta Lambda. Not only was he a member he held positions in these organizations. (Yes he worked). He even took on the title of Prairie View’s Homecoming King. So leadership has always been in his foresight and he has continued to seek to lead. He went on to complete his Master’s degree from Prairie View also in Business Administration. Mr. Rose is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, and you can always find him helping out with community service projects in Prairie View and the surrounding areas.
Mr. Rose currently works at the Owens Franklin Health Center (here on campus) where he is the Project Director for the Panther’s Promoting Healthy Decisions (Panther PhDs) program, which specializes in peers educating peers – making healthy decisions. Mr. Rose has given speeches, held workshops and facilitated multiple seminars for various organizations on campus as well as in the Houston area. Through his methods, these tasks are very rewarding. “Changing the world one student at a time” is his goal and he plans to assist in helping students make healthier decisions throughout their college career at PVAMU as well as around the world. “We must educate the uneducated, in turn, we then inform the uninformed”.
Sheryl Austin – Extension County Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences at Cooperative Extension Program, PVAMU, Belton, TX
Sheryl Austin is an Extension Agent in Bell County, Texas with the Cooperative Extension Program- Prairie View A&M University. She provides educational programming to limited resource clientele in the area of family and consumer sciences (parenting, financial management, nutrition and health). Mrs. Austin graduated from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas with a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics in 1998 and Texas A&M University-Kingsville with a Master’s degree in Agriculture Science in 2010. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and certified family wellness instructor.
As an Extension Agent, Mrs. Austin creates and conducts many wellness programs and has partnered with various organizations in Bell County to expand her outreach. Wellness programs have focused on heart health, diabetes education, food safety, physical activity, and basic nutrition.
Mrs. Austin is a mentor with Temple ISD.
Richard was honored in 2013 by American Medical Systems and Endo Pharmaceuticals with the Trailblazer award for innovation in the marketplace. He partnered with Urban Communities across the country to educate men and families that suffer in silence with men health. The sensitive topics of ED, prostate cancer and incontinence are discussed by world renowned Urologist with the support of the NMA to minimize the health care disparities which exist in our communities. Richard’s alliances have helped to educate more than 5000 men with the goal to ensure that “no one perish due to the lack of knowledge.” Richard is a proud graduate of Southern University with a Masters in Behavioral Studies. He is a Gulf War veteran and a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. During his spare time, he enjoys providing hope to our incarcerated Brothers as a volunteer with the Texas Department of Corrections.