2017 Conference Speakers

Kathleen Reeve, DrPH, APRN, ANP-BC, FNP-C

As Associate Dean, Dr. Reeve is the administrator with primary responsibility for the academic affairs of the College of Nursing. She oversees the development and implementation of the curriculum, implement and assess policies and procedures annually related to student progression, schedule courses and faculty teaching load each semester.

She has completed  her post master's certificate programs in both Adult Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner. Dr. Reeve holds an advanced practice nursing license in the State of Texas and is board certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner. She has taught graduate education for over 20 years predominantly advanced practice.  She has also maintained a faculty practice in primary  care locations throughout her career. She currently practices at a community healthcare facility for the uninsured.


Steve Branham, PhD, ACNP-BC, FNP-BC, FAANP, CCRN

Dr. Branham has made outstanding contributions to the Nurse Practitioner role in many ways including clinician, professor, entrepreneur and researcher. He was one of the first nationally certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioners trained in Texas, graduating from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1996. Dr. Branham is known as an expert clinician. He used his clinical expertise to develop two nurse practitioner programs and was responsible for training over 260 ACNPs. Dr. Branham is sought after as a local/national presenter and frequently consulted on issues affecting the ACNP role.


Mari T. Galang, MSN, RN, AGACNP

Mari T. Galang, MSN, RN, AGACNP is an Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in one of the busy Infectious Diseases practice group in the Texas Medical Center. She started her nursing career after graduating with an Associate’s Degree from Kingwood Community College in 2007. She then went on to get her Bachelor’s degree and her Master’s Degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Mari has a variety of experience from the General-Surgical Telemetry Unit to Cardiovascular Critical Care. She now collaborates with her physicians in the care of patients in the spectrum of infectious diseases - from cellulitis, HIV/AIDS to post-transplant opportunistic infections.

She has been a member of the Houston Area Nurse Practitioners organization since 2012. After becoming a NP she went on to be an active and involved member and has been at work in the Education Committee. Ms. Galang holds multiple certifications in her areas of practice, including CCRN-CMC-CSC, FCCS and also trained as a post-Master’s Trauma Certificate Program at UTHSC. She is also a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

She is an avid dreamer, an introvert by nature and has a fine appreciation for savory comfort food.


Larry I. Lipshultz, MD.

Larry I. Lipshultz, M.D., is Professor of Urology and Chief of the Scott Department of Urology’s Division of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston,Texas. Dr. Lipshultz, who holds the Smith Chair in Reproductive Medicine, is a well-known authority on abnormalities of male reproduction, erectile dysfunction, and male hormone therapy. He completed his medical training and urology residency at the University of Pennsylvania and was the first American Urological Association (AUA) research scholar. He is a member of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons, a founder of the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction and the American Society of Andrology, and is the second urologist elected President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

Dr. Lipshultz has been an active member of the AUA throughout his career. Among many other activities, he has served on the FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs. In 2010 he was honored by the AUA as “one of the most respected surgeon scientists and mentors in Urology.” He received the ASRM Service Award in 2011, the AUA’s Hugh Hampton Young Award in 2005, and the F. Brantley Scott Award of Excellence in 2015. He has published more than 300 journal articles, serves on the editorial boards of several major journals, and has edited two widely used comprehensive text books. He is frequently invited to lecture in the U.S. and abroad, and he is listed routinely in Best Doctors in America and Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors. Teacher as well as physician, researcher, writer, and editor, Dr. Lipshultz instituted a fellowship training program in male reproductive medicine and surgery that has trained more than 100 physicians who are now in practice both here and abroad.


Michael Pudlo, APRN, ACNP-BC

Michael Pudlo has been involved in heart failure care since 2012. He developed an in-patient and out-patient Heart Failure Disease Management Service at Houston Methodist Hospital. Michael has given Heart Feailure letures to health care professionals, leaders, and community members that include topics of self care management strategies and HF - updates in care, and options in treatment. He has given six Poster Presentations at National Conferences from topics ranging from Quality Care Metrics to Updates in CardioMEMS Program. 


Paula Rupert, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CWS

Paula Rupert was born and raised (BOI) in Galveston, Texas and still loves the “sand between her toes.”  She has four children and six grandchildren that are the “spice” in her life! With 27 years of nursing experience Paula has learned that a kind heart, sharp mind, and passion for lifelong learning is essential. She obtained her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Texas Medical Branch. The last eleven years of her career have been focused on surgical wound management with over 10 national and international scientific posters and two recent publications. It is essential to apply an evidenceā€based approach and consider each wound individually in order to create the optimal conditions for wound healing.


Paula Westergren, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC

Paula Westergren graduated from UTMB in 1993 with a Bachelor's in Nursing and began her nursing career at St. Joseph's Hospital in Houston, Texas working S/MICU as a night shift charge nurse. After ten years at St. Joseph's Hospital, Paula began working at Houston Methodist in The Medical Center as Transplant Coordinator. While working as the Liver Transplant Coordinator, Paula went back to school and graduated with an advanced practice degree froM TWU. In her role as a Nurse Practitioner, Paula transitioned to Hepatology Research where her responsibilities include identifying recruits for clinical trials, collaborating with the research team, and providing support to accomplish the goals of the trials.


Sara Wood, RN, PMHNP-BC, MSN

Sara Wood graduated in 2002 from the University of Texas Adult and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner program at UT Health Science Center Houston, with a minor in Addictions Treatment. She is licensed as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and has provided care for patients at Menninger Clinic, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center, and UTMB Correctional Managed Care, in addition to private practice settings.

She has also been a clinical instructor at UT School of Nursing, and a preceptor for many students. She served as Secretary of HANP from 2011 to 2013 and as President of Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses – Houston, from 2013 to 2014. She has also served on the Government Affairs Committee of TNP, and is currently on the TNP Mental Health Advisory Committee.