2018 Conference Speakers

Linda Barloon, RN, MSN, PHMNP-BC

Bio coming soon!


Steve Branham, Ph.D., 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.


Elaine Hess, Ph.D.

Dr. Elaine Hess is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 7 years of experience specializing in integrating behavioral health in primary care and other medical settings (e.g., palliative care, oncology). She received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin's Counseling Psychology program and completed a fellowship in palliative care at the VA in San Antonio. Dr. Hess currently serves as the Director of Behavioral Health at Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston and has a faculty appointment with Baylor College of Medicine's Department of Family and Community Medicine. Her clinical work emphasizes brief, evidence-based interventions suitable for the fast-paced setting of primary care. Her clinical passions include providing patient-centered care to aid individuals and their families encountering chronic or life-limiting illness or injury by integrating the biological, social, spiritual and psychological. She has provided behavioral and motivational enhancement therapies for smoking cessation for over 5 years.


Robert Metzger, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

Bio coming soon!


Scharlotte Spencer, DNP, APRN, FNP-C

Bio coming soon!


Darlene Trandel, Ph.D., RN/FNP, MSN, CNS, BC-HWC

Darlene Trandel, is a registered nurse, a licensed family nurse practitioner, and has a Ph.D. in nursing science research. She has been a healthcare coach for over 12 years and holds the designation of a Certified Professional Coach from the International Coaching Federation, and the designation of a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach from the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching/National Board of Medical Examiners.

Darlene is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing where she leads and directs the Faculty Mentoring Program as well as the National Leadership in Nursing Mentor Program, the Interprofessional Healthcare Executive Leadership Mentor program. She also trains the nurse executives and nurse managers at the University of Maryland Hospital System in their mentor-coach program.  She serves as a leadership coach to nursing faculty and it has developed and teaches the health coach training classes and health behavior change classes in the graduate nursing program. 

She is also on the faculty at Wellcoaches School of Coaching, a partner with the American College of Sports Medicine, American College of Lifestyle Medicine and associated with Harvard Medical School, where she trains, coaches and mentors healthcare professionals in evidence-driven behavioral change methodologies to help their patients/clients change their lifestyle and self-manage their chronic disease.

She continues with many years of work with the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching/ National Board of Medical Examiners and a team of experienced educators and leaders to develop, implement and promote national standards and certification to health and wellness coaches and coach-training programs to advance consistent training, education, and assessment of the requisite skills and knowledge needed for effective practice in the health and wellness coaching profession. 

She has authored a book, several chapters in texts and written numerous articles in the field and continues collaborating on coaching research projects and writing.