COVID-19 Project ECHO Leadership Team
A trained dentist and passionate public health professional, Ankit currently serves as the Executive Director at Texas Health Institute (THI). In his current role, overseas a range of research, development, and evaluation projects at THI aimed at achieving public health improvement through research, policy, and advocacy. He also leads the development of partnerships and collaborative efforts with Texas Health Institute’s local, state, and national partners. Ankit is an experienced specialist in public health collaboration, systems thinking, use of research and data in healthcare decision making, health policy planning and development.
Ankit Sanghavi, BDS, MPH
Ricardo joined Equality Texas as its CEO in December of 2019 following a national search. Ricardo is a first generation immigrant from Mexico who grew up in Brooklyn, New York and attended public schools through high school. He was the second person of his immediate family to graduate high school and the first to earn a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Ricardo was honored by the Obama Administration as an emerging LGBTQ Leader in 2012 and recently awarded the Stony Brook University’s 40 Under 40 award for the impact he has had in Civil Service and Activism since graduating from the university.
Ricardo Martinez, MS
Co-Lead — Transgender and Gender Diverse Liaison
Emmett is a South Korean trans immigrant by way of foreign adoption who leads the largest statewide trans led advocacy org in Texas. While his primary focus of work is on trans issues, his passion and understanding that individuals at their wholest and fullest are not impacted by single issues, but rather a myriad of issues that often manifest themselves in oppression and marginalization. He came from corporate management after studying Business Management and Marketing in college and before entering into movement, nonprofit work. Emmett Executive Director of Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT).
Co-Lead — Project Manager
John is Director, eLearning and Training for Texas Health Institute and the Project ECHO Replication Hub Lead for THI. Mr. Oeffinger is a member of World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). He represents TransFORWARD as a community engagement partner for The PRIDE Study. He co-authored the five course Transgender Health Learning Series. The courses were created for Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The regional center is led by the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Co-Lead — Clinician or Researcher Liaison
Brett is also TransFORWARD's Region 2 Co-Lead and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and an Adolescent Medicine physician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. His clinical interests include LGBTQ health, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP),and male health. His academic interests include curriculum development on LGBTQ health for medical trainees. Dr. Cooper is a member of the Texas Medical Association Board of Trustees. He is also one of the co-chairs of the LGBT Special Interest Group for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.
M. Brett Cooper, MD, M. Ed., FAAP
Co-Lead — Transgender Health Consultant
Jamison is an internationally-respected author, educator, and advocate for transgender health. He holds BA and MFA degrees in English/Creative Writing from the University of Oregon, and a PhD in Law from Manchester Metropolitan University, England. He is the author of the prize-winning classic text Becoming a Visible Man. He is also a co-author of the WPATH Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People. He was elected three times to the board of directors of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), including as the organization’s first American transgender president.
Jamison Green, PhD
Co-Lead — Project Evaluation Team
Liz is a Professor and the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She earned her doctoral degree in social work at Florida State University. Liz also holds a master’s in social work from the University of Georgia. Her clinical work focuses on the assessment and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in adolescents and adults. She has expertise in both individual and group psychotherapy. In 2014, she received the Steve Jordan Award from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) North Carolina for her advocacy on behalf of those living with mental illness.
Elizabeth Arnold, PhD, LCSW
Co-Lead — Community-Based Participatory Research
Phillip is an associate professor of community-based participatory research in the Department of Population Health. He is an applied health researcher and expert in LGBTQ+ populations specializing in sexual health, mental health and substance use disorder. He engages the community as co-collaborators throughout the research process and develops meaningful programs to address the health of marginalized populations and shift social policies that contribute to mistreatment and discrimination of these groups. For the past two years, Schnarrs has been a fellow with the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL) program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Phillip Schnarrs, PhD
Co-Lead — ECHO Operations & Community Engagement
Rocky is also TransFORWARD's Region 5 Co-Lead and the current board chair for Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), City of Austin Public Safety Commissioner, and grassroots community organizer. His resume includes wide-ranging experience in health, wellness, entertainment, and entrepreneurship. Rocky is an advocate and community engagement specialist having participated in numerous leadership training, workshops, and community-led fundraising events. As a health provider he has worked in careers ranging from certified nurse assistant to City of Austin Paramedic to wellness provider.
Project ECHO Consultant,
Group Process Design Lead
Kory served as the Assistant Director for the statewide capacity building initiative, Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) Colorado prior to founding an independent coaching and consulting company. Her experience launching a statewide ECHO replication hub including multi-sector partnerships and extensive operational infrastructure enabling rapid ECHO initiative development lead to the successful launch of over 20 ECHO projects in the first year of programming. Kory received her Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan.
Kory Thomas, MPH ACC
Fort Collins, Colorado
Co-Lead — Community-Based Participatory Research
Oralia is an Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences at the University of Texas El Paso with training in epidemiology and biostatistics. Their research training and experience is in the area of substance abuse and risk factors for HIV/STI and Hepatitis C Virus among high-risk populations including sexual and gender minorities, transgender women, migrants, and other marginalized individuals living on the U.S.-Mexico border. They have conducted research in collaboration with Mexican colleagues in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua.
Oralia Loza, PhD
El Paso County
Evaluation Team Member
Katie is a Research Associate in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She earned a Master of Science in Counseling at Southern Methodist University and has been working in academic family medicine for three years.
Katie Bridges, MPH
Evaluation Team Member
Leo is a Senior Project Assistant in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He earned a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology at UT Rio Grande Valley and has been working in academic family medicine for three years.
Leo Gonzalez, MA