We are thrilled and honored to have the following speakers discuss the challenges the endometriosis community faces in accessing care and our hopes for the future. This event brings together patients, advocates and top practitioners from across Texas to raise the profile of this devastating disease.
John F. Dulemba, MD, FACOG
John F. Dulemba, MD, FACOG is a world-renowned, board-certified gynecologist who’s considered to be one of the leading experts worldwide in state-of-the-art da Vinci® robotic surgery. He improves the lives of women who come to him for care at The Women’s Centre in Denton, Texas with a wide variety of innovative, minimally invasive surgeries using the da Vinci, as well as other top-of-the-line, supportive treatments. His specialties include alleviating endometriosis, adhesions, and pelvic pain, and only provides services for those problems. His reputation as an innovator attracts women from around the world to The Women’s Centre for expert and cutting-edge treatments. He always takes time to educate his patients on the therapies they receive so that they understand each step of their journey toward wellness. As a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Dulemba is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan. He’s often known to enter the operating room dressed in his Steeler attire.
We invite you to listen to him speak at the Houston Endometriosis Rally 2020!
Devin Garza, MD, FACOG
Devin Garza, MD is a GYN Surgeon specializing in Advanced Minimally Invasive da Vinci® Robotic surgery a large part of his practice is dedicated to Evaluation and Management of Pelvic Pain, abnormal bleeding, Fibroids, Infertility, Endometriosis, and he is a referral center surgeon for complex cases from surgeons all over Texas. He established a private practice in Austin in 1993 before joining the Renaissance Women’s Group in 2008.
Dr. Garza is a Texas surgeon with worldwide recognition. He has performed or instructed more than 2,300+ procedures using da Vinci Gynecologic Surgery. Dr. Garza has personally instructed well over 1,200 surgeons to advance their minimally invasive robotic surgery skills. His case observation site is the busiest site in the U.S. Surgeons from all over the U.S. fly in to watch Dr. Garza perform robotic surgery and learn state of the art techniques in the management of complex and benign hysterectomy, myomectomy, endometriosis, pelvic floor prolapse and other surgeries.
Dr. Garza is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Women’s Health for The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. He has published studies in the literature and participated frequently as faculty at World Robotics Gynecologic Congress (WRGC) and the American Association of Laparoscopic Gynecologists (AAGL).
When not being a rock star in the OR, Dr. Garza enjoys being with family and friends. We invite you to listen to him speak at the Houston Endometriosis Rally 2020!
Anthony O’Connell, MD, FACOG, FACS
Dr. Anthony O’Connell is dual Board-Certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (also known as Urogynecology) and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Urogynecology as a subspecialty has been around for some time but only recently recognized as a subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and it is certified jointly between the boards of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urology. Dr. O’Connell started his practice in 1998. In 2011 the practice has been limited to Urogynecology and complex Gynecology. Urogynecologists specialize in disorders of the bladder and pelvic floor, urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic pain and pelvic prolapse. Complex gynecologic conditions that Dr. O’Connell treats include difficult minimally-invasive surgeries that would normally require laparotomy (larger, open incision), uterine fibroids and chronic pelvic pain conditions such as hernias, endometriosis, painful bladder and pelvic congestion syndrome.
He believes that patients and doctors get better results when they communicate well, and this can only occur in a non-judgmental environment of trust and open access. While much of his specialty is surgical in nature, he believes in exploring non-surgical options whenever realistically possible- he’s had surgery before, and if it can be avoided in the course of effective treatment, he and most other surgeons believe that's what's best.
He’s a native of New Jersey, who has been living in Dallas since 1998 with his wife and two children. We invite you to listen to him speak at the Houston Endometriosis Rally 2020!
Xiaoming Guan, MD, PhD
Dr. Xiaoming Guan is the Chief of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Texas Children’s and is an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Guan earned his medical degree at Fujian Medical College, Fuzhou in Fujian, China. He completed his Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at St. Joseph's Hospital, a Mount Sinai School of Medicine affiliated hospital, in Paterson, NJ, followed by a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Guan brings extensive experience in treating complex and challenging cases of endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and pelvic masses. He is a leader in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery and a pioneer in the use of state-of-the-art robotic single-site technology and traditional single site and transvaginal Natural Orifice Endoscopy Surgery (NOTES) for advanced pelvic surgery. He also applies single-site or NOTES surgical technique in treatments of cervical incompetence with abdominal cerclage, urinary incontinence with sling, and pelvic organ prolapse with sacrocolpopexy. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology and he is the author of numerous more than 40 publications.
Representing Houston, Texas, we invite you to listen to him speak at the Houston Endometriosis Rally 2020!
Fatima Hakeem, PT
Fatima Hakeem, PT is a nationally-recognized Women’s Rehab Professional with over 40 years of experience in women’s health. She is a rehab health start-up expert who teaches and consults internationally.
Mrs. Hakeem pioneered the women’s rehabilitation service at Woman’s Hospital, Baton Rouge, LA where she served as Director of Women’s Rehab from 1989-1999. This program garnered significant attention as the first full complement of women’s rehabilitation services in the country. In 1999, she brought these skills to Houston where she started up and grew the women’s rehabilitation program at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. She served as Director of Women’s Rehab until 2019.
Additionally, Mrs. Hakeem was elected to multiple board positions for the Section on Women’s Health, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). She served as Secretary of the Executive Board and as Public Relations Chair on the Board of Directors. In 2009, Mrs. Hakeem was awarded the Elizabeth Noble Award, the Section on Women’s Health’s highest honor for exceptional service in the field of women’s physical therapy.
She has authored text book chapters, guides for the APTA, diagnosis specific documentation tools and treatment guidelines. Mrs. Hakeem also wrote a “first of its kind” Pelvic Floor Policy and Procedures Manual in 1995, to meet regulatory compliance and as a resource for therapists. It is in its 4th Revision in Year 2020.
Fatima Hakeem is a change-maker in the field of pelvic floor physical therapy with a passion for patient education and advocacy. We invite you to hear her speak at the Houston Endometriosis Rally 2020.
Melissa Velasco, RN
Melissa Velasco is a Registered Nurse with over 6 years in Oncology care. In the past two years, Melissa has dedicated her spare time to learning, educating, and advocating for proper endometriosis care. This dedication stems from her 15 year battle with this disease that she only learned about 3 years ago. Since receiving her endometriosis diagnosis in late 2017, she has started her blog (eightysixtheendo.com), volunteered for the American End of Endo Project, and become a member of the Board of Advisors for the Endometriosis Foundation of Houston. We invite you to hear her speak at the Houston Endometriosis Rally 2020.
Hannah Hay has been involved in the Endo Community since November 2018 when she founded the North Texas Endometriosis Support Group on Facebook. She was diagnosed earlier that year, in August, with Endometriosis. While she has always had terrible periods since the beginning, her pain became more predominant between periods. She is extremely grateful for a diagnosis after struggling since her first period. What she is most thankful for is the Endometriosis community that has been built and now the opportunity to create a local community of Endo Warriors in North Texas! Her hobbies include yoga, watching baseball and traveling. Her love for yoga started when a friend of hers invited her to the local recreation center, after quickly catching on she moved her practice to a hot yoga studio close to home. Watching baseball is very near and dear to her heart. She first started watching baseball with her husband. He has spent years coaching baseball and she truly enjoy watching him do what he loves while watching kids grow to love the game. Her husband, friends and peers truly make traveling amazing! She enjoys learning the culture and experiencing new adventures through traveling. We are thrilled to have Hannah speak at the Houston Endometriosis Rally 2020.
Elizabeth Garro, RN
Elizabeth Garro, RN, was diagnosed with endometriosis in June of 2018 but suffered with symptoms for almost twelve years. During that time frame, not one single physician mentioned the word “endometriosis” to her. She was given random diagnosis, medications, and just plain told “It’s all in your head.” The amount of frustration and hopelessness during those twelve years was insane. She rallies because she does not want the future generation to suffer as she had suffered. She wants them to be able to walk into a physicians’ office and receive the proper care they deserve.
She rallies because after receiving her bachelors in nursing, she still had to do a ton of research to fully understand how complex endometriosis truly is. In university, they barely even scratched the surface of this disease and what they did cover, was absolutely wrong.
She rallies because after receiving her diagnosis she reached out to the endo community and saw a lack of presence in Dallas. She found the amazing Hannah Hay through Facebook and together they created The North Texas Endometriosis Support Group. They are working to bring more awareness, education, and community to North Texas.
We invite you to hear her speak at the Houston Endometriosis Rally 2020.