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Experts on Call

Experts on CallThe Experts on Call service at Cook Children's provides a variety of health care professionals from our system to bring a wealth of knowledge to the community.

This is a free service that covers diverse topics, and can be customized to churches, schools, clubs and other community organizations.

Presenters from Cook Children's include physicians, nurses, information specialists, child psychologists, therapists and more. The Cook Children's experts cover a wide range of interesting subjects that matter most to families, including bullying, technology safety and wellness subjects.

Our speakers are well received in the community therefore, please allow for at least a four-week notice for requests. Participation in your event is based upon staff availability.

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Jody S. Hawkins, Information Systems Security Officer

Jody HawkinsJody S. Hawkins, Information Systems Security Officer, has been in technology for medical facilities since early 2000 and has been practicing for more than 20 years with his start in the United States Air Force. Hawkins specializes in privacy and technology safety  and is a regular speaker at the National HIT/HIPAA Conference. He has been quoted and published in several national publications, including Health Information Management Magazine.

Hawkins' can speak on a variety of security topics facing our children & parents today, including:

Request appointment 

To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Katherine "Kate" Strickland, Clinical Therapist

Katherine StricklandKatherine "Kate" Strickland, Clinical Therapist, has been with Cook Children’s for the past three years, first serving as a program specialist on the inpatient psychiatric unit and as a licensed professional counseling-intern, and recently accepted a position as a clinical therapist. This role is multidimensional and includes the following responsibilities: serve as resource to the Cook Children’s medical units for consults on supportive therapy, serve as a resource to the Partial Hospitalization Program department to assist with additional family therapies, create and facilitate a community mental health parent support group, and serve as an outreach resource for Cook Children’s Medical Center providing educational classes/presentations in the community.

Strickland can speak about supporting children as they reach for goals and aspirations. She helps children reach those goals whether they need that support due to life events or trauma, school problems, physical or mental disabilities, family changes, or simply because they are having a rough day. Her primary topics include:

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To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Sandra Peak, M.D., Pediatrician

Sandra PeakSandra Peak, M.D., Pediatrician, joined Cook Children's Physician Network in Lewisville in 2004. Dr. Peak attended Baylor University and received a B.A. in English and Psychology. She attended medical school at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Her Pediatric Residency was at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock where she participated in Angel One emergency helicopter transport service and where she received the Jocelyn Elders Award for excellence in the community service. She returned to her home town of Dallas in 1998 and established a Pediatric Practice in Carrollton, Texas. Dr. Peak enjoys gardening, yoga, and boating and in her spare time can be found at the lake with her husband Jay, stepson Sage and the world's most amazing Lab, Sugar Mae.

Dr. Peak can speak on a wide range of topics impacting the daily lives of children such as:

Request appointment 

To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Brian J. Dixon, M.D., Psychiatrist

Brian DixonBrian J. Dixon, M.D., Psychiatrist, joined Cook Children’s in August 2012. While at Texas A&M College of Medicine, Dr. Dixon found his calling – to work with children and their families. Dr. Dixon was selected to participate in the Triple Board Program at the University of Kentucky, one of nine programs like it in the nation. The program trains a select group of physicians as both pediatricians and child psychiatrists; the result is focused training that tie the mental and physical health together closely. He states, "My training has given me insight into treating the family and how family dynamics directly affect a child’s mood and behaviors."

Dr. Dixon looks forward to working with all families to eliminate disparities associated with wealth, race, ethnicity, culture and hopes to continue improving mental health for all Texans. His goal is to educate and hopefully prevent many of the mental and physical ailments that affect our children. Dr. Dixon loves to educate families on:

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To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Larry Tubb, Executive Director, The Center for Children's Health, Sr. Vice President of Decision Support Analytics and Strategic Planning

Larry TubbLarry Tubb, Executive Director, The Center for Children's Health, Sr. Vice President of Decision Support Analytics and Strategic Planning, has more than 30 years of service to Cook Children's, he was the founding president of Cook Children's Home Health. He also co-founded the Cook Children's Grants and Research department, is a past chair of Cook Children's Institutional Review Board and is often actively leading system-wide initiatives. He is involved in several community organizations working to improve the health of children.

Tubb has been vital in establishing the Community-wide Children's Health Assessment & Planning Survey (CCHAPS). The survey found key areas that need to be addressed and Tubb is passionate about those key issues:

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To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Sophia Grant, M.D., Pediatrician

Sophia GrantSophia Grant, M.D., Pediatrician, has been at Cook Children's since 2010 and is a board certified child abuse pediatrician. Dr. Grant was born on the sunny island of Jamaica. In elementary school, she and her family moved to California. She attended Pomona College in California where she got her bachelor's degree in Spanish. This was followed by her medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., and a pediatric residency in Washington, D.C. After nine years of general pediatrics, Dr. Grant decided to pursue a Fellowship in child abuse at the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Grant is passionate about many topics related to child abuse and is especially interested in raising awareness of the sex trafficking of minors. She has given numerous presentations on the subject. Dr. Grant writes for the Cook Children's blog and has been published in medical journals.

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To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Sharon Evans, Trauma Injury Prevention Coordinator

Sharon EvansSharon Evans, Trauma Injury Prevention Coordinator, she is well respected and established in her field. Evans was appointed to the National Never Leave Your Child Alone/Hyperthermia Steering Committee and is a founding member of the Texas Task Force. She was named one of DFW's Great 100 Nurses for 2011 and a member of the Kidz in Motion National Child Passenger Safety Conference planning committee for the past four year.

Evans has presented child passenger safety topics at the state, local and national conferences, discussed playground safety to more than 15 local ISD's administration, teachers and school nurses and been interviewed by local media on a wide array of injury prevention topics:

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To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Lizy Varughese, M.D., Pediatrician

Lizy VarugheseLizy Varughese, M.D., Pediatrician, attended Texas A&M University and received a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences. She attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and completed her residency at Stony Brook University Hospital, Long Island, N.Y. She was then appointed Clinical Professor of Pediatrics from 2005-2006. After that, she joined a private practice in New Jersey for five years. She moved back to her hometown of Dallas, and joined Cook Children's Physician Network in Lewisville in 2013.

Dr. Varughese can speak on a variety of topics that include:

Request appointment 

To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Alaina Everitt, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Alaina EverittAlaina Everitt, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist for Cook Children's Behavioral Health. She graduated from the University of North Texas with her doctorate in Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology. She currently splits her time between clinics in Denton and Lewisville. Dr. Everitt completed post-doctoral fellowships at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas and St. Mary's Center for Children in Evansville, Ind. where she specialized in pediatric psychology, trauma and health behavior disorders. Areas of interest include feeding disorders/eating disorders, adjustment to trauma and illness, behavior modification, building resiliency, cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and depression, and parent training/ self-care.

Request appointment 

To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Lisa Pegram, M.S., RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian

Lisa PegramLisa Pegram, M.S., RD, LD clinical dietitian, has been with Cook Children's since March 2014. Her previous experience includes community nutrition, health and fitness, teaching and food service. Lisa works at Cook as an outpatient dietitian, coordinating Nutrition University and offering individual nutrition counseling and education for children in the community.  She contributes articles on diet and nutritional topics for Cook Children’s Checkup blog and Checkup Magazine, and Tweets nutrition and health related tips and trends on Twitter. Lisa received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master’s degree in family and consumer sciences with an emphasis in dietetics from Lamar University. In her spare time, she likes to cook and try new recipes, travel and spend time with her friends and family.

Lisa is available to speak on a wide range of nutrition and health related subjects including:

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To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Jason Terk, M.D., Pediatrician

Jason Terk, M.D.Jason Terk, M.D., Pediatrician, earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine (Mayo Clinic) in Rochester, Minn. His interests include public policy advocacy for children's health issues, focusing primarily on vaccines. Dr. Terk is board certified in pediatrics.

Request appointment 

To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Jose L. Gonzalez, M.D., Medical Director, Cook Children’s Health Plan

Jose L. Gonzalez, M.D.Jose L. Gonzalez, M.D., is renowned for his teaching in diabetes and growth disorders, medical/legal issues and clinical ethics. He has had a long and storied career, currently serving as the medical director for the Cook Children’s Health Plan and the Center for Children’s Health, and an executive level member of the Cook Children’s Health Care System (CCHCS).  

As medical director of Texas’s Health and Human Services Commission, Dr. Gonzalez oversaw the development and implementation of clinical policies and was responsible for the health care services delivered to more than four million patients.

Prior to joining the HHSC in 2008, Dr. Gonzalez served as vice chair of pediatric medical education and director of the pediatric residency program at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he supervised department medical student and resident education activities.

Dr. Gonzalez was awarded his M.D. degree from the University of Miami in 1976 and was a pediatric resident at U.T. Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas from 1976 to 1979 and served as chief resident from 1979 to 1980. Later, while on the faculty of U.T. Southwestern, Dr. Gonzalez earned a Juris Doctorate cum laude from Southern Methodist University in 1997. He completed a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology in 1982 at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Gonzalez  is board certified in both pediatrics and pediatric endocrinology. He was born in Cuba, married to Caryl and they are the parents to one son, Evan.

Request appointment 

To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

Lorena Palacios, Care Team

Lorena PalaciosI am a social worker at Cook Children's Medical Center in the Care Team. The CARE Team is responsible for addressing medical and social needs for families(children) experiencing an investigation regarding child sexual and/or physical abuse. My primary responsibility is in providing community education in the areas of SIDS, Shaken Baby Syndrome and child growth and development. Specifically, I provide The Period Of Purple Crying education program. The Period of Purple Crying is an evidence based program developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby to teach parents about normal infant crying, the dangers of shaking a baby and the invaluable knowledge that it is okay to walk away from a crying infant. I present directly to parent groups within local agencies that provide services for expectant or parenting families. Professionally, I have presented to local pediatrician offices, local day care organizations and at a state level conference through Prevent Child Abuse Texas. Additionally, I am a trained facilitator of the Stewards of Children program. Stewards of Children is the only evidence based program to teach adults about child sexual abuse prevention. Program increases knowledge, improves attitudes, and changes child protective behaviors. Program was developed by the National organization Darkness to Light.

I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. I am currently completing my masters and am set to complete in August of 2014.

Request appointment 

To schedule an expert

Please email Janeen Walls, Community Relations coordinator at Cook Children's, at janeen.walls@cookchildrens.org or submit this form.

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