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Rachel L. Marek, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Rachel Marek, MD is Chief Medical Officer of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. She came to Texas Children’s from Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in California in 2016 and has served as Medical Director of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands for the past seven years.
Dr. Marek has established key programs to support physician providers and enhance the quality of medical services at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. She has implemented a robust faculty development program designed to enhance the academic careers of faculty working in the community. She also established the Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands Awards Committee to support and encourage faculty to apply for the Baylor College of Medicine Faculty Awards for Excellence in Patient Care (Early Career and Star) and to celebrate the outstanding work of the entire staff through the Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands Annual Values Awards.
Dr. Marek has been involved nationally with community pediatric hospitalists throughout her career. She is co-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Hospital Medicine Executive Committee and has spoken at many regional and national conferences. She focuses her non-clinical time on advancing community pediatric hospital medicine and leadership development.
Shawn Stafford, MD
Chief Surgical Officer
As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Stafford is interested in minimally invasive surgery as well as innovation of processes and techniques to improve clinical outcomes. As the Director of Bariatric Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, he has been focused on making a significant impact on the health and well-being of adolescents affected by obesity and its comorbidities. In this capacity, he serves on the American Pediatric Surgical Association’s Childhood Obesity Committee.
Dr. Stafford entered medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina after serving an eight-year enlistment in the United States Navy. He completed his residency at Louisiana State University (LSU), where he was involved in research on angiogenesis and its impact on malignancy and wound healing. In addition, he was instrumental in the development and patent of a novel injectable for sentinel lymph node dissection. In 2007, he entered a pediatric surgery fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
After completing his training, Dr. Stafford relocated to Tucson, Arizona, and became part of a high-volume private practice where he practiced for six years. He returned to LSU to become an assistant professor of Pediatric Surgery based out of the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans where he focused on his interests in minimally invasive, single incision and robotic-assisted surgery.
Since coming to Texas Children’s Hospital, Dr. Stafford has assumed leadership of the adolescent bariatric surgery program. This program has rapidly grown and over the last three years has become one of the largest programs in the United States, helping hundreds of teens achieve their health and weight loss goals.
Ketrese White, DNP, MHA, RN, NE-BC
Senior Vice President
Ketrese White, DNP, MHA, RN, NE-BC, is a highly accomplished health care professional with over two decades of service at Texas Children’s Hospital. As Senior Vice President of Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, she oversees all hospital, ambulatory and Specialty Care operations in both regions. She plays a critical role in advancing the hospital’s mission of creating a healthier future for children, women and families in our global community.
Throughout her career, Ms. White has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a willingness to take on new challenges. She began her career as a graduate nurse with Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. She quickly assumed increasing oversight and responsibilities, rising quickly in the organization. She joined the executive leadership team as an assistant vice president in 2019 before being named vice president of Texas Children’s The Woodlands in 2021. Ms. White has shown tremendous leadership in many areas, including defining patient experience processes, developing strategies, business & financial plans, establishing and refining recruitment practices at Texas Children’s community hospitals. She was also instrumental in the opening our community hospitals and executing on the vision of providing world class pediatric care in the West and North regions.
A lifelong learner, Ms. White earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Prairie View A&M University, a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Houston Christian University and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She is fueled by her passion for leadership, mentorship, and service, and is currently active on several community boards throughout the Houston area, including the American Heart Association and The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce.
Denise Tanner-Brown, DNP, MHA, RN, NE-BC
Vice President and Associate Chief Nurse Executive
Denise Tanner-Brown, DNP, MHA, RN, NE-BC, is Associate Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Critical Care Nursing, the Newborn Center and Nursing at Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. Since joining Texas Children’s in 2002, Denise has served in several progressive leadership roles within the hospital and has led countless system-level initiatives. She has demonstrated a commitment to quality improvement, workforce optimization, quality and safety, and improving the patient experience.
Ms. Tanner-Brown graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and the University of Phoenix with a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration. She is also a graduate of the Advanced Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Program at Texas Children’s Hospital and holds a Health Care Management Certificate from Rice University.
Outside of work, Ms. Tanner-Brown volunteers with Jack and Jill Foundation, which addresses issues affecting African American children and families. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Eric Allum is Vice President of Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. With over 16 years of service at Texas Children’s, Mr. Allum has a proven track record of success in developing and implementing innovative strategies, improving operational efficiency and driving growth at Texas Children’s Hospital.
He began his career as a Senior Contracts Specialist at Texas Children's and was selected for the Administrative Fellowship in 2009. After completing his fellowship, he transitioned into a leadership role with Perioperative Services. He was the Manager of Nursing Business Operations and, later, the Assistant Director of Perioperative Business Services. He then served as Director of Business Operations and Support Services at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. He was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 2021 before earning his current role in March 2023.
Mr. Allum, an inspirational leader with a calm and steady nature, has been a driving force on projects to improve system access. He has also done a remarkable job leading business operations and helping open hospital-based service lines at The Woodlands campus.
Before joining Texas Children’s, Mr. Allum served as a reservist in the United States Air Force with Air Force Central Command before assuming the Air Force Reserve Contracting Career Field Manager role to the Air Force Deputy Assistant Secretary. He holds a Master of Business Administration from American Graduate University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Park University.
A dedicated community volunteer, Mr. Allum serves on the boards of Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch, a nonprofit organization working to improve the lives of those with physical, mental and emotional challenges through equine-assisted services, and on the board of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Director of Outpatient and Clinical Support Services
Julie Barrett is the Director of Outpatient and Clinical Support Services for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. Barrett has been with Texas Children’s since 2003 in various capacities, the most recent being manager of Texas Children’s Health Center The Woodlands. She joined Texas Children’s as a senior audiologist when it opened the health center 12 years ago and has shown great leadership in the development and success of the location. Barrett’s leadership skills also have shined in the work she has done to grow Texas Children’s newborn hearing screening programs at partner community hospitals.
Barrett has a Doctor of Audiology from Salus University, a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the University of Texas at Tyler, a Master of Science from Washington University, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas and a Healthcare Management Certificate from Rice University.
Director of Patient Care Services
Juanna Brandon is the Director of Patient Care Services for Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands. She has been with Texas Children’s for 20 years and has held several leadership roles throughout the organization. She currently has oversight of inpatient nursing, which includes the Neonatal ICU, Pediatric ICU and the Acute Care Unit. She also oversees outpatient services, such as Cancer and Infusion, Surgical and Emergency Care. Brandon was an instrumental contributor to the Trauma Program development, including leading the team to a successful designation. She found her love for community nursing after serving in the Community Initiatives program where she led several expansion, scope and quality projects in partnership with Houston Methodist Willowbrook and St. Joseph’s Hospitals. She also played a critical role in the successful preparation of Texas Children’s second community hospital – Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands – overseeing the Emergency Center.
Prior to her transition to the community setting, Brandon held management positions in Texas Children’s NICU at the Medical Center Campus. She began her career at Texas Children’s as a graduate nurse providing excellent care to premature and critically-ill newborns. Brandon earned her Master of Business Administration degree from Texas Woman’s University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Prairie View A&M University. She completed The Rice University Healthcare Management program, and was the recipient of the Excellence in Neonatal Nursing Award by the March of Dimes, as well as the Bronze Award in Nursing Leadership from the Good Samaritan Foundation. She is a certified Nurse Executive by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and a member of the American Nurses Association. She also engages in community service through the hospital’s drowning prevention program, SPLASH (Swim, Play, Learn, and Stay, Healthy).