"Sleep Medicine 2018:                                         Four Decades Later"

"Sleep Medicine 2018: Four Decades Later"

FACULTY

The 2018 Southern Sleep Society faculty includes keynote addresses from Drs. Nancy Collop and Frances Chung.  The Society also has invited lectures from Drs. Max Hirshkowitz, Barry Krakow and David Rye and a distinguished lecture presented by Dr. Carlos Schenck.   We are pleased to have a guest lecture presented by Dr. Michael Strunc.

Confirmed members and local presenters include Drs. Ruckshanda Majid, William Broughton, Richard Castriotta, Sudha Tallavajhulla, Saadia Faiz, Dave Balachandran, Gregory Cater, Denise Sharon, Shahriar Shahzeidi, Mary Rose, Nilgun Giray and John Herman.  The conference brings together the most distinguished leaders in the field of sleep medicine. This will be an unforgettable weekend in Hilton Head, SC.  

The Technical Course faculty are very involved in patient and technical education, advanced management programs in hospitals and independent sleep center operations, serve on national boards and are internationally-recognized industry leaders.  The faculty will present the most current information on the evolving roles that allied health professionals working in sleep disorders medicine are moving into now and in the future.  

  

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Amber Allen, BA, RPSGT, RST, CCSH

Amber Allen has been in the sleep field for 8 years and currently serves as the Program Coordinator to the CAAHEP-accredited Polysomnographic Technology Program at Collin College in McKinney, TX. Prior to coming to Collin College, she worked as an RPSGT for the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. Amber has presented at numerous sleep and respiratory care conferences at both the national and state level and has also been elected to the BRPT Board of Directors. She is passionate about educating students and the public about the importance of sleep. Prior to her career in sleep,

Amber was a child prodigy who started college at 14. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree at 19, she began her post-collegiate career in the music industry in Nashville, where she worked for 8 years, including appearances on American Idol and as an extra in film and TV projects with some of the biggest names in music.

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Joseph Anderson, RPSGT, RST, RPFT, CRT-NPS, RCP

Joseph is a Certified Sleep Educator with more than 31 years experience in sleep diagnostics & therapy, respiratory care, pulmonary function, and education. He began his career in South Florida as a neonatal respiratory therapist & instructor for a local college and soon expanded his background to include pulmonary function and sleep medicine.

In 2006 he developed the industries first sleep industry podcast series called "Talk About Sleep." He co-founded Priority Health Education, which became one of the largest non-brick-and-mortar training/education companies in sleep education.  He also help develop and launch the sleep industry's first professional sleep education App. This app was made to allow those that were preparing to sit for their sleep-tech boards to have a portable method of studying for these complex boards. Today Joe lives in Virginia and continues to work in the sleep field as supervisor of Neurodiagnostics and Polysomnography at McGuire Veteran Affairs Medical Center.  

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Dewaker D. Balachandran, MD

Dr. Balachandran is Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine, Chad Canfield, Houston, TX. He earned his Medical Degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine. He completed Clinical Fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA as well as Clinical Internship, Internal Medicine at the same facility. He completed Clinical Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine from University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Balachandran holds Board Certifications in Sleep Medicine, Critical Care Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine. He is currently the Medical Director, Sleep Center at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX and Associate Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. Dr. Balachandran is past Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX and past instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

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Marietta Bibbs, BA, RPSGT, CCSH

Marietta is Manager of Sleep Disorders and Neurodiagnostics at Morton Plant Mease Healthcare in Clearwater, FL and has worked in sleep disorders technology since 1978.   She started her career in sleep technology at Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, TX. 

Marietta is a past Director-At-Large of the American Association of Sleep Technologists, past President of the Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists (BRPT), and Coordinator of the Southern Sleep Society Meeting. Marietta is also a meeting planner and is actively involved in community and civic organizations as well as her Sorority (Delta Sigma Theta). She is a US Airforce Veteran.

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William Broughton, MD
Dr. William Broughton is immediate past President of the Southern Sleep Society. He is a pulmonologist in Mobile, Alabama and is affiliated with University of South Alabama Medical Center. He received his medical degree from University of South Alabama College of Medicine and has been in practice for 33 years. He is a Pulmonologist and Sleep Medicine Practitioner and a professor at University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Dr. Broughton is one of three physicians at University of South Alabama Medical who specialize in Pulmonary Disease. Board Certifications: American Board of Internal Medicine (Critical Care Medicine, Pulmonary Disease); Medical School: University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, AL; Residency: University of South Alabama Hospitals, Mobile, AL; Fellowship: University of South Alabama Hospitals, Mobile, AL.
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Daniel J. Buysse, MD

Dr. Buysse has over 25 years of experience in sleep medicine research. He is Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical and Translational Science and Director of the Neuroscience Clinical and Translational Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan, and completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on the diagnosis, assessment, pathophysiology, and treatment of insomnia. Dr. Buysse has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Center on Research Resources. He has served on several initial review groups and advisory committees at the National Institutes of Health. His main areas of focus include sleep assessment and patient-reported outcomes; evaluation and treatment of insomnia; and sleep in aging. He has also investigated sleep in mood disorders, and the interaction between sleep and circadian physiology.

Dr. Buysse has mentored (or is currently mentoring) 21 post-doctoral fellows, 11 of these as primary research mentor. He has also mentored 12 undergraduate or medical students on research electives. Dr. Buysse is Program Director of an NHLBI-funded T32 program, “Translational Research Training in Sleep Medicine” (HL082610-08), and on the training faculty of two other T32 programs and the institutional KL2 program through the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Of 8 alumni of the sleep medicine T32, 5 have received K awards. He is a prior recipient of a K24 award. Dr. Buysse has served as President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, former member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and Chair of the Sleep Research Network. He has served as Associate Editor and Deputy Editor of the journals SLEEP, Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and Behavioral Sleep Medicine. At University of Pittsburgh, he served as Director of the Neuroscience Clinical and Translational Research Center, a component of our GCRC then CTSI, for nearly 20 years. He is Co-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry Research Review Committee, and Chair of the K Award Review Program.

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Gregory Carter, MD, PhD
Dr. Carter is a past President of the Southern Sleep Society.  He is the Director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern. He is currently on staff of the Sleep and Breathing Disorders Center at St. Paul University Hospital. He was Chief of the Neurology and Sleep Medicine Section of the VA Medical Center in Dallas and spent 25 years there involved in basic and clinical research. Dr. Carter has extensive experience in epilepsy, stroke and clinical pharmacology. He has also served as Principle Investigator in a study of acute pharmacological intervention in new strokes and Co-Investigator in the NIH-sponsored ACE trail of aspirin and carotid endarterectomy as well as a NIAAA study on alcoholism. More recently he has been involved in applied research on the use of ambulatory cardiorespiratory sleep studies while continuing stroke research.
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Richard Castriotta, MD

Dr. Richard J. Castriotta is a past President of the Southern Sleep Society and has been on the Faculty of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston since 1995. He is President of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, and Director of the Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and Associate Faculty in the John P. McGovern Center for Health, Humanities and the Human Spirit. He is Chair of the Health Affairs Committee and a member of the Executive Board of the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council. He is the Chief of Pulmonary Medicine, Chairman of the Institutional Ethics Committee and Medical Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center in Houston.

Dr. Castriotta is Program Director for the University of Texas Sleep Medicine Fellowship and serves on the Coordinating Committee for the University of Texas Neurophysiology Fellowship. He is currently a member of the ACCP SEEK Editorial Board and the Medical Advisory Board of Pulmonary Fibrosis Advocates. He is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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Frances Chung, MD

Dr. Chung is Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network for the past 20 years. She earned her medical degree at the University of Hong Kong and earned Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC) in the field of Anesthesiology from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is past President of the Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine and past Medical Director of the Ambulatory Surgical Unit and Combined Surgical Unit at Toronto Western Hospital.

Dr. Chung is well-recognized for developing the STOP BANG Questionnaire  at the University of Toronto as a pre-surgery screening tool which is used to help identify sleep apnea easily with eight short questions.

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Nancy Collop, MD

Dr. Nancy A. Collop, is the director of the Emory Sleep Center in Atlanta, Ga and is past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) (2011-2012). She holds a primary appointment in the Emory School of Medicine as professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care Medicine and Sleep Medicine, as well as a secondary appointment as professor of Neurology.

She served on the AASM board of directors since 2006 and was Secretary – Treasurer (2008-10) and President Elect (2010-11), President (2011-12) and Past President (2012-13). She has held numerous leadership positions in other professional societies and organizations. Collop has served on the American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM) board of directors since 1998, holding the position of ABSM president from 2002-2009. She was a member of the board of directors of the American Sleep Medicine Foundation, for which she previously served on the Executive Committee and as Secretary – Treasurer. Collop also was on the founding committee of the American Board of Medical Specialties Sleep Medicine Examination Committee representing the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and served for several years on the ABIM Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Self Evaluation Process committees. She has served on the board of directors for the Chest Foundation. She was a Founding member of the Maryland Sleep Society and their first president; she currently is on the board of directors of GASP (Georgia Associated Sleep Professionals).

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Saadia Faiz, MD

Dr. Saadia A. Faiz is Associate Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. She also has a dual/joint adjunct appointment as Assistant Professor, Division of Internal Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, College Station, TX.

Dr. Faiz received her Medical Degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and holds a BS in Chemistry from Trinity University, San Antonio, TX. She completed Clinical Fellowship Training in Sleep Medicine and a Clinical Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She is Board Certified in Sleep Medicine, Critical Care, Pulmonary, and Internal Medicine. Dr. Faiz is Assistant Program Director, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; past Medical Director, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Cardiopulmonary Center, Pulmonary Function Test Lab, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, current Rotation Site Director, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, and current Medical Billing Liaison, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

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Nilgun Giray, MD

Dr. Nilgun Giray is a past President of The Southern Sleep Society. She currently serves on the steering committee and as a volunteer faculty member for the Sleep Disorders Fellowship program at Baylor College of Medicine, and is a consultant at Baylor’s Sleep Disorders Center. She is fluent in Turkish as well as English. Dr. Giray obtained her medical degree from the University Of Istanbul School Of Medicine. After serving as an intern at the University of Zurich, she returned to Turkey to complete a Residency in Neurology at the University of Istanbul, Cerrahpasa School of Medicine.

Dr. Giray completed a Fellowship in Sleep Disorders at Baylor College of Medicine and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Baylor. She subsequently completed a Residency in Psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Before entering private practice, she served as a Staff Psychiatrist at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Medical Center in Houston. She is board certified in Psychiatry as well as Sleep

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John Herman, PhD
Dr. John Herman is a Past President of Southern Sleep Society. He is Clinical Psychologist who is board certified in sleep medicine. He is currently in private practice treating adult and pediatric patients for insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders using evidence based approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy. He also treats patients for anxiety and depression. He is past Director of the sleep disorders center at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He also was Director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
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Max Hirshkowitz, PhD

Dr. Hirshkowitz is an internationally recognized sleep expert with 40 years of experience in sleep research and sleep disorders. He is a past President of Southern Sleep Society.  A graduate of Tufts University (PhD and MS), Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (BS), and Stuyvesant High School, he is a Diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and winner of the lifetime achievement award from the Texas Society of Sleep Professionals (2012) and distinguished service award from the World Association of Sleep Medicine (2015).

His academic credentials are: (1) Consulting Professor, Stanford University, School of Public Health and (2) Full Professor (Emeritus), Baylor College of Medicine Department of Medicine. Until his retirement from Baylor College of Medicine, he was: (1) The founder and Director of Sleep Disorders and Research Center at the Michael E. DeBakey Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Houston, Texas and (2) Training Director of the Baylor Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program in which he trained and/or mentored 111 Sleep Medicine Fellows, Post-doctorate Research Fellows, and Doctoral Candidates.

Current National/International positions include: Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Sleep Foundation. Field Editor for the journal Sleep Medicine. Dr. Hirshkowitz has several hundred publications, including editing or co-editing the books Sleep Medicine Clinics: Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders and Positive Airway Pressure Therapy in Adults (2006); Focus on Sleep Medicine (2009); Sleep Medicine Clinics: Sleep Medicine Clinics: Fatigue (2013); Sleep Medicine Clinics: Sleep and Psychiatry in Adults (2015); and Sleep Medicine Clinics: Sleep and Psychiatry in Children (2015). He also was the Methodology Section Editor for Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine (2000, 2005, 2010, and 2016) and the lead author on the popular book Sleep Disorders for Dummies (2004). He is a sought after speaker and promoter of “Sleep Health” awareness.

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Barry Krakow, MD

Barry Krakow is a board-certified internist and sleep disorders specialist, who has spent 25 years in medicine in the fields of internal medicine, emergency medicine, addiction medicine, and sleep medicine. Currently, he is medical director of two sleep facilities in Albuquerque, NM: Maimonides Sleep Arts & Sciences, Ltd, a community-based, sleep medical center and the Sleep & Human Health Institute, a non-profit sleep research institute that focuses on the complex interplay between physiological and psychological sleep disorders.

Dr. Krakow started in sleep research in 1988 and helped pioneer innovative therapies for chronic nightmare patients. Since 1995, he has practiced sleep medicine full-time and specializes in the treatment of sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea in mental health patients. Dr. Krakow’s groundbreaking book, Sound Sleep, Sound Mind (2007) describes in depth the Sleep Dynamic Therapy TM model of clinical sleep medicine, which aids patients and sleep professionals in recognizing the critical value of concurrent assessments and treatments for both the mental and physical components rooted within the vast majority of sleep disorders.

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J. Kenyon Larsen, RRT, PA

John "Kenny" Larsen received his Bachelor of Science degree from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah before earning a Master of Physician Assistant Studies at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Virginia Academy of Sleep Medicine.

As a Physician Assistant experienced in pulmonology and sleep medicine, Kenny specializes in COPD, asthma, interstitial lung disease, sleep apnea, continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) therapy, restless legs syndrome, and hyper somnolence disorders including narcolepsy. He practices with the philosophy that "if you can’t breathe, nothing else matters." His prior role as a respiratory therapist treating mechanically ventilated, critically ill patients motivated him to work as an outpatient provider to help patients and their families avoid that situation.

A people person, Kenny comfortably puts patients at ease while discussing common questions and concerns. His goal is to provide accurate and appropriate information related to each patient's condition to help them make educated testing and treatment decisions aligned with their desires. A former "ski bum" from northern Utah, Kenny now relies on surfing and other water sports in Hampton Roads to treat his skiing addiction. He adores his wife and four children - three boys and one girl - and especially loves spending time with them outdoors. Kenny also enjoys serving in the Church as a bishop and youth mentor.

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Ruchshanda Majid, MD

Dr. Ruckshanda Majid is the current president of the Southern Sleep Society. She received her medical degree from the Aga Khan University in 1998 and completed her internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas, Health Sciences center at Houston in 2004. She subsequently went on to pursue fellowship training in Pulmonary and Critical Care (2005-2008) at the same institution with an additional one-year specialization training in Sleep Medicine.

She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. In 2009, she joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. She was subsequently appointed Associate Program Director for the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Training Program and has been coordinating the education and structure of the training program for the Pulmonary and the Sleep fellows.

Dr. Majid also serves as the Associate Medical Director of the Memorial Hermann Sleep Center and the Co-Director of the Harris Health Systems Sleep Disorders Center and is a member and fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). She also serves on the Harris Health Systems Critical Care committee, and was recently appointed to the Medical School Faculty Senate, the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC), the Medical School Diversity committee and the Student Evaluation and Promotions Committee (SEPC).

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James H. Merritt, MD
James H. Merritt M.D. is a board-certified ophthalmologist with subspecialty fellowship training in both ophthalmic plastic/reconstructive surgery and pediatric ophthalmology. He attended University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston for medical school and post graduate training. Since 1989, he has been in the private practice of adult and pediatric ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery. He serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas and Children's Medical Center Hospital. Recently, Dr. Merritt has received the Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for his many contributions to this society. He is a past president of the Dallas Academy of Ophthalmology and currently serves on the executive council of the Texas Ophthalmological Association. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He currently serves as chairman of the department of ophthalmology at THR Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
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Tammy Muth-Davis, BS, RPSGT, RRT

Tammy is a Clinical Specialist, Mid-South Region for ResMed.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration,is a  Licensed Registered Respiratory Therapist, Licensed Registered Polysomnographic technologist, Certified Clinical Sleep Educator and has 33 years experience in healthcare management. 

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Cristy Plain, RPSGT, CCSH
Cristy is Director of the Dental Sleep Medicine program at Seacrest Dental I Miramar Beach, FL. She is an expert in home sleep testing, marketing, and education regarding oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea.
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David B. Rye, MD, PhD

David Rye, MD, PhD is a professor of neurology at Emory University’s School of Medicine and the director of research for Emory Healthcare’s Program in Sleep Medicine. Rye is an internationally recognized expert in narcolepsy and related disorders of excessive daytime sleepiness and movement disorders in sleep, particularly Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). Rye was part of the international team that identified the first gene variant associated with RLS, a neurological condition characterized by periodic leg movements in sleep and the irresistible urge to move the legs. He also led a team that linked RLS to high blood pressure and related vascular risks.

He is the former chair of the RLS Medical Advisory Board and is on the Medical Advisory Board of the Narcolepsy Network. He is a past recipient of the American Academy of Neurology’s Sleep Science Award (2008) and the Sleep Research Society’s Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award (2009). He also is the recipient of numerous grant awards from the National Institutes of Health. His current research focuses on RLS and hypersomnia. Rye is committed to advancing our understanding of the genetic and pharmacological underpinnings for sleep and its disorders with an eye on recognizing and improving treatment choices for patients.

Education & Training: B.S. in Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit (1980); Ph.D., in Neurobiology, University of Chicago (1986); M.D., University of Chicago (1988); Internship in Medicine, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago (1988-1989); Residency in Neurology, University of Chicago Hospitals (1989-1992). Board Certification: American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (1994); Sleep Medicine (1994; 2011).  Awards: American Academy of Neurology–Sleep Science Award (2008); Sleep Research Society-Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award (2009); Narcolepsy Network – Researcher of the Year Award (2011); Best Doctors® - 2009, 2010, 2011

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Micahel Strunc, MD

Dr. Michael Strunc is a pediatric neurologist and sleep physician currently working at Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk VA. He has a special interest in where these disciplines overlap. Retired after 20 years in the Navy, he has a special understanding of the stresses families undergo in a very mobile society and in the many different families that make up our population. Dr. Strunc sees patients in sleep medicine, as well as neurology at CHKD.

Dr. Strunc completed medical school at Saint Louis University and went on to complete his pediatric residency at Naval Medical Center San Diego. He served as a pediatrician in the U.S. Navy for several years before going on to complete his pediatric neurology training at The Children’s Hospital, Denver Colorado, and eventually, his sleep fellowship at Duke University. He has received numerous awards and accolades to include the Navy Meritorious Service Award. He is particularly proud of teaching awards that include fellow and staff teacher of the year. He retired after 21 years of active duty service and joined the faculty at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in 2012, as director of their sleep program.

He is passionate about sleep and how dysfunctional sleep affects a child and the entire family and his fellowships were in child neurology and sleep medicine. Dr. Strunc has three teenagers who have educated him over the past 20 years about the issues children face, and how social stressors, school, sports, and social media can work against healthy sleep habits. He routinely presents regionally on pediatric sleep disorders and is also passionate about speaking in the community to help families, teachers and coaches learn about the importance of good sleep hygiene.

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Carlos H. Schenck, MD
Dr. Carlos H. Schenck graduated from Johns Hopkins University, received his Medical Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and completed a Psychiatry residency at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he is a Professor. He has been a staff psychiatrist at Hennepin County Medical Center since 1981 and is a member of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center (MRSDC). He served as co-Chairman of the Parasomnias Committee for the International Classification of Sleep Disorders. Dr. Schenck is a member of the AASM Nosology Committee as well as the AASM Movement Disorders Task Force. Dr. Schenck has also published several books and articles, and participated in a documentary film on Parasomnias.
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Sudha Tallavajhula, MD

Dr. Tallavajhula is a member of the faculty in the Department of Neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School. She is the Medical Director of the Neurological Sleep Medicine Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann.

Dr. Tallavajhula attended medical school at Chengalpattu Medical College in India and completed her Internship in Internal Medicine and Residency in Neurology at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. She also underwent Fellowship training in Clinical Neurophysiology followed by Sleep Medicine at UT Houston Medical School. She is board certified by the American Board of Neurology.

Dr. Tallavajhula's research interests are in epilepsy, sleep disorders, complementary and alternative methods for treatment of insomnia and sleep-disordered breathing and bidirectional relationship of sleep and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Tallavajhula specializes in early screening, diagnosis and management of sleep apnea in acute ischemic stroke patients to facilitate recovery from stroke. She also specializes in the incorporation of sleep medicine methodology in the development of innovative tools that enhance the recovery of patients with traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, post-traumatic headache and other neurological conditions.

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Mary Rose, PsyD
Dr. Rose is Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep, at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. Her research and clinical interests have focused on sleep disorders for more than 25 years. Over the course of her academic career, she has published several peer review articles, written book chapters, lectured both nationally and regionally, and been involved in several sleep organizations. She has also participated in numerous research projects and received grants related to sleep.
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Shahriar Shahzeidi, MD
Dr. Shahzeidi is Board Certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is currently Chief Pediatrician and Medical Director at Grand Health Institute in Miami, FL. He not only has expertise in Pediatric Sleep Medicine and Pulmonology, but also has vast experience in adult ventilation and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). He graduated in Thoracic Medicine from Brompton Hospital in London, England, then pursued further education in Pediatric Pulmonology at The Children's National Medical Center at George Washington University. He is former Director of the Pediatric Sleep Program at The University of Miami.
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Denise Sharon, MD, PhD

Dr. Denise Sharon is board certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and has practiced sleep medicine exclusively for over 10 years. Her primary specialty is in sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, circadian rhythm disorders, insomnia and sleep disorders associated with medical or psychiatric disorders. Her approach centers on the patient, child or adult, and his or hers psychophysiologic functioning as it relates to normal and disordered sleep in the clinical setting and in research. Her goal is to increase awareness to the health and safety benefits of a restful sleep and the importance of diagnosing and effectively treating sleep disorders.

Dr. Sharon is also a clinical professor at Tulane University School of Medicine. She has been instrumental in the development and accreditation of the combined adult and pediatric sleep medicine fellowship at Tulane University School of Medicine and served as co-director of the program that successfully graduated all of its fellows. Dr. Sharon has presented and discussed sleep related topics at national and international professional meetings. She has authored and co-authored many articles and abstracts on a variety of sleep disorders and serves as peer reviewer for professional journals. Dr. Sharon is actively involved in committees and boards of professional and patient oriented sleep organizations allowing her to promote issues such as sleep education, sleep in women, sleep in children and adolescents, CPAP compliance and sleep related movement disorders.

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