Michael B. Hocker, MD, MHS
Dean, School of Medicine
Phone: (956) 296-1900 Dr Michael B. Hocker, Dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, assumed his post on June 28, 2021.
Dr. Hocker comes to the Rio Grande Valley from the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University where he served as the senior associate dean and designated institutional official (DIO) of graduate medical education. In that role, Dr. Hocker oversaw 51 residency and fellowship programs. Previously, he served as the Vice-Chair of Operations for Emergency Medicine and assistant DIO for graduate medical education. He also holds the J. Harold Harrison M.D. Distinguished Chair in Emergency Medicine.
Prior to joining MCG, Dr. Hocker spent 14 years at Duke University School of Medicine, where he helped start what is now considered one of the country’s top emergency medicine training programs. He also earned a Master of Health Science in Clinical Leadership from Duke. In 2016, the Duke Division of Emergency Medicine honored his leadership with the naming of the Michael B. Hocker, MD, Duke Emergency Medicine Division Leadership and Service Award.
Dr. Hocker is a master clinician and Board certified in Emergency Medicine, he completed his internship at the UC Davis East Bay Surgical Program in Oakland, California, and his residency training in emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts.
A former U.S. Navy flight surgeon, he graduated from Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Dr. Hocker and his family are excited about joining the UTRGV community and making South Texas their home, where they will be closer to his mother, Jean, and stepfather, Richard, who currently live in Harlingen.
Michael Patriarca, MBA
Executive Vice Dean, Finance and Administration, School of Medicine
Phone: (956) 296-1995
Mr. Michael Patriarca, MBA is the Sr. Associate Vice President, Division of Health Affairs and Executive Vice Dean, School of Medicine at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). At UTRGV, he leads the Finance and Administrative functions for the Division of Health Affairs and the School of Medicine. He is also the Executive Director for UT Health RGV, the clinical practice plan of the UTRGV School of Medicine.
Prior to joining UTRGV, Mr. Patriarca spent time at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where, since early 2015, had served as the Director of Finance in the Office of the Dean for the School of Medicine & Provost. In this role, he was responsible for the funds flow, budget, and capital budget for the School of Medicine. Prior to joining UT Southwestern, Mr. Patriarca spent 8 years at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, where he held various leadership roles across the finance, operations, practice plan, resource allocation and planning functions within the Office of the Provost/Dean of the School of Medicine.
Mr. Patriarca earned his undergraduate Finance degree from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and holds an MBA from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He is currently working towards a Master’s of Science in Business Analytics, scheduled to be completed in 2021.
Sofia Hernandez is the Chief of Staff for the UTRGV Office of Health Affairs and School of Medicine. She also serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for Health Affairs. Before joining UTRGV, she was the Vice President for Government Affairs and Graduate Medical Education at DHR Health. Hernandez has more than 25 years’ experience working in health care and public policy having worked for United Healthcare, Hidalgo County, and State Senators Juan Hinojosa, Eddie Lucio, Judith Zaffirini and the late Carlos Truan.
Sofia earned her undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin. She also earned her MPA from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Robert Nelson, MD
Senior Associate Dean, Faculty Affairs; Interim Vice Dean for Educational Affairs; Interim Assistant Dean for Clerkships
Dr. Robert Nelson serves as Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Interim Vice Dean for Educational Affairs, Interim Assistant Dean for Clerkships, and chair of Pediatrics. Dr. Nelson earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Washington, and a Master of Science in administrative medicine from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
He has worked in graduate medical education for more than 30 years, most recently at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, where he served as associate vice president of Child Health, USF Health, and as professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and professor of Community and Family Health.
Joe Galvan is the Deputy Chief Legal Officer—Healthcare for UTRGV. Since 2017 he has served as primary legal counsel for the UTRGV School of Medicine and the Division of Health Affairs. Joe has over two decades of experience working in university health science centers and providing advice and counsel on complex legal issues affecting academic medical centers and teaching hospitals. He previously served as Associate Vice President and Deputy Chief Legal Officer for The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where he managed the day-to-day operations of the Department of Legal Affairs. He also served as Managing Counsel for Health Affairs at Texas A&M University System, serving as counsel to Texas A&M Health Science Center.
Joe earned his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law and his MBA from the University of Missouri-Columbia.