Michael B. Hocker, MD, MHS
Dean, School of Medicine, Senior Vice President of UT Health RGV
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, School of Medicine, Vice President, UT Health RGV
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 and Strategic Initiatives for the UTRGV School of Medicine. Before joining UTRGV, she was the Vice President for Government Affairs and Graduate Medical Education at DHR Health. Hernandez has more than 25 years of experience working in health care and public policy. She has 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.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
Provides senior-level administrative oversight and executive decision-making in matters impacting the School of Medicine.
Oversees the ongoing development and execution of the school's strategic plan and monitors a continuous quality improvement program.
Promotes community engagement and represents the school at local, state, national, and international levels in activities that will positively impact the reputation and influence of the school and university.
Leads and evaluates assigned departments such as Diversity; Community Health Partnerships; Marketing and Communications; and special events.
Effectively engaes all stakeholders, assists the Dean in the development and implementation of a comprehensive and integrative strategic plan for the school in alignment with the university strategic plan and ensures these plans are implemented in the assigned areas.
Michael Dobbs, MD, MHCM
Vice Dean, Clinical Affairs, Chief Medical Officer
Department of Neurology
Michael R. Dobbs, MD, MHCM, is the Chief Medical Officer, Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, Professor and Chair of Neurology at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Kentucky and Harvard. He served with distinction in the US Air Force Medical Corps including an academic appointment at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He has authored more than 50 publications including books, book chapters, journal articles, and abstracts. His book Clinical Neurotoxicology—Syndromes, Substances, Environments is a leading text in the field worldwide. He moved to UTRGV from the University of Kentucky in 2019 where he had most recently served as Associate Dean with responsibility for initiatives such as successful establishment of regional four-year medical school campuses. As program director he had led his hospital to become one of the busiest stroke centers in the United States while also building a 34 hospital Stroke Network that continues to grow and bring life-saving treatments to underserved regions in Appalachia.
As Neurology Chair, he is building a department that provides advanced clinical care, education, and research at the new Institute of Neuroscience located in Harlingen, TX. Dr. Dobbs teaches the Mind, Brain, and Behavior module for pre-clinical MS2s and it has been the highest rated module by the students for the last 3 years. He has been an institutional principal investigator on multiple clinical trials and has published original research in stroke outcomes and other topics. In early 2022, Dr. Dobbs was awarded an NIH Research Enhancement Award (R15) grant which will bring national recognition to the UTRGV School of Medicine, expose students to new research opportunities, and strengthen the overall research environment of the institution. In his spare time, he loves to explore the Rio Grande Valley with his family.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
Shares oversight of UT Health RGV physicians to provide safe, effective medical services to the public.
Trains new physicians on the UTRGV School of Medicine policies.
Develops policies for UT Health RGV’s clinical programs.
Oversees the implementation of quality improvement efforts.
Dr. Jeremy Gibson is the current Vice Dean for Education Affairs at the UTRGV SOM. In this leadership role, Dr. Gibson oversees the School of Medicine’s medical education program, student affairs, graduate medical education and continuing medical education programs, and is leading our accreditation efforts. He is an academic pediatric hospitalist with extensive experience at all levels of medical education. During his accomplished career, Dr. Gibson has held many academic titles, including pediatric clerkship director, pediatric residency director, Vice-Chair of Education in Pediatrics, Associate Regional Campus Dean, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Prior to coming to UTRGV, Dr. Gibson was at Texas A&M University College of Medicine where he had oversight over UME, GME, and CME curriculum and all regional campus and site deans reported to him. Notable accomplishments while serving in this role included LCME approval of the Engineering Medicine Track, full LCME accreditation, and curriculum continuity through the COVID-19 pandemic. As a clinician, he is a multi-award-winning teacher and respected by his colleagues as an expert diagnostician and critical thinker. He has a passion for helping the struggling learner particularly around standard test taking. Dr. Gibson is a graduate of University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston and completed his residency and chief residency at Scott & White Memorial Hospital.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
Advises and supports the Dean by providing leadership, coordination, accountability, and oversight over the academic programs of the School of Medicine (SOM) including undergraduate medical education (UME), graduate medical education (GME), and continuing medical education (CME).
Leads, organizes, and coordinates the process for accreditation of the School of Medicine including the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).
Develops and applies measures of educational quality and quality improvement related to each academic program in line with progressive best practices across top tier medical schools and academic medical centers.
Leads in the development of innovative, future-oriented educational programs; meeting accreditation standards; and forging effective inter-and intra-professional partnerships with faculty and staff to fulfill the SOM academic mission.
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.
Andrew Tsin, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, Research
Phone: (956) 665-1705
Dr. Andrew Tsin is the Senior Associate Dean of Research and Chair of the Department of Molecular Science at the UTRGV School of Medicine.
Dr. Tsin is a graduate of Dalhousie University and has an MS and PhD (Zoology/Physiology) from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in the Program in Neuroscience and the Department of Ophthalmology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He was appointed an Assistant Professor in 1981 in the Department of Biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio and was promoted to Associate and then full Professor with tenure. He was also appointed Professor of Biochemistry and Ophthalmology at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. At the University of Texas at San Antonio, Dr. Tsin also served as Division Director of Life Sciences, Associate Dean of Research, Director of the Center for Research and Training in Sciences, Director of Center for Interdisciplinary Health Research, and Associate Vice President of Health Research. Dr. Tsin has published more than 100 peer review articles and his scholarly activity includes biochemistry of the visual cycle and cell biology of angiogenic eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. His professional activity also includes the development of institutional research capabilities and student/faculty mentoring. Dr. Tsin has received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM award presented by President Obama), a Lifetime Achievement Award by the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest scientific society), and the Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award by the American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Tsin is a Gold Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and an elected Fellow of AAAS, Royal Society of Medicine, Royal Society of Biology, and the Linnean Society of London. Dr. Tsin has received research support from the NIH (including two R01 and one R03 grant), NSF, DoD, as well as research grants from different private and public entities.
Angela R. Cook, PhD, MNHP, RN, OCN, CCRP
Associate Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research
Dr. Angela R. Cook joined the UTRGV School of Medicine in 2021 as the Associate Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research.
Dr. Cook earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Northern Iowa, her Master's in Nursing and Healthcare Practice at the University of Iowa, and her Doctorate in Nursing and Healthcare Practice at The University of Texas at Austin.
Before joining UTRGV, Dr. Cook served as executive director of research at The University of Kansas Health System, director of shared research services for the UT System, and director for clinical research at the UT Medical Branch in Galveston.
Dr. Cook utilizes her years of experience to help guide strategic efforts for clinical and translational research. Her work improves studies in areas such as neuroscience, cancer, and diabetes.
Dr. Cook works with faculty and the community through a clinical trials program that translates knowledge gained from the laboratory into new diagnostic tests and treatments for improving patient outcomes in the Rio Grande Valley - and beyond.
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.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
Provide accurate, knowledgeable, and timely legal advice based on experience, research and analysis on a broad range of regulatory/compliance, transactional, and litigation-related issues arising in medical and allied health education and related clinical practices, and on UTRGV’s affiliations with external group practices and hospitals (including without limitation, Stark and Anti-Kickback; HIPAA; physician reimbursement including governmental and private payers; accreditation-related issues; false claims; tax; antitrust; tissue and organ transplantation; collections; risk management; privacy-related issues, and investigation and management of potentially compensable events and medical malpractice claims).
Ensure all aspects of UTRGV’s medical and allied health clinical practices meet applicable regulatory requirements.
Draft and review legal documents including without limitation contracts, memoranda of law, policies, procedures and litigation-related documents.
Support and provide legal advice for strategic planning, development and maintenance of clinical operations for the School of Medicine.
Organize, plan, prioritize, and review work product of supervised employee(s); offer guidance to supervised employee(s).