Program Leadership

Administrative

Andrew Neal Dentino, MD

Andrew Neal Dentino, MD
Chair of Internal Medicine

Dr. Dentino comes to UTRGV to as the founding Chair of Internal Medicine. His education includes the University of Texas, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine and post-graduate training at Duke University. He is the only physician in the U.S. board certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, hospice and palliative medicine and psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry.

Dr. Dentino is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), the American Geriatrics Society (AGSF), the American Psychiatric Association (FAPA) and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (FAAHPM).

Dr. Dentino has been awarded over $20 million career extramural funding, and has over one hundred fifty publications, books and national/international presentations.

He proudly represents UTRGV and Internal Medicine nationally as an elected member of the ACGME (Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education). Dr. Dentino was Chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) and is a Certified Medical Director (CMD).

Timothy Heath, MD

Timothy Heath, MD
Internal Medicine, Program Director / Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. Tim Heath was born and raised in Cocoa Beach, Florida and grew up in the Orlando area. He saw Cinderella’s castle when it was a wooden frame. He played basketball in high school and attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!). Dr. Heath’s family then moved to Texas where he attended The University of Texas Medical School in Houston. He then returned to Florida for his internal medicine residency and quickly realized that home is where the family is and returned to Texas where he practiced general internal medicine for 15 years.

Dr. Heath had always wanted to teach so he joined the faculty at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth. There, he taught Introduction to Clinical Medicine and third- and fourth-year medical students in the internal medicine clinic. His passions are teaching medicine and golf. Now in South Texas, Dr. Heath is addicted to Diet Coke and Delia’s Tamales.

Brandon Cantazaro, MD

Brandon Cantazaro, MD
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine / Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Brandon Cantazaro is originally from Scottsdale, Arizona. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Arizona and received his medical training from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine. He finished his pre-internship program with New York Medical College. Brandon served as chief resident with the inaugural internal medicine residency class. He is excited to continue working with UTRGV as Associate Program Director and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine.

Chelsea Hook Chang, MD

Chelsea Hook Chang, MD
Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine / Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine

Dr. Chelsea Hook Chang is a native of the Rio Grande Valley, having attended Oratory, McAllen Memorial and IB, and is returning after thirteen years. She completed medical school at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in 2012. She completed Internal Medicine Residency in 2015 and was awarded Intern of the Year at Scott & White in Temple Texas where she trained. She has been board certified since 2015 and immediately began her primary care practice and teaching roles. She was clinical assistant professor for both Internal Medicine residents and College of Medicine in Temple Texas. She was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Attending in Internal Medicine award by Texas A&M Medical Students in 2018.

She is currently employed by The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine as Assistant Professor and Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency UTRGV/Doctors Hospital Renaissance. Her special interests include population health, preventive care, and training the next generation of physicians.

Cesar H. Gutierrez, MD

Cesar H. Gutierrez, MD
Associate Program Director

Dr. Cesar Gutierrez was born in Monterrey, Mexico, but was raised in the border town of Camargo, Tamaulipas, across from Rio Grande City. He considers himself a Valley native. He did his medical school in the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. He was part of the inaugural class of Internal Medicine residents of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley at Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance; he completed his training in 2018. He stayed as chief resident of Internal Medicine at his same institution, which he completed this year in June. He's a board-certified internist. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Department of Internal Medicine of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine and he's also an Associate Program Director of the UTRGV IM DHR residency program. He’s also currently enrolled in a Master of Science in Epidemiology through the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.

Evelin Garza Pena

Evelin Garza Pena
Program Coordinator

Evelin was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and moved to Edinburg, Texas at an early age. Evelin is a graduate of Edinburg High School, Class of 2005. She is also a graduate of the University of Texas-Pan American, Class of 2011 where she earned her Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree. She and her husband have two wonderful children, Valentina and Diego, with whom they enjoy playing sports, the outdoors and traveling. Evelin is very excited about learning and getting involved with the UTRGV/DHR Internal Medicine Residents research and other activities and passionate about helping them transition to the next level of their medical careers.

Core Faculty

Juan Castano Jr, MD

Juan Castano Jr, MD
Core Faculty

Dr. Juan Castano Jr was born in Dallas, TX and was raised in Houston, TX. He is the middle of three children. He attended Klein Oak High School in Spring, TX and later attended the University of Houston in Houston, TX where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He completed his medical training at Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He did his preinternship year in both New Jersey and New York hospitals. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, Texas. He was tied for intern of the year award. He is currently an Assistant Professor with University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Internal Medicine residency program in Edinburg,TX. He is interested in the field of gastroenterology and has been involved in several research projects and abstract publications. He enjoys spending time with his family and watching Netflix.

Halyna Ivashchuk, MD

Halyna Ivashchuk, MD
Core Faculty

Dr. Halyna Ivashchuk was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. She graduated from University of Minnesota with a dual degree in neuroscience and cell biology/genetics and development. She went on to pursue a master’s degree in global health and public policy at the University of Edinburgh, where she developed a thesis on tobacco control policies. She received her Medical Degree from St. George’s University. After graduation Dr. Ivashchuk returned to SGU as a member of the faculty to teach first and second year medical school students. During her time as faculty she completed a master of business administration in multi-sector health management. Dr Ivashchuk completed residency training at UTRGV at Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance. During her training, she has presented at numerous conferences, including ACP, CHEST and ATS. She is very passionate about working with underserved communities and teaching. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, baking, cooking, biking, yoga and spending time with her Yorkie.

Michelle Lopez, MD

Michelle Lopez, MD
Core Faculty

Dr. Michelle Lopez was born and raised in Texas and completed her undergraduate degree in biomedical science at Texas A&M University in 2009. She then completed medical school at Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, followed by a pre-internship year at Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago, IL. She completed her internal medicine residency training at UT Health San Antonio. She is currently employed by UTRGV School of Medicine as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. Special interests include hospital medicine, point of care ultrasound, clinical reasoning, as well as teaching medical students and residents. On her spare time, Dr. Lopez loves traveling, sporting events (Aggie football, and soccer), baking, and spending time with her family.

John E. Paredes, DO, FACOI, FACP

John E. Paredes, DO, FACOI, FACP
Core Faculty, Internal Medicine / Assistant Professor of Medicine

Dr. John E. Paredes is an assistant professor of medicine at The University of Texas RGV School of Medicine and is currently the Medicine Clinic Director at UTRGV –DHR. He was born in Cuenca, Ecuador and came to New Jersey with his family at the age of nine.

He received his B.A. from Rutgers University in New Jersey and his D.O. from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. After 16 years of a career in general internal medicine, Dr. Paredes joined UT Health Northeast-Good Shepherd in 2013 as a member of the core faculty and was the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award . In addition to teaching, he has been involved with medical students and residents in various projects.

Dr. Paredes is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), the American College of Osteopathic Internists (FACOI) and a member of the Alliance for Academic Medicine.

He is very excited to be part of the faculty at UTRGV. When not at work, he enjoys traveling and watching movies with his wife and two children.