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|Board of Directors|
Jeff Watson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Tamara “Tammy” Eades, DNP, MSN, RN
Kleanthe Caruso, RN, MSN, NEA-BC
Gayle Dasher, RN, PhD, ANP-BC
Jeff Watson has been active with the Texas Nurses Association for many years, serving at both the district and state level. He chaired the TNA Nominating Committee and was a member of the TNA Finance Committee. In District 18, Jeff served in various positions, including vice president and president, as well as delegate to the TNA House of Delegates for several years.
Before joining Texas Tech, Jeff served in several hospital nurse leadership roles. His hero and greatest influence was his mother, a nursing assistant who instilled in him the importance of working through his profession and in his community to relieve needless human suffering whenever possible.
Tammy Eades has clinical experience in women’s services, ER, critical care, and medical/surgical. She has also served in leadership positions including chief nursing officer. In the fall Eades will move into the position of assistant director of BSN programs at the University of Texas at Arlington. She served in the United States Navy Reserve as an officer in the Nurse Corps
Eades served briefly on the TNA board as a regional director. She earned her BSN at Texas Tech Health Science Center, her MSN at West Texas A&M University, and is working to complete her DNP at Texas Christian University with anticipated graduation in May 2016.
Kleanthe Caruso is currently a clinical advisor with the University of Texas at Tyler. A former president of District 19 and a former TNA board member, Caruso served as chair of the Board of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and was a member of TNA's inaugural Policy Council.
A Registered Nurse since 1983, Gayle Dasher is the Director of Clinical Practice at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio. She is a member of TNA's inaugural Policy Council, a former president of District 8, and a former member of TNA's Finance Committee.
Melinda Gleason Hester, DNP, RN-BC is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Service-Learning Fellow at Texas State University St. David’s School of Nursing in Round Rock, Texas. She is ANCC certified in Public/Community Health since 1985. Hester has worked in various public health settings such as city and county health departments. She was a school nurse for 14 years and was Texas’ first state nurse consultant in the Nurse-Family Partnership program.
Hester was the Lead Practice Consultant for the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) for many years and taught nursing jurisprudence workshops to nurses all over Texas. In 2014, she worked extensively around RN Delegation, helping to revise the BON’s delegation rules. Hester obtained her BSN from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 1979, her Master of Science in nursing from The University of Oklahoma in 1985 and her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2011.
Donna R. Wallis has been a nurse over 25 years, and is experienced in urban, rural, international, non-profit and for-profit healthcare systems. She has served on a variety of community and nursing boards. Her experience ranges from front-line trauma, fixed-wing flight, critical care and transplant/organ donation to chief nursing officer. She is a Director at the Baptist School of Health Professions in San Antonio. She was named a San Antonio Health Care Hero in Education for the innovative curriculum she created for active duty U. S. Air Force personnel. Wallis earned her BSN from the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, MSN from Texas A & M University Corpus Christi, MBA from Tulane University, and is pursuing her doctoral degree. In addition to TNA, she is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the American College of Healthcare Executives, and the Texas Organization of Nurse Executives.
Former president of District 18, Patricia Freier has also served on the district Nominating COmmittee and as chair of the District 18 GAC. Since 2008, she has been a member of the TNA CNE Committee and has been active in the TNA Government Affairs Committee. She is currently a project specialist for quality improvement at Covenant Health, where she has worked since 1991.
Shakyryn Napier is a nursing director at Cook Children's Medical Center. A former president of District 3, she is active in the TNA Government Affairs Committee and serves as the District 3 GARD (Government Affairs Representative for District). Napier was a member of the TNA Finance Committee and in 2016, received the District 3 President's Award.
Tina Cuellar recently completed her role as President of the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing Alumni Association. She was Director of Live Review at Elsevier/HESI, where she also was employed as Director of Curriculum for case studies. Prior to her affiliation with Elsevier, Cuellar served as an Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions at UTMB for five years and in the faculty role for seven years. She also voluntarily served three tours of duty in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Germany. Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Cuellar has had a distinguished military career as a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist and administrator.
For over 30 years she has been a member of the American Nurses Association. In that capacity, Cuellar served as president of her local district for three terms and served as a member of ANA House of Delegates for 5 years. For the past ten years Cuellar has served as Continuing Nursing Education consultant developing questions for continuing education articles published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing in addition to reviewing articles for publication in Public Health Nursing.