The DreamPanel Series brings together speakers with the goal to further conversations related to important topics that impact our community.
Oanh Maroney-Omitade: Moderator
Oanh Maroney-Omitade has led in various capacities at Methodist Healthcare Ministries (MHM) for over two decades. In her current role as Vice President of Organizational Excellence she is responsible for driving excellence and internal transformation for the organization which includes a focus on culture change, the introduction and integration of new methods and disciplines to drive performance excellence and shared leadership & accountability, and the application of an equity lens to all aspects of the organization through diversity, equity and inclusion education and initiatives. She also provides oversight to the organizational learning and development, and impact, learning and evaluation functions.
Previously, Oanh was responsible for leading Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ direct-service operations, which include medical, dental, psychiatry, behavioral health, and health education/nutrition services, as well as community-based family wellness programs, which comprised over 250 team members and a budget of over $38 million.
Oanh sits on the Board of Directors of Grantmakers in Health, where she is the Chair-elect of the Terrance Keenan Award Committee (2023-2025). She also sits on the Governing Committee for Your Shot Texas – a collaborative philanthropic initiative focused on increasing equitable uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine through outreach and education.
Oanh is a proud first-generation high school and college graduate. She graduated from Sam Houston High School and the Upward Bound Program at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Oanh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Legal Studies degree from Texas A&M University School of Law. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
- Claude A. Jacob
- Claude, has over two decades of administrative experience in public health. Since July 2021, Jacob has been the Public Health Director of the nationally accredited San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health).In his role, Jacob directs over 50 programs and initiatives across Metro Health’s Communicable Disease, Community Health & Safety, and Environmental Health & Operations divisions and oversees a $100 million budgetaimed to modernize the work of the department. In April 2022, Jacob spearheaded the launch of SA Forward, which is a multi-year plan that addresses the priority areas and social conditions that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initial SA Forward milestones include the establishment of Metro Health’s Office of Mental Health & Community Resilience as well as the Office of Policy & Civic Engagement.Prior to joining Metro Health, Jacob was Chief Public Health Officer for the City of Cambridge in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Jacob’s previous professional experiences also include serving as the Deputy Director for the Office of Health Promotion at the Illinois Department of Public Health, Bureau Chief with the Baltimore City Health Department’s Bureau of Disease Prevention and Control, and Director of Community Affairs at the Sinai Community Institute affiliated with the Sinai Health System in Chicago.Jacob currently serves on the board of directors for the American Public Health Association (APHA), the Public Health Accreditation Board, and the Texas Association of City and County Health Officials. He is a past president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and past president of APHA’s Black Caucus of Health Workers which awarded Jacob the 2022 Dr. Hildrus A. Poindexter Award for distinguished service in the field of public health. Jacob also completed fellowships with the W.K. Kellogg Emerging Leadership in Public Health and CDC’s National Public Health Leadership Institute.Jacob received a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health and is a doctoral candidate in health leadership at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.Jacob has completed five full marathon races and is a former youth soccer coach.
- Dr Sunita Punjabi
- Sunita, the founder of Brain Coach LLC, is an expert trainer in neurofeedback, using therapeutic methods from the fast-growing field of neuroplasticity Sunita is able to guide people towards finding their best life. Based on her research, helping people to find a sense of life purpose ignites the brain while reversing or slowing brain degeneration. Through her doctorate work with the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and her professional work in the community, she teaches individuals proven strategies to uncover and break barriers to living a life that they love. Sunita brings her Eastern heritage to modern day science to assist people to intentionally create meaning and find a cause worthy of their lives.She is a key-note speaker and a 16-year veteran of the Financial Services industry. She actively works with the Veterans Affairs Committee supporting Big Brother and Big Sisters with the Coalition for Veterans. She is on the Executive Board of the National Association of Women Business Owners, works with Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Girl Scouts of the USA.
- Dr. Melissa Ann Walker“Dr. Missie”
- Dr. Melissa Ann Walker is a family medicine physician and the owner and founder of Carol Clinic for Family-Centered Healthcare in San Antonio, Texas. Carol Clinic is named for her late mother, Mrs. Carol Williams Walker. Dr. Walker’s mother suffered a stroke at the age of 53 and was hospitalized for greater than two years before her death. After her mother’s death, Dr. Walker’s initial desire to become a physician was reignited. She had previously placed her pursuit of medicine on hold to complete her graduate studies. After completing medical school and residency training, Dr. Walker returned to San Antonio to open the Carol Clinic. This name is also an acronym: C – Care, A– Attention, R– Respect, O– Oneness, and L – Loyalty. She believes these and so many other attributes were possessed by her mother. Dr. Walker strives to exemplify the same in the care of her patients. Growing up in rural Louisiana, she saw firsthand the disparities in healthcare and the seeming lack of care shown by people of her community when it came to their health. Dr. Walker believes that the lack of education, not the lack of care, is the leading cause of her mother’s death and the poor outcomes of so many. She has made it her mission to provide education to not only her patients, but to the entire world. She travels both nationally and internationally providing care and education. Along with a team of twelve nurses, she journeyed with Destiny Ministries to Southern Africa and Botswana. While there, Dr. Walker and the nurses held medical clinics in the rural villages of Botswana. For her work, she received a personal note of recognition from the late Bishop Sarah Davis of the African American Episcopal Church. As an ambassador for the American Stroke Association’s Power to End Stroke campaign, Dr. Walker has traveled across the country doing talks on stroke prevention. She was the featured speaker for the San Antonio ASA’s concert featuring Kirk Franklin. Dr. Walker was also chosen to address the Congressional Black Caucus in Austin, Texas. For her work with the American Heart Association, she was the recipient of the J. Kent Trinkle Physician Volunteer of the Year. Specifically, for her work with the American Stroke Association, she was awarded the ASA’s Visionary Award. This award is given to an ambassador who has done the most to educate others and promote the cause of stroke prevention. Dr. Walker has appeared on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s (TBN)”Doctor to Doctor” show. Two of her segments on Colon Cancer and Diabetes brought many letters and emails from viewers across the Nation. She was also featured in San Antonio Medicine Magazine’s “A Day in the Life.”Dr. Walker is the Founder of a caregivers’ conference called “Heal the Healer San Antonio.” This one-day symposium targets both formal and informal caregivers. This role Dr. Walker knows all too well; having been a caregiver for both her parents during their illnesses.Dr. Walker continues to play an active role in her local community and abroad. She has served as an Advisory Board member at her church, New Creation Christian Fellowship and a three-time board member of the Alamo City Black Chamber of Commerce. She is a former member of the Alumnae Board of Governors for her medical school, Midwestern University in Illinois. She was awarded the President’s Citation award by Midwestern.Dr. Walker also strives to give back as a mentor to students pursuing a career in medicine. She likes to report a 100% success rate with her mentees over the years. Many of whom credit Dr. Walker for getting into advance medical programs and their successful completion. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Walker recently bestowed the honor of having a scholarship named in her honor by the C.A. Whittier Medical Society. The Dr. Melissa Walker Scholarship is given yearly to deserving students from UIWSOM. She presently serves as Chair for Region V of the National Medical Association. Region V encompasses nine states including Texas.Dr. Walker is a graduate of Grambling State University where she received both a Bachelor Science in Biology and a Master of Public Administration in Health Services. She proudly served as Chaplain for the San Antonio’s Chapter of the Grambling University National Alumnae Association. Prior to attending medical school, she did graduate studies in Neurobiology at the University of Texas in San Antonio. She received her medical degree from Midwestern University and completed residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.Dr. Walker is a vivacious public speaker. She travels the United States and abroad speaking on healthcare issues and other topics to which she gives a “medical and spiritual” prospective.” Her speaking name, “Dr. Missie” is nostalgic – Missie being her nickname. She is a proud, 32-year member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.Dr. Walker gives praises to God for all of her many blessings and talents. She believes that medicine is a ministry for which she was chosen. She often states, “My goal is to make a difference in the lives of families, all families.”