2019 Board of Directors

Tamara Madden, RN, JD - President 
Johnson, Trent & Taylor LLP

Tamara Madden is a trial attorney and partner at the firm of Johnson, Trent & Taylor, LLP.  She practices in the area of medical malpractice defense and represents healthcare providers in all aspects of litigation. She also serves as a health law and litigation management consultant to a large national medical practice. Tamara entered the medical profession as a registered nurse in 1985 and maintains an active nursing license.  After practicing in the hospital setting for several years, she decided to pursue a med-legal career and obtained a law degree from The University of Houston Law Center in 1992.  She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Bar Association, the American Association of Nurse Attorneys, the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management, and the Greater Houston Society for Healthcare Risk Management.  She is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Tamara previously served on the GHSHRM Board as Secretary and has actively participated on the Education and Fundraising committees.  She has presented at both GHSHRM Education Day as well as the GHSHRM general meetings.  Her presentations have included telemedicine, legal updates and, most recently, the second victim syndrome. email

Jessica Sykora  - Past President
Energy Transfer Partners 

Jessica Sykora is Chief Counsel in the litigation department at Energy Transfer Partners where she is responsible for managing a wide variety of litigation matters for the company.  Prior to joining Energy Transfer Partners, Jessica was a Senior Associate in the litigation department at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP where she worked for nearly ten years.  There, Jessica’s practice focused primarily on health care and pharmaceutical defense, and she represented hospitals, individual healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies in professional malpractice suits, pharmaceutical litigation, premises liability matters, complex contract disputes, and peer review proceedings.  She also assisted clients with regulatory compliance and licensing concerns, including RAC audits throughout various levels of the Medicare administrative appeals process.  Jessica received her undergraduate education from Baylor University where she received a double major in marketing and management.  She then attended South Texas College of Law where she graduated in the top 1% of her class.  Jessica has also been named a Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers Magazine (2014-2018).  She is also an adjunct professor at South Texas College of Law and assists with the school’s moot court program, helping bring home eight National Championship for the school.  Apart from her legal work, Jessica is a wife to Jason Sykora (Allegiance Bank Texas) and a mom to two beautiful little girls.   email        

Dale Burrus - President Elect
Kroger Burrus Nelson

E. Dale Burrus, JD, LLM. is a founding partner with Kroger Burrus Nelson. Her entire career has been in the representation of health providers.  For many years, she had a large medical malpractice defense practice in conjunction with providing counseling in risk management, peer review, contract review and payer issues in Virginia. In 1999, she successfully completed her LLM in Health Law at the University of Houston Health Law & Policy Institute. The same year, Ms. Burrus and Edward Kroger started Kroger Burrus Nelson. Since that time, Ms. Burrus has continued to defend providers in malpractice matters while increasing her practice in health law.  She counsels providers in the areas of risk management, peer review actions, regulatory representation involving billing, and fraud and abuse, representation of practitioners before licensing boards, general counsel for practitioners in issues associated with contract and employer issues, creation of business practices, and evaluating proposed business deals for regulatory compliance. Ms. Burrus has served on the GHSHRM Board for the past year.  She also serves on the Board for Archway Academy. email

Heather Spicer- Vice President

Heather Spicer is a Regional Vice President- Underwriting with ProAssurance. Ms. Spicer was born in raised in Houston where her parents were physicians, stamping on her from birth the desire to protect the medical community. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University in San Antonio and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. She attended one year at the University of Houston Law Center with an emphasis in Health Law. During her time at the University of Houston Heather worked in the Risk Management department of the Methodist Health Care System. Heather practiced medical liability and product defense in New York City early in her career before joining Zurich insurance company, specializing in medical malpractice. Although New York City was exciting, this native Texan headed the siren’s song of her beloved home state, and got herself back to Texas, where she now works for ProAssurance. Ms. Spicer has been involved with GHSHRM for many years and has served as Co-Chair of the Education Committee for GHSHRM in past years. With what little is left of her free time after rooting heart and soul for her Houston Astros, Heather enjoys participating in marathons and triathlons, albeit as a very slow competitor. email

Jessylen Age - Secretary
Memorial Hermann

Jessylen M. Age, RN, DNP moved to Houston, Texas in 2017 and began work at Memorial Hermann – The Medical Center, as a Risk Manager. Prior to coming to Houston she made it a point to join GSHHRM and took advantage of the opportunity to attend the 2017 Education Day. She is a native Mississippian and served as a board member of the Mississippi Hospital Association Society of Healthcare Risk Management the year prior to relocating. In 2016, she was one of twelve fellows in the nation to participate in the Next Generation Initiative's Faculty Leaders Program. The policy analysis program is held at Pardee RAND Graduate School at RAND's Headquarters in Santa Monica, California. As a national member of the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) DNP Taskforce, she is involved in advancing the nursing profession, patient safety and quality of health care across the nation. Jessylen is most proud of the accomplishments gained while serving on the Mississippi Educational Consortium for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (MECDNP) to support increasing nursing leadership capacity across the state and nation. Jessylen earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Mississippi School of Nursing and is a two time graduate of Mississippi College where she earned a Master of Health Science Administration and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Her twenty-nine year nursing career includes various leadership roles in clinical risk management, quality, utilization review and case management.  As an assistant professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center 2012-2017, Jessylen used her diverse registered nursing experience in preparing health care professionals within health care delivery systems of today. Jessylen demonstrated her dedication to health care equity for all patients as co-chair of the University of Mississippi Medical Center Health Disparities Council, Quality Sub-committee. Jessylen aspires to assume a leadership role in healthcare administration and to develop health policies to serve diverse populations. She maintains her commitment to service through organizing and volunteering in various community health promotion activities. Jessylen is a wife, mother and health activist. While spending time with her family is most rewarding, she enjoys travelling as one of her hobbies. email

Adam Pollock - Treasurer 
Serpe, Jones, Andrews, Callender & Bell, PLLC

Adam Pollock is a partner with Serpe, Jones, Andrews, Callender & Bell, PLLC. A Houston native, he graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 2004. For the last decade, he has primarily focused his practice on the defense of physicians, nurses, and hospitals in health care liability claims in Texas and New Mexico. He also defends various health care providers before their respective licensing boards. Adam also has experience in personal injury defense, insurance coverage, and general commercial litigation. He has been named to the Texas Super Lawyers – Texas Rising Stars list from 2010 – 2018. Adam is also husband to his loving wife, Katelin Pollock, and father to their three year-old son. Adam and Katelin actively support various national and Houston area special needs children’s organizations including The Arbor School, The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, and The Center for Hearing and Speech. email

Charlotte Koenig - Director
Memorial Hermann

Charlotte Spence Koenig, BSN, RN, CPHRM, is currently the System Director of Enterprise Risk Management at Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston. Charlotte has been with Memorial Hermann since 2010, where she previously served as the Risk Manager of Non-Acute/ Outpatient Services and Clinical Risk Management Specialist. She came to Memorial Hermann with 25 years of nursing experience, which included both Legal Nurse Consulting as well as clinical experience in perioperative services and physician practice. Charlotte holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, and a healthcare risk management certification (CPHRM) from the American Hospital Association. In her current role, she is responsible for the development and monitoring of risk management strategic objectives, initiatives, and key performance metrics. Charlotte provides broad clinical risk management expertise to the organization to proactively address enterprise clinical risk issues. She often collaborates with legal counsel, loss prevention, regulatory compliance and clinical quality functions to identify and reduce risks and improve quality of care. Additionally, she provides strategic and tactical direction, as well as support to facility-based Risk Managers. Charlotte has been a member of GHSHRM since 2010, serving as At-Large Board member (2012 – 2014) and Membership Chair, (2014 – 2015).  email

Lauren M. Nelson - Director
Kroger Burrus Nelson

Lauren M. Nelson, JD, MBA is a Partner at Kroger Burrus Nelson, where her practice focuses primarily on healthcare. She defends hospitals, physicians, nurses and other providers in malpractice cases, before licensing boards and in other health law matters. She has been an active member of GHSHRM for the past 11 years and previously served as Co-Chair of the Education Committee this year and as Sponsorship Chair. Lauren earned her law degree from South Texas College of Law Houston. She has a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from Baylor University. Lauren has been named a Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers (2012 – 2019) and one of Houston’s Top Lawyers by H Magazine (2015 – 2019). In addition to defending healthcare clients, Lauren is a contributing author to her firm’s book, Texas Medical Malpractice Defense. She is also in charge of the firm’s pro bono work through the Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program. When she is not working, Lauren spends time with her family, traveling and fishing with her dad.

Angela Nolan - Director
Law Feehan Adams LLLP

Angela is a partner with Law Feehan Adams LLLP.  She has over 20 years of experience in healthcare law and appellate law.  Angela’s experience includes representation of hospitals, long-term acute care facilities, physicians, nurses, chiropractors and other healthcare professionals in matters involving professional negligence, peer review, licensure, risk management, business disputes, regulatory compliance, and criminal matters. Other practice areas include products liability, including pharmaceutical and medical devices, and maritime law, including personal injury and cargo claims.  Angela attended Baylor University and South Texas College of Law.  She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, Greater Houston Society for Healthcare Risk Management, and Texas Bar Foundation. email

Rachael Sanchez - Director
U.S. Anesthesia Partners of Texas

Rachael Sanchez is the Director of Risk & Quality Management for U.S. Anesthesia Partners of Texas for the Houston based practice, previously known as Greater Houston Anesthesiology. For the past 20 years she has worked with anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and AAs along with C-suite executives managing and guiding the growing practice needs. Rachael is an expert in claims management, quality reporting, onboarding, patient relations, data management and counseling clinical providers.  USAP is currently one of the largest anesthesia groups in the country spanning over five states and Rachael is responsible for over 850 clinicians. Rachael is a member of GHSHRM and ASHRM. email

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