General and Minimally Invasive Surgery Faculty

Kent Van Sickle, M.D.  |  Email

Professor and Division Chief

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr. Van Sickle received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in 1994 and completed his surgical residency training at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta, GA and New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC. He went into private practice in General Surgery for four years in Anderson, SC before returning to academics in 2003 to complete a two year fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopy and GI Surgery at Emory University Hospital. Dr Van Sickle joined the faculty at UTHSCSA in September 2005 and is a Professor of Surgery and Division Chief of General and Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Dr Van Sickle’s areas of clinical interest include complex disease of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Gastroesophageal  Reflux Disease (GERD), Gastroparesis, Achalasia, and Paraesophageal hernias. Dr Van Sickle also has expertise in bariatric and obesity surgery, including revisions of prior bariatric procedures and is the Medical Director for the University Health System Bariatric Surgery program. Other areas of clinical expertise include hernias of the inguinal canal (i.e groin) and abdominal wall, including patients with chronic groin pain. Dr Van Sickle also performs complex abdominal wall reconstruction for patients with large or recurrent ventral hernias, parastomal hernias, and enterocutaneous fistulas.

Dr Van Sickle is actively involved in local, regional and national leadership roles in surgery. He is an active member of multiple surgical societies including the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and currently serves on the Executive Council for the South Texas Chapter of the ACS, and recently nomiated to seve on the Board of Governors. Dr Van Sickle also hold leadership roles in the Robotics Committee Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and is an active member of the Texas Association of Surgical Skills Laboratories (TASSL), which is consortium of Texas surgeons with collaborative interest in surgical education, simulation and novel training techniques.

Dr Van Sickle has expertise in Minimally Invasive Surgery, including advanced laparoscopic procedures, flexible endoscopy and robotic surgery. Dr Van Sickle has performed over 1000 robotic procedures in his career, and has served as an expert instructor on numerous robotic surgery training courses for both residents and practicing surgeons. Dr. Van Sickle has consistently been selected as one of San Antonio’s best surgeons by his peers and by his patients, and was featured on cover story for the local MD News for his experience in robotic surgeries at University Hospital.

Kenneth R. Sirinek, M.D.,MS., Ph.D.  |  Email

Professor and Vice Chair |  Academic Affairs & Professional Development

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr Sirinek has been a part of the UTHSCSA for over 40 years. He received his medical degree from Marquette University School of Medicine. He then completed his General Surgery Residency at Ohio State University with Dr. Robert M. Zollinger. During this time, Dr. Sirinek was actively involved in basic and clinical GI physiology research and enrolled in graduate school, culminating both a master’s and in a doctoral degree in Physiology. He then served in the U.S Army as a Major, MC, at the Burn Unit (Institute for Surgical Research) at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, under Dr. Basil A. Pruitt.

Since being recruited by the first Chairman of Surgery, Dr. J. Bradley Aust, he has spend his entire academic and clinical career at UTHSCSA. He is presently Professor of Surgery, Vice Chairman for Academic Affairs and Professional Development and J.B. Aust, MD, PhD, Chair in Surgery. Dr. Sirinek served as Chief of the Division of General and Laparoendoscopic Surgery from 2001-2010. Prior to this, he served as the General Surgery Residency Program Director for sixteen years.In 2010, Dr. Sirinek was appointed as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs and Professional Development and named to the J.B, Aust, MD, PhD Chair for surgery.

His areas of expertise include complex procedures on the liver, biliary tract and pancreas, including the Whipple procedure. He has performed over 8000 cholecystectomies, primarily (98.5%) by the laparoscopic technique since 1991. In conjunction with plastic surgery and a wound care clinic, he has developed a large referral base for the treatment of patients with complicated abdominal wounds, incisional hernias and enterocutaneous fistulas. Dr. Sirinek has published over 200 book chapters, journal articles and abstracts. His areas of research have included: the role of gastrointestinal hormones in disease states including peptic ulcer, cirrhosis, and morbid obesity; the pharmacologic control and surgical management of portal hypertension; they physiological effects of laparoscopy; management of patients with complicated diverticulitis; the treatment of complicated biliary tract disease; and use of both permanent and biologic mesh in the repair of complicated abdominal wall hernias. Honors awarded him include listings in Best Doctors in America every year since 1994, Who’s Who, Texas Super Doctors, and Top Doctors in San Antonio. He completed six years of service on the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors and had been an examiner for the American Board of Surgery for 25 years. He recently served as Vice President of both the Texas Surgical Society and the Western Surgical Association.

 

Wayne H. Schwesinger, M.D. |  Email

Professor

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Wayne H. Schwesinger, MD, is a native of Tacoma, Washington and graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. After a tour of duty in the United States Air Force he completed his training in General Surgery and Gastroenterology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is currently a Professor of Surgery and the director of Surgical Endoscopy. He is a member of 17 professional organizations. His clinical and research interests include biliary and diverticular disease. Over the past decade, Dr. Schwesinger has repeatedly been chosen as the surgeon other physicians would choose for themselves as well as for their own families.

Wayne Schwesinger, MD, Professor of Surgery (Division of General & Laparoendoscopic Sugery), received the Clinical Excellence Award in January 31, 2008. This award recognized Dr. Schwesinger’s superlative clinical service here at the Health Science Center and in the San Antonio community. View video about Dr. Schwesinger. (1-15-08)

 

Richard M. Peterson, M.D., MHP, |  Email

Professor / Clinical | Chief Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Director

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr Richard Peterson obtained his Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in biology from the University of California, Riverside. He then went to obtain a Masters in Public health (MPH) at the East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, PA. He obtained his MD degree from the American University of the Caribbean. He completed his General Surgery residency at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He then went on to pursue a fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery at the University of Southern California. This training had made him one of a selected few surgeons who perform a completely hand-sewn laparoscopic gastric bypass.

Following the completion of his training he entered into Active Duty service with the United States Air Force. He served two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. During his time in the Air Force, Dr. Peterson served as Chief of Bariatric and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center. He expanded the program to be the largest bariatric surgery program in the Department of Defense. He also served as the Consult to the Air Force Surgeon General on Bariatrics during this time. Dr. Peterson has consistently been selected by his fellow physicians as one of San Antonio’s Best Doctors.

Dr. Peterson serves as the Chief of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery for UT Health San Antonio and is the medical director of the Christus Weight Loss Institute at Westover Hills.

Dr. Peterson is very active in Bariatric Surgery clinically and academically. He is a past president of the Texas Association for Bariatric Surgery (TABS) and has chaired several committees for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Sugery (ASMBS) including the public Education Committee and the Communications Committee. He moderates and runs the largest online bariatric journal club on Facebook and serves as the Social Media Editor for Surgery for Obesity and Related Disease (SOARD), the official journal of the ASMBS.

Dr. Peterson has authored several textbook chapters on bariatric surgery, has published many peer reviewed articles and has presented nationally and internationally on bariatric surgery. He is a contributing author to the accreditation standards for bariatric surgery and serves as a national site surveyor for bariatric sugery center accreditation.

Dr. Peterson is fluent in Spanish, enjoys running and resides in San Antonio with his wife and two children.

Patrick Nguyen, M.D. |  Email

Associate Professor / Clinical

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr. Nguyen graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Microbiology in 2000. He completed medical school in 2004 and his five years of General Surgery Training in June 2009 in San Antonio. Dr. Nguyen was awarded numerous teaching awards during his training and joined the faculty upon completion of training. As a Associate Professor in Surgery he has led the expansion of General Surgery Service at UT Health Westover Hills, the site of one of our satellite multidisciplinary practice. He serves in a number of leadership roles to include Section Chief of General Surgery at Christus Santa Rosa Westover Hills and Director of the Surgery Clerkship for the School of Medicine. Dr Nguyen is fluent in French, Vietnamese, and some Spanish.

Haisar E Dao, M.D., FACS., FASCRS |  Email

Associate Professor / Clinical

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr Dao received his medical degree from the University of Carabobo, in Valencia, Venezuela. After finishing a year of internship in an undeserved area of the country, he started General Surgery residency at Hospital Miguel Perez Carreno, one of the busiest academic centers in Caracas. Upon completion of his training, he relocated to the United States where he joined St.Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, MA, a Tufts University affiliated hospital, and completed his General Surgery training in the US. This was followed by a residency in Colon and Rectal surgery at Brown University in Providence, RI.

 

Alicia J. Logue, M.D., FACS, |  Email

Assistant Professor/ Clinical | Associate Residency Program Director

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr. Logue attended undergraduate at Auburn University, where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry. She attended medical school at the University of South Alabama and completed residency in General Surgery at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Logue arrived in San Antonio in 2008 to participate in minimally invasive fellowship at UTHSCSA and subsequently joined the faculty.

In 2012, she decided to pursue fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery and trained with the Orlando Health program, which she completed in 2013. She is board certified in both General and Colorectal Surgery, holding the distinction of scoring in the top 5 nationally on the colon and rectal qualifying examination. Dr. Logue has clinical privileges at University Hospital and Christus Santa Rosa where she performs a variety of inpatient and outpatient procedures.

Dr. Logue’s special interests include colon, rectal, and anal cancer, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, diseases related to human papilloma virus, and benign anorectal conditions (hermorrhoids, fistula, fissures, and dermatologic conditions.) Another cause in which Dr. Logue is enthusiastic about and is actively involved is resident & physician wellness.

She is excited to have joined the institution wellness committee in 2018 and hopes to bring these skills to serve her trainees and collegues. Dr. Logue herself had major intestinal surgery years ago so offers not only her professional expertise but also a unique empathy that comes from having patients perspective. She works closely with the UTHSCSA medical students, physician assistant students, and surgery residents and has been awarded with numerous teaching awards from them.

Jason W. Kempenich, M.D., FACS |  Email

Assistant Professor / Clinical | Associate Residency Program Director

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr Kempenich received his medical degree in 2007 from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He completed his surgical residency training here at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, Tx. Following the completion of his training he entered into Active Duty services with the United States Air Force and was stationed in Biloxi, MS at Keesler Air Force Base.

Upon completion of his Active Duty commitment he joined the faculty at UT Health in July 2016. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. His clinical interest include the surgical management of obesity, gastroesophageal reflux disease, hernia, gastrointestinal diesease, as well as minimally invasive and robotic surgery. He also has a significant interest in surgical education research and serves as one of the General Surgery residency associate program directors.

Molly Hartmann, M.D. |  Email

Assistant Professor / Clinical

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Mallory A. Lara, M.D. | Email

Instructor and Clinical

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Dr. Mallory Lara received her medical degree from the University of Tennessee at Memphis in 2014 and completed her surgical residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 2019. Dr. Lara received several teaching awards during her residency. She joined the faculty at UT Health San Antonio in 2019 upon completion of her training. Her surgical interests include management of biliary disease, hernia, gastrointestinal disease, acute care surgery, minimally invasive and robotic surgery and surgical endoscopy.

Katherine O’Donnell, DNP., APRN FNP-BC |  Email

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Specialist

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Katherine O’Donnell received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of San Francisco in 1978. She completed her family nurse practitioner training and master’s degree in nursing at Fresno State University, California in 1992, and her doctorate of nursing practice at Loma Linda University in 2013. She completed a post master’s certification as a women’s health practitioner, at the University of Texas, Southwestern, in Dallas in 2000. She worked for the University Health system for 10 years in primary care before she joined the UTHSCSA faculty in 2005. She was an instructor in the graduate nursing program at UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing.

Kate is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Texas Nurse Practitioners and San Antonio Nurses in Advanced practice. She has served as a preceptor to advanced practice nursing students. She is passionate about pain management, wound care and patient education.

Maggie Eastridge, MSN., AGCNS-BC., APRN |  Email

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Specialist

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Ms. Eastridge graduated from a Diploma Nursing Program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario Canada in 1990, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2008, and graduated with high honors (4.0 average) in 2014 with her Master of Nursing Science Degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. She then earned her Board of Certification for Advanced Practice through the American Nurse’s Credentialing Center.

She has over 20 years of experience in the specialties of Med/Surg, Telemetry, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Trauma and Critical Care. She has previously worked as a registered staff nurse in both the Cardiothoracic ICU at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and in the Trauma ICU at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Prior to joining the Department of General and Minimally Invasive Surgery her at UT Health San Antonio, MS. Eastridge previously worked as an Advanced Practice Nurse in Family Practice. Since joining the Department of Surgery at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio in 2015 she has actively participated in several published research studies involving patients who have gastroparesis. In addition to General Surgery, Ms. Eastridge is now teaching the UT Health Surgical Weight Loss Pre-Operative Class and is also seeing pre and post op surgical weight loss patients in our newly combined Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Department of Surgery.

Ms. Eastridge is a member of Sigma Theta Tau (the National Nursing Honor Society), the National Society of Leadership and success, the Texas Nurse’s Association, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists and is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Rene Gonzalez, MSN., APRN., FNP-BC |  Email

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Specialist

General and Minimally Invasive Surgery

Rene Gonzalez received his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2015. He completed his family nurse practitioner training and master’s degree in nursing University of Texas at Arlington in 2018. Previously, he worked for the University Health System for 27 years, more recently as an Emergency Center nurse in 2008 and eventually moving into nursing management before joining the UTHSCSA faculty in 2019. He currently works in he Division of General and Minimally invasive surgery as an inpatient Nurse Practitioner.