Six from HSC are honored as Distinguished Fellows of the National Academies of Practice

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Six of the best from HSC

Six of the best from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth were inducted as Distinguished Fellows from the National Academies of Practice on Saturday, March 16.

Provost and executive vice president, Dr. Charles Taylor, Dr. Lillee Gelinas, an assistant professor from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Dr. Teresa Wagner, an associate professor in the Department of Health Administration and Health Policy and the interim director for SaferCare Texas, Dr. Damon Schranz, an associate professor in TCOM, Dr. Susan Franks, an associate professor in TCOM, and Kristen Reuter, an instructor in TCOM and the director of social services for HSC’s Center for Older Adults, received the prestigious honor at the NAP Annual Meeting and Forum in Jacksonville, Florida.

“I am so incredibly proud of Dr. Taylor, Dr. Gelinas, Dr. Franks, Dr. Schranz, Dr. Wagner, and Kristen for receiving this prestigious honor because they represent the best of our profession,” said Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams, HSC president. “The work that each of these six individuals has done is remarkable, and to be recognized as a Distinguished Fellow by the National Academies of Practice shows the high regard their peers hold them. I am so glad they are part of the HSC family.”

Distinguished Fellows have had an exemplary career of ten or more years in the practice and direct delivery of health care services. They are also individuals with academic achievements, such as significant and enduring educational or research contributions to practice. Criteria also include individuals who have made a significant and enduring public policy contribution to health care practice. They are judged by distinguished peers to have made significant contributions to interprofessional healthcare.

Charles Taylor, Pharm.D., FNAP

Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Charles Taylor, HSC has developed several new graduate degree and professional certificate programs in response to local workforce needs that have garnered historic student enrollment. Additionally, the university launched its first undergraduate program, a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences, in August 2022.

He has been instrumental in the creation of HSC’s new College of Nursing, which welcomes its first class of students in the fall of 2024. Taylor has helped lead the university accreditation, implementation of academic budgetary and policy priorities, and key results of HSC strategic priorities such as the launch of HSC Learning Plus, an expansion of the continuing and professional studies programs.

“I am so humbled to receive such an honor like this,” Taylor said. “To receive this type of recognition from one of the most respected organizations like the NAP in our profession is so very special. I am proud to be representing HSC and congratulate Dr. Gelinas, Dr. Schranz, Dr. Franks, Dr. Wagner, and Kristen for receiving this honor as well.”

Lillee Gelinas, DNP, RN, CPPS, FNAP, FAAN

Dr. Gelinas is an assistant professor and serves as the patient safety section director for TCOM in the Department of Medical Education and Health Systems Science.  Collaborating with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety, she designed, developed, and implemented the only Patient Safety Course in the U.S. being taught to third-year medical students resulting in Certification as a Patient Safety Professional. More than 830 TCOM medical students, residents and faculty have attained the CPPS™ credential.  Achieving CPPS certification has proven to distinguish TCOM students during residency interviews.

She is the editor-in-chief of the American Nurse Journal, the official journal of the American Nurses Association with the largest circulation of a nursing journal in the United States.

Her military service included five years of active duty and fourteen years of reserve duty in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, achieving the rank of Lieutenant and earning the National Defense Medal.

For five years, she served on the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Directors, with her term ending when NPSF successfully merged with IHI.  As an IHI faculty for the last 20 years, she continues to serve as a presenter and coach to improvement teams.

In addition to outstanding professional credentials, Gelinas has published more than 125 journal articles and editorials, contributed chapters in seven books, conducted more than 300 presentations at conferences, moderated 150 satellite network broadcasts, and developed and moderated more than 50 educational programs and webinars across national and international audiences.

“I work with the most talented faculty, staff, and students who inspire and challenge me,” Gelinas said. “HSC is a community of servant leaders who are dedicated to improving the lives of others.  The number of HSC faculty being recognized this year by NAP is a testament to UNT’s leadership and culture of excellence. I want to publicly thank Dr. Trent-Adams for her nomination and support of me in this professional pursuit. across national and international audiences.”


Dr. Wagner is a registered and licensed dietitian and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is certified in public health, and patient safety and is a certified community health worker instructor. As a clinician, she’s also certified in lifestyle medicine and health coaching.

She has received the Media Award, Distinguished Scientist Award, and last week, the Distinguished Dietitian Award from the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

She has established a multi-stakeholder health literacy collaborative with the DFW Hospital Council Foundation, founded a nonprofit, Health Literacy Texas, and testified on health literacy legislation in Texas. As a result of her work locally, regionally & nationally, she received the 2018 Texas Health Literacy Hero Award and the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas Christian University.

“As an inaugural member of the Registered Dietitian Academy, I’m honored to be inducted into this prestigious organization dedicated to supporting affordable, accessible, coordinated quality healthcare for all,” Wagner said. “Not only as a representative of my profession but also as a representative of HSC.”

Damon Schranz, DO, FACOFP, FNAP

Dr. Schranz is an associate professor in TCOM’s Department of Family and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and also the president of the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association. He is a 1998 graduate of TCOM and completed his internship and residency in Osteopathic Family Medicine at the Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas. He joined TCOM’s Department of Family Medicine as an assistant professor in 2001 and has been an integral member of the department ever since. Schranz completed a faculty development fellowship in 2003 and the AOA Health Policy Fellowship in 2008.

The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians awarded Schranz with its 2022 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award during the ACOFP 59th Annual Convention and Scientific Seminars.

For more than 20 years, Schranz has taught medical students and residents through residency programs and clinical work.

Susan Franks, PhD, ABPP, FNAP

Dr. Franks is a licensed clinical health psychologist and one of only 4% of licensed psychologists in the United States who are Board Certified. She is a tenured associate professor in TCOM’s Department of Family and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and has been with HSC since 1994. She initiated the integration of behavioral health services into family medicine at HSC, where she continues to provide patient care services.

Franks is well-known for creating innovative educational approaches to teaching humanistic, patient-centered whole health communication skills for TCOM through her directorship of several sections of the first- and second-year medical practice courses. She spearheaded the integration of emotional intelligence assessment and development activities into the curriculum. She went on to co-lead the HSC-wide Emotional Intelligence program for students, faculty, and staff and brought this expertise to the formation of the BeWell Quality Enhancement plan to improve the overall well-being of HSC students. She has also developed and directed integrated behavioral health topics for the students in TCOM’s clerkship rotations and for the Family Medicine residency program.

Franks is active in research, where her interests are the biological and psychological mediators of appetite regulation, obesity, and their interface, particularly under stress conditions. She has numerous publications and presentations on stress-related eating and obesity. Working across various age, cultural, and gender groups, she has successfully developed and implemented brain-based interventions for the treatment of obesity.

Franks is past president of the Fort Worth Area Psychological Association and a past recipient of the “Great Women of Texas – Texas Woman of Influence” award for her accomplishments and dedication to helping people make critical choices for greater health and peace.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from the National Academies of Practice, along with my esteemed colleagues from HSC who have also been recognized as Distinguished Fellows,” Franks said. “I especially want to express immense gratitude to my colleagues in family medicine who enthusiastically welcomed me into their fold very early in my career; graciously allowing me to collaborate in the care of patients and trusting my vision for an integrated whole-health perspective in educating our future physicians. As a clinical health psychologist, my award reflects the very heart of family medicine and HSC, where the ideals of interprofessional collaboration have long been put into action in the service of patients and in the education of future providers.”


Kristen Reuter is a licensed clinical social worker, Board Approved Supervisor, with more than 10 years of experience working in health care, geriatrics and academics. She serves as an instructor in TCOM’s Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and Director of Social Services for the Center for Older Adults. Additionally, Reuter is a certified dementia practitioner and a certified Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia care trainer.

At the Center for Older Adults, Reuter provides direct patient care to older adults and their caregivers as part of an interprofessional team. She specializes in counseling individuals with dementia and their caregivers.

Reuter’s academic duties include her role as an interprofessional preceptor for students in the clinical setting. She has served as a field supervisor for master’s level social work students at TCU, UT Arlington, and UNT.

Reuter’s research activities have included serving as the principal investigator for studies on interventions for caregivers of individuals with dementia, including a multisite study with The Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium.

She is passionate about community outreach and is a member of numerous committees and boards working to address health disparities related to aging including an appointment on the Tarrant County Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council.

Reuter was the 2023 recipient of the Tarrant Area Gerontological Society Dr. Mildred O. Hogstel Award for Excellence in Education and Academics regarding older adults. This award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions in the area of aging.

“Being inducted as a Distinguished Fellow in the National Academies of Practice is a profound honor. To be recognized among esteemed colleagues, each dedicated to advancing the ideals of our profession, is humbling. I am profoundly thankful to Dr. Lynn Jackson, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives in the TCU Department of Social Work, for her nomination. This gesture not only reflects the depth of our professional collaboration but also underscores the impactful partnership between our universities in advancing interprofessional education.”
From HSC Newsroom - Our People by Steven Bartolotta