Community Medical Foundation for Patient Safety

The Community of Competence™ and Foundation for Life

Executive Officers and Staff

Board of Directors

Advisory  Board

Executive Officers and Staff

Elizabeth A. Smith, PhD

Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Smith has more 40 years of experience in business, academic teaching, and research, including 15 years in healthcare. She was evaluator on numerous National Cancer Institute research grants at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and principal investigator on federal grants to develop instructional materials for healthcare professionals.  Dr. Smith is sole author of six books and over 40 peer-reviewed articles in healthcare, psychology, and business. Graduate-level teaching in industrial/organizational psychology and includes Rice University, University of Houston Clear Lake, Houston Baptist University, the Air Force Institute of Technology, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne, Wyoming.


Matthew C. Mireles, PhD, MPH

President and CEO

Dr. Mireles earned his BS degree in biomedical engineering at A&M University in 1987, his Master of Public Health in Occupational Safety and Aerospace Medicine and his Doctorate in Epidemiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. His work experience includes clinical engineering at the University of Texas Medical Branch UTMB, Anesthesia and Operating Room Departments. Dr. Mireles served as a Naval Reserve Officer, 1989-1997, trained as a navigator, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL.  His research involves traumatic ocular injury. Dr. Mireles also holds a faculty appointment as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas.  

Jerry E. Miller, PhD

Vice President of Research

Dr. Miller received his MS and PhD in epidemiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston School of Public Health and BS in neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  In 2007, he completed postdoctoral work in chronic disease prevention at Baylor College of Medicine.  He was recently a research fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Atlanta.  Other appointments include University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Department of Epidemiology and University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing where he provided research support.   Dr. Miller served in active and reserve duty in Military Intelligence in the U.S. Army.    


Donald J. Lefeber, BA, MAOM(c)

Director of Integrated Health Care and Wellness

Mr. Lefeber completed his BA in International Studies and Spanish at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas.  He earned his Public Health Certificate from the University of Texas School of Public Health, San Antonio, Texas.  Currently, Mr. Lefeber is completing his master degree as a licensed acupuncturist and oriental medicine practitioner at the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He leads the research and practice of integrated health care and wellness to introduce and educate patients and families the concept of holistic medicine and the appropriate use of complementary and alternative medicine.

Board of Directors

Don Griffin, MS, MBA, MS, JD. FACHE

Mr. Griffin is a consultant to physicians and hospitals.  He has a wide range of experience in law, administration, litigation, research, and teaching.  He served in senior management of several mid-sized hospitals, including CEO, and has an extensive background in teaching and research.  In January 2008, Don served as CEO of several hospitals in Shanghai and also in the sister city of Beijing. Currently, he is on assignment as consultant for a major hospital system development in Dubai.

Samuel E. Johnson, BS, CLU

Mr. Johnson is an enrollment specialist and principal of his own company that assists primarily senior patients and family members with selection of pharmaceutical plans based on eligibility and qualification of Medicare Part D.  Mr. Johnson earned his Bachelor of Art in philosophy from Texas A&M University. He has a Chartered License Underwriter certification.  Mr. Johnson advises clients with accurate information concerning Medicare options, life insurance, health insurance, final medical expenses, burial decision, cancer insurance and annuities.  

Johnny C. Lefeber, JD

As principal of the Lefeber Law Mediation, Mr. Lefeber is an experienced attorney in family law, mediation, and small estate planning wills, probate of estates, guardianship and real estate matters. He excels at relational and mediation matters – family, marriage, employment and estates. He earned his undergraduate degree in political science at The University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.  Mr. Lefeber has volunteered with organizations, such as Peace Corps and VISTA for humanitarian projects in Africa.  He is adjunct professor at Lee College in Baytown, Texas.

Biruh T. Workeneh, MD

Dr. Workeneh completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin and his medical degree at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School.  Dr. Workeneh attended Stanford University Medical Center for this residency and board certification in nephrology.  Presently, Dr. Workeneh is on faculty and practices at Baylor of College of Medicine.  His clinical research focuses on management of patients with renal failure and early detection of the disease.

Advisory Board

Dawn Bloomer, BSN, MS, RN

Ms. Bloomer earned her BSN at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and her MS in health informatics from the same institution.  She now specializes and counsels families and clients in obtaining the high-quality, cost-effective pediatric and adult home care.  As one of PSA HealthCare directors, Ms. Bloomer is responsible for placement of patients and ensuring the quality and safety of health care.  Often, she serves as the administrator of her company’s Professional Advisory Committee and conducts program evaluation and outcome measures of services and patients’ satisfaction.

Gerald R. Goodman, MAS, MS, DrPh

Dr. Goodman has a Master of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering (SMU), an MS degree in Hospital Administration (TWU), and a DrPh (UT-H School of Public Health).  He is sole author of more than thirty peer-reviewed publications in patient safety, medical device safety, instrumentation, outcomes assessment, and decision-making under uncertainty and serves as an expert witness in these specialty areas.  He is a founder of the American College of Clinical Engineers.  He became a Certified Clinical Engineer in 1976. Dr. Goodman is a full professor and program director at Texas Woman’s University, Houston, Texas.

Peggy Hightower-Lee, MPH

Ms. Hightower-Lee completed her MPH in public health from Walden University while she was a patient safety research intern at the Community Medical Foundation for Patient Safety.  She was instrumental in the creation of the National Patient Safety Community and the publication of the National Directory for Patient Safety.  Additionally, she led the development of the Share Our Stories© (SOS) final data collection instrument as part of a new patient safety reporting system for patients and families. She is a longtime employee of Cardinal Health and is in charge of cost optimization, operational efficiency and data quality management of hospital supply and distribution.

Paul T. Homsy, MD, MPH

Dr. Homsy received his BS in chemical engineering from M.I.T. and his MD from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.  He interned in general surgery at St. Joseph Hospital and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston.  His Master of Public Health Degree was completed along with his residency in occupational health at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health.  He speaks Spanish fluently and French and Greek conversationally.  He is board certified in psychiatry and occupational medicine.  

Regina Jones Johnson, DrPh, MSN, RN

Dr. Johnson teaches ethics in health care and public health nursing.  Dr. Johnson has served as principal investigator on numerous research grants and published research papers in an array of peer-reviewed journals in nursing and related areas.  Current research interests are in patient safety, childhood sexual victimization, domestic violence, and sexual assault among at-risk populations.  She was recently awarded a National Institute of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research minority grant.  Dr. Johnson is tenured professor at the University of Texas School of Nursing, Austin, Texas.

Donald Louis Lefeber, LCSW  

Mr. Lefeber received his BA from Austin College, Sherman, Texas and his MSW from Worden School of Social Work, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas.  He is a licensed Clinical Social Worker, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a Certified Chemical Dependency Specialist.  Positions included psychiatric social worker at Eastern State Hospital in Vinita, Oklahoma; Director of Social Services at St. Mary’s Hospital, Galveston; Care Management, UTMB; and Clinical Social Worker, VA Medical Center, Houston.  He is active in the Galveston Chapter of the American Cancer Society and the Galveston Chapter of the American Cancer Society. He received the Employee Honor Role Award, UTMB and special contribution awards from the VA.  

Rose Lefeber, LMSW

Ms. Lefeber received her BSW from Worden School of Social Work, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Texas and her MSW from the University of Houston Graduate School of Social Work.  She has worked as a psychiatric social worker at Eastern State Hospital, Vinita, Oklahoma and as an oncology social worker at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for 26 years. She is a Co-Facilitator of the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society Patient-Family Education and Support Group, Houston.  Ms. Lefeber is a board member of the Galveston Chapter of the American Cancer Society and a Reach to Recovery Volunteer.

William C. Paske, PhD

Dr. Paske is a former professor of physics at the University of Oklahoma and research scientist in protocol and systems analysis.  He has consulted with medical professionals on statistical analysis, pain measurement, sensor calibration, and medical device and instrumentation.  He holds 29 US and foreign patents in various healthcare areas.  He designed and developed the hand-held SensoKinetogram (SKG) and Head Impact Trauma Screen (HITSTM)  to quickly and accurately identify early onset of diseases and injuries, such as concussion (mild Traumatic Brain Injury), carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and renal failure.  Dr. Paske is Vice President of Research and Development, Red Oak Instruments, LLC.

Lawrence J. H. Schulze, PhD, PE, CPE

Dr. Schulze is Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-Education and Research Center Occupational Safety Engineering Program, Director of the Graduate Program in Industrial Ergonomics and Human Factors Engineering and Director of the International Masters of Industrial Engineering Program.  His research interests are in ergonomics and human factors, safety engineering, system design and evaluation and rehabilitation.  His publications include numerous papers and book chapters. He is an associate professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Houston.

Joseph Shoss, MD, FAAP

Dr. Shoss, a retired pediatrician, is professor emeritus, Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Shoss attended Rice University and received his M.D. from Baylor Medical School.  His residencies were at City of Detroit Receiving Hospital, St. Louis City Hospital, and Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.  He served two years as a pediatrician at George Air Force Base, Victorville, CA.  He has devoted nearly 50 years to solo pediatric practice in Houston. Current affiliations are Texas Children’s Hospital and Memorial-Hermann Hospital Southwest.  Dr. Shoss has received numerous honors and awards and remains very active in the field of pediatrics.   

Ralph Stivison, BA, MBA

Mr. Stivison has more than 24 years of experience in architecture designing a wide variety of building and construction commercial and residential projects in the Houston area.  He earned his undergraduate degree in architecture at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston.  Mr. Stivison led the innovative design and construction of the outpatient clinic of the Harris County Hospital District with additional completed projects for the same client.  He is a registered architect of the State of Texas and a member of the Houston Professional Musicians’ Association. He is principal of Stivison & Co. Architects, Houston, Texas.