Memorial Hermann Welcomes New Recruits
Six physicians, an oncology nurse navigator and an oncology social worker have joined Memorial Hermann Cancer Centers located across Greater Houston.
Ernest “Chappie” Conrad, M.D., a professor of orthopedic surgery, joined the department of Orthopedic Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in June. A specialist in orthopedic oncology, Dr. Conrad was recruited to develop the Musculoskeletal Oncology Service at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. His main clinical interests and emphasis include treating bone and soft tissue tumors in children and adults, and in reconstruction and grafting for bone tumors.
Dr. Conrad completed medical school at The University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, followed by internship at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City and residency in orthopedic surgery at The Hospital for Special Surgery Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital Cornell Medical Center in New York. He completed a fellowship in orthopedic oncology at the University of Florida, and an additional fellowship in pediatric orthopedics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario. Shortly after completing his fellowship in Toronto, Dr. Conrad moved to the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where he established a multidisciplinary academic sarcoma center. In Seattle he set the standards for the world in assessing risk and response in sarcoma patients, using PET imaging and for limb salvage surgery in adults and children.
Medical oncologist and hematologist Mona Lisa Alattar, M.D., is affiliated with the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Memorial City. Dr. Alattar is a Houston native who graduated from Rice University. She received her medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. After completing her residency in internal medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, she went on to complete a hematology/oncology fellowship at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a leukemia fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr. Alattar’s clinical interests are breast cancer, GI/GU malignancies, benign and malignant hematology. She is also an active research investigator in clinical trials, and is now the moderator for the general tumor board at Memorial Hermann Memorial City. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Arabic.
Veena Chandrakar, M.D., has been practicing medicine in Houston and the Cypress area since 2004. She earned her medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, and completed her residency training in internal medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa., and New York Methodist-Cornell affiliate in Brooklyn, N.Y. She went on to complete her fellowship in hematology and oncology at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She is board certified in hematology and medical oncology. Her clinical interests include cancers of the colon and rectum, lung and breast as well as benign and malignant hematological disorders. She treats adults, ages 18 and up, and is affiliated with Memorial Hermann Cypress Hospital.
Concepcion R. Diaz-Arrastia, M.D., is an associate professor in the department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and is affiliated with the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Texas Medical Center. She received her medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed her residency at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Diaz-Arrastia went on to complete a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the same institution. Her clinical interests are gynecological cancer, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer.
Zeyad Kanaan, M.D., is a medical oncologist and hematologist affiliated with the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Texas Medical Center. Dr. Kanaan earned his medical degree at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Jordan in 2005. He completed his residency training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 2010. He was appointed chief medical resident from 2010-2011 and an assistant professor in academic internal medicine until 2013 at the same institution. He completed his fellowship training in medical oncology and hematology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 2016 and was appointed division chief fellow. His clinical interests are malignant hematological disorders and general oncology.
Oncologist and hematologist Hazem El-Osta, M.D., is affiliated with the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Texas Medical Center and is a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine-oncology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. He received his medical degree and completed his residency at the University of Saint Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon, and the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City. He subsequently completed two fellowships, one in investigational cancer therapeutics at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2010 and the second in hematology-oncology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport in 2013. Dr. El-Osta’s clinical interests are in head and neck cancers, melanoma and thoracic malignancies.
Krystie Fenton, B.S.N., RN, OCN, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Manitoba, Canada. She practiced as a hematology/oncology/stem cell transplant nurse before relocating to the United States in 2005. On arrival in Houston, she worked in the stem cell transplant unit at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and became an Oncology Certified Nurse in 2008. She began her oncology nurse navigation career at Memorial Hermann in 2012 and currently serves patients at Memorial Hermann Southeast and Memorial Hermann Pearland hospitals.
Sonia Bernal, LMSW, has joined the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Texas Medical Center as an oncology social worker. Bernal received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio and went on to complete her master’s degree in social work at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Prior to joining Memorial Hermann, she was a therapist at NIX Health in San Antonio. At Memorial Hermann, she provides supportive care need discussions to patients and their families, links patients to community resources to minimize barriers to care, and conducts psychosocial consultations and assessments, using a variety of counseling strategies