Meet The PRIDE Team!
Every member of the PRIDE team is committed to providing the best quality of care to help ensure positive outcomes for all patients. The PRIDE team produces success stories every day. Click here to view some recent success stories.
Tom Mayer, M.D. is the Medical Director and Founder of PRIDE. He is Board certified in Orthopedic Surgery and is currently a Clinical Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Mayer is known in the medical community for his extensive research on chronic musculoskeletal conditions and rehabilitation. He is the former President of the North American Spine Society (1999) and the founding editor of The Spine Journal. He has co-authored many books and scientific articles and is on the Editorial Review Board of multiple journals. His innovations include the concept of Functional Restoration, new techniques in measurement of physical and psychological function (especially for spinal disorders), and the development of techniques for evaluation of permanent impairment. He continues to develop and serve on Review Boards for evidence based treatment guidelines, particularly on coordination of services for sub-acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders.
Larry Johnson, M.D. graduated with his medical degree from Meharry Medical College. He is fully trained in general surgery and was certified by the American Board of Surgery for 10 years. He is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He previously has served as both Assistant and Acting Chief, Division of Orthopedic Surgery at King/Drew Medical Center. He has been on the Consumer’s Research Council for America’s Top Surgeons and has published papers in his field of Orthopedics. Currently, Dr. Johnson owns and operates a private practice clinic in conjunction with being a Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Johnson will be utilizing his many years of knowledge and expertise in the fields of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine to evaluate and manage patients though Functional Restoration here at PRIDE.
Peter Polatin, MD, MPH, graduated from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Most recently, he was a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Global Mental Health at the George Washington University School of Medicine, clinical faculty for the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Medical Director of Pain Management for Paradigm Health Services and the senior health advisor for the DIGNITY Institute Against Torture, located in Copenhagen, Denmark. From 2007 to 2010, he functioned as a Health Program Manager for DIGNITY. He has prior specialization in community and disaster mental health, pain management, clinical outcomes research, and addictionology. Previously, Dr. Polatin was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Anesthesiology and Pain Management at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He has worked with the community in Dallas as the Chief Medical Advisor for Dallas Disaster Preparedness Plan, Chairman for the Mental Health Task Force on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita evacuees, and as a Public Health Consultant to Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services for Mental Health Preparedness for Terrorism or Disaster. He has authored, co-authored, or edited over 60 chapters and peer review articles and one book. Dr. Polatin is now seeing patients at PRIDE for medication and pain management as well as evaluation and treatment for Functional Restoration.
Nurse Practitioners are licensed independent practitioners who practice in ambulatory, acute and long term care as primary or specialty care providers. Nurse Practitioners are advanced practice nurses with masters, post-masters or doctoral level education beyond their registered nurse preparation. They provide comprehensive care management to patients.
As licensed independent practitioners, nurse practitioners practice autonomously and in collaboration with other health care professionals to assess, diagnose, treat and manage the patient’s health problems/needs. As partners in health with patients, Nurse Practitioners take on roles of health provider, mentor, educator, clinical researcher, and administrator.
Margareta Shea, RN, FNP
Maile Shea received her Masters of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is Board certified as a family nurse practitioner with prescription authority in Texas. Before coming to PRIDE in 2003, Maile worked in multiple areas of expertise including orthopedics, oncology, pediatric hematology, bone marrow transplant, family practice and urgent care. She is pleased to work in a multi-disciplinary setting at PRIDE and have the opportunity to partner in care with patients in all phases of rehabilitation and pain management. Away from the office, she enjoys yoga, reading and outdoor fitness.
With over 54 years combined experience, PRIDE’s Occupational Therapists (OT) are experts in helping individuals with chronic pain and disabilities to return to functional activities of daily living and to resume a more productive life. PRIDE OTs help individuals overcome physical obstacles by building strength, endurance, and coordination. Our OTs stay current in their field and provide creative, evidence-based, exercise routines to help reach each individual’s goals. Functional simulations of real-life activities are provided, which promote optimal results for those who are limited with home chores, work duties, and/or leisure pursuits. Education is provided on activity modification, energy conservation, and pain management techniques. As experts in Functional Capacity Evaluations, our OT staff has assisted with chapters published in the “Guide to the Evaluation of Functional Ability” and they continue to support research in this area.
At PRIDE, our Physical Therapists (PT) are uniquely qualified to help individuals with chronic pain and disabilities. Using our functional restoration philosophy, the PTs guide patients through individualized exercise programs, to enhance mobility, strength, endurance and core stability, while also teaching effective pain management strategies. Physical conditioning is done gradually and safely, based on our evidence-based 75 step program, aimed at addressing “weak links” that are contributing to pain and reduced function. Individual home fitness maintenance programs are provided to ensure continued success after completing the treatment program. Our PTs are experts in their field. They actively pursue continuing education, and participate in ongoing clinical research, to provide the most modern and effective assessment and treatment options.
The case management department staff includes rehabilitation counselors and disability managers who assist patients in overcoming barriers to successful treatment and in planning for the future. Additionally, the case management staff communicates with insurance carriers, rehabilitation nurses, employers, attorneys, and vocational rehab counselors, to resolve case issues and maximize successful treatment outcomes.
PRIDE’s quality nurses are vital in helping patients achieve their goals. Our nursing staff is involved with patients throughout treatment acting as a liaison between patients, doctor and treatment team. Educating patients individually and in groups, nurses help patients to understand their physical pain and how to cope with it, as well as addressing medication concerns. The nursing staff continues to follow patient after completion of the program, answering questions and addressing medication concerns.
Psychology services at PRIDE are provided by mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of chronic pain. Their goals are to provide support, to teach effective coping strategies for managing chronic pain and emotional stress, and to educate patients on the relationship between their thoughts, mood, behaviors, and pain experience. Specific techniques to help patients cope with chronic pain include supportive counseling, individual and class room education, and skill building in areas such as relaxation, stress management, problem solving, goal setting, sleep strategies, and assertiveness.
Randy Neblett, a licensed professional counselor, has been with PRIDE since 1996. He is the Psychology Department Coordinator, the Biofeedback Treatment Coordinator, and the Research Coordinator for the PRIDE Research Foundation. He completed his undergraduate studies at Texas State University, where he graduated Cum Laude, and his Masters of Arts in Psychology at Southern Methodist University. He is also Board Certified in Biofeedback through the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) as a senior fellow. He has provided mental health counseling and biofeedback services within physical rehabilitation and chronic pain treatment settings in the Dallas area since 1990. He is past chair of BCIA, past president of the Biofeedback Society of Texas (BST), and an editor for the publication Biofeedback. Randy has published extensively on chronic pain-related topics in peer-reviewed scientific journals. His over-all treatment goal is to teach PRIDE patients skills and techniques for managing pain, and other pain-related symptoms, so that they are less reliant on medications and other passive treatments.
Ramon Cuencas, a licensed professional counselor, has been employed at PRIDE since 2017. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico and his doctoral and post-doctoral training in Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology at the University of North Texas (UNT). Ramon has published peer-reviewed scientific articles on the topics of chronic pain and cerebral lateralization and has authored a book, “Doing Your Work With Love By Recovering Your Spirituality,” aimed at helping the emotional recovery of injured workers and their families. He is also a past president of the Biofeedback Society of Texas (BST). His overall treatment objective at PRIDE is to be an active part of the interdisciplinary team and to teach patients coping skills for better managing pain and life stressors.
Biofeedback and self-regulation training are offered through the psychology department at PRIDE. These services are provided by Randy Neblett, a licensed professional counselor and board certified biofeedback therapist who specializes in behavioral methods for controlling stress, tension, pain, anxiety, and other symptoms. Biofeedback is a training tool in which processes in your body (such as muscle tension) are measured and displayed to you on a computer screen. Biofeedback training helps patients become more aware of, and have more control over, these bodily processes. Biofeedback is used in conjunction with relaxation training, paced breathing, stress management education, and supportive counseling. Some unique biofeedback training protocols have been developed at PRIDE for treating chronic musculoskeletal pain. See the following articles to learn more.