BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Joel Steelman, MD
Dr. Joel Steelman grew up a military brat, on the move every three to four years, to a new home, in a different state. Nevertheless, his family roots remained in Texas, where he finished high school and developed a love for writing, working on the school newspaper and yearbook. He attended Texas A&M University both for his undergraduate and medical degrees.
During his second year of medical school, Dr. Steelman realized he had a passion for caring for children. He joined the U.S. Air Force while in medical school, and spent the next seven years as a general pediatrician, providing healthcare for the youngsters of military personnel. While serving at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Dr. Steelman made the difficult decision to leave the military to pursue training in endocrinology–a highly specialized field with only 1,000 practicing endocrinologists in the U.S. today. His work with diabetic children, as well as encouragement from endocrine mentors, sparked this life-altering decision.
He trained in endocrinology at the University of Colorado Children’s Hospital in Denver, where the magnificent setting turned Dr. Steelman into a lifelong outdoor sport enthusiast, with a strong desire to lead a healthy life. On his rare days off, he could be found skiing, mountain biking and trail running. He loves to go back to the Rockies as often as possible, and just a few years ago, he ran the Pike’s Peak ascent half marathon. He continues to run for exercise regularly. During his tenure in Colorado, where he met his future wife, Dr. Steelman trained at the internationally renowned Barbara Davis Diabetes Center, one of the world’s largest and most esteemed diabetes medical facilities for adults and children, specializing in type 1 diabetes research. Along the way, he discovered another strong research interest in the area of bone disorders, and Dr. Steelman began to treat children with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease– a rare, crippling malady. After completing his training, Dr. Steelman left the West to enter academic medicine at Vanderbilt Children’s hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Over the next seven years he focused on research projects and medical education.
The birth of his daughter, in 2005, and the desire to be closer to family, brought Dr. Steelman back home to Texas, and to Cook Children’s. Today, he provides endocrine care for children living in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area, as well as Denton and West Texas. He expanded his practice, after arriving atCook Children’s, to include the care of childhood cancer survivors, collaborating with the neuro-oncology program and Life After Cancer programs.
As a self-described ‘techie,’ Dr. Steelman has a keen interest in the wise use of technology to improve medical care. Since 2001, he has helped implement electronic medical recordkeeping in two endocrine practices. He still loves to write, and he is a regular contributor to the Physician Perspective page on theCook Children’s website.
Richardo Gomez, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Director, Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship Program
Division of Endocrinology
Melissa Hamm, MD
Melissa Ham is originally from South Carolina and completed her undergraduate and medical education at University of South Carolina. She completed her pediatrics residency at the University of South Carolina/Palmetto Richland Health Center and then moved to Texas for pediatric endocrinology fellowship at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Following fellowship, she joined faculty and has remained at UT Southwestern for the past 13 years. She serves as the associate fellowship program director and as a member of the Children’s Health Cystic Fibrosis team as CFRD endocrinologist. Aside from fellow education and CFRD, Dr. Ham has particular interests in Turner syndrome and disorders of puberty. She lives in Dallas with her husband Gene and son William.
Jon Oden, MD
Jeannie Tryggestad, MD
Dr. Jeanie B. Tryggestad is an assistant professor of pediatrics in the section of diabetes/endocrinology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Oklahoma Christian University. She completed her medical school education at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center graduating with distinction. Dr. Tryggestad completed her residency in pediatrics and fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as well. She is board certified in pediatrics as well as pediatric endocrinology.
Dr. Tryggestad’s clinical interests are in the areas of Turner Syndrome and type 1 and type 2 diabetes with special focus on Native American populations. Dr. Tryggestad’s research interest focus on the impact of obesity and diabetes on vascular function and maternal diabetes on the future cardiometabolic health of the offspring. She is a Co-Investigator for the NIH funded TODAY trial and serves on the Comorbidity Assessment Committee. Her current personal project focuses on the impact of maternal glycemia on miRNA expression.