ABOUT OUR BOARD
UOSSM USA is governed by a US Board of Directors. The Board creates the vision, mission and values for the Organization, establishes and maintains its Bylaws, and assures appropriate organizational performance. The Board is committed to organizational excellence and to ensure transparency and accountability of the Organization.
CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS (2020)
Dr. Monzer Yazji - President, Co-Founder
Dr Monzer H Yazji, MD, a co-founder of UOSSM and UOSSM USA and serves as the President of UOSSM USA. Dr Yazji has been practicing in the United States as a physician specializing in Internal Medicine since 1998. Dr. Yazji is the owner and President of a Multi-Specialty practice that consists of seven Physicians, three Physician Assistants and three nurse practitioners.
Along with founding the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association in 2006 is a present board member of various associations and organizations such as South Texas Health Systems and the Cornerstone Regional Hospital. He also holds memberships with many professional organizations such as the American College of Physicians, and the American, Texas, Hidalgo County, Syrian, and Southern Medical Associations. Dr Yazji is the current Medical Director for the South Texas Diabetic and Metabolic Institute, Edinburg Nursing and Rehabilitation and also serves as a designated speaker for Novo Nordisk Inc. on diabetes prevention and treatment. He is currently recognized by the State of Texas as a Designated Doctor, and his clinic as a High Performer, for Workman’s Compensation.
Dr. Yazji’s hospital affiliations are with the majority of the hospitals located in the Rio Grande Valley. These include the Edinburg Regional Medical Center, the Rio Grande and Cornerstone Regional Hospitals, the McAllen Medical Center and Heart Hospital, the Solara Hospital, and the Doctor’s Hospital at Renaissance. His certifications and licenses include board certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Obesity Medicine, and a recent appointment as Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor by the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Yazji currently serves on the UOSSM International Board of Directors as well.
Dr. Khaula Sawah - Vice President, Treasurer, Co-Founder
Dr. Khaula Sawah, a co-founder of UOSSM USA, serves as Vice President and Treasurer on the Board of Directors of UOSSM USA. Dr Sawah, with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, is a clinical pharmacist in Cincinnati, OH. Since early 2012, she has been dedicating most of her time in Turkey to support the medical mission of Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) to the Syrian people. She was the first Executive Director of UOSSM office in Turkey, as she worked on the establishment of the office, building relationships with partners and donors, and directing UOSSM medical operations for almost two years.
UOSSM is currently one of the major humanitarian medical actors in the Syrian crisis that provides medical relief, healthcare, mental health and psychosocial support services, and local capacity building services to over one million Syrian people inside Syria and in neighboring countries.
Currently, Dr. Sawah serves as a Board Member of UOSSM USA, an independent, US nonprofit organization with a 501 (c )3 tax exempt status, and a Board Member of UOSSM-International.
Dr. Sawah represented UOSSM at many events, including invitations to the UN meetings in NY, the Donors’ London Meeting Supporting Syria last Feb 2016, the European Humanitarian Roundtable (EHR)-East in Warsaw, as an expert at the Protection roundtable, providing recommendations towards the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS), 2016 WHS in Istanbul, and to the special invitation by the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ UNOCHA, where she represented UOSSM, as the solo guest at the Signing Ceremony between Mr. Stephen O’Brien, USG/ERC and the Qatar Development Fund in May 2016.
Dr. Maram Khabbaz - Board Member, Secretary
Dr. Maram Khabbaz MD, ABFM, ABGM, currently serves as Board Secretary on the Board of Directors of UOSSM USA. Dr. Khabbaz is certified by the American Board in Family Medicine and Geriatrics and has been practicing since 2011 at Allied Senior Care and Colerain Urgent Care. Dr. Khabbaz moved to Qatar for two years gaining experience in different cultures. She returned to the US to continue practicing as a geriatrician in skilled nursing facilities with the Medicine Inpatient Group.
Dr. Khabbaz graduated from the Aleppo Medical School in Syria and received training in family medicine at Bethesda Family Practice in Ohio. She also received training in geriatric medicine at the Christ Hospital/University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
Dr. Khabbaz is an active member in her community, she co- founded the Syrian humanitarian organization, Women United for Syria, and previously served as vice president in the Syrian American Foundation (SAF) where she continues to be an active member of the humanitarian organization, and serves on UOSSM International's Board representing SAF. At the local community level, Dr. Khabbaz serves as a team leader of the Rahma Community Service Organization in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Khabbaz currently serves as a Board Member on UOSSM International and recently joined UOSSM USA as a Board Member and Board Secretary of the Organization.
On a personal note, Dr. Khabbaz is the mother of four children.
Dr. Ahmad Abo Kayass - Co-Founder, Board Member
Dr. Ahmad Kayass, MD, a co-founder of UOSSM USA serves on the board of UOSSM USA. Dr. Kayass has been practicing medicine for nearly 20 years. Dr. Kayass completed his residency at Louisiana State University, then moved to Dallas to join UT Southwestern and Dallas Children’s Medical Center for a fellowship in Sleep Medicine. He is board certified in both Pediatrics and Sleep Medicine by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Medical Specialties.
After many years in successful private practice, Dr. Kayass chose to expand his opportunities and become the primary care provider at Pediatric Associates of North Texas, and recently at Southern Institute of Sleep Medicine in Edinburg, TX, while also overseeing his previously established practice, Tots N Teens Clinic of Mesquite, TX.
Along with the long-term care of children’s well-being from birth to adolescence, Dr. Kayass is highly experienced in the management of inpatient and outpatient treatments. He is highly skilled with urgent care procedures as well as caring for critically ill children. Dr. Kayass is also heavily involved in his community by volunteering and hosting events to try and make a difference locally and globally.
Dr. Kayass has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations. He is a member of Shaam Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization in Dallas, TX.
Dr. Hassan Chahadeh - Honorary Board Member
Dr. Hassan Chahadeh is an honorary Board Member with UOSSM USA. Dr Chahadeh is board certified Anesthesiologist with added qualifications in pain management by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Dr. Chahadeh graduated from the University of Damascus-Facility of Medicine, Damascus, Syria in 1985. He did research in microsurgery and completed an internship in General Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. He then studied Anesthesiology with a 6-month fellowship in Cardiovascular anesthesia at Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Chahadeh finished his fellowship training in interventional pain and palliative care at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Chahadeh has been practicing pain management since 1996 and currently has office locations in Memorial City and The Woodlands. He is also an active member of UGHS Surgicare, The Woodlands. Dr. Chahadeh is committed to serving each patient individually by managing a treatment plan leading to restored quality of life.
Retired Senior Justice Linda R. Yanez - Board Member
Justice Linda R. Yanez a board member of UOSSM USA is a Texas trailblazer. In 1993, Governor Ann Richards appointed Justice Yanez to the Texas 13th Court of Appeals, making her the first Latina state Appellate Judge in the history of Texas and the first woman to serve as a Justice on the 13th Court of Appeals.
During her tenure on the bench, Justice Yanez authored hundreds of opinions concerning important civil and criminal issues facing Texans. Additionally, for more than a quarter of a century, Justice Yanez has also worked tirelessly toward the improvement of law by teaching lawyers and judges at various continuing legal education courses throughout Texas and the nation in areas ranging from the Fourth Amendment to Immigration Law. In 2003, Justice Yanez was also elected to the prestigious American Law Institute, where she worked on committees concerning International Jurisdiction & Judgements and the Model Penal Code, Sentencing Guidelines. Later she served as a faculty member at the National Judicial College. She continues to teach in the Trial Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School.
Prior to her serving as a judge, Justice Yanez served as a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School, as head of the Immigration Law Clinic and as Regional
Counsel for the Mexican America Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in Chicago. Justice Yanez worked diligently in the 1980's on refugee issues along the U.S.-Mexico Border in conjunction with the Catholic Diocese. She worked closely with NGO's on those issues and attended hearings before the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1992 she also served as Head of the Immigration Team of the Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Team.
Justice Yanez's accomplished legal career is filled by many noteworthy accolades, including being named Outstanding Lawyer and Lawyer of the Year by the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas and received the Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Hispanic Bar Association and the Hispanic Issues Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Women's Bar Association of Texas.
Justice Yanez earned her Bachelor's Degree in Inter-American Studies from Pan American University (now University of Texas-RGV), her Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston and her Master of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Currently, Judge Yanez has been designated as a Visiting Judge by the Texas Supreme Court. She is also certified as a Mediator by the Harvard Negotiation Institute at Harvard Law School. She spends half her time in the Valley where she sits as a Visiting Trial Judge throughout South Texas and as a Visiting Justice for the 13th Court of Appeals. The rest of her time is spent as a grandmother to her grandchildren in Houston, her most cherished role of all.