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2016 AAOA Slate of Nominees

The Nominating Committee, chaired by Deidre Froelich, solicited Board of Director applications from our membership through our web site, Facebook, and emails. The Committee reviewed all submitted applications, met via conference call, and unanimously voted to recommend and present the following slate of officers to the House of Delegates for their consideration:


Linda Kazen Garza

A ninth generation Texan and Laredoan, Linda Kazen Garza earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. She served as President of the Advocates of the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association (ATOMA) in 2006 and has continued to be active on that board. She is the coordinator for ATOMA District 19. Her involvement with the auxiliary began during her husband’s medical school training in Fort Worth, TX in 1989 when she served as TCOM’s SAA Vice President. She has served as a delegate to the AAOA since 1999, and was elected to the Board of Trustees as a Director at Large in 2005. She has served as chairperson of the Bylaws committee and as a member of several AAOA committees.

In her community, Linda was a trustee for the Laredo Center for the Arts and also fulfilled the role of that organization’s Secretary. She was also active with the Laredo Business and Professional Women’s Association, where she was elected to the offices of Treasurer, Program Chair, and then President. She is an Alumni of Leadership Texas, an organization that fosters the exercise of civic responsibility through increased understanding of the problems, opportunities, and issues affecting Texas and its communities. Linda went on to serve as Regional Coordinator for that organization’s alumni association. When her children became active in their Boy Scout troop Linda took the role of Troop Committee Member and then Advancement Chair. Linda is married to David E. Garza, DO, FACOFP and has been Office Administrator in their solo practice for over eighteen years. They reside in Laredo, Texas and have two sons, Joseph and Nicholas.


Trina Elwell

Trina Elwell has been involved with the advocates since her husband, Daniel, was in medical school where she was active in the school’s Student Advocate Association. After representing the TCOM SAA as President and delegate to the AAOA, Trina was the first SAA member to a Director position. She served the board for three years — as Director/Membership Co-Chair, as Director/Fundraising Co-Chair, and as Recording Secretary-Treasurer. She has also served state advocate associations in Michigan, where her husband did a four year Emergency Medicine residency, and back in Texas, where they currently reside.
Outside of her advocate work, Trina is a degreed interior designer, photography enthusiast, and volunteers with the local hospital foundation and as a volunteer coordinator in her church. Trina and Daniel are recent empty-nesters, of three adult children, and enjoy spending time entertaining friends and family in their home outside of Waco, Texas.


Wendy McDonald

Wendy McDonald, RN, was born in Morgantown, West Virginia. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She served in the U.S. Air Force as a Captain and was deployed to England in support of our forces during Desert Storm. She was a staff Nurse and Director of the Cardiac Catheterization lab at Osteopathic Medical Center of Texas. Wendy served many positions on the ATOMA Board to include President in 2008-2009; recently serving as Co-Chair for the AAOA Fore You Golf Tournament in 2012. Wendy lives in Hallsville with her husband, John McDonald, DO. She works as a staff nurse in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Longview Regional Medical Center.


Donald Wasserman

Donald Wasserman began his connection with the Advocates when his girlfriend (now wife, Sarah Wasserman, DO) was forced to repeatedly explain to him the differences between MDs and DOs when both were undergraduates at Michigan State University. Donald has been very active in the MSUCOM SAA and in the AAOA, serving as the Intern-Resident Liaison to the AAOA Board and a Director for the AAOA. Currently, Donald is works as a communications specialist in the Michigan Legislature and serves on several non-profit boards.

The Wasserman’s live in Grand Blanc, Michigan with their two cats, Owen and Milo.


Karen Wegienek

Karen became a true believer in Osteopathic medicine at a very early age because the family physician was a DO. She married an internal medicine specialist, Bruce Dubin, DO, in 1984. Since her husband’s transition to medical education, she has had the opportunity to attend numerous white coat ceremonies, student events, and graduations. In 1991, she traveled to Africa with 3rd and 4th year students to assist in an internal medicine rotation. Additionally, she worked at the University Of North Texas Health Science Center (TCOM) in Alumni Relations. In that capacity, Karen made connections throughout the DO family. She has served in various Advocate capacities at the state level in Texas and Colorado.


Elizabeth Swallow

Elizabeth “Liz” Swallow has resided in Lewistown, PA for the past three years. She is the President-elect of APOMA. Liz is a self-employed Senior Mary Kay Consultant. She is married to Bill Swallow, a Family Physician who practices in the rural community of Belleview and is affiliated with Lewistown-Geisinger Hospital.

Liz has volunteered in one capacity or another throughout her life. She served the Evangelical Community Hospital as a volunteer and was the Auxiliary President for two years. She went on to serve on the hospital Board of Directors. Liz was Treasurer of her church and served as Vice President of the Milton Chamber of Commerce.


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