Speakers Bureau - South

To request a PNHP speaker, please contact us at or (312) 782-6006.

Pippa Abston, MD, PhD, FAAP - pediatrics, Huntsville, AL

Dr. Pippa Abston is a general pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine at the Huntsville Campus. She is involved in a variety of community activities, including work with Partnership for a Drug Free Community, health ministries at United Church of Huntsville, and the local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). In 2017 she was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Alabama Department of Mental Health, for a term expiring in 2020. She previously served on the board of the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Abston is a past board member of Physicians for a National Health Program. She has been a speaker and panelist on healthcare reform locally and has assisted with training new members. In 2010, she received the Dr. Quentin Young Health Activist Award. Her healthcare reform blog is carried by Left in Alabama and Medpedia, and in 2011 she published a book, “Who is My Neighbor? A Christian Response to Healthcare Reform.”

Garrett Adams, MD, MPH - pediatrics/infectious diseases, Louisville, KY

Dr. Garrett Adams is a pediatrician specializing in infectious disease and infectious disease epidemiology in Louisville, KY. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Vanderbilt University and medical degree from Wake Forest University. He completed his residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Dr. Adams is retired from full-time faculty at the University of Louisville School of Medicine where he was chief of pediatric infectious diseases and medical director of communicable diseases at the Louisville Metro Health Department. Since retiring, he has founded the Beersheba Springs Medical Clinic, a comprehensive ambulatory clinic in the underserved community of Beersheba Springs, Tennessee.

For forty years Dr. Adams attended the health care needs of sick children and their young families. During his career he witnessed deterioration in health care access and health care delivery in the United States. He is a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Olveen Carrasquillo, MD, MPH - internal medicine, Miami

Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo is professor of medicine and public health sciences and chief of the division of general internal medicine at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He is also director of the division of health services research and policy in the Department of Public Health Sciences. He directs the community engagement and cultural diversity program of the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute and leads Florida’s only primary care research fellowship program.

A national leader in primary care and health disparities, Dr. Carrasquillo has conducted extensive research on health insurance and access to care among minority and other vulnerable populations. At the Miller School, he is leading several NIH-funded randomized studies examining community-based strategies to improve healthcare among racially and ethnically diverse populations. Dr. Carrasquillo was previously a faculty member at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was director of their NIH-funded P60 Center of Excellence in Health Disparities Research and also director of the primary care program, a combined research training program involving general medicine, pediatrics and family medicine.

Dr. Carrasquillo has served on various NIH and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality study sections and is now completing a four-year term on the National Advisory Committee for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. His research has been published in a variety of journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health, and he is often called upon by the media to discuss his research as well as health care topics of particular relevance to the Hispanic community including being a frequent guest on Univision and Telemundo.

Dr. Carrasquillo is active in various organizations, including numerous current and past leadership roles in the Society of General Internal Medicine, Physicians for a National Health Program and the National Hispanic Medical Association. He is a co-founder of Latinos for National Health Insurance, where he is currently acting president and policy director.

Stephen K. Chao, MD - family medicine, Houston

Dr. Stephen Chao is a family physician at Legacy Community Health Services, a federally qualified health center in Houston. He is also a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and was previously on the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine.

Born and raised in Houston, Dr. Chao attended Rice University, graduating with degrees in Biochemistry and Health Policy. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He completed his family medicine residency training at UT Health San Antonio and is committed to caring for the underserved residents of Houston and Harris County. His interests include care for immigrant and refugee populations, community health, and public policy.

Dr. Chao is a national board member of Physicians for a National Health Program and vice president of Health Care for All Texas. He also serves or has served on the boards of Refugee Services of Texas-Houston, OCA-Greater Houston, Eastside Promotoras de la Buena Salud, San Antonio Healthcare-NOW Coalition, and Doctors for Change. He is past president of the Chinese American Doctors Association of Houston.

Carol ParisCarol Paris, MD - psychiatry, Nashville

Dr. Carol Paris is the president of Physicians for a National Health Program. She is a recently retired psychiatrist who worked for more than 25 years in private practice, community mental health, prison psychiatry, and academia. In the course of her experience, much of which was in Maryland, she became an outspoken critic of the private-insurance-based U.S. health care system.

In May 2009, she and seven others stood up, one by one, at a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing on health care reform chaired by Sen. Max Baucus to ask why there wasn’t a single advocate for single-payer health care on the 41-member panel. In an action that received national media attention, Baucus had all eight peaceful protesters, including Dr. Paris, arrested. (Charges were eventually reduced, requiring only community service.)

Dr. Paris subsequently toured the country as part of the “Mad as Hell Doctors” campaign for single payer, and spent a year as a consultant psychiatrist in New Zealand, where she experienced a single-payer system firsthand. She currently resides in Nashville, Tenn., where her primary interests include strategic activism, recruiting and mentoring medical students and early career physicians for leadership positions within PNHP, and building coalitions to strengthen the single-payer movement’s impact on the national health care debate. Dr. Paris obtained her medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine.

Jessica Schorr SaxeJessica Schorr Saxe, MD - family medicine, Charlotte, NC

Dr. Jessica Schorr Saxe is a retired family physician, national board member of Physicians for a National Health Program, and founding chair of PNHP's Charlotte chapter, Health Care Justice-NC.

Raised near Washington, DC, Dr. Saxe attended Oberlin College, received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, and completed residency at Duke. From 1980 to 2015, she worked as a family physician for the underserved in Charlotte. Her practice reinforced her interests in access to care, as well as in prevention and lifestyle changes.

Dr. Saxe has written op-eds for the Charlotte Observer for over 30 years. She speaks on single payer health care and other health advocacy topics, and volunteers at Shelter Health Services. She has received numerous community and professional awards, including PNHP's Dr. Quentin Young Health Activist Award in 2016.

Arthur J. Sutherland III, MD, FACC - cardiology, Memphis

Dr. Art Sutherland is a retired physician and founder of the Sutherland Cardiology Clinic. He practiced cardiology in Memphis for 33 years and was the founder and director of the Methodist Healthcare Cardiac Laboratories.

Dr. Sutherland is currently working with the Healthy Memphis Common Table as a board member and as coordinator of the obesity and diabetes prevention initiative. This initiative is aligned to reduce the obesity and diabetic epidemics and to improve the quality of care in treating diabetics. Improving health literacy and elimination of social and health disparities are also high priority agenda issues.

Dr. Sutherland is a member of the Memphis School of Servant Leadership. He is currently serving as chairman of the Tennessee chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program and is a member of the national board of directors.

Dr. Sutherland received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and medical degree from the University of Tennessee. He completed an internship at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital and residency at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Ed WeisbartEd Weisbart, MD, CPE, FAAFP - family medicine, St. Louis

Dr. Ed Weisbart chairs the Missouri chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, a 30 year-old non-profit research and education organization of more than 21,000 physicians, medical students, health professionals, and others who support single-payer national health insurance.

He is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. He volunteers in a variety of safety net clinics and other non-profits across the St. Louis area, and as a volunteer physician recruiter for free clinics across the nation. He serves as vice president of the Consumers Council of Missouri.

He received his medical degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago in 1979, completed his family medicine residency and a fellowship in family medicine education at Michigan State University in 1982, and practiced family medicine at Rush Medical Center in Chicago for 20 years. He served as chief medical officer of Express Scripts from 2003 to 2010.

Dr. Weisbart has had several articles published in both national medical journals and local media outlets regarding the health care needs of the uninsured.

Robert L. Zarr, MD, MPH, FAAP - pediatrics, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Robert Zarr is a board-certified pediatrician at Unity Health Care in Washington, DC, where he cares for a low-income and immigrant population. He is the immediate past president of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Dr. Zarr is a past president of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and he holds adjunct professorships at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University. He also co-directs the Washington, DC chapter of PNHP. He is “physician champion” of DC Park Rx, a community health initiative to prescribe nature to patients and families and encourage time in one of 350 parks and green spaces in Washington, DC.

Dr. Zarr is fluent and literate in Spanish and has worked in the U.S. and abroad with Spanish-speaking populations. He is active in Washington, DC, in a variety of quality improvement initiatives including asthma management, injury prevention, literacy promotion, breastfeeding awareness, youth advocacy, tuberculosis prevention, and compliance with early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment standards.

Dr. Zarr received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He also has a master’s degree in public health, specializing in international health, from the University of Texas School of Public Health.