Our Team

The TexLa Telehealth Resource Center is a federally funded program designed to provide technical assistance and resources to new and existing Telehealth programs throughout Texas and Louisiana. We will continually evaluate Telehealth programs in these two states for effective delivery of Telehealth services, efficiency, sustainability, and patient satisfaction. We will also develop an interactive hands-on training center to provide guidance in Telehealth planning, implementation, management, and sustainability. We aim to educate policy makers about legislative and regulatory barriers to the use of Telehealth in Texas and Louisiana and work to improve reimbursement for Telehealth services with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and third party payers. Collaboration with the other regional Telehealth Resource Centers is ongoing… to share resources as well as lessons learned to help promote best practices in Telehealth across the United States.

Billy U. Philips, Jr. PhD, MPH

Executive Vice President & Director (Bio)

Becky Jones, MSN, RN-BC, CPHQ

Program Manager, TexLa (Bio)

Melanie Clevenger, CTC, CAP

Texas Site Coordinator (Bio)

Lonnie Dufour

Louisiana Site Coordinator (Bio)

Billy U. Philips, Jr. PhD, MPH, Principal Investigator

Dr. Billy Philips

Dr. Billy U. Philips, Jr. is the Executive Vice President for F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health. Dr. Philips holds an M.P.H. and a Ph.D. in Human Ecology (Epidemiology) from The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center . He is is recognized nationally for his expertise in cancer control education.
The F. Marie Hall Institute for Rural and Community Health serves as the primary liaison with communities across the 108-county TTUHSC service area. These community partnerships provide both the framework and the mechanism for achieving the mission of improving the health of West Texans.


Becky Jones, MSN, RN-BC, CPHQ, Program Manager


Health care quality has dominated over half of Ms. Jones career as a registered nurse, dealing with patient safety and quality issues specific to ambulatory care. That experience enabled Ms. Jones to use quality principles and methods to facilitate process changes to maximize use of EHR technology promoting patient safety, cost reduction, and practice efficiency in her most recent position with the WTxHITREC. Extensive experience with change management, project management, team facilitation, workflow analysis and redesign enabled Ms. Jones to apply those principles working directly with practices in rural west Texas while considering the barriers and issues faced by rural healthcare providers.


Melanie Clevenger, CTC, CAP, Texas Site Coordinator

Ms. Clevenger holds a certification as a Certified Telehealth Coordinator from the National School of Applied Telehealth, as well as a Certified Administrative Professional from the International Association of Administrative Professionals. She has also completed the Project Management Masters Certification Course given by American Project Management. Ms. Clevenger joined the Telemedicine Program at Texas Tech University Health Science Center in 2005.


Lonnie Dufour, Louisiana Site Coordinator

Lonnie L. DuFour serves as the Director of Client Services for the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum as well as the Project Coordinator for the Texas/Louisiana Telehealth Resource Center. In his previous position, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of a small Rural Hospital, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 25-bed Critical Access Hospital. In addition, he served as the facility’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Human Resources and was instrumental in bringing telehealth to his hospital.
Passionate about telehealth, he witnessed the high level of quality care that could be delivered via telehealth. Mr. DuFour quickly became a passionate Champion of telehealth and promotes its use whenever possible. DuFour is a retired naval veteran with more than 21 years of service to his country. He served in the United States Navy and attained the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer. During his naval career, DuFour traveled worldwide experiencing new cultures while utilizing the latest in military information technology in accomplishing our country’s maritime strategic goals.