Madonna welcomes new doctors and research experts

December 28, 2023

Madonna recently welcomed two new doctors to its staff on the Omaha and Lincoln campuses respectively. Additionally, Madonna’s Research Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering has added to its team of research experts and expanded its centers of excellence in the areas of mental health and nutrition.

Sonia Schneider, M.D.

Sonia Schneider, M.D., returned to Madonna’s Omaha Campus in the fall of 2023 as an attending physician and faculty member. Schneider, who previously went by Shah, is the PM&R program’s first alumna and former chief resident who recently finished up a spinal cord medicine fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She received her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2018. Her new job at Madonna will include inpatient and outpatient duties and the development of outpatient spinal cord medical services in the Omaha Physicians Clinic as well as seeing pediatric spinal cord injury patients.


Dalan Brown, M.D.

Dalan Brown, M.D., who specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics, recently joined the Lincoln Campus as a staff hospitalist. He earned his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine before completing his residency at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. In his new role, Brown will care for patients staying within Madonna’s Specialty Hospital. In his spare time, the father of three loves to take kid-friendly hikes with his family.


Virginia Chaidez, Ph.D., RD

Virginia Chaidez, Ph.D., RD, directs the Translational Nutrition Sciences Research Center. A registered dietician, Chaidez also has experience in clinical, research, teaching and community settings. In her new role, she will utilize her extensive experiences in nutrition and public health to help promote the nutrition, health and wellbeing of individuals recovering from COVID-19 and other chronic conditions, as they return to their communities. Chaidez was also a tenured faculty member and teacher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln prior to Madonna. She holds a Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of California, Davis (UCD), and completed her postdoctoral training with UCD’s Public Health Sciences Department and the Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (MIND) Institute.


Natalie A. Williams, Ph.D.

Natalie Williams, Ph.D., directs the Translational Health Psychology Research Center. Joining Madonna in 2022, she bridges the clinical and research environments, helping guide understanding of best practices when addressing the complex impacts of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being, as well as serving as a licensed psychologist and providing outpatient neuropsychological evaluations in Madonna’s post-COVID-19 program.


Before Madonna, Williams was a tenured faculty member and award-winning teacher at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she was an academic researcher in the areas of health promotion, family adaptation to chronic illness and injury, and stress and coping in medical contexts. Williams holds a master’s degree in psychology and a dual Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Missouri. She completed a pre-doctoral residency in clinical psychology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Medicine at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

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