Dr. Richard Culbert, M.D.
Dr. Culbert graduated in 1989 from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, was a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and was on the President’s Honor Roll 6 semesters. He graduated in 1993 from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Medicine and was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society. His post-graduate education was obtained from the University of Alabama where he served his residency in Ophthalmology and at the University of Toronto where he served his fellowship in Vitreo-Retina surgery.
Dr. Culbert is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Retinal Specialists. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association, and the Texas Ophthalmology Association. He also served our country as a Major in the Army Reserves but has since retired.
Dr. Culbert is married with 2 children. He is very active in his church and enjoys flying his plane whenever possible. He is an Eagle Scout and was formerly the Committee Chair of the Chaparral District of the Buffalo Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Lu An Holdridge
Lu An was born and raised in Odessa. She graduated from Odessa High school in 1979 but didn't find her way into Ophthalmology until much later.
Lu An has been in Ophthalmology since 1986, starting as a Receptionist at Eyes of Texas under Dr. John. H. Sheets. She moved to the back as an ophthalmic work-up tech within 2 years and became a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant in 1989. She achieved the next level of Certification as an Ophthalmic Technician in 2004 and knew she had found her calling. She has been with Premier Retina Specialists since Dr Culbert went into private practice in 2003.
In 2010 she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Business Administration from American Intercontinental University where she was on the Deans List. Lu An served in the Odessa Downtown Lions Club for 3 years and enjoyed working the concession stands at Ratliff Stadium.
She is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives and serves as the Director of Clinical Studies at Premier Retina Specialists.
Lu An has 2 grown sons. Her oldest son made her a very proud MoM when he received his Eagle/Globe/Anchor from the U.S. Marine Corp in 2018. She loves spending time with her huge family, playing board games and Saturday morning breakfasts followed by going to Estate Sales with her two best friends she was blessed with through her 35+ year career in Ophthalmology.
Dr. Gerardo Escobedo, D.O.
Dr. Escobedo was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. At the age of 4 he went to live with his maternal grandparents who lived nearby in a farm. At the age of four he broke his left upper arm while horseback riding. The injury was very severe and doctors in Mexico didn’t give them much of a chance to save his arm since local doctors felt amputation was imminent. His grandparents refused to give up and decided to bring him to America in search of a second opinion. They settled in the town of McAllen, Texas and within a week he was seeing an orthopedic surgeon in the area. The prognosis was not good but he offered a second surgery to try to save the arm. Dr. Escobedo was impressed by the compassion and comforting words the surgeon offered throughout this ordeal. After two additional surgeries he was able to make progress and miraculously regained most of the function to the arm and fingers. The experience with doctors and healthcare providers at such a young age left a lasting impression so much that at that moment in his life he chose to pursue medicine. He wanted to be a bearer of hope and compassion to those in need just like his doctor.
Full of determination and a thirst for knowledge, Dr. Escobedo enrolled at Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas. In three and a half years he completed the pre-medical requirements and graduated with a bachelor of science on December 16, 1988. Dr. Escobedo worked as a biology and chemistry teacher in a local high school. Two years later he maked the biggest decision of his life and decided to apply to medical school. He attended New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in Long Island and graduated in 1998. He completed one year of medical internship followed by three years of residency in ophthalmology at Nassau County Medical Center in East Meadow, New York. After completing that residency he pursued a two year fellowship in Vitreo-retinal surgery in Corpus Christi, Texas. He practiced in Indiana and Illinois for two years and finally decided to come back to Texas to be closer to his family. The journey was filled with many wonderful memories and countless rewards. His favorite motto remains the same—“our greatest glory consists in never failing but in rising every time we fail.”
Monica A. De La Paz, M.D., J.D.
Dr. De La Paz was born in Washington, D.C. the daughter of a nuclear engineer and a real estate broker. She spent most of her early years in El Paso. She graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry with highest honors. She then went on to attend medical school at Stanford University in California. She stayed an extra year at Stanford conducting research in hereditary retinal degeneration. She then completed a medical internship and ophthalmology residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After residency, she moved to Boston Massachusetts for a two-year retinal disease fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts.
Following fellowship training, Dr. De La Paz joined the faculty of Duke University Medical Center as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. She was the first full time medical retina specialist at Duke University Eye Center. At Duke, her duties were divided between patient care and research. Her research field was directed at exploring causative factors in age-related macular degeneration including genetic factors. She published numerous academic research publications and has given many lectures on topics related to retinal disease. To pursue a career as a physician-attorney, she left Duke University to attend law school under a full academic scholarship at the University of Texas at Austin. Her first law job was with a large law firm in Austin where she worked with physicians, healthcare entities and medical schools to help protect and commercialize their medical inventions including new drug therapies and medical devices. Afterwards she served as intellectual property counsel to a major healthcare organization in Central Texas. Missing the practice of medicine, she decided to return to medical practice and is excited about joining Dr. Culbert and Dr. Escobedo to help deliver excellent quality patient care to residents of the Permian Basin region. She values faith in God, time with family, and close friendships. She is the mother of twins (a boy and a girl), and her hobbies include going on outings with her kids, travel, and hiking.