Clint Abernathy, president, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance, Fort Worth
Clint Abernathy is the president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance. Abernathy joined Texas Health Alliance in 2012 as professional services officer and played an integral role in efforts to open the hospital. He recruited and worked with physicians on the medical staff and oversaw ancillary services, including the imaging, laboratory, pharmacy, cardiopulmonary, mission control and rehabilitation departments. He also led the Texas Health Convenient Care Clinic and Outpatient Surgery Center and spearheaded process innovation initiatives throughout the hospital.
Before joining Texas Health Alliance, Abernathy served as administrative director of operations and clinical excellence for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. He also served as the hospital’s director of performance and productivity. During that time, Abernathy implemented Lean Six Sigma improvement initiatives that helped reduce costs and improve quality of care.
Billie Bell, RN, vice president of operations, MeDina Healthcare System, Hondo
Billie Bell is the vice president of operations for Medina Healthcare System. In this role, she oversees operational growth and strategies in accordance with the system’s mission and vision for the 25-bed critical access hospital, three rural health clinics and three specialty clinics. Prior to this role, she served as the system’s quality director, managing performance improvement and patient safety initiatives. During her tenure, Medina Regional Hospital received designation as a Top 20 Best Practice in Quality from the National Rural Health Association, ranking the hospital in the top 20 in quality among all critical access hospitals in the United States. Bell is a registered nurse and is completing graduate studies for her master’s in health care.
Robert Blake, Ph.D., director strategic planning, Medical Center of Plano
Robert Blake is director of strategic planning at Medical City Plano. In his present capacity, Blake oversees business planning activities, maintains his facility’s strategic analytic resources and directs performance management initiatives to ensure his organization’s strategic objectives are consistently achieved. His areas of expertise include data management, quantitative methods of analysis, and communications.
Prior to his current role, Blake served as manager of business development and marketing at Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth and as manager of performance information at Medical City Dallas Hospital. He holds a master of public affairs and earned a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2015. As a published empirical researcher and experienced podium presenter, Blake has strong interest in promoting individuals’ continued and expanded access to high-quality acute care medical services in the State of Texas.
Amanda Callaway, associate administrator, Harris Health System, Houston
Walter Cassity, system vice president, Baylor Scott & White Health, Dallas
Walter Cassity joined the senior leadership team at Baylor Scott and White Health in 2012 as the vice president of the environment of care and emergency management programs for all BSWH non-profit hospitals. The role includes oversite of emergency management planning, employee safety programs and regulatory oversite for other environment of care support functions. Walter also assumed the role of Vice President Liaison over Engineering and Facilities for Baylor University Medical Center.
Cassity has a diverse leadership style and many years of varying management experience. Walter sits on several community and hospital based Boards and is associated with many professional trade groups in Texas and nationally. Cassity has led his team to national recognition for the accomplishments of the BSWH Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs and outcomes.
Benson Chacko, chief operating officer, The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus, El Paso
Matt Chance, FACHE, senior vice president of operations, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dallas
Geoffrey Christian, vice president of hospital operations, Baylor Scott and White Health - College Station
Richard Foy, director of neurovascular services, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
Richard Foy is the director of neurovascular services at the University of Texas Medical Branch. His current responsibilities include operational and financial oversight of neurodiagnostics, neurology clinics, pain clinics, vascular labs and the dialysis access clinic for the UTMB Health System. His services are located in five hospitals and four clinics across various UTMB sites.
Foy joined UTMB Health in 2011 as the administrative fellow and has obtained additional responsibilities and job titles since that time. During his tenure at UTMB, Foy has overseen the opening of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, led the effort to obtain UTMB’s Level 3 Epilepsy Center designation, and coordinated the opening of a new neurology clinic in Galveston. Additionally, he has also worked to improve access for both outpatient clinics and ancillary areas by implementing various process improvement and system redesign techniques.
Michael Gardner, M.D., executive vice president of ambulatory care services, Harris Health System, Houston
Michael Gardner currently serves as executive vice president of ambulatory care services for Harris Health System. In this role, he manages 18 primary care and pediatric clinics, six same day clinics, multiple specialty clinics, as well as 14 pharmacies, two oncology infusion centers, a free standing dialysis center and a radiation treatment center. He is responsible for the outpatient services for Harris Health, the third largest safety net system in the United States. The clinics serve approximately 300,000 patients a year with over one million annual visits.
Gardner is a Board Certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as maternal fetal medicine and remains clinically active. He is a member of multiple organizations involving both health care management and maternal fetal medicine.
Art Garza, FACHE, CEO, Valley Regional Medical Center, Brownsville
Art Garza, a native of Brownsville, currently serves as CEO of Valley Regional Medical Center. His career in health care spans over 24 years to include military and civilian service. As an early careerist, Garza was a multimodality radiography technologist. After completing his graduate studies, he was promoted to the level of associate administrator and eventually became a chief operating officer with the Hospital Corporation of America. Garza is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a board member of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives. His hobbies include golfing, fishing and spending time with his family.
Norma Garza, manager of finance and administration, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Norma L. Garza, is manager of finance and administration for the vascular surgery division with the Department of Surgery at UT Health San Antonio.
Garza held several positions in San Antonio health care including working at Baptist Hospital; working as director of imaging services at Women’s and Children’s Hospital; and working as director of radiology, GI Lab, special procedures and cath lab at Methodist Hospital, Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital.
Brandon Goertz, Ph.D., director of operations and regional development, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System, Tyler
Brandon Goertz is the director of operations for the Regional Operations Division of CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System located in Tyler, Texas. The CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System is an award-winning integrated health care system dedicated to providing compassionate, high-quality, and efficient care to the people of Northeast Texas. The health system is a six-time recipient of the prestigious Truven Top 100 Hospitals designation, and was voted a Leapfrog Top Hospital, along with numerous other quality, safety and operational awards and recognitions. Goertz is currently responsible for the urgent care service line, as well as project management oversight for the Regional Operations Division. His previous role with the organization was as the director of the project management office, where he created the project management infrastructure to track and manage numerous projects across the system. Prior to this, Goertz worked in academic research, publishing several scientific articles in esteemed journals.
Betty Gonzales, D.N.P., RN, director of nurse practitioners, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital
Betty Gonzales is the director of the nurse practitioner service at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital. Her career spans more than 33 years. Certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, she believes nurses are a necessary part of the healthcare team. She is passionate about patient care and still finds critical care exciting. Using the knowledge gained in her DNP program, she is committed to evidence based practice and quality improvement projects. She has played key roles in several initiatives including initiating a rapid response team; initiating a nurse practitioner program; early screening for Sepsis; therapeutic hypothermia; pathway to excellence; magnet; research and evidence based practice council; and integrating novice nurse practitioners into practice.
Roberto Haddad, J.D., counsel on governmental affairs and policy, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Edinburg
Patricia Harrison, RN, vice president of system quality patient safety, Houston Methodist
Pat Harrison joined Houston Methodist in 2015 as a vice president of system quality and patient safety. The role includes oversite of six Houston Methodist Hospital’s accreditation, patient safety, infection control, analytics, process engineering and quality programs. She is a senior executive with a passion for driving performance excellence in organizations across multiple industries and has facilitated multiple large projects with tenacity and clarity on accomplishing the task.
In addition to her position at Houston Methodist, her previous positions include: vice president of quality and patient safety for the Gulf Coast Division, chief of professional standards for the State of Texas; quality consultant, director of quality; and nursing instructor.
Fraser Hay, vice president of professional and support services, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano
Fraser Hay is vice president of professional and support services at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. He has direct operational oversight for several departments as well as service line development and coordination. He also oversees the hospital’s strategic planning and business development activities. Hay joined THP in 2015 and has 10 years’ of progressive health care leadership experience. He was recognized in 2015 with the Early Careerist Award from the North Texas Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Suzanne Lewis, chief financial officer, Mitchell County Hospital District, Colorado City
Sean Mahaney, DPT, director of health care improvement, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Carrollton
Sean Mahaney currently serves as the director of health care improvement at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Carrollton. He has been with Baylor Scott & White Health since 2011, serving in a variety of roles under the auspices of the Office of the Chief Quality Officer.
Throughout his career, Mahaney has served in several health care organizations in progressively responsible positions including Duke Health System in Durham, North Carolina; Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Catholic Health Partners (now Mercy Health) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was recognized as the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Manager of the Year in 2007 for efforts leading the system’s employee engagement task force.
Christina Mintner, vice president, Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas
Christina Mintner currently serves as vice president of waiver operations at Parkland Health & Hospital System and is the RHP 9 Anchor for the Texas Medicaid Transformation Waiver. Her primary focus is to develop and lead strategic initiatives related to health care transformation across the three-county region. Mintner also oversees the Network Access Improvement Program, a Medicaid program with the goal of increasing the availability and effectiveness of health care for Medicaid beneficiaries through quality, well-coordinated and continuous care. Prior to joining Parkland in 2013, she spent 12 years with Harris Health System in Houston, Texas. During this time she was responsible for the operations of all pediatric services in two hospitals and 22 primary and specialty sites, including a network of school-based clinics. From quality and overall operations to patient satisfaction and financial integrity, she led in a matrix organization to achieve verifiable results in performance improvement, strategy and new service implementation.
Anne Pileggi, associate vice president and administrator, CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital - Jacksonville
Anne Pileggi currently serves as administrator/associate vice president at Mother Frances Hospital - Jacksonville. In this role, she is responsible for providing strategic and operational leadership to the organization and oversight of efficient and effective planning, organizing, control and direction of the hospital. In addition, she works in conjunction with leadership of the Health System and Board of Directors to develop and implement strategic plans.
Prior to joining Mother Frances Hospital - Jacksonville, Pileggi served as administrative director of systems imaging and pulmonary services at Mother Frances Hospital - Tyler where she was responsible for all operational aspects of imaging service line throughout the Health System.
Leticia Rodriguez, CEO, Ward Memorial Hospital, Monahans
Leticia Rodriguez currently serves as CEO of Ward Memorial Hospital. She began her career as a controller for Ward Memorial Hospital in Monahans, Texas before moving into the chief financial officer role for Crane County Hospital District. During her tenure at Crane, the hospital received national recognition for financial stability. After serving six years at Crane the opportunity to come back home to Monahans presented itself. Rodriguez was named CEO of Ward Memorial Hospital in 2014.
Professionally, Rodriguez serves on the board for The Texas Association for Healthcare Financial Administration and locally serves on the Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division, Rotary and Ambassador’s Club.
Asha Rodriguez, administrator, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital - Medical Center, San Antonio
Ivett Shah, assistant vice president of international patient services and the Pavilion for Women, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston
Ivett Shah currently serves as assistant vice president of the Pavilion for Women at Texas Children’s Hospital. In this role, Shah is responsible for Women’s Services including Baylor OB/Gyn, Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Partners in OB/Gyn Care, Women’s Specialist of Houston, The Texas Children’s Fetal Center, PFW Patient Experience and Texas Children’s International Services. She has over 20 years of hospital administration experience and has worked at numerous health care systems across the United States. She began her health care career at Texas Children's where she worked in various operational and leadership roles for over eight years. Most recently, Shah worked in Kansas City, Missouri as the director of international services at Children’s Mercy Hospital and executive director of Children’s Mercy Health Network. As the director of international services, her responsibilities included program planning, development and identifying international collaborations with foreign organizations. In her role as the executive director of Children’s Mercy Health Network, she provided leadership and direction for the health network which is comprised of over 160 community pediatricians governed by a board of managers.
Dewey Smith, executive director of Thrive Healthplex, Gonzales Healthcare System
Stephanie Speights, Ph.D., vice president and chief learning officer, Children’s Health, Dallas
Stephanie Speights is vice president and chief learning officer of Children's Health and was recently named by Becker's Hospital Review as one of the “top 10 chief learning officers to know.” Speights has more than 20 years of experience in talent development leadership, primarily in health care and financial services, including Washington Mutual Bank and CapitalOne. At Children's Health, Speights leads the Learning Institute, a centralized center of excellence made up of 50+ clinical and non-clinical educators, instructional designers and organizational development experts. The Learning Institute is strategically positioned within the health system to drive performance at all levels, from clinical competency at the bedside to executive development and succession planning.
Debbie Splinter, FACHE, human resources Director, Texas Spine and Joint Hospital, Tyler
Debbie Splinter, FACHE, serves as chief human resources officer/human resources director for Texas Spine and Joint Hospital in Tyler, Texas. She has worked in HR for 24 years, 21 in the health care industry. Splinter is responsible for the administration of recruitment/retention strategies, benefits, compensation, payroll, training, legal and regulatory compliance. Her primary focus is to provide support and guidance to management in employee relations and leadership development. She is very active in professional and community organizations, and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, obtaining her Fellow in 2014; the Society for HR Management; the American Hospital Association; and Texas Society for Healthcare HR.
Justin Tomlin has worked in performance improvement, quality management and accreditation at several health care organizations, and served in the United States Navy.
Tomlin was nominated and appointed to the Texas Association of Healthcare Facilities Management Board of Directors in 2016. In 2012, he was recognized to the Quality Texas State Board of Examiners and designated as an assistant team leader. In addition, Tomlin was nationally nominated for certification through the American Society for Quality and served on workgroups with the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Natalie Wilkins, chief of staff, Cook Children’s Health Care System, Fort Worth
Natalie Wilkins joined Cook Children’s in 2016 and plays an integral role, supporting and coordinating strategic priorities for the system. In this position, she also directs critical internal and external communications on behalf of Cook Children’s executive office.
Previously, Wilkins served as administrative director of clinical programs at North Texas Specialty Physicians. At NTSP, she worked in synch with clinicians to develop specialized programs for the most vulnerable patients, presenting program successes state and nationwide. Her previous role at NTSP allowed her to lead the Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organization joint venture between NTSP and Texas Health Resources. Her experience also includes hospital operations oversight at Baylor University Medical Center and system service line development throughout Baylor Scott & White.