Congratulations to THA’s September Newsmakers

THA members making headlines for their leadership efforts.

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THA’s Newsmakers highlights leaders from THA member hospitals and health systems making headlines in Texas health care. Please join in congratulating our September Newsmakers:

Jason Barrett, MBA, FACHE

Jason Barrett, MBA, FACHE
Northwest Texas Healthcare System

Northwest Texas Healthcare System (NWTHS) announced the appointment of Jason Barrett, MBA, FACHE as its new chief executive officer. According to NWTHS, Barrett brings extensive experience and a “proven track record of driving patient-centered growth and innovation in the health care industry.” Previously, Barrett served as the CEO for the Flagler Health System and he went on to transform and expand the system in order to further provide comprehensive health services and earn national brand recognition.

Rodolfo "Rudy" Garza, MD

Rodolfo “Rudy” Garza, MD
St. David’s Medical Center

Rodolfo “Rudy” Garza, MD, has been named chief medical officer of St. David’s Medical Center in Austin. Dr. Garza has spent nearly 20 years in hospital leadership roles. Most recently, he was CMO at Methodist Hospital Northeast, a 237-bed acute care facility in San Antonio. Dr. Garza is board-certified in internal medicine and nephrology.

John Hoover

John Hoover
Medical City Fort Worth

John Hoover has been named CEO of Medical City Fort Worth. Hoover has served as COO of Medical City Fort Worth since 2021 and as interim CEO since May of 2023, where his leadership contributed to the successful launch of new service line offerings, including the expansion of solid organ transplants. He also played an integral role in leading facility expansion and capital project proposals of more than $30 million. During his tenure, the hospital has been recognized for outstanding patient care and quality, including being named as one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals and 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care by Healthgrades, and was awarded an “A” grade in the spring 2023 Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group.

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Lara Johnson, MD

Lara Johnson, MD
Covenant Health

Dr. Lara Johnson has been named the Covenant Health Lubbock Service Area Chief Medical Officer. As the chief medical officer, Dr. Johnson will work with other Covenant Health leaders and members of the medical staff to help ensure the highest quality of care for patients and families. The Lubbock service area includes Covenant Medical Center, Covenant Children’s, Covenant Specialty Hospital, and Covenant Health Grace Surgical Hospital. Dr. Johnson joined the Covenant medical staff as a physician in 2007.

Kari McCord, M.S.N., RNC-OB, C-EFM, NE-BC

Kari McCord, M.S.N., RNC-OB, C-EFM, NE-BC
Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources has named Kari McCord, M.S.N., RNC-OB, C-EFM, NE-BC, as the chief nursing officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen. McCord first joined Texas Health as a staff nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas in 2005. She left Texas Health Dallas in 2012 and returned to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano in 2019 as director of Women’s, Infants’ and Children’s Services. She was promoted to associate chief nursing officer in 2021. In this role, McCord collaborated with the chief nursing officer to oversee nursing practice, processes and initiatives at Texas Health Plano. She also led the hospital’s Patient Efficiency and Effectiveness Committee, which drove improvements in length of stay and overall hospital throughput, as well as a project to reevaluate hospital capacity.

Debra Feigin Sukin, Ph.D.

Debra Feigin Sukin, Ph.D.
Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s has announced the appointment of Debra Feigin Sukin, Ph.D., as the new President of the organization. She will join Texas Children’s on January 8, 2024, and report to Mark A. Wallace, who will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Sukin is an executive vice president at Houston Methodist and is CEO of Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, in addition to leading neurosciences at the system and the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart Center. Previously, she served as senior vice president of St. Luke’s Health in Houston.

Jonelle Thomas, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Jonelle Thomas, MSN, RN, NE-BC
St. David’s Georgetown Hospital

St. David’s Georgetown Hospital has named Jonelle Thomas, MSN, RN, NE-BC, as the facility’s new chief nursing officer. Previously, Thomas served as assistant chief nursing officer at The Medical Center of Aurora, a 467-bed Level II Trauma Center in Aurora, Colo. In this role, she oversaw the emergency department and served as the executive sponsor of the Patient Care Technician Council and Nursing Cabinet Council. Prior to this, Thomas was the assistant chief nursing officer at Sky Ridge Medical Center—a 284-bed Level II Trauma Center in Lone Tree, Colo.—where she designed and implemented a Specialty Training Apprenticeship for Registered Nurses and a nurse advisory group to support new nursing graduates.

Do you have a colleague making news in Texas health care? Send us a nomination for THA Newsmakers!

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