Congratulations to THA’s February Newsmakers

THA members are making headlines for their leadership and recent achievements.


THA’s Newsmakers are leaders from THA-member hospitals and health systems making headlines in Texas health care. Please join in congratulating February’s Newsmakers:

David Byrd

David Byrd
The Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus

David Byrd has been promoted to CEO of Transmountain campus of The Hospitals of Providence in El Paso. Byrd joined the system in 2007 and has served in various leadership roles. Most recently, he served as group COO of the health system and COO and CFO of the Transmountain and Sierra campuses, both in El Paso. Byrd is an alumnus of the Texas Hospital Association Leadership Fellows Program.

Darren DeSimone

Darren DeSimone, BSN, RN
HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood

Darren DeSimone, BSN, RN has been appointed chief nursing officer of HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood. DeSimone had previously been serving in the role on an interim basis, having been at the facility since 2021. Prior to that, DeSimone worked at another HCA Healthcare medical center in Conroe, Texas.

Nancy Doolittle

Nancy Doolittle, DNP, RN
UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital

Nancy Doolittle, DNP, RN, has been named the inaugural chief nursing officer of the UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital which is set to open in 2024. Doolittle previously served Albany, Ga.-based Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital as vice president of emergency and critical care services.

David McKnight

David McKnight
St. David’s Medical Center

David McKnight has been named chief financial officer of St. David’s Medical Center. McKnight has more than a decade of experience in strategic hospital leadership, most recently having served as chief executive officer of Johnston-Willis Hospital, a 293-bed facility in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to this, he spent six years at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia, serving as chief financial officer and later chief executive officer.

Adam Messer
Dell Seton Medical Center

Adam Messer has been named president of Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas in Austin, part of St. Louis-based Ascension. Messer will oversee the hospital’s operational effectiveness and performance, growth, and strategic development, while also focusing on strengthening community partnerships. Previously, he served as enterprise vice president and service line executive at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia.

Arabinda “Ara” Pani, M.D

Arabinda “Ara” Pani, M.D
HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest

Arabinda “Ara” Pani, M.D., has been named chief medical officer of HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest. Dr. Pani joins HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest from Dignity Heath Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott, Ariz., where he has practiced since 2009. He served as an emergency room physician and, most recently, Chief of Staff at the hospital from 2018 – 2022. He also held several other hospital leadership roles with YRMC, including serving as a Board Member of the Hospital and the YRMC Foundation.

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