My name is Luis Ricardo Flores, BS-CLS, MHS-HA but all of my peers refer to me as Rick, I am the Director of Clinical Informatics and the Compliance Officer at Dimmit Regional Hospital in Carrizo Springs, TX. I started my college career in 2004 at Laredo Community College in Laredo, TX. I graduated LCC in 2007 with an Associates of Applied Science in Medical Laboratory Technology, in July of 2007 I became a nationally certified Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT ASCP) by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. I continued my undergraduate education in 2009 at The University of Texas Pan-American (UTPA, now UTRGV) and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. In 2019 I obtained a Masters degree in Health Science in Healthcare Administration. In March of 2011 I started working at Laredo Medical Center as a Medical Technologist. I started as a Medical Technologist and in 2013 I was promoted to weekend supervisor. I remained at Laredo Medical Center for over 8 years where I honed my skills in the laboratory and leadership. In July of 2019 I was hired as a Laboratory Administrative Director at Dimmit Regional hospital, position I held for 2 years. During my tenure as Laboratory Administrative Director at Dimmit Regional Hospital, I helped my laboratory team revamp policies and procedures, creating workflows that made sense for our laboratory, we modernized the laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment and achieved cost savings by doing so. We extended our laboratory services outside of our hospital to clinics, nursing homes and private practices, increasing availability of healthcare to our residents. In October of 2021 I was promoted to Director of Clinical Informatics and Compliance Officer at Dimmit Regional Hospital, and through data analytics processes we have been able to identify and recapture revenue that had not been previously captured. In November of 2021 we established our Electronic Health Record Steering Committee, a committee designed to identify and fix issues with our EHR, and eventually replace our EHR. In February 2022 through April 2022 our hospital experienced demos from 4 different EHR vendors and in October of 2022 our committee decided to replace our EHR. In December of 2021 a partner facility reached out to our CEO, with a request of contracting me as a laboratory consultant to help their newly minted laboratory administrative director, and I have been working with them since, guiding them through a successful laboratory survey.
Dedicated healthcare leader in the Rio Grande Valley with 14 years of experience in a rapidly expanding hospital environment. A native-born Latina professional who is well acquainted with the broad spectrum of cultural diversity and the unique circumstances surrounding the provision of healthcare services throughout the Rio Grande Valley. Keen ability for organizational planning and detail orientation. Passionate and driven to continue to improve the well-being of the South Texas community while maintaining a strong commitment for excellence in patient care and quality.
Emily Rogers is the Director of Internal Operations with Eastland Memorial Hospital District. She graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Sciences with an emphasis on Child and Family Studies. Emily joined Eastland Memorial Hospital as the Executive Assistant in 2018. Her role at Eastland Memorial evolved quickly, and she accepted a promotion to the Director of Internal Operations. As part of the Administration team, she assists with day-to-day operations, problem-solving, and decision-making. She handles Medicare and Medicaid enrollments, the QIPP program, Rural Health Clinics, grant applications and management, communications, community outreach, and marketing. Emily is passionate about ensuring access to and sustaining rural healthcare in Texas.
Kaycie Brown oversees the clinic services at MidCoast Health System in El Campo, Texas. While at MidCoast she has participated in substantial growth of operations and services in rural areas which include recruitment of specialty physicians. Kaycie is an effective communicator when it comes to administration-physician relationships. She is committed to driving integration and creating an environment that enables the best possible outcomes in patient care.
Tarra started her career as a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Rutgers University, and possesses 18 years’ experience, where she trained in the Trauma and Neuro Intensive Care Units (ICU). During her time in the ICU of Level 1 Trauma hospitals in the NJ and PA areas, she was able to drive programs sparked by her interest in improving patient outcomes, such as Early Mobility in the ICU. Her work with this program was successful, producing research articles from her work in the hospital ICUs, educating incoming medical residents on ICU early mobility and ventilator management, and being designated a Healthcare Hero for her work on a complex trauma patient. Meanwhile, she decided to pursue her MBA in Health Sector Management at Temple University and then completed an internship for the CFO at Temple Health System, a large system in the Philadelphia area After her internship, Tarra was accepted into the Executive Fellowship program at Kindred Healthcare. This is a program that mentors individuals to become a hospital CEO, with very structured training and projects to be completed. Upon graduation, she was promoted to hospital CEO in Morris County, NJ and drove the quality, patient outcomes and employee culture to be ranked #1 nationally for the company, and the hospital remained at #1 during her time. She also completed a Kindred Leadership training program, nominated by her direct supervisor. After almost 4 years as CEO, Tarra made the decision to expand her knowledge and sought after gaining a job in Healthcare in another country. She was able to gain a position in the International division of HCA Healthcare in London, in a business development and operations role. She was quickly promoted to Head of Corporate Healthcare Relationships within HCA Healthcare UK. After a little over 2 years, due to family reasons, Tarra needed to come back to the US and returned to Kindred Healthcare as CEO of Kindred Hospital San Antonio Medical Center. Outside of the hospital, Tarra loves to hike and stay active, she enjoys playing the piano, and spending time with her family. Tarra is anxious to continuously improve and learn from others and hopes to bring a different perspective to the cohort.
I am a hospital administrator for MidCoast Health System. I am in the process of opening MidCoast Medical Center-Trinity, a full-service hospital and clinic, in Trinity, Texas which is expected to open in March of 2023. I have my BBA from Corpus Christi Texas A&M, and my MHA from Texas A&M in College Station. I like sports and being outdoors.
Melissa Wilson is the COO of Dimmit Regional Hospital in Carrizo Springs, Texas, a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, and has over 22 years’ experience in healthcare leadership overall. Before entering the rural market, most of Melissa’s experience comes from her 20 years of service in the United States Air Force, of which other C-Suite positions served in are COO, CFO, and CIO, which provides a generalist view and understanding of the many challenges hospital leaders face today. Melissa has a Master of Science Degree in Business Organizational Management, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, and is currently a Ph.D. student in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Melissa is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Chris Ford began his career at Hendrick Health in 2008. During this time he launched and managed support service departments and successfully led performance improvement initiatives as a LEAN Six Sigma Green Belt. In his most recent role as System Assistant Vice President, Chris oversees various clinical and support service lines including Outpatient Dialysis, Correctional Health Nursing, Clinical Engineering, Food & Nutrition and Environmental Services. Chris received a Master of Science in Clinical Practice Management in 2013 from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare executives. In addition to his professional work, Chris is actively involved in the local community and currently serves on the Executive Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters, West Central Texas.
Hatch Cummings Smith, Jr is a 6th generation rancher in Central and West Texas and spent much of his time working at his family’s cattle auction growing up in Llano, Texas. He has a BS in Animal Science from Cornell University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. After graduating from Cornell, he spent time in Argentina learning Spanish and traveling after which he spent about 10 years in financial services in New York, Boston and Dallas with JPMorgan and Commerce Street Capital. He started RedSmith Graphic Solutions in San Antonio (the result of an acquisition and diversification strategy in the printing and experiential marketing space) and RedSmith Genetics Corp in Llano, Texas, which focuses on progressive reproductive techniques to advance cattle operations…focusing on Brahman Cattle. In 2020, while working in the cattle business, Hatch help save the Llano Hospital from closing and is subsequently the CEO/Administrator for MidCoast Central. In less than two years, MidCoast Medical Center – Central has gone from a sleepy ER to a fully functioning Critical Access Hospital, serving Llano, Mason and San Saba Counties. Hatch serves on the board of Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area, Governor’s Broadband Development Council (Sub Committee Chairman for Healthcare), Youth Committee Co-Chair for Brahman Breeders of America, board member of Llano Economic Development Council and the Llano Hospital Foundation. Hatch’s wife is Sarabeth, Daughter Marykate (6) son Hatch III (3).
Natalie Denson is a leader in the nursing field and currently serves as Vice President of Nursing at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. She has been a Registered Nurse for more than 14 years and has spent the last seven years in various nursing leadership roles. Natalie is a certified nurse executive with an MSN in Nursing Administration from University of Texas Arlington, and a BSN from Texas Woman’s University. Natalie has presented at the American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association and DFW Hospital Council Patient Safety Summit and honored as the recipient of DFW Great 100 Nurses and D Magazine’s Excellence in Nursing awards. Currently, Natalie oversees seven inpatient units, the float pool team, respiratory department, house supervisors, and the staffing office. In addition, she has responsibility for alternate care sites for capacity management, including the special isolation unit used during COVID-19, and most recently, an observation unit within the Emergency Department. As a Director, Natalie used her experience in development of a staffing office and reduction in premium pay by 70% for areas of oversight. Natalie also used her knowledge in process improvement by partnering on the development and implementation of an event prevention committee. Through this committee and implementation of a controlled patient transfer process, 91% of 565 patient events were identified early and escalated as non-emergent transfers.