Rising Stars: 25 Healthcare Leaders Under Age 40

Becker's Hospital Review is pleased to recognize the talent and drive of 25 men and women who, before the age of 40, have come to hold executive positions within their hospital or health system. Many of these leaders hold records as the youngest executives to be appointed at their respective organizations. Others have spearheaded hospital initiatives and worked determinedly to strengthen their organizations. Given what they've accomplished before the age of 40 and in the midst of healthcare reform, these men and women are likely to achieve great things throughout their careers.

Note: The following leaders were collected through peer nominations and editorial research. There are no fees involved in the Becker's Hospital Review process. Leaders are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Andre Boyd, Associate COO of Centerpoint Medical Center (Independence, Mo.). Mr. Boyd, 35, was named Associate COO of Centerpoint in January 2010. He oversees 10 departments, meaningful use adaptation and revenue exceeding $110 million. He also acts as the 221-bed hospital's ethics and compliance officer. Mr. Boyd successfully led the implementation of the first Senior Emergency Center within the Hospital Corporation of America system — a nine-bed unit for patients 65 and older. Before assuming his current role, Mr. Boyd was a business administrator for perioperative services at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md.

2. Barry "Skipper" Bondurant, Administrator and CEO of Baptist Memorial Hospital–Tipton (Covington, Tenn.).
Mr. Bondurant, 37, was named CEO of the 100-bed Baptist Memorial Hospital-Tipton in 2008. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Bondurant served as an assistant administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City (Tenn.) and as director of wellness and cardiovascular rehabilitation for Baptist Memorial-Blytheville (Ark.), now named Great River Medical Center.

3. Jim Brown, CEO of Memorial Hermann Sugar Land (Texas) Hospital. Mr. Brown, 36, joined Memorial Hermann's Sugar Land (Texas) facility in June 2007. During his tenure, the facility has undergone $14 million in expansions and was named to the Top 100 Hospitals by Thomson Reuters in 2011. Prior to joining Memorial Hermann, Mr. Brown served as COO of Doctors Hospital of Dallas. He has also served as COO of Lea Regional Medial Center in Hobbs, N.M.

4. Steven Burghart, COO of Good Samaritan Medical Center (West Palm Beach, Fla.). Mr. Burghart, 36, was named COO of Good Samaritan Medical Center in November 2010. He previously served as COO of Hialeah (Fla.) Hospital, a 378-bed acute-care facility. Mr. Burghart has been working with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. for about eight years.

5. Patrick Downes, COO of Hialeah (Fla.) Hospital. Mr. Downes, 27, was appointed to the COO position in November 2010. As COO, Mr. Downes is responsible for the daily operations of the 378-bed acute-care hospital. Before being appointed COO, he was the associate administrator of Tenet Florida Physician Services, where he managed the recruitment and business development operations of the physician practice group. He has also served as associate administrator of North Shore Medical Center in Miami.

6. Greene Dustin, COO of Emory Eastside Medical Center (Snellville, Ga.). Mr. Greene became COO of Emory Eastside in 2008 and currently takes responsibility for operations of the medical center, which includes more than 400 physicians and 1,500 staff. Mr. Greene began his career with Nasvhille, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporations of America, Emory Eastside's parent company, on the accounting and finance side. Prior to his current role, Mr. Greene served as associate administrator at Emory Eastside and Northlake Medical Center in Tucker, Ga.

7. J. Eric Evans, CEO of Lake Pointe Health Network (Rowlett, Texas). Before assuming the role of CEO in 2010 at the age of 32, Mr. Evans served as the vice president and chief of staff to Trevor Fetter, president and CEO of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, which is Lake Pointe's parent company. Mr. Evans joined Lake Pointe in 2004 and has held the roles of business development director, COO and interim CEO. In his current role, he oversees the 112-bed acute-care hospital, seven outpatient centers and four physician clinics.  

8. Alex Fernandez, CFO of North Shore Medical Center (Miami, Fla.). In his role as CFO of North Shore Medical Center, Mr. Fernandez, 32, is responsible for promoting the hospital's mission and executing its strategic plan. Mr. Fernandez oversees the overall financial operations of the acute-care hospital. He has worked for Tenet Healthcare, North Shore's parent company, for the last nine years. Prior to joining North Shore, Mr. Fernandez worked as assistant controller of Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Before that, he was a staff accountant of St. Mary's Medical Center, also in West Palm Beach.

9. Gabrielle Finley-Hazle, COO of North Shore Medical Center FMC Campus (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
. With more than 10 years of healthcare leadership experience, Ms. Finley-Hazle, 34, is responsible for the daily operations of a broad range of medical, surgical and ancillary services at North Shore Medical Center FMC Campus. Prior to joining the FMC Campus, Ms. Finley-Hazle served as CEO and COO of a large multi-specialty physician group in Broward County, Fla. She has also held several positions at the North Broward Hospital District, including associate administrator at Broward General Medical Center and administrative officer of health services integration at Broward Health's corporate headquarters.

10. Stephen Garrison, President and CEO of TRMC Management (Austin, Texas). Mr. Garrison, 36, is chief of TRMC, which is a health and wellness management company that currently manages Texas Regional Medical Center in Sunnyvale, Texas. He was previously a principal in the Dallas office of Bain and Co., a global management consulting firm. Prior to joining Bain in 2005, Mr. Garrison was a domestic policy advisor at the White House for President George W. Bush.

11. Tom Jackson, CFO of Emory Eastside Medical Center (Snellville, Ga.). Mr. Jackson, 32, joined Emory Eastside Medical Center in June 2009. Prior to his current role, he worked at Doctors Hospital of Augusta (Ga.), a 354-bed facility that includes one of the country's largest burn centers. Mr. Jackson also spent time working at Hospital Corporation of America's Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., and Ernst & Young.

12. Kevin Joseph, MD, Senior Vice President of University of Cincinnati Health/President, CEO of West Chester (Ohio) Hospital.
In addition to his leadership roles at West Chester Hospital, Dr. Joseph, 37, serves as assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati Department of Emergency Medicine residency program. Dr. Joseph is also the medical director for UC Health Emergency Medicine. Prior to his appointment as the president and CEO of West Chester Hospital, Dr. Joseph was the medical director of the WCH Emergency Department.

13. Kirat Kharode, Vice President of Operations and COO at LibertyHealth System (Jersey City, N.J.). Mr. Kharode, 30, oversees hospital, clinical and ancillary services in his current role at LibertyHealth, which he assumed in October 2011. Previously, he worked with Tenet Healthcare, since 2006, at the system's Graduate Hospital and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, both in Philadelphia. Mr. Kharode worked as the division administrator for Abramson Cancer Center within the University of Pennsylvania Health System before his work at Tenet.

14. Ben Koppelman, President and CEO of St. Joseph's Area Health Services (Park Rapids, Minn.).
President of St. Joseph's Area Health Services since 2007, Mr. Koppelman, 39, is responsible for overall leadership and operational and financial management of the critical access hospital. Mr. Koppelman previously served as an administrator for Albany (Minn.) Area Hospital & Medical Center. He has been with Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, the parent organization of St. Joseph's and Albany Area Hospital, since 2006.

15. Brett Lee, PhD, Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. In his role as senior vice president, Dr. Lee, 37, oversees clinical operations at three hospitals and 17 neighborhood locations. He also leads nursing and administration for more than 30 clinical specialties. Dr. Lee has vast experience leading clinical operations at other pediatric healthcare systems. Most previously, he served as COO of Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Ind. He has also worked at Children's Medical Center in Dallas and Cook Children's Medical Center in Forth Worth, Texas.

16. Ashley McClellan, President and CEO of Medical Center of Lewisville (Texas). Ashley McClellan, 29, was named president and CEO of Medical Center of Lewisville in December 2011. Ms. McClellan served as COO of the Medical Center from 2008 until her appointment as CEO. While at Lewisville, Ms. McClellan was instrumental in designing the first freestanding emergency department with an attached outpatient-imaging center in North Texas, called Flower Mound Emergency Center.

17. Robert Milvet, CFO of Preston Memorial Hospital (Kingwood, W.Va.). Mr. Milvet, 37, has been with Preston Memorial for nearly three years. He oversees the hospital's adaptation of meaningful use and led Preston Memorial to attain payment for Stage 1 — the fourth critical access hospital in the country to do so. Mr. Milvet also established the hospital's 340B prescription drug plan, which provides medication at low costs to uninsured patients.

18. David Ottati, CEO of Florida Hospital Flagler (Palm Coast, Fla.).
As Florida Hospital Flagler’s president and CEO, Mr. Ottati, 38, is responsible for all of the hospital's general operations, which include Florida Hospital HospiceCare and Florida Hospital Home Health. Prior to joining Florida Hospital Flagler, Mr. Ottati worked at Florida Hospital Lake Placid and Florida Hospital Orlando.

19. Adar Palis, Vice President of Administration and CIO of Harrison Medical Center (Bremerton, Wash.). When Mr. Palis, 33, was named CIO in 2005, he became Harrison Medical Center's youngest CIO to date. Mr. Palis is the driving force behind Harrison's three-year endeavor to implement a $30.5 million electronic medical record system. He is also in charge of the customer-focused IT department, building a state-of-the-art data center and installing a new network infrastructure among other responsibilities.

20. Carrie O. Plietz, CEO of Sutter Medical Center (Sacramento, Calif.). Before joining Sutter Medical Center in December 2010, Ms. Plietz served as COO of Mills-Peninsula Health Service, a Sutter health affiliate, in San Matteo, Calif. Before joining Mills-Peninsula in August 2008, Ms. Plietz spent nine years with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, starting as an administrative resident and eventually moving to chief administrative officer for the Pacific campus and vice president of operations for specialty services.

21. Matt Sogard, COO of The Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (Denver). Mr. Sogard has served as COO of HealthONE's Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center since 2008. In this role, Mr. Sogard oversees daily operations of the hospital and assumes responsibility for strategic planning and medical staff development for all pediatric and neonatal services. Prior to joining HealthONE, Mr. Sogard worked at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, a 708-bed academic medical center in Iowa City.

22. Winjie Tang Miao, President of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance (Fort Worth, Texas). Ms. Miao, 34, was named president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance in February 2011. Before accepting the appointment, Ms. Miao was president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle. Ms. Miao started her career with Texas Health in Dallas where she served as an administrative resident and administrative director. She has more than 10 years of healthcare management experience in hospital and clinic settings.

23. Nathan Tudor, CEO of Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital (Kenedy, Texas).
Mr. Tudor, 32, was named as Otto Kaiser's CEO in September 2010. He was previously the CEO of Stone Wall Memorial Hospital in Aspermont, Texas. Mr. Tudor began his career in healthcare administrative roles around 2005. He is most proud of his work securing financial stability and improving quality standards for the hospital.

24. Katherine Vergos, COO of Ripon (Wis.) Medical Center. Prior to her current role as COO, Ms. Vergos was vice president of nursing at Ripon Medical Center. She assumed the COO position when Ripon joined Agnesian HealthCare, based in Fond du Lac, Wis., this past June. As COO, Ms. Vergos focuses on the hospital's integration plans, employee satisfaction and ensuring a high-quality patient experience.

25. Faraaz Yousuf, COO of Good Samaritan Hospital (San Jose, Calif.).
Mr. Yousuf, 36, has been COO of Good Samaritan Hospital for more than two years. Throughout his tenure as COO, he has overseen the addition of two nursing units to Good Samaritan. One will be the only neurosciences ICU in California not located on an academic facility campus and the other is a women's health nursing unit. Prior to his role as COO, Mr. Yousuf served as vice president of operations at Medical City Dallas Hospital.

Related Articles on Healthcare Leaders:

Rising Stars: 25 Healthcare Leaders Under Age 40
291 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know
291 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know — Pt. 2

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