Rising stars: 67 healthcare leaders under 40

The next generation of healthcare leaders prioritizes access to care, cost reduction and patient experience. These motivated, ambitious and forward-thinking individuals are perfectly positioned to impact the future of healthcare. Becker's is thrilled to honor these rising stars in healthcare, who are 40 years old or younger and quickly rose within the ranks of their organizations.

Note: This list is not an endorsement of included leaders, organizations or associated healthcare providers. Leaders cannot pay for inclusion on this list. Leaders are presented in alphabetical order. We extend a special thank you to Rhoda Weiss for her contributions to this list.

Thanks to a high volume of nominations this year, we will be releasing multiple categories for this list. Please keep an eye out for our upcoming provider and vendor rising stars lists. 

Contact Anna Falvey at afalvey@beckershealthcare.com with questions or comments.

Emily Aaronson, MD. Chief Quality Officer at Walmart Health and Wellness (Bentonville, Ark.). Dr. Aaronson is responsible for monitoring, measuring and improving care quality in her role as CQO at Walmart Health and Wellness, which includes oversight for quality and safety at nearly 50 primary care and dental clinics, 4,600 pharmacies, 3,400 vision centers and a virtual care program. Additionally, she leads a team responsible for designing and implementing the organization's safety systems. Dr. Aaronson has spearheaded multiple initiatives in clinical innovation, including new systems of care delivery focused on issues such as care for medically underserved populations, end of life care for patients with serious illness, and sepsis case outcomes. She is also a renowned leader in publication, having published over 50 peer reviewed articles, three textbooks and several articles in the lay press on topics related to patient safety and care quality. In addition to her role at Walmart, Dr. Aaronson is an associate editor at BMJ Quality & Safety. Previously, she served as associate chief quality officer at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Andrea Addesso. Vice President of Brand Strategy at Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.). Ms. Addesso has been with Hackensack Meridian Health since 2016 and assumed the role of vice president of brand strategy in 2021. In her role, she manages creative and media agency initiatives for all advertising campaigns. She collaborates with data and analytics teams to help identify community perspectives, develop strategic sponsorships, cultivate relationships, and inform next steps. Her work leads new patients to seek care at HMH, drives enrollment in Medicare Advantage and secures cost savings for the media team. Under her leadership, HMH has earned industrywide honors, including four Telly Awards. 

Kyle Armstrong. President of Baylor University Medical Center (Dallas) and Baylor Scott & White Health DFW Central Region (Texas). Mr. Armstrong leads the 914-bed academic medical center where he was born and previously served as its COO. Under his leadership, the medical center received a five-star rating from CMS, the clinical training program expanded and Baylor Scott & White Heart and Vascular Hospital-Dallas expanded to Waxahachie, Texas. He joined the system in 2016 as Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–McKinney president, bringing the newly constructed hospital to higher standards in clinical performance, patient experience, volume and finances. He has received DFW Hospital Council "Young Healthcare Executive of the Year" and received Dallas Business Journal "Top 40 Under 40" honors. 

Nida Al-Ramahi. Executive Director of Nursing Operations at Mercy (St. Louis). Since assuming the role of executive director of nursing operations at Mercy, Ms. Al-Ramahi has been responsible for strategy, operations and innovation for more than 40 hospitals in inpatient nursing and perioperative services. She has been a key player in the implementation of several programs, such as the AI-based Mercy Works on Demand application for incentive shift pick up, the UKG Dimensions Advanced Staffing and Scheduling system, and an on-demand nursing gig coworker program. Ms. Al-Ramahi also leads Mercy's Center for Clinical Operations and Innovation. 

Ryan Ashlock. President of Adventist Health Castle (Oahu, Hawaii). Mr. Ashlock has been with Adventist Health over a decade, and at Castle since 2019. Initially its operations executive, he was quickly named president in 2021. Under his leadership, Castle grew the number of physicians and providers it employs from seven to 70, made a $62 million investment to improve and expand care offerings, saw a 35 percent increase in revenue from 2019 to 2023, and achieved best in the state accolades for patient experience and cost of care according to Premier Quest. The hospital achieved top decile performance for all quality and safety metrics in 2022 based on goals set by Adventist Health. 

Chris Ault. Chief Revenue Officer at Cooper University Health Care (Camden, N.J.). Mr. Ault serves as chief revenue officer for Cooper University Healthcare, where he oversees all revenue-related functions for the enterprise, comprising approximately $2 billion in annual revenue. Since joining the system in 2018, he has led departments that have supported growth of approximately $600 million, all while implementing structural and process improvements to sustain future growth. He also established a first-class financial training and education function, which standardized best practice processes across the health system to improve efficiency.

Dzenan Berberovic. Chief Philanthropy Officer of Avera Health (Sioux Falls, S.D.). Since being named to his position in 2020, Mr. Berberovic has led his team to achieve record-setting fundraising years in 2020-22, raising a total of over $118 million. Under his leadership, the Avera Foundation has been recognized by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy with "High Performer" and "System High Performer" distinctions. "High Performers" represent the top 25 percent of healthcare foundations and philanthropy offices in the U.S. and Canada. The Avera Foundation has also successfully completed campaigns to support Avera's strategic agenda while growing the system's enduring culture of gratitude. He first joined Avera in 2017.

Edward Borrego. Senior Vice President & CEO at Jackson West Medical Center (Doral, Fla.). Mr. Borrego is the founding CEO of Jackson West Medical Center, where he leads operations, care delivery, strategy and growth. He was responsible for overseeing the planning, design, execution, and successful opening of the $280 million campus. Under his leadership, the medical center's 100-bed hospital has been named top 5 percent in patient experience in the state of Florida, according to survey results from Press Ganey. 

Jane Brown. CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kansas (Overland Park, Kan.). As the CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kansas, Ms. Brown is responsible for the Aetna Medicaid line of business in the state of Kansas, providing services to over 140,000 Kansas Medicaid recipients.  In her role, she leads over 150 employees. Her work entails facilitating the launch of innovative programs that help meet the needs of vulnerable, at-risk populations. She is adept at leading her staff through the complexities of program implementation, ensuring the  organization remains compliant. Under Ms. Brown's leadership, Aetna Better Health of Kansas received a Stevie award for its work on a food insecurity performance improvement plan.

Michael Burke. Chief of International and Business Development Services at UCLA Health (Los Angeles). A global leader in clinical care and research, Mr. Burke has made a significant contribution to healthcare by increasing international access to care, bolstering cross-border education programs and developing affiliations to help mentor and train healthcare leaders. He contributes significantly to international healthcare delivery through innovative and novel projects. He pioneered development of UCLA Health's first and second overseas affiliated hospital projects in Asia and the Middle East to elevate standards of care abroad. Under his leadership, UCLA Health forged relationships and health initiatives with leaders in over 150 countries, serving approximately 3,000 patients seeking top-tier care each year. 

Chad Cathey. COO at Lakeview Hospital LCMC Health (New Orleans). Mr. Cathey is responsible for operational procedures and strategic planning for the 167-bed Lakeview system. He was named COO at the age of 35 following a track record of driving value for high-quality services and a dedication to patients, colleagues and the community. He helped the system to build a free-standing 99-bed children's hospital in the state. While the system spent six months searching for a new CEO, Mr. Cathey stepped up to perform the duties of the role while continuing his responsibilities as COO.

Ashley Chou, MD. Medical Director of Medical Management at Oak Street Health (Chicago). Dr. Chou serves as the medical director of medical management at Oak Street Health, a network of value-based primary care centers for adults on Medicare. Dr. Chou supports over 600 providers and their care teams across over 170 centers in 21-plus states in the prevention of avoidable hospital admissions and readmissions. This role entails strategizing care delivery for the nation’s most at-risk patients in underserved communities and implementing the strategies at scale. She also serves as a primary care provider in Texas and Arizona. 

Katie Eimers. Chief System Initiatives Officer at UNC Health (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Ms. Eimers leads strategic support and alignment of initiatives and communications by the CEO/Dean and other key leaders. She joined UNC in 2011 as vice chair of strategic initiatives for the department of pediatrics. In 2017, she became associate dean for administration, overseeing the offices of human resources, IT and space planning at the school of medicine. She helped lead a partnership between UNC Health and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to establish a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital in Butner, N.C. Her leadership with the executive team has her deeply engaged in all strategic initiatives that advance UNC Health and School of Medicine. 

David Elop. Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Chief Development Officer at Providence (Renton, Wash.). Mr. Elop leads Providence’s strategic alliances, developing relationships with leading organizations to increase collaboration and enhance patient experiences, ease clinician burdens, and advance the development of innovative technologies in healthcare. Ultimately, his leadership is helping to broaden the delivery of care and patient experience, as well as improve access to care and education for caregivers. His leadership and business acumen at Providence, a national, not-for-profit Catholic health system with 120,000 employees serving in 52 hospitals and over 1,000 clinics across seven states, is shaping the future of health care. 

Lani Fast. CEO of St. Bernard Parish Hospital (Chalmette, La.). Opened in 2012, St. Bernard Parish Hospital was near closure prior to being managed by Ochsner in 2017. Serving a community devastated during Hurricane Katrina and without nearby healthcare facilities, Ochsner's collaboration and Ms. Fast's continued leadership ensured the community continued to receive vital healthcare services. Ms. Fast and her team recruited providers spanning 15 services, opened a new health center with multispecialty clinic and women's services, made $10 million in capital improvements and secured new equipment. As assistant vice president of clinic operations for Ochsner-Northshore and Mississippi Gulf Coast Region, she drew accolades for innovations, leadership and support across several Louisiana and Mississippi communities. 

Wilson Gabbard. Vice President of Quality and Condition Management at Advocate Aurora Health Midwest (Downers Grove, Ill.). Mr. Gabbard is the vice president of quality and condition management for Advocate Health Midwest. He joined Advocate in 2020 as vice president of clinical risk adjustment, where he oversaw risk adjustment strategy. Upon his promotion to his current role in 2022, he assumed responsibility for clinically integrated network and medical group quality performance across over 1.3 million patients in value based contracts.

Eric Gallagher. CEO for Ochsner Health Network (New Orleans). Mr. Gallagher's role as CEO for Ochsner Health Network entails creating and executing the strategic vision, long-term planning, and direction for the network. He also directs value-based care operations and population health service delivery. He first joined the network as director of operations in 2016, quickly became assistant vice president of strategy and operations, then served as COO before assuming the CEO role in 2022.  

Niyum Gandhi. CFO and Treasurer of Mass General Brigham (Somerville, Mass.). Mr. Gandhi joined Mass General Brigham during sweeping institutional transformation, nascent financial crisis and global pandemic. Rather than a purely financial background, his career focused on health operations and strategic consulting. Previously, he was Mount Sinai Health System's executive vice president, CFO and chief population health officer. His collaboration with providers and payers helped design and implement value-based clinical models, advancing contracting and product distribution strategies and aligning funds flow and physician incentives. His philosophy that finance exists to support operational units in executing against organizational strategy helped transform Mass General Brigham from a corporate holding model to an integrated health system with patients at the center. 

Matt Garner. CEO of Broward Health North (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Mr. Garner oversees overall operations of Broward Health North. He is responsible for driving growth, performance and ensuring high quality care. He oversees a workforce of 1,500 employees and 700 affiliated staff members. He also manages day-to-day operations, currently focusing on long-term strategic planning related to development of the clinical service line and strategic partnerships. Within a decade of entering the workforce, Mr. Garner rose from being an intern to CEO of Broward Health North. He has streamlined the system's operations, delivered consistent positive results and improved hospital processes month over month. He also has a passion for mentoring other young employees in healthcare leadership. 

Charles "CJ" Gibson, MD. Vice President of Medical Affairs at Corewell Health Grand Rapids (Mich.) Hospitals. A trauma and critical care surgeon turned inspirational leader known for influencing change, Mr. Gibson led the pandemic's patient-centered, economically viable strategy for maintaining necessary surgical interventions and balancing deferrals. He secured $700,000 in funds for the system's trauma research institute, ensuring level I trauma center longevity and sustainability. He partnered with system leadership to drive top-down change in combating systemic racism and unconscious bias in healthcare, including $100 million commitment to social justice and community improvement initiatives in West Michigan over 10 years. He dedicates countless volunteer hours to mentor surgical residents, developing their technical skills, clinical acumen and bedside manner.

Jennifer Grennan, JD. Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, S.D.). As executive vice president and CAO of Sanford Health, Ms. Grennan oversees human resources, legal, risk, compliance and government affairs for the organization, which serves more than 1 million patients and 220,000 health plan members. Ms. Grennan has led successful implementations of diversity, equity and inclusion programs, established various workforce development initiatives, and bolstered the systems international recruitment and rural nursing workforce. She has also successfully led Sanford through transactions and mergers while expanding compliance programs to ensure patient privacy and safety. Since joining Sanford in 2009, Ms. Grennan has held multiple legal department positions within the organization, including chief legal officer and vice president of legal.

Emma Grossman. CFO of Dignity Health-St. John's Regional Medical Center (Oxnard, Calif.) and St. John's Hospital Camarillo (Calif.). Ms. Grossman began her career with Dignity Health in 2020. During her current leadership role, the hospitals have made strategic investments in technology and subsequently grown robotic surgery cases between the two campuses by 61 percent. She has been instrumental in increasing permanent staff after the pandemic and decreasing reliance on third-party staffing. She has ensured that the hospitals prioritize organizational growth and deliver high quality care with the best possible outcomes. Both hospitals recently earned an "A" hospital safety grade from the Leapfrog Group and ranked No. 1 in California for coronary intervention and No. 2 for cardiac care and cardiology by Healthgrades.

Brian Hardin. Finance Director and Controller at UNC Health Southeastern (Lumberton, N.C.). Mr. Hardin oversees a team of 13 employees across multiple specialties, including payroll, accounts payable, accounting, financial reporting and audit and data analytics. He is responsible for timely and accurate financial reporting across the organization. He oversees cash management, operating funds, investments and more. He is also charged with the system's yearly audit and capital budgeting process. Mr. Hardin returned to UNC in 2023 after spending two years in public accounting, bringing its latest audit to a close. He has been with UNC for over eight years in a variety of different roles, including practice manager, advanced analytics consultant and manager of data analytics and business intelligence. 

Kevin Hoak. Senior Vice President and COO of Roper St. Francis Healthcare (Charleston, S.C.). Mr. Hoak oversees operations of Roper St. Francis Healthcare, the region's market share leader with more than 117 facilities across five counties. A driver of the strategic plan, his focus includes planning for a $1 billion investment to relocate Roper Hospital, one of the largest, most advanced healthcare construction projects on the East Coast; doubling the size of Berkeley Hospital, the system's newest facility in Summerville, S.C.; implementing a system master plan to optimize clinical service offerings across one of the country's fastest growing regions; and launching the area's first hospital at home program. Joining the system in 2021, Mr. Hoak also served as system vice president of transformation and Roper Hospital's associate vice president and chief administrative officer.

Jessica Johnson. COO of MUSC Health's Charleston (S.C.) Division. Serving as COO since July 2022, Ms. Johnson oversees operations and manages hospital perioperative and surgical services, safety and security, patient flow and transport, clinical and respiratory therapies, guest services and sterile processing. She is tasked with strategic growth projects and works within the scope of the greater MUSC enterprise to prioritize operational initiatives. She also serves as a leader of the workplace violence, space, and labor resource committees. 

Raheem Kajani, MD. Division Vice President of Population Health Clinical Operations at Dignity Health/CommonSpirit (Chicago). Dr. Kajani oversees CommonSpirit's value-based care space across the Southern California division. In his role, he works closely with independent physicians associations and contracted managed care service organizations to help them best serve Medi-Cal patients. He ensures that contracted vendors are accepting and treating patients, develops strategies to improve repatriation and financial performance, improves out-of-network utilization, collaborates with hospital executives to enhance quality of care, and much more. He brings to his role a unique ability to efficiently bridge the gap between administration and medicine. 

Yair Katz. Chief Executive of Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach (Calif.) and Senior Vice President of Pediatrics at MemorialCare (Fountain Valley, Calif.). Mr. Katz joined MemorialCare in 2015 as CFO of its Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children's & Women's Hospital and was named to his current role in 2022. Miller Children's & Women's Hospital is one of the nation's largest children's hospitals and among biggest and best known for pioneering neonatal and pediatric intensive care, perinatology and other programs. It is a national leader in pediatric cancer, cystic fibrosis, HIV, sickle cell and other clinical areas. Mr. Katz is known statewide for children's advocacy, championing an obstetrician clinic, acting as executive sponsor of the Children's Village and advancing clinic standards and key metrics to improve care. 

James Kennedy. Vice President of Government Affairs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Buffalo, N.Y.). Mr. Kennedy demonstrates the critical impact effective engagement with government partners has on health delivery, policy, advancing equity and serving a community marked by poverty and health disparities. He co-founded the Lung Cancer Screening National Advocacy Campaign coalition that unites government, community and employers around shared goals that benefit the at-risk and underserved. He helped create Roswell Park's groundbreaking "Early Detection Driven to You" mobile lung screening, ensuring preauthorizations do not pose insurmountable challenges. He shaped state and national tobacco control and HPV prevention with Roswell Park experts guiding evidence-based policy. He chairs committees for National Comprehensive Cancer Network and Association of American Cancer Institutes and had previous roles with U.S. and state senators. 

Jonathan Kyriacou. COO of The Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City). Mr. Kyriacou handles all day-to-day operations and financial performance for The Mount Sinai Hospital, which encompasses a $3.5 billion operating budget, $200 million capital budget and more than 15,000 employees. The hospital admits 60,000 patients and sees 110,000 ER patients, 40,000 surgeries and 750,000 clinic visits each year. Each day, Mr. Kyriacou is responsible for the oversight of operations planning and logistics, including workforce management, annual business and capital planning, support and ancillary services, emergency management, facilities and construction, space management, guest services and strategic initiatives. Currently, he is planning the creation of the new Tisch Cancer Hospital and an overhaul of the Mount Sinai Women's Pavilion. 

Chris Lancaster. CEO of Covenant Medical Center (Lubbock, Tex.). Mr. Lancaster began his career as an intern at Covenant while he was an undergraduate. He worked at Covenant Health System in strategic planning before serving as administrative director of operations for Trinity Mother Frances Health System in Winnsboro, Texas and later as director of clinic and financial operations at Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health. He returned to Covenant in 2017 as vice president and became chief executive of Covenant Medical Center in 2020. His leadership resulted in a successful comprehensive stroke designation accreditation and the addition of 90-bed Hope Tower. He is currently pursuing a kidney transplant program to serve west Texas and eastern New Mexico. 

Dan Landesberg. Associate Vice President of Geisinger Northeast Region (Wilkes Barre, Pa.). Mr. Landesberg leads day-to-day operations, capital and space planning, new programs and contracts at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and satellite campus, Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre Hospital, with over 2,900 total full-time employees. In his tenure, the hospital achieved Magnet, level 1 trauma center and comprehensive stroke center status and moved from CMS three- to four-star rating. Mr. Landesberg led South Wilkes-Barre and its emergency department renovation as part of a $25 million growth to reopen 48 beds and expand outpatient, inpatient, primary and specialty care practices and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine South Campus. At Wyoming Valley, he led the 140,000 square-foot, $80 million Henry Cancer Center expansion and will play key roles in a planned $900 million expansion, nearly doubling campus size by adding an 11-story, all private-room bed tower and expanding services. 

Ted Long, MD. Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care and Population Health and Executive Director of NYC Test & Treat Corps at NYC Health + Hospitals. Dr. Long is senior vice president of ambulatory care and population health at NYC Health + Hospitals, where he has led outpatient services across a network of 11 hospitals since 2018. In 2019, he established NYC Care, an access to care program dedicated to low income or undocumented New Yorkers. Dr. Long was appointed as the executive director of the NYC Test & Trace Corps in May 2020, leading the city's comprehensive COVID-19 testing, tracing and resource efforts. More recently, he became executive director of the City's Humanitarian Response & Relief Centers, providing essential care and support to over 78,000 asylum seekers with specialized services such as education, healthcare and assistance in resettlement and reunion with friends and family.

Patrick Macmillan. Vice President of Finance-Hospital Operations at Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, Pa.). In his role as vice president of finance-hospital operations, Mr. Macmillan oversees the network's operating and capital budgets, labor management programs, and long-range planning while providing leadership for operational support functions. His goal is to optimize programs and processes so that the organization can best provide the community with healthcare prevention and treatment services. Most notably, he crafted information sharing pathways that have ultimately led to a 10 percent improvement in controllable expenses. 

Amanda Maggard. President and CEO of AdventHealth Celebration (Orlando, Fla.). During her career with AdventHealth, one of the nation's largest health systems, Ms. Maggard is routinely called on to lead critical initiatives locally and systemwide – successful hospital openings, leading AdventHealth's COVID-19 system command center, clinical and financial turnarounds and developing leaders to serve as future CEOs. Ms. Maggard leads AdventHealth Celebration, one of central Florida's most innovative hospitals. She also oversees the AdventHealth emergency room at Flamingo Crossing town center, a first-of-its-kind patient experience for visitors and community members, including Walt Disney World Resort guests and cast members. AdventHealth is the official healthcare provider of Walt Disney World Resort.  

Holly Maloney. Managing Director at General Catalyst (San Francisco). Ms. Maloney serves as an investor, partner and advisor at General Catalyst, guiding companies in making a difference in the healthcare delivery space. She is passionate about standing up for underserved populations in healthcare, and serves as an advisor and advocate for GC's growing portfolio of behavioral health companies. She is dedicated to guiding founders through rapid phases of change. She invests and supports companies that focus on women's health, reproductive health and mental health. Recently, she helped launch a company focused on delivering home-based care to elderly populations. 

Christina Mathis. COO and Ethics and Compliance Officer at Medical City Plano (Texas). Ms. Mathis is the first woman to serve as COO for Medical City Plano. She is responsible for the system's operations, strategy, governance and culture. She has leadership responsibility for the hospital campus portfolio, worth over $200 million in capital investments. She has direct oversight of several hospital departments and service lines, including surgical services, cardiovascular services, the Level I Trauma program, the burn program, imaging services, pharmacy, respiratory therapy, food and nutrition services, environmental services, laboratory services, hospital facilities, security, EMS services and outreach. She also develops and executes initiatives that support strategic planning and growth efforts. She has helped to grow the hospital's surgical volume by 8 percent year-over-year. Ms. Mathis also led development and planning efforts for the hospital campus’ long-term master plan, which

Molly McColl. Vice President of Enterprise Virtual Health and Global Healthcare at Advocate Health (Charlotte, N.C.). Ms. McColl serves as vice president of enterprise virtual health and global healthcare for Advocate Health, where she supports the development and execution of all virtual health initiatives as well as improves upon the health system's virtual health infrastructure. In 2022, Ms. McColl's team had over a million virtual touchpoints across five states and the team supported, delivered and scaled over 40 unique new virtual program initiatives. She and ​​her team also developed a series of best practice playbooks and toolkits in order to assist future generations of industry professionals. 

Michael Meucci. President and CEO of Arcadia (Boston). At Arcadia, Mr. Meucci is tasked with scaling and growing the company, including transitioning the business model from a consultancy to a technology platform dedicated to population health. He is responsible for providing the strategic vision and executive support for finance, operations, sales, and product functions. In April 2023, less than six months after being named president and CEO, Mr. Meucci successfully raised $125 million in financing from Vista Credit Partners, a move that strengthened the company's balance sheet and secured autonomy over the business. Mr. Meucci is also involved with Out in Tech, a LGBTQ+ group of entrepreneurs and technologists, where he is able to support other gay business leaders.

Caitlin Miller. President and Chief Hospital Executive of Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center (Holmdel, N.J.). Ms. Miller started at Hackensack Meridian Bayshore Medical Center as a staff nurse, moved to nurse manager, advanced to senior operations leader and now oversees hospital operations as president and chief hospital executive. She works toward optimal productivity, participates in strategic planning, manages the budget and fosters effective relationships with the community, physicians, team members and board members. She leads emergency management response, establishing a virtual command center. She has increased patient satisfaction, quality improvements and team member engagement and satisfaction. Her leadership guided Bayshore through the pandemic, infrastructure upgrades, capital projects and construction of a state-of-the-art emergency care center. 

Ikenna Mmeje. CEO of USC Arcadia Hospital (Los Angeles). Mr. Mmeje is focused on expanding USC's mission to expand access to specialized healthcare and research in the region and beyond. He oversees management, operations, corporate compliance, strategic plan implementation, board development and fundraising for the system. He is also dedicated to the system's diversity and inclusion efforts, leading the hospital to raise a Pride flag for the first time in June. 

Kenly Morgenstern. Chief of Staff at RUSH (Chicago). Morgenstern is a rapidly rising star whose track record of problem solving earned her the high confidence of RUSH Legal Affairs and now a high-profile position as the CEO's chief of staff. She was instrumental in the RUSH response to COVID-19 as architect of the government, legal and finance partnership between legal affairs and finance, which was identified and applied to local, state and federal government funding opportunities. She spearheaded a critically important labor shortage risk assessment to identify departments and positions experiencing the highest rates of turnover, turnover drivers and mitigation initiatives to address those drivers. This work ultimately led to the creation of the labor task force, which continues to monitor turnover today.

Chris Nicholas. CEO of Renown Regional Medical Center (Reno, Nev.). Mr. Nicholas leads the 808-bed Renown Regional Medical Center, the state's largest hospital. He plays a key role in Renown's $489 million investment to enhance critical care and patient facilities to keep up with regional growth of 12 percent in a service area covering 100,000 square miles. In his first year as CEO, he opened a new trauma ICU and alleviated community pediatric shortages with a new NICU and PICU, increasing private rooms and patient capacity by 28 percent and incorporating Spirit of the Land design concept with healing art created statewide to promote clinician wellness, including respite lounges, off-stage areas and sit-stand desks. Renown earned Forbes' Best Healthcare Employer in Nevada for combatting burnout and ensuring well-being and safety of caregivers. 

Dustin Pasteur. Vice President of Facilities and Construction at Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital. Mr. Pasteur was appointed vice president and construction at Tampa General Hospital after serving as the hospital's senior director of design and construction since 2021, and previously director of design and construction in 2009. In addition to the oversight of healthcare design project management, construction, and maintenance projects, he leads a team in the training, inspection and documentation of hospital compliance. In his role, he has established an internal design team responsible for 85 percent of in-house design project productions. As part of the strategic master facility plan, he successfully executed a $550 million expansion including a new ICU, tower expansion, burn center and burn ICU enhancements, a new freestanding ED and more. Additionally, Mr. Pasteur has led TGH in hurricane and emergency preparedness efforts such as the construction of the Aquafence, a collapsible barrier that can protect the waterfront campus from sea-level rise, storm surge, and potential flooding during a Category 5 hurricane.

Andrew Piper. Division Director of Revenue Integrity at CommonSpirit Health (Chicago). Mr. Piper serves as the division director of revenue integrity at CommonSpirit Health, where he oversees all revenue integrity functions across the system's 13 Northern California facilities. He handles charge capture and reconciliation spanning 595 revenue-generating departments, with net patient revenues in excess of $16 billion. He is a trusted revenue cycle partner to eight CFOs, helping to analyze new business lines, productivity and net revenue deviation. Mr. Piper has built a consolidated charge team that holds a 98 percent-plus charge accuracy rate, developed a revenue charge accuracy program and led a trauma activation charging project that resulted in $2.7 million net revenue, among other accomplishments. 

James Powell. COO at Hillcrest Hospital South-Ardent Health Services (Tulsa, Okla.). Mr. Powell is responsible for all aspects of hospital management for Hillcrest, including site coordination and organizational integration. He establishes systems and organizational structure to support its overall vision and strategic direction. He was promoted to the role of COO before the age of 30, with aspirations of someday becoming a health system CEO. He has a myriad of analytical skills, and implemented lean six sigma principles to improve various metrics for the health system. He has also led multimillion dollar construction projects for Hillcrest, including adding operating and recovery rooms, a catheterization lab and more. 

Michael Prokic. Vice President of Planning and Integration at Trinity Health (Livonia, Mich.). Mr. Prokic is responsible for leading and facilitating strategic planning initiatives and organizational integration efforts at Trinity. He develops and executes the system's strategic plans, establishes metrics to monitor and evaluate initiative performance, handles new mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, facilitates the integration of newly acquired entities, helps with management changes, monitors industry and market trends, fosters collaboration in between departments and collaborates with the financial team to optimize performance. In 2018, he helped Trinity to implement a new EHR platform. 

Skyler Reed. COO of Medical City Dallas. Serving as COO of Medical City Dallas, Mr. Reed handles daily operations while providing oversight on strategic planning, business development and project management efforts. He leads several operational and support departments, and tackles physician recruitment and business development initiatives. Recently, he has been leading a $210 million hospital campus construction portfolio and overseeing the hospital's robust robotic surgical program. Prior to his promotion to his current position, Mr. Reed served as COO of Medical City Arlington in Texas for over 3 years. 

Austin Kyle Reeder. COO at Ochsner Medical Center New Orleans. Mr. Reeder leads operations for Ochsner Health's flagship facility, the 767-bed Ochsner Medical Center New Orleans. Before assuming the role of COO, he was its vice president of hospital operations and patient throughput. During his tenure at the hospital, he has led its 11-bed emergency room expansion, implemented initiatives that reduced length of stay by a full day, guided the development of a physician advisor program, expanded procedural capacity in several departments and much more. 

Josh Repac. CFO at Meritus Health (Hagerstown, Md.). Mr. Repac is CFO for Western Maryland's largest healthcare system, handling and overseeing all of its financial actions. He is passionate about the role finance plays in being able to provide adequate care for patients. At just 38, he took over the role of CFO in 2022, previously serving as vice president of revenue cycle and clinical support services. He now oversees finance, revenue cycle, supply chain, OP imaging services, nutrition services, DME provider and physical therapy/rehabilitation departments at Meritus. He helped lead Meritus out of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping it increase its minimum wage to $17 an hour. 

Dwight Roache. Assistant Vice President of Operations at Atrium Health (Charlotte, N.C.). Mr. Roache brings a wealth of experience in ambulatory and hospital operations, strategic planning, data analytics and patient throughput to his role as assistant vice president of operations at Atrium Health. His main priority is to oversee clinical and nonclinical operations across the Atrium Health-Pineville campus. One of his primary accomplishments has been the implementation and guidance of the hospitality suite for discharged patients, which has enhanced patient safety and access. He also partnered with Fuel the Frontlines, an initiative created by NFL players, to create a relaxation lounge that helps healthcare professionals recover and refuel like athletes. 

Amit Shah. Head of For-Profit Strategy and Solutions at Amazon (Seattle). As head of for-profit strategy and solutions at Amazon, Mr. Shah partners with healthcare systems to leverage emerging technologies that improve patient experiences and enhance the benefit-to-cost ratio. He is devoted to helping customers craft strategies and solutions that will positively impact clinicians and patients. Mr. Shah fosters a collaborative, empathetic and compassionate workplace culture. 

Emily Shields. Vice President of Business Development at OSF HealthCare (Peoria, Ill.). Ms. Shields leads three distinct groups at OSF: portfolio services, provider relations and employer relations. She is responsible for coordinating a network and business development strategy for the system, developing a centrally managed and regionally delivered operating model for development. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Ms. Shields led an effort to partner with the University of Illinois to slow the spread of the disease. The partnership created a web application that helped community members find testing centers and learn the latest news about COVID-19. Participants who tested positive through the university system were then referred to OSF for virtual and in-person care. Ms. Shields also led two hospital acquisitions over two years, expanding OSF's footprint to 15 hospitals across two states. She has also implemented new recruitment strategies for the system, leading the scope expansion of the physician recruitment department. 

Nate Shinagawa. COO at UCI Health (Irvine, Calif.). Mr. Shinagawa serves as COO for UCI Health, the only academic health system in Orange County, Calif. As COO, he acts as a champion for the system's 8,000 employees, ensures operational stewardship of more than $2 billion in net revenue, guides the construction of the new $1.3 billion UCI Health Irvine campus, handles operations of UCI Health Orange (Calif.) and fosters the growth of the health system's 17-site ambulatory network. Prior to joining UCI Health in July 2022, Mr. Shinagawa served as COO of Banner Ocotillo Medical Center in Chandler, Ariz.

Jake Sligh. Chief Growth Officer of Rock Dental Brands (Little Rock, Ariz.). Mr. Sligh is responsible for the guidance, integration and growth of newly acquired practices as chief growth officer of Rock Dental Brands. Overseeing success and transformation in the first year following acquisition close, he leads new partners as they transition office responsibilities to the Rock Dental support center and bring their focus solely to patient care. In his role, he has helped lead the company to a tripled growth in revenue. Mr. Sligh has been with Rock Dental Brands since August 2017, and has since served in multiple roles including chief marketing officer. 

Tammy Snyder. President and COO of Rochester (N.Y.) General Hospital. Ms. Snyder is an accomplished executive with extensive experience in executive leadership and performance improvement at top medical centers. She joined Rochester General Hospital in 2022 as COO and was promoted to president in June 2023. Ms. Snyder has an impressive track record for driving operational transformation, innovation, performance optimization and efficiency. Under her leadership, hospital length of stay decreased by over 0.5 days in just six months, which has helped improve throughput and capacity. Previously, she served in executive leadership roles with Weill Cornell Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

Nick Stefanizzi. CEO of Northwell Direct (New Hyde Park, N.Y.). Mr. Stefanizzi is CEO and board member of Northwell Direct, Northwell Health's new for-profit business venture that partners with employers to reduce care costs of healthcare services for their team members. Mr. Stefanizzi and the Northwell Direct team have built a high-performing network that cuts costs by approximately 20 percent for over 90,000 members, spanning over 20 employers in various sectors. Thanks in large part to his leadership and strategic vision, Northwell Direct has seen exponential year-over-year growth of over 200 percent and has become a critical component of Northwell Health's future growth strategies.

Kyle Tafuri. Vice President of Sustainability at Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, N.J.). As vice president of sustainability at Hackensack Meridian Health, Mr. Tafuri leads the development and management of corporate sustainability in areas like infrastructure upgrades for energy efficiency, green building, nutrition, purchasing and safer chemicals. His guidance led the system to make a $115 million investment in energy consumption reduction, forge sustainability agreements with vendors and suppliers, and pursue legislation related to energy efficiency. Thanks in large part to his hard work, three HMH hospitals earned Practice Greenhealth's Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award for 2023.

Amanda Thrash. President of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen (Arlington, Texas). Ms. Thrash was promoted to president of the 88-bed Texas Health Allen in July 2022. In her role, she is responsible for the oversight of all hospital operations, service line strategic planning, quality programs and community relations. Within six months of becoming president, Ms. Thrash achieved "Max" performance in operating margin and quality index scores as well as reached the 70th percentile in net promoter patient satisfaction scores for the hospital. In addition to her current role, she also serves as executive sponsor of the hospital's diversity action team, where she leads an expansion of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Previously, Ms. Thrash served as vice president of professional and support services at Texas Health Plano for four years.

Kaitlyn Torrence. Executive Director of MUSC Health Solutions (Charleston, S.C.). As executive director at MUSC, Ms. Torrence is responsible for managing the 12-hospital academic medical center's strategic programs and technology development. In addition, she leads a team dedicated to innovating care delivery through the identification, evaluation and development of the organization's services. Ms. Torrence also oversees a portfolio of partnerships, joint ventures and startup investments. Prior to joining MUSC, she was a project manager for strategy and business development for Women's Health and pediatrics at Providence Health in Seattle.

Corenza Townsend. Chief Administrative Officer of Norton West Louisville (Ky.) Hospital. Ms. Townsend's role as a changemaker and visionary was exemplified years ago when she and a colleague approached Norton Healthcare president and CEO with a bold and important idea: build a hospital where one hadn't been built in over 150 years in an area of great need. Norton West Louisville Hospital opens in 2024 and is engaging the community in every aspect. Ms. Townsend tackles operational solutions where there are known and sometimes complex community and workplace opportunities. She believes quality care is a right for everyone and improves access by meeting people where they are. A passionate advocate, she leads with purpose and is committed to seeking new ways to be a health partner. 

Nick Townsend. CFO at Union General Health System (Blairsville, Ga.). Mr. Townsend is responsible for financial strategy, execution and overall performance at Union General, which consists of two rural hospitals, two nursing homes and over 20 affiliated facilities. He manages over 100 employees and directly oversees the revenue cycle, business office, patient access, patient financial services and more. At just 37 years old, he has already been a financial executive for 11 years. Under his leadership, Union has seen a 10 percent growth year over year for the last seven years. He has created a financial savings of about $1 million a year. 

Sara Vaezy. Chief Strategy and Digital Officer of Providence (Renton, Wash.). Ms. Vaezy is responsible for system strategy and digital innovation for Providence's 52 hospitals and 900-plus clinics, which serve five million unique patients across seven states. She brings deep experience in both digital and enterprise strategy development and leads system strategy, ongoing development and evolution of Providence's integrated strategic and financial plan and cross-collaboration of Providence councils. Through her leadership, Providence is investing in digital transformation to fundamentally reshape the healthcare business model, drive customer acquisition and retention, and aid financial recovery. 

Elena Viboch. Partner at General Catalyst (San Francisco). Ms. Viboch plays a pivotal part in advancing General Catalyst's life sciences investing practice. Since joining the company, she has helped invest $175 million in over 10 companies. Her investments support cutting edge technology platforms focused on developing novel medicines for critical patient use-cases. She also works with diagnostic companies, giving her unparalleled access into areas like radiology, pathology and liquid biopsy. These insights allow her to support the development of technology with clear decision-impact, clinical utility and medico-economic benefit to the healthcare system.

Riley Waddell. CEO of Ochsner LSU Health-St. Mary Medical Center (Shreveport, La.). Mr. Waddell oversees the strategic direction and overall performance of Ochsner LSU Health-St. Mary Medical Center. Under his guidance, the hospital established a robust ambulatory surgery center, expanded several outpatient clinics, and developed relationships with community partners. He was also integral in creating revenue generation strategies for the hospital, expanding imaging access by 300 percent across the state of Louisiana and expanding the hospital lab to accommodate round-the-clock care. 

Andrew W. Walker. Vice President of Accounting and Financial Reporting at WellSpan Health (York, Pa.). As vice president of accounting and financial reporting, Mr. Walker oversees all WellSpan Health accounting, financial operations and reporting functions. He is also responsible for aspects such as budget planning, payroll, accounts payable, tax, debt compliance and other governmental finance reporting, and manages a team to support the functions of his position. Additionally, Mr. Walker serves as staff to the finance and investment committee as well as the audit committee of the board. Recently, he has played instrumental roles in numerous mergers and acquisitions, including the acquisition of a $320 million health system in the Republic of Ireland and the $1.6 billion acquisition of a health system in Charleston, S.C. Currently, Mr. Walker is leading collaboration to support expanding Oracle Cloud solutions, streamlining services, and revamping budget and capital processes at WellSpan.

​​David Weis, DPT. President and CEO of AdventHealth Daytona Beach (Fla.) and East Volusia County (Fla.) Market. With a clinical background and a degree in healthcare management, Dr. Weis understands the importance of finding operational solutions to support clinical excellence and superior patient experience. Under his leadership, AdventHealth Daytona Beach is one of the few hospitals in the nation, and the only one in Florida, to receive 23 consecutive "A" Leapfrog hospital safety grades, a five-star rating from CMS, and the ranking of No. 1 hospital in Deltona-Daytona Beach metro area by U.S. News & World Report. Following two hurricanes in 2022, Dr. Weis led efforts to provide financial assistance and temporary housing to team members affected by the storms.

Nicholas Wood. Executive Director and Hospital Administrator of Piedmont McDuffie (Thomson, Ga.). Mr. Wood joined Piedmont Augusta in 2019 and since 2021 has led Piedmont McDuffie, a 25-bed critical access hospital serving McDuffie and six surrounding counties. He demonstrates exceptional leadership, including integrating his hospital into the Piedmont system and transitioning from Joint Commission to DNV accreditation. Mr. Wood is a member of the executive committee of the Thomson-McDuffie Archway Program, a partnership with University of Georgia that connects Georgia communities with the university and other higher education resources to address critical locally identified needs and opportunities.

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