Member Spotlights

Member Spotlights

Shirley Adkins

Shirley Adkins

September 2020

As the chief operating officer at Hialeah Hospital, Shirley Adkins is responsible for the daily operations of the 256-bed acute care facility, as well as for patient, physician and community engagement. Having held this role for the past two years, she understands the importance of learning from a vast array of subject matter experts, both within and outside of the hospital.

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Michelle Boggs

Michelle Boggs

August 2020

There are a lot of challenges facing healthcare administrators today, including those who are tasked with raising funds for hospitals and patient care. Michelle Boggs, president of the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, has found that having a resource like ACHE of South Florida has provided her with the tools she needs to keep up-to-date on the latest industry news.

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Jorge J. García, PharmD, MS, MHA, MBA, FACHE

George Garcia

July 2020

Jorge J. García, PharmD, MS, MHA, MBA, FACHE, is a strong believer in lifelong learning and the value of continuing education. Since coming to the U.S. from Cuba at the age of 15, he has made it his goal to become a leader in the field of healthcare, and today he is a sought-after expert in the field of pharmacy charge integrity and revenue management in the health system setting, as well as in the areas of alternative payment models, biosimilars, and value-based oncology care.

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Peter Powers, FACHE

Peter Powers, FACHE

June 2020

When Peter Powers, FACHE, moved from a job at a hospital in Denver, CO to become CEO of Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, he expected his new position to be a challenge. What he didn’t expect was to begin his tenure during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Mari Pantoja-Smith

Mari Smith

May 2020

Mari Pantoja-Smith, MSN, RN, defines herself as a “nursy nurse” - someone who has a passion for taking care of others, and who believes that nursing is more of a calling than a job.

“Nursing is not something that you go into for the money,” explained the 22-year nursing veteran. “It’s not easy to go to nursing school or to take care of patients, but it’s what you do when you want to help people.”

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Ayana Miller, FACHE

Ayana Miller

April 2020

One of the best ways to break into the healthcare job market or to move ahead in one’s career is to establish connections within the industry. This is why it’s especially important to join organizations that provide networking events, educational opportunities and mentoring programs, such as ACHE of South Florida.

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Attila Hertelendy, PhD

Attila Hertelendy

March 2020

Attila Hertelendy, PhD is a big believer in individuals broadening their horizons, whether through education, networking with peers or exploring faraway places. Having lived in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and numerous places in the U.S., he understands the importance of making personal and professional connections. The professor, who has taught finance, healthcare reimbursement, and organizational behavior at FIU for the past five years, started his career in emergency services, working as a paramedic/firefighter before being promoted to fire chief. He worked as an emergency management advisor for large oil and petrochemical companies such as Aramco and SABIC before moving into healthcare administration, where he managed emergency departments, ICUs and trauma services.

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Diego Perilla, FACHE

Diego Perilla

February 2020

According to Wellington Regional Medical Center (WRMC) Associate Administrator Diego Perilla, one of the keys to being successful in the healthcare field is to never stop learning. While participating in the Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS) COO Development Program, he also oversees hospital operations at Wellington, supporting 10 departments throughout the hospital including procedural areas, ancillary services and clinical support areas.

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Haroula Protopapadakis Norden, FACHE

Haroula Protopapadakis Norden

January 2020

ACHE of South Florida (ACHE-FL) is the local chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). ACHE’s mission is to improve healthcare delivery by providing members with access to educational, networking and career development activities.

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Scott Singer, FACHE

Scott Singer

December 2019

With healthcare always evolving, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. And one of the best ways to do this is to have a network of colleagues in different areas of the industry that can offer information and advice.

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Heather Havericak, FACHE

Heather Havericak

November 2019

Heather Havericak’s health care journey started at the age of 12, when her mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 head and neck cancer. Though she had originally planned to go into elementary education as a college freshman, she soon changed her major to nursing, and began working her way up the ranks as a nurse while earning more advanced degrees.

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Zunner E. Soliz, CPA, FACHE

Zunner Soliz

October 2019

Sometimes the best way to advance in a career is to follow in the steps of those who are successful in the field. Zunner E. Soliz, CPA, FACHE, manager of accounting services at Broward Health, first joined the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) after realizing that her company’s CEO was a Fellow; since then, she has continued to take advantage of the mentoring services provided by the organization.

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Jenna Merlucci

Jenna Merlucci

August 2019

One of the most unique and challenging facets of healthcare is that it is every-changing, which means that healthcare administrators need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and news affecting the industry. One of the ways in which to do this is through the South Florida Healthcare Executives Forum (SFHEF), which provides a wide range of educational opportunities to its members.

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Madison Workman

Madison Workman

July 2019

When opportunity knocks in the healthcare realm, you have to be ready. And one of the best ways to be prepared is to establish connections in the industry who already know your skills and work ethic.

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Geness LeBron Bump

Geness LeBron Bump

June 2019

When opportunity knocks in the healthcare realm, you have to be ready. And one of the best ways to be prepared is to establish conIn her role as the physician liaison at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, which is part of Tenet Health, Geness LeBron Bump understands the importance of connecting with leaders in the healthcare field. Not only does she work with both physicians and the executive team at the hospital to improve operability, but she also uses their input to help educate the community about Tenet’s service lines.

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Simone Fearon, MD

Simone Fearon

May 2019

The South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, Inc. (SFHEF) is an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. While its members come from many different backgrounds, board member-at-large Simone Fearon, MD, would like to see more participation from physicians, whom she believes could benefit from the support that the group offers.

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Lincoln Mendez

Lincoln Mendez

April 2019

The South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, Inc. (SFHEF) is an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. While its members come from many different backgrounds, board member-at-large Simone Fearon, MD, would like to see more participation from physicians, whom she believes could benefit from the support that the group offers.

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Aurelio Fernandez, III, FACHE

Aurelio Fernandez III

March 2019

For the past 43 years, Aurelio Fernandez III, FACHE, has worked in healthcare in the South Florida area, spending the past 12 years with Memorial Healthcare System (MHS), and serving as its president and chief executive officer for the past three years.The system includes Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar, Memorial Hospital Pembroke and Memorial Manor nursing home.

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Roy Hawkins, Jr., FACHE

Roy Hawkins

January 2019

Roy Hawkins, Jr. became CEO of Jackson North Medical Center in September of 2017. A Miami native, his healthcare experience includes working for the Department of Veterans Affairs before transitioning to HCA in Richmond, VA where he served as chief operations officer.

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Jonathan Turton, FACHE

Jonathan Turton

December 2018

A seasoned healthcare professional with more than 25 years of experience leading large hospitals, Jonathan Turton joined Broward Health Medical Center in September 2018 as chief executive officer. In this role, he oversees the overall administration and management of the 716-bed acute care hospital, trauma center and related operations.

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Leah A. Carpenter

Leah Carpenter

November 2018

Leah Carpenter’s career spans over thirty years in healthcare with exceptional leadership experience in a variety of healthcare settings. She has been part of the Memorial Healthcare System for the past fourteen years. Leah joined the Memorial Healthcare System in 2002 as the Chief Nursing Officer of Memorial Hospital Pembroke and was appointed as the Chief Nursing Officer of Memorial Hospital Miramar in 2004 where she played an integral part in the design, construction and opening of this new facility.

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Jonathan E. Watkins, FACHE

Jonathan Watkins

October 2018

Jonathan E. Watkins is an accomplished healthcare professional who began his leadership career in Memphis, TN with the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare system. There he quickly earned the respect and support of peers, physicians, and the system’s senior executives, and in 2013 was named Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of Methodist North Hospital. In 2016 he joined Kaiser Permanente as the Chief Operating Officer of Northern California’s Central Valley Service Area. There he directed and coordinated the day-to-day operations of the area’s hospitals before moving back to the southeast where he currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Broward Health’s Imperial Point Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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Elizabeth Paine

Elizabeth Paine

September 2018

Elizabeth Paine, MS, MBA, is an assistant administrator at Wellington Regional Medical Center. In this role, Paine works closely with the chief executive officer and the chief operating officer in the planning, coordination and supervision of hospital expansion and renovation projects and assists in the daily operations of the facility.

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Ashley Vertuno, FACHE

Ashley Vertuno

August 2018

Ashely Vertuno is the Chief Operating Officer at Westside Regional Medical Center, East Florida Division with HCA since October 2017. She is responsible for overseeing the operations of the facility including a $85M,72 private bed tower construction project. She formally was at Desert Regional Medical Center, a for-profit Tenet facility in Palm Springs, CA as Associate Administrator. Her primary responsibilities included oversight of the orthopedic and neuroscience service lines, robotics service line, surgical clinical excellence, investor owned surgical panel (21 surgeons), facilities management, facility physician contract negotiations, capital construction oversight- approx. $52M in 2 years, food and nutrition and environmental services..

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Kenneth C. Wong

Kenneth Wong

June 2018

I was first introduced to SFHEF and ACHE in 2014, when I was invited to serve on a panel to discuss the importance of patient segmentation in healthcare marketing. Since then, I have remained a strong supporter of SFHEF’s mission and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2018, tasked with planning the educational events for the chapter. This exciting role allows me to highlight “hot topics” in healthcare, recruit experts to address those topics, and share that knowledge with our members. As someone who loves learning and connecting people, I truly enjoy this responsibility and am grateful for this opportunity.

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Allyssa K. Tobitt

Allyssa Tobitt

May 2018

Allyssa Tobitt is the Assistant Vice President of Operations of Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, a 407-bed acute care facility of HCA East Florida. As Assistant Vice President of Operations, Tobitt leads process improvement and special projects in support of the Chief Operating Officer for all Ancillary, Support and Peri-Operative services.

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Urmala Roopnarinesingh

Urmala Roopnarinesingh

April 2018

Urmala Roopnarinesingh currently serves as the Program/Faculty Development Chair for the University of Phoenix, School of Health Services Administration. In her role she is responsible for supervising faculty, faculty development, student engagement and numerous other activities related to the delivery of quality education. Prior to accepting this position she instructed Health Administration courses for Keiser University. Her previous career expertise includes 10 years as brand manager for a major pharmaceutical distribution corporation in the Caribbean.

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Haroula Protopapadakis Norden, FACHE

Haroula Protopapadakis

March 2018

Haroula Protopapadakis was born and raised in South Florida. Growing up her mother worked in healthcare, and she always wanted to emulate that and also have a career in healthcare. Haroula attended Nova Southeastern University where she received a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare. Haroula is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, MD, FACHE

Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes

February 2018

Dr. Vasiliu-Feltes joined MEDNAX National Medical Group in 2016 as VP of Quality and Safety to lead all clinical multi-specialty quality and safety initiatives, as well as to facilitate the design and implementation of value based payment models. She also provides oversight for all research, education, and innovation activities that fall under the auspices of the MEDNAX Center for Research, Education, Quality and Safety. After receiving her medical degree in Europe, she completed her post-graduate residency and fellowship training at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2003, and earned her Executive Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Miami in 2011.

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Adrian Parker, FACHE

Ingrid Adrian Parker

January 2018

Adrian Parker, director of business physician development and strategic planning for Jackson North Medical Center, part of Jackson Health System, takes over the reigns as president of the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum, Inc. (SFHEF). The organization serves as a primary resource for education to local healthcare business professionals, offering quality opportunities for continuing education, supporting learning efforts of membership across the span of their careers.

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