DFWHC is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees comprised of hospital Chief Executive Officers or Chief Operating Officers. Voting members hold annual elections to fill vacant positions. A newly elected member serves a three-year term. The Board is authorized, via bylaws, the discretion of selecting two additional ex-officio, non-voting members to serve for a one-year term to provide specific expertise.
Brett D. Lee serves as the CEO of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lake Pointe in Rowlett, Texas. Lee spent a majority of his career in pediatric healthcare, serving in executive roles at four of the nation’s largest children’s hospitals. He is the author of the bestselling book “Growing Leaders in Healthcare: Lessons From the Corporate World,” and was honored as the national young healthcare executive of the year by the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Lillie Biggins, RN, FACHE, became president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth in 2012. She joined Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth in 1997 as vice president of operations, overseeing Emergency Services, Trauma Services and Restorative Services. Prior to joining Texas Health Resources, Biggins held executive and clinical leadership positions at HCA Plaza Medical Center, JPS Health Network and Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Scott Peek became COO of Baylor University Medical Center in 2016. He had been president of Baylor Medical Center at McKinney since 2011. Prior to joining Baylor McKinney, Peek served as COO at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine. Peek has been with Baylor Health Care System since 2001, serving as president of Baylor Specialty Hospital and Our Children’s House at Baylor. In 2009, Peek was chosen as “Young Healthcare Executive of the Year” by the DFW Hospital Council. The annual award honors young professionals who display key abilities of future healthcare leaders.
David Berry serves as President, System Clinical Operations at Children’s Health. He began his new role in April, 2016. David is an accomplished hospital executive with extensive experience in operating pediatric health care organizations. Prior to joining Children’s Health, David served as the senior vice president and COO of Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). He has spent the last 35 years of his career as an executive at two respected children’s hospitals, ACH and University of Wisconsin/American Family Children’s Hospital. David received his Bachelor and Master of Science in Pharmacy degrees from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He is active at the local and national level in organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, Children’s Hospital Association, Ronald McDonald House of Central Arkansas and the Board of the Arkansas Hospital Association.
Jeffrey Cellucci joined Kindred Healthcare’s Hospital Division in 2009, starting in their Executive Fellowship Program in finance and completing hospital operational rotations in the Chicago Market. Jeff held various CEO and leadership roles across Kindred hospitals in the Midwest and Northeastern states. In 2015, Jeff relocated to Texas where he assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer for Kindred’s Dallas/Fort Worth Integrated oversight of the seven Kindred Long Term Acute Care facilities. Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his MBA from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. He was also selected for the Kindred’s Rising Star Program in 2014.
Nancy Cychol joined Cook Children’s in 1984, holding several leadership positions prior to her promotion to president in 2003. Before joining Cook Children’s, she was employed by Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and Children’s Medical Center of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. As president, Cychol oversees operations of the 430-bed medical center and is responsible for more than 3,400 employees across 30 medical specialties and subspecialties. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing and a Master’s degree in administration from Indiana University. She currently serves on the boards of American Heart Association, Cook Children’s Northeast Hospital in Hurst, the Cook Children’s Surgery Center in Plano and LifeGift.
Joseph DeLeon was named president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth in May 2013. He is a former captain of the U.S. Air Force Medical Services Corps and has served in health care management since 1991. DeLeon joined Texas Health Resources in 2005 as vice president of professional services and business development at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. DeLeon served as the chairman of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, chairman of the LifeGift Board of Trustees, vice-chair of the Texas Health Specialty Hospital Board of Directors, chair of the Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Worth Board of Directors and on the Board of Visitors for the AdRan College of Liberal Arts at Texas Christian University.
Clay Franklin took over as CEO of Medical City Fort Worth (formerly Plaza Medical Center) in 2008. His career began early thanks to a University of Oklahoma dean. Franklin, at the time a student, was offered the job of vice president of operations at Hillcrest Health Center in Oklahoma City when the CEO called the Dean of the College of Public Health and asked for the name of the best graduate student. Six months later the CEO resigned, and Franklin became interim CEO. He was soon recruited by HCA to set up a regional service center in Houston to consolidate business functions for 28 HCA hospitals. He went on to become COO at HCA’s CJW Medical Center, a 748-bed hospital in Richmond, Virginia. In 2006, Franklin was named CEO at HCA’S East Houston Medical Center.
Jerri Garison is president of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Plano and division executive for the east region of Baylor Scott & White Health – North Texas. She has been president of Baylor Scott & White – Plano since 2006 and became division executive for the east region in 2011. She previously served at Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie as president beginning in September 2004. Garison received a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a Master in Health Administration from the Medical College of Virginia. She serves on many boards including North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Regional Policy Board for the American Hospital Association, Collin College Foundation and the Russell Creek YMCA.
With more than 20 years of experience in healthcare including serving as COO at Medical City Dallas Hospital, Charles Gressle assumed the role of CEO of Medical City Plano (formerly The Medical Center of Plano) in 2013. Gressle came from HCA’s Continental Division in Denver where he served as the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. Prior to joining the Continental Division, Gressle was the COO at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas. Gressle received his undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MBA degree with highest honors from Wake Forest University.
John Phillips, FACHE, was named president of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center in 2011. He previously served as regional COO of CHRISTUS, St. Michael Health System in Texarkana. Prior to St. Michael, Phillips served as COO for Davis Regional Medical Center in North Carolina and administrator of Eastland Memorial Hospital in Eastland, Texas. Phillips earned a master of business administration degree from Hardin-Simmons University and a master of health care administration degree from Trinity University. Phillips has served with the Texas Hospital Association, the American Heart Association and as adjunct faculty at Texas A&M University’s Texas College of Business.
Bill Whitman attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he received his Bachelor of Arts, Biology. He received his Master of Science, Health Care Administration at Trinity University in San Antonio. Bill performed his administrative residency at Roanoke Memorial Hospitals in Virginia. He joined Harris Methodist Health System in 1981, working as an executive vice president throughout the decade. In 1995, he became Executive Vice President/Quality Integration/President of Harris Methodist Health, Inc. He transitioned in 1997 to Texas Health Management Services, Inc., where he was an executive vice president and president. Bill joined JPS Health Network in 2008 as a healthcare consultant and in 2009 was hired as executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Frederick Cerise, MD came to Parkland Health & Hospital System in 2014 with years of experience as a health care administrator, medical school faculty member and physician. He served as associate dean for clinical affairs at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans School of Medicine. From 2007-2012 Dr. Cerise was vice president for Health Affairs and Medical Education of the Louisiana State University System. Prior to that, he was secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals from 2004-2007. Dr. Cerise began his career at the Earl K. Long Medical Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Between 1991-2004, he advanced from the role of assistant program director and faculty member to medical director and ultimately chief executive officer. Dr. Cerise holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and earned his medical degree at Louisiana State University.
Robert Walker joined the administrative staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in 1979. He was named executive vice president and administrator in 1989. Robert’s responsibilities include management of the day-to-day operations of the hospital to ensure that the highest degree of medical care is provided to our patients. Robert is a native of Garland, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from East Texas University and his Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Bob is a 33° Scottish Rite Mason and holds fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Clint Abernathy was named president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance in 2015. He joined Texas Health Alliance in 2012 and played a major role in efforts to open the hospital. Before joining Texas Health Alliance, Abernathy served as administrative director of operations and clinical excellence for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. He also served as the hospital’s director of performance and productivity from 2007-2011. Abernathy received his bachelor’s degree in biology from University of Dallas and a master’s degree in health care management from Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. In 2016, he was chosen as “Young Healthcare Executive of the Year” by the DFW Hospital Council.