The Brooks College of Health Dean's Council is established for those who are concerned about health to collectively work for quality health educational programs. Particularly at a time of great challenge and unprecedented change, it is essential that those in the health care industry and the business community establish ways of working together to reduce costs of medical and health care and continually improve the quality of education for future health care professionals.
Learn more about our council members by clicking on their name.
Scot N. Ackerman, M.D., is a board-certified Radiation Oncologist with more than 25 years experience. He is the Medical Director of First Coast Oncology with locations in Jacksonville and Fernandina Beach. A recognized expert in high-dose-rate brachytherapy, Ackerman has also presented numerous papers on clinical research. He is a graduate of Tulane University and completed his residency at Columbia University. He is an active member of the Jewish community, currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Jacksonville Jewish Federation and is the President of Etz Chaim Synagogue. Ackerman is dedicated to the cancer community and has served on the local, state and national board of directors for the American Cancer Society. He has received numerous awards including the Jacksonville Business Journal’s Super Physician Award, the One Jax Silver Medallion Humanitarian Award, the Rotary Club of Mandarin Businessman of the Year Award and the American Cancer Society Laureate Award. He resides in San Marco with his wife and three children.
Russell E. Armistead has broad experience in academic health center and medical school administration and an extensive history with the University of Florida and UF Health. Armistead is a Virginia native and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Wake Forest University. Armistead began his career as a member of the audit staff at Ernst & Young in Winston-Salem. He served 24 years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, 14 of those as vice president for Health Services Administration. From 2000-2004, he was president of Armistead Consulting, LLC, a North Carolina firm that provided management and consulting services to academic health centers, hospitals and other health care organizations. He served dual roles at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, as interim executive director of MCO hospitals and as vice president for finance and chief financial officer/treasurer. From 2004 to 2013, he served as associate vice president of the UF Health Science Center’s Office of Finance and Planning.
Josh Ashby is responsible for managing the operations of Fleet Landing. Before joining the community’s management team more than five years ago, Josh earned a bachelor of science of health degree in ‘05, as well as a master of business administration in ‘09 from the University of North Florida. He previously served as Fleet Landing’s Director of Health Care Services from 2005-2009 and then served as Chief Operating Officer before becoming Chief Executive Officer in September 2010. Josh is licensed by the State of Florida as a nursing home administrator and is an approved preceptor. He currently is involved with LeadingAge Florida in advocating for sound public policy for the field of aging services. Ashby also served on the Board for the Beaches Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville, the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville and recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2012.
Doug Baer has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Brooks Rehabilitation, Inc. since Oct. 1, 2002. He received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Florida In 1983. From 1983 to 1991, Doug was employed as an auditor by KPMG Peat Marwick servicing various healthcare clients. He joined the hospital holding company, then known as Health South, Inc. in May 1991 as Vice President/Corporate Controller. In 1995, Doug was promoted to Chief Financial Officer. He had this position for six years until he became Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer in June 2001. Doug is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the United Way Campaign Cabinet, as well as several other civic organizations in the community. He served as Chair of UNF Brooks College of Health Dean’s Council from 2010-2012.
Charles E. Bell Sr. has more than 35 years of healthcare communications expertise with hardware and software design, branding and distribution of healthcare products. In the early 1980s, he founded Wescom as a division of Westside Communications, Inc. and was Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Vice President of Operations. Bell introduced the first Ethernet TCP/IP Network-based nurse call system and led the development team for the infrared technology utilized by many facets of the Company’s products today. In 2006, Bell rebranded Wescom as Intego Systems, Inc. where he co-invented several patented location technologies and began the introduction of the ProNet.net Nurse Call Network which is today the most advanced nurse call system on the market. In February 2012, Bell joined Critical Alerts Systems, as an equity partner in the new role of Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer.
Bill Carriere, M.D., is a family physician who has practiced in Jacksonville for more than 35 years. He graduated with honors and special recognition for service to the community from Tulane Medical School and did his residency in family practice at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. Carriere pursued an interest in the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions and became the Medical Director of one of the first accredited alcoholism treatment programs in Florida; subsequently, he led the effort to develop three freestanding addiction treatment hospitals in Florida. His early family business experience combined with a passion for family medicine gave him a rather unique perception of the healthcare industry. He began his practice in 1975, and has built a solo practice into a 45 provider, eight locations primary care group. Carriere also serves in a leadership role at the North East Florida Regional Health Organization.
John T. Casey is a community advocate and healthcare service executive who has been active in healthcare leadership roles for more than 35 years. He retired in 2006 as Chairman and CEO of MedCath, Inc. Since that time, he has remained non-executive Chairman of the Board of Medcath. From 1976 to 1997, Casey served as President and CEO of Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center (Denver); President and CEO of Methodist Health Systems, Inc. (Memphis); Chairman and CEO of The Samaritan Foundation (Phoenix); President and COO of American Medical International, Inc. (Dallas); and Chairman and CEO of InteCare, LLC (Dallas). In 1999, Casey was the Chairman and CEO of Physician Reliance Network, Inc. He also served on the board at Eclipsys Corp. from 2008 until it was sold in September 2010. Casey has a master of science in hospital and health administration from the University of Alabama Birmingham, ‘72 and a bachelor of science in economics from Auburn University ‘67. He served as lieutenant (junior grade) in the U.S. Navy Reserves from ‘67 to ‘69.
Rushab (Ru) Choksi, Pharm.D, is Co-Founder and President of East Coast Institute for Research in Northeast Florida where he presides over a diverse group of physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals certified in clinical research and clinical trials for new medications and new medical devices. With a strong background in clinical research and the pharmaceutical industry, Choksi’s expertise spans a broad range of patients and disease states in various fields including cardiology, pulmonary medicine (focus in PAH), nephrology, hepatology and primary care. Choksi also founded Medimix Specialty Pharmacy, a specialty compounding pharmacy delivering customized medications to patients with unique pharmaceutical needs. Medimix has grown to more than 250 employees, is licensed in 23 states and is one of the only compounding pharmacies in the world currently conducting clinical trials to establish the role of compounds in the management of several common maladies. Choksi was raised in Jacksonville and graduated from Florida A&M University in 1999 where he received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
Yank Coble, M.D., is the former Director and Distinguished Professor of the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy, University of North Florida; and Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Florida. He is past president of The World Medical Association (WMA), American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Dr. Coble serves as Chair of the Healthcare and Bioscience Council of Northeast Florida and the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research and Medicine. He served as Chair of the Physician’s Consortium for Performance Improvement, a Director of the National Quality Forum, a Commissioner of the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and on the Advisory Boards of the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Board of Research!America. Coble obtained his medical degree at Duke University Medical School, his residency at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center and he received a degree in clinical medicine of the tropics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Coble was a practicing endocrinologist in Jacksonville for 35 years.
Dwight Cooper is Co-Founder and CEO of PPR Healthcare Staffing. In 15 years of operation, the company has been named three times by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies and for eight years consecutively among the Top 25 Best Small Companies to Work For in America according to the Great Place to Work Institute. Cooper attributes business success to the organization’s ability to create a culture that attracts the right people and engages their passions in such a way that the organization operates at peak performance. Within their industry, PPR has a reputation of innovation that has allowed PPR to outgrow its market by a multiple of 10 and organically grow eight successful businesses under the PPR umbrella. Cooper serves on several non-profit boards and committees. He graduated from Florida State University in 1988 with a bachelor of science degree in marketing and was selected twice as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2001 and 2002.
Carl Doughty, O.D., began his practice more than 39 years ago as an optometrist. He graduated from Massachusetts College of Optometry (now New England College of Optometry) with a bachelor of science in optometry and a doctorate in optometry. He set up an outreach eye care clinic and served as Clinic Director at Dorchester Neighborhood Health Center. Doughty also graduated from Columbia University with a master’s degree in public health. One of only 12 OD-MPH’s in the country at the time. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force as an optometrist, as well. In the mid-1970s, Doughty moved to Florida where he practiced for 35 years in Brevard County and served as President and Treasurer of the Brevard Optometric Association. In 2006, he received the Local Society Member award from the Florida Optometric Association. Doughty retired from patient care at the end of 2011 and resides in Palm Bay with his wife Cheryl. He has a love for classic cars and is actively involved with Calvary Chapel Church.
Having spent more than 50 years in hospital administration, Marcus E. Drewa, FACHE, has retired, but still remains very much a part of the fabric of Jacksonville’s healthcare industry. Marcus began his career in 1951 in Tyler, TX. at the Medical Center Hospital. He was recently honored by Knapp Memorial Hospital in Weslaco, TX. for having opened the hospital in 1961. His wife was the first patient and had the first baby born there. In 1966, he came to Jacksonville as administrator of Brewster Hospital which became Methodist Medical Center and Foundation. They had the first comprehensive hospice in Florida and the first kidney transplant program in Jacksonville. Methodist merged with UF Health in 1999. Since retiring in 2003 from his position as President Emeritus and Consultant to UF Health Jacksonville, Marcus has been active with his church and in various organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House in Jacksonville, the Children’s Home Society of Florida, and he is the Paul Harris Fellow in the Southside Rotary Club, among others. He has received many honors for his volunteerism.
As Regional Market Vice President for Humana’s North Florida market
operations, and based in Jacksonville, FL, Tracie leads a team focused on
growing and improving quality of care for Humana’s Medicare Advantage
membership. Since her appointment in May
2013, Humana’s MA enrollment has grown from 60,000 to over 80,000 members in
both HMO and PPO products. Her territory
includes the major markets of Daytona, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Pensacola.
Tracie was COO at Miami-based CarePlus since 2009. In this role, she had a
broad range of responsibilities for the statewide Medicare Advantage HMO,
including overseeing member enrollment, provider services, claims, financial
recovery and product development.
worked in the managed care industry for more than 20 years, 16 of which have
been with CarePlus, which was acquired by Humana in 2005. Her diverse
experience ranges from administering CarePlus' primary care network contracts
to starting cost containment and revenue enhancement departments for the health
plan's Medicaid/Long-Term Care/Healthy Kids business, which CarePlus later sold
Tracie earned a
Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Mount Saint Marys
University in Emmitsburg, MD.
Dr. Ann Flipse is a retired Pediatrician and Clinical Instructor. She is a graduate of the University of Texas where she received a bachelor of arts in the Plan II Honors Program. She received her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis and did her pediatric residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Flipse is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. She practiced pediatrics for 13 years in Miami and then taught at the University of Miami, School of Medicine for 20 years where her responsibilities included the development and implementation of a Clinical Skills program and served as the Director of the Professionalism Curriculum for first and second year students. Flipse retired in 2005 and has since moved to Jacksonville where she is involved in UNF in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program and on two community advisory councils.
Cindy Funkhouser is the
President and CEO of the Sulzbacher Center; the largest and most comprehensive
homeless resource provider in Northeast FL.
She has also served as both the Chief Program Officer and the VP of
Health Services at Sulzbacher. Prior to
this she served as the Executive Director of Beaches Emergency Assistance
Ministry in Jacksonville Beach, a faith-based organization that provides
emergency assistance for beaches families in crisis. In her first career, Cindy was a Sales and
Marketing Executive for a Fortune 500 company, Vertis Communications, for over
20 years. Cindy was the co-founder of a
non-profit organization, Positive Kids, Inc. that dealt with bullying and
violence in schools.
Cindy graduated from
Florida State University with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work in
2003. She holds an undergraduate degree
in Psychology from George Mason University.
She was involved with public schools for over 10 years through PTA, SAC
and Coaching. Cindy sat on the Board of Directors for the Sulzbacher Center for
5 years and currently sits on board for the Emergency Services and Homeless
Coalition. She sat on the Beaches Resource Center (Full Service School)
Oversight Committee and on the BRC Foundation for 8 years. She is an Honorary
Life Member of Florida PTA, was named PTA Volunteer of the Year 2002-2003 at
Alimacani Elementary and was the recipient of the 2003 Kessler Mentoring Award.
She has done internships in mental health counseling at Youth Crisis Center and
the Sulzbacher Center for the Homeless.
Debbie Gottlieb is a retired nurse and community advocate who has invested her time and resources in various organizations that meet vital community needs. Her volunteer efforts are directed at the University of North Florida, the Jacksonville Family and Community Services, the Jewish National Fund and St. Vincent’s Health Care Foundation. She created five nursing scholarships at the University of North Florida and built the Debbie Gottlieb Center of Nursing Excellence at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. She and her husband, Mel, also sponsored a special nurses’ recognition program, As co-chair of the St. Vincent’s Foundation DePaul Society, Debbie has raised more than $450,000. This fund has provided such needed programs as those associated with breast health, cancer patient advocacy, mobile diagnostic testing and follow-up care for children and families.
Connie Green is a community advocate in Jacksonville where she takes an active role in providing community service to various local organizations and is currently involved with the Affinity Group for FOCUS Cummer at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. She has a bachelor of arts from the University of Miami and a master of arts, in English literature and American studies from Long Island University, Greenvale, N.Y. Green’s experience includes financial management and as educator. Additional roles of community service she has been affiliated with include the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach, UNF Center for Global Health Caring Community Conferences, City of Neptune Beach - Code Enforcement Board, American Symphony Orchestra League, Leadership Jacksonville, Jacksonville Landmarks Commission, Jacksonville Museum of Science and History Past Board Member, Jacksonville Symphony Association, Board of Trustees and Past President, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Leadership Colorado, Colorado Foundation for Agriculture Board of Directors and Rotary Club of Cedaredge, Colorado, Past President.
Dr. Bob Harmon currently serves as Physician Executive with the Cerner Corporation. Prior to that, he served as CEO of Harmon Health Group and as Director of the Duval County Health Department in Jacksonville from August 2006 through September 2012. He also serves as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Jacksonville and Clinical Professor of Public Health at the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy in the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida. His background includes positions as national medical director for United Health Group; administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Assistant Surgeon General in the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. Harmon served as Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Director of Public Health in Phoenix, Arizona. Harmon received his bachelor and medical degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. He is board certified in preventive medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine. He has authored more than 60 publications dealing with quality improvement, managed care, primary care, public health administration and health policy.
Cory Hodak is a Jacksonville lawyer specializing in civil litigation, previously a registered nurse specializing in intensive care nursing, and lectures as an adjunct professor at UNF’s Brooks College of Health. Hodak received a nursing degree from the University of North Florida ‘86 (summa cum laude) and a law degree with honors from the University of Florida. She has served on numerous legal committees including Chair of The Florida Bar’s Civil Procedure Rules Committee, Chair of the Code of Rules of Evidence Committee, Chair of the Jacksonville Bar’s Professionalism Committee and Governor of the New Lawyer’s Division of the American Trial Lawyer Association. Cory currently serves on The Florida Bar’s Rules of Judicial Administration Committee, is a master in the Chester Bedell Inn of Court, steward of the Jacksonville Community Council and trustee emeritus for the University of Florida College of Law. She has recently joined the Board of the UNF Foundation.
Bruce Jones is the Chief
Executive Officer of LCPS Management, Inc. that owns and manages two premier
continuing care retirement communities, Vicar’s Landing and Glenmoor. Prior to his current role, he served as
Director of Health Services at Vicar’s Landing for over 6 ½ years where he
managed the operations of a health center, assisted living, home health agency,
wellness clinic, and rehabilitation department.
In addition, Bruce worked as a site surveyor for the Commission for the
Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities – Continuing Care Accreditation
Commission (CARF-CCAC) and as Administrator at a free-standing skilled nursing
facility in Gainesville, Florida. Bruce
obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Central
Florida and a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing and General
Management from Rollins College. Bruce
is very active in the community and is the North Region chair for Leading Age
Florida, where he serves on the Board of Directors as the Education Committee
Chair. He is an active Rotarian and
serves as the Webmaster for the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach. He also serves as President of the Florida
Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators and is an active
member of his church, Church of the Redeemer, Anglican.
Walter Jones currently serves as Senior Vice President for Allstate Benefits in Jacksonville. He leads the division’s strategic initiative to increase Allstate’s market presence in large and mega employer account marketplaces. His role at Allstate Benefits is to help large public and private clients look for new and innovative employee benefit solutions to help navigate the challenges and opportunities with healthcare reform. Prior to joining Allstate’s Workplace Division, he served as the Vice President of the Employee Benefits Group at Aon Consulting based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has two decades of experience in the voluntary benefits business. Walter is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a bachelor of science in business administration.
Joyce Kramzer is Senior Vice President of Business Operations at Florida Blue and is responsible for the business strategies and operations of delivery system, service, IT and business process management, as well as the execution of integrated business transformation across these areas. Prior to her current role, Kramzer was Senior Vice President of Delivery System, providing leadership for network management, care management, medical cost management and medical informatics. She was also Vice President of Underwriting with overall responsibility for underwriting and renewing group business. Throughout her career, Joyce has been active in the community as a board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Daniel Foundation and serves on the board of directors of Capital Health Plan, Health Options, Inc. and Florida Health Care Plan. Kramzer is currently Chair of the American Heart Association Board, and Chair for the Go Red for Women movement, and also serves on the Availity board. Kramzer has a bachelor of arts in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Duquesne University.
Tom Nasby is Aetna's Network Market Head for North Florida. Tom and his team manage Aetna's relationship with hospitals, physicians and ancillary providers across 36 counties in North Florida — from Pensacola, east to Jacksonville and south to Palm Coast. Tom has more than 25 years of health care experience working with health care systems and payors in the state of Florida. Tom joined Aetna in August 2005. Tom serves on the Regents advisory council for north/west Florida as well as the north Florida ACHE chapter. He is also active in the community, serving on the board of the American Heart Association and the parish council of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University (Ohio) and dual master degrees in business and health sciences from the University of Florida.
Jim O’Loughlin joined Memorial Hospital in February 2012 as the new President and Chief Executive Officer. He came from the Carolinas Health System in Florence, S.C. where he served as CEO since 2002 and was selected as Chairman of the South Carolina Hospital Association Board of Trustees in 2011. Prior to his employment with Carolinas, O’Loughlin was CEO of Gadsden Regional Medical Center in Gadsden, Ala. and was President and CEO of Presbyterian Hospital in Oklahoma. He also served as CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital in Oklahoma and Chief Operating Officer of Tallahassee Community Hospital in Florida. Jim has an undergraduate degree from Springfield College, a master of science degree from the University of South Carolina, a master of business administration from Nova University and a doctorate from Florida State University. He is a civic leader; having served on numerous boards, and has been a long-time supporter of many charities including United Way, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Donna Orender is CEO of Orender Unlimited, a consulting firm whose competencies include providing sales, marketing, media and diversity strategies. She most recently served six years as President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Her responsibilities included the oversight of all league operations Including both business and competitive aspects of this complex organization. Donna’s business career began after playing three years in the Women’s Professional Basketball League. She has been recognized by Fox Sports as one of the Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Sports. She serves on the boards of the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, The V Foundation for Cancer Research, is Co-Chair of the UJA Sports for Youth Initiative and Co-Chair of the Board of W.O.M.E.N., a mentoring organization. Donna is a graduate of Queens College in New York with a degree in psychology and pursued graduate studies in social work at Adelphi University where she was recently awarded an honorary doctorate. She grew up in Long Island, N.Y. and was a five-sport athlete in high school, and an All-American basketball player In college.
Shyam Paryani is the Director of the Florida Radiation Oncology Group (FROG). He is board certified in radiation oncology and was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Radiation Oncology in 2000. He is an Assistant Professor of Oncology at Mayo Clinic, and is involved in the Baptist Health Foundation. Paryani received a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and a master of science in nuclear engineering/radiation physics from the University of Florida. Continuing his education, he received his doctorate of medicine from the University of Florida, and in 2002, he received a master of health administration from University of North Florida. Paryani is actively involved in the Jacksonville community. He is a member of the Duval County Medical Society, the former President (Duval unit) of the American Cancer Society and has served on many boards.
Paul A. Pitel, M.D., serves as the Associate Chief Executive of the Practice - Florida and Chair, Department of Pediatrics of Nemours Children’s Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. A graduate of Brown University and the Brown Medical School, he has written and lectured extensively in his field. Dr. Pitel works on patient safety and quality issues for Nemours Florida. Dr. Pitel is the lead statewide physician champion for Nemours Florida safety work and the Caring Communication program. Pitel currently serves as a Member of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, American Society for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, American Cancer Society, Duval County Medical Society, and as a full member of the Children’s Oncology Group. He is board certified with the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Pediatrics/Hematology-Oncology. He chairs the Governor’s Advisory Council on Genetics and Newborn Screening in Florida, and he also serves on several local charitable boards.
Donnie Romine is St. Vincent’s Executive Vice President and System Chief Operating Officer where he has served in this position since May 2012. He has more than 26 years in hospital leadership. Donnie came to Jacksonville in November 2010 as President of St. Vincent’s Medical Center — Southside (formerly St. Luke’s Hospital). Prior to that he was Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at hospitals in Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Nevada. Donnie has BBA in Accounting from the University of North Florida and an MBA in Management from the University of Texas, Permian Basin. He is very active and involved in the local community and has served on a number of boards. Donnie is married with two daughters.
Mike Shumer is a successful healthcare innovator, entrepreneur, and an expert about the role of innovation and the future of healthcare. Mike has worked over the last 25 years to enhance the efficient delivery of healthcare to increase quality and lower costs. Mike is CEO of Crucial Care, a Joint Commission Accredited Emergency Medicine facility that works with hospitals to redefine the efficient delivery of high quality Emergency Medicine. Crucial Care’s innovative model leverages high quality medical care and the latest technology to reduce the need for hospitalization and to significantly lower healthcare costs. Mike is passionate about his philanthropic activities, is active in the non-profit community, and serves on the board at Jacksonville Country Day School and the Jacksonville Jewish Federation. Mike holds a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida and an MBA in Technology Management. The center of Mike’s world is his family: wife Tammy and two sons Isaac and Aaron. Mike lives in Jacksonville Beach where he enjoys outdoors activities and sharing time with his family.
Russ Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of Availity, the industry leader in connecting physicians, hospitals, health plans and their stakeholders through streamlining the automated delivery of business and clinical information. He has served in this role since March 2012. Previously, he was Availity’s President and Chief Operating Officer, a position he held since joining the company in 2008. Thomas brings a strong background in healthcare technology and clinical information solutions to Availity. Prior to joining Availity, Thomas was the Chief Executive Officer of Gold Standard, an industry leader in drug information databases and clinical knowledge solutions. Thomas is active in industry and philanthropic organizations, including serving as a founding board member of the Tampa Bay Regional Health Information Organization, a community-based public/private regional health information network. He was also a founding board member and past chairman of Hillsborough Kids, Inc. He is active with United Way of Northeast Florida. Russ earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife Claudia and their two children.
After serving as the Administrator of Baptist Medical Center Downtown since 1998, John Wilbanks was appointed as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2004. John joined Baptist as VP of Professional Services in 1986 and was promoted to a Sr. VP in 1990, a position he held with Baptist Medical Center, Baptist St. Vincent’s and now Baptist Health. John holds a bachelor’s degree from Pan American University in Edinburg, TX, where he received the Wall Street Journal Award and the Lou Hassell Award as Outstanding Scholar Athlete. He earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia before beginning his healthcare career at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta, GA. John serves on the Board of Directors of The Sulzbacher Center and is past Chair of its Health Services Committee. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Duval Regional YMCA, the Board of Governors of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, and the Campaign Cabinet of the United Way of Northeast Florida. He served on the Board of the Florida Hospital Association from 2003-2007, is a past President of the Duval County Unit of the American Cancer Society. He also served on the Board of the South Jacksonville Club of Rotary International, and volunteered with the Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. John is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the 1993 Leadership Jacksonville class. A current passion is his role in his church, MissionWay Community Church.
Upcoming dates for the Dean's Council Meetings
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Please note that all meetings will begin at 5:30 P.M. and will be held at:
UNF Alumni Hall
First Floor, Conference Room
4804 Kernan Blvd S.
Jacksonville, FL 32224
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