Marjorie Bessel, MD

Marjorie Bessel, MD is the chief clinical officer at Banner Health. She began her journey with Banner in 2006 and has served in progressive physician leadership positions. She initially served as chief medical officer for several hospitals, then moved into the Arizona Division chief medical officer role, before accepting Vice President role for Continuum Management/Clinical Integration and then Vice President/Chief Medical Officer for Community Delivery.

Her clinical background is as a hospitalist and she maintains board certification and active staff privileges. She is also passionate around empowerment of patients through transparency of individual’s clinical information, utilization of technology and the well-being of physicians and APP’s.  Dr. Bessel earned a B.S. in biology, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University and she attended Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois, where she was presented with the James B. Herrick award for most outstanding performance in internal medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Rush- Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago and was honored by continuing for an additional year in the capacity as Chief Resident.

She is married to Scott Wyant, DPM and enjoys running, travel, beach vacations and dog rescue activities.

Bio posted January 2021

2021 Executive Outlook: Chief Clinical Officers/ Chief Physician Executives

Chief Clinical Officers & Chief Physician Executives have emerged as the public face of the U.S. health system during the ...
Read More

Managing Health and Care Across the Continuum – bios

The 23rd Annual Spring Conference "Managing Health and Care Across the Continuum" Biographies Parag Agnihotri, MD Medical Director Continuum of ...
Read More

2016 The 23rd Annual Spring Conference

23rd Annual Spring Conference Managing Health and Care Across the Continuum WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2016 10 am Conference Registration Desk ...
Read More
      Cristy Garcia-Thomas

      Cristy Garcia-Thomas

      Cristy is the Chief External Affairs Officer at Advocate Aurora Health. In this role, she is responsible for shaping the overall experience for patients, team members and community partners in a broad and strategic way. With a broad landscape to influence, she oversees diversity and inclusion, community relations, charitable giving through our foundation, community health and community programs at Advocate Aurora Health, the 9thlargest health system in the United States.

      A leader at Aurora Health Care since 2011, she has more than 25 years of industry experience including leadership roles as the president and CEO of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF). Before joining UPAF, she was publisher and vice president of the Specialty Media Division of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and worked for The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle.

      Cristy currently serves on the board of directors for Delta Dental, Chicago United, Greater Milwaukee Committee, the United Community Center and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha. She served as campaign co-chair for the 2018 United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha. She is a member of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives and TEMPO Milwaukee. Cristy has served on the boards of Aurora Health Care and Girl Scouts and is a past board chair of TEMPO Milwaukee.

      She has received numerous awards and recognition, including The Business Journal’s 40 under 40 Award, Women of Influence, 2004 Hispanic Professional of the Year by HPGM and TEMPO Milwaukee’s Mentor Award in 2017.

      Cristy holds a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and has completed executive-level programs at Northwestern University and Harvard Business School.


      Posted February 2020
          Alisahah Cole MD

          Alisahah Cole, MD

          System Vice President, Population Health Innovation and Policy, CommonSpirit Health

          Personal Background

          A musician, a physician, a wife and mother, a volunteer, a leader, are just a few descriptions to use during introductions. Above all, Dr. Cole is highly passionate about health equity, advocating that everyone should have the ability to achieve great health, no matter what they look like, how much money they make, or where they come from.

          Dr. Cole was born in Dayton, Ohio, where she lived with her mother.  She started playing classical piano at the age of 5, and always knew she wanted to be a doctor.  Her grandmother played an integral role in her life, instilling in her that everyone deserved grace and kindness.

          Education and Professional Development

          Dr. Cole received her undergraduate degrees in Music and Biology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  She graduated with her medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, OH, where she was a National Health Service Corp Scholar.  Since serving the underserved had always been a priority, she completed her residency in Family Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, where she was part of the Urban Track program.  During that time, she received the Bryant L. Galusha Intern of the Year Award and served as Co-Chief Resident her final year.

          After completing residency, she worked in Union, SC for 4 years, where under her leadership as Medical Director, designated her office as a rural health clinic.  She also served as the Medical Director for Interim Healthcare, a home health/hospice company during this time.  She returned to Charlotte in 2011, becoming the faculty and Site Director of the Urban Track, where she trained. She completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 2012, after which she was quickly promoted to Residency Director in 2013. Under her leadership as Residency Director, she expanded the Urban Track Program, successfully merged another Family Medicine Residency program to prevent it from closing in Monroe, NC, and transformed the curriculum to focus on population health.   In 2015, she became Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, responsible for the daily operations of the department, as well as the academic and research components.  In 2016, she became the first Vice President, System Medical Director of Community Health for Carolinas HealthCare System/Atrium Health, with responsibilities to develop and implement a community health strategy over multiple counties in NC, SC, and GA.  In 2018, She was promoted to Chief Community Impact Officer of Atrium Health, with expanding responsibilities over Health Equity, Community Health, Environmental Sustainability, Mobile Medicine, and Faith Community Health Ministry. She was named as Interim Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Atrium Health in 2019.  Most recently, she joined CommonSpirit Health as the first System Vice President of Population Health Innovation and Policy.

          Community Involvement

          Dr. Cole grew up in a family that believed in giving back to the community and that has been a tremendous part of her life’s work.  She is a practicing physician and has served in multiple volunteer roles including Medical Director at Bethesda Clinic, a low-cost care option serving primarily immigrants and the Team Physician for multiple high school teams over the years.   She has been a consistent volunteer, along with her family, with numerous non-profit agencies, including her church.  She also has a passion about inter-disciplinary medical education, teaching a wide range of learners from residents, medical and pharmacy students, ACP’s, and behavioral health interns, to name a few.


          Dr. Cole has received numerous awards for her commitment to clinical excellence, medical education, community health, and health equity.  Among these honors are:

          ·       Care Ring-Maribelle Connerat Award

          ·       Greater Charlotte Healthcare Executives Group Inaugural Equity of Care Physician Award

          ·       Society of Teachers of Family Medicine President’s Award

          ·       University of Chapel Hill Statewide Dept. of Family Medicine David S. Citron Award

          ·       Wallace Thomson Hospital Excellence in Patient Care Award

          ·       National Health Service Corp Scholar



          In addition to her various professional and philanthropic positions, she has served or is currently affiliated with the following organizations:

          ·       Board of Directors of Public Health Foundation

          ·       Board of Directors American Hospital Association Center for Innovation

          ·       Board of Directors American Hospital Association Health, Research, and Education Trust

          ·       Diversity Leadership Committee, American Heart Association

          ·       Board of Directors-Chair, One Charlotte Health Alliance

          ·       Board of Directors Mecklenburg County Medic

          ·       Board of Directors Care Ring

          ·       Board of Directors Charlotte Regional Business Alliance Foundation

          ·       Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, Housing Committee

          ·       Charlotte 250 Executive Leadership Council

          ·       Healthy North Carolina 2030 Task Force

          ·       North Carolina Healthy Opportunities Task Force

          ·       Family Medicine for America’s Health, Young Leaders Insight Group

          ·       University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Kenan Scholar’s Program

          ·       American Academy of Family Physicians

          ·       North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians

          ·       American Medical Association

          ·       Association of Community Health Improvement

          ·       Society of Teachers in Family Medicine, Nominating and GME Committees

          ·       Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Family Medicine Leadership Committee

          Articles and Publications 



          Bio updated September 2020

          2020 Executive Outlook: Chief Community Health Officers

          Hospitals are forming innovative partnerships with local communities, social service agencies, neighborhood groups and public health agencies – are you? ...
          Read More


              Carol Paret

              Carol Paret

              Carol Paret is a Senior Vice President and Chief Community Health Officer for the Memorial Hermann Health System. She oversees Memorial Hermann’s community focused initiatives including ten school based health centers, three dental vans, Neighborhood Health Centers, an extensive navigation function, and a 24-hour nurse triage service. In addition to working with communities to improve health, efforts currently focus around nutrition, food insecurity, Exercise as Medicine, psychological well-being and access.

              Her career began with a community health planning focus and for the past thirty-five years has held various roles with Memorial Hermann.

              She serves on several boards working at both the local and state level to improve health and health policy.


              Posted February 2020
                  Bechara Choucair MD

                  Bechara Choucair, MD

                  Bechara Choucair, MD, is senior vice president and chief community health officer at Kaiser Permanente. He oversees the organization’s national community health efforts to improve conditions for health and equity for Kaiser Permanente’s 12.2 million members and the 68 million people who live in the communities it serves. In his role, Dr. Choucair oversees the organization’s community health investments, including philanthropic giving activities, with a particular focus on addressing social needs, such as food, housing, transportation and social connection, that drive health. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Choucair was the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health for five years before serving as senior vice president of Safety Net and Community Health at Trinity Health. In 2019, Dr. Choucair was named to Modern Healthcare’s list of the 50 Most Influential Health Executives in the U.S., and the publication’s list of 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.


                  Posted February 2020

                      Pablo Bravo

                      Pablo Bravo is the System Vice President for Community Health at CommonSpirit Health™ located in San Francisco.

                      He is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the community health department, which includes prevention programs, community benefit reporting, community health needs assessments, community and social innovation partnership grants, community investments, international community health, partnerships with community organizations, foundations, local, state, and federal agencies in support of Dignity Health’s mission, values and strategic goals. The Vice President of Community Health is also responsible for developing policy and providing strategic alignment and facilitation of CommonSpirit Health’s community health. Pablo Bravo has been with CommonSpirit Health for 16 years. During this time he has grown the community investment program from $35 million to $140 million, expanded the grants program to include a new social innovation partnership grants program, aligned and integrate community health with operations, innovations, philanthropy, care coordination, case management, emergency department, and Population Health Management. He has also taken over the leadership of the Global Mission Program.

                      Pablo serves on Boards including Dignity Health Medical Foundation, Tehama ACH Investment Program, Religious Community Investment Fund, San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund, Healthcare Anchor Network, and the Dominican San Rafael’s Socially Responsible Committee. Strengths: collaborative; team development; project leadership; executive coaching; multi industry background, bilingual, international speaker.

                      Prior to Dignity Health, Pablo held the position of Chief Financial Officer for Baker Places, Inc., a large non-profit, community-based organization. Before this, he was the Fiscal and Operations Director for the City and County of San Francisco Department of Mental Health Children Services and Managed Care. He holds a Master’s in Public Health from the University of San Francisco. Pablo is well-regarded in the local non-profit community and has a good understanding of community-building. His vision for Community Health includes expanding Dignity Health community partnerships as a way to address the health needs of low-income communities.

                      Bio updated September 2020

                      2020 Executive Outlook: Chief Community Health Officers

                      Hospitals are forming innovative partnerships with local communities, social service agencies, neighborhood groups and public health agencies – are you? ...
                      Read More
                          Lawrence "Rusty" Hofmann, MD

                          Lawrence “Rusty” Hofmann, MD

                          Dr. Lawrence “Rusty” Hofmann is an actively practicing physician and Professor at Stanford
                          School of Medicine, Chief of Interventional Radiology as well as the Medical Director of the
                          Cath Lab at Stanford University Medical Center, and the Medical Director of Digital Health at
                          Stanford Health Care. Additionally he is the Co-Founder of Grand Rounds, Inc and sits on the board.

                          Dr. Hofmann has devoted his career to providing state-of-the-art care to patients at either Johns Hopkins, where he practiced for 10 years, or Stanford, where he practiced for 12 years. He has published over 100 scientific articles on minimally invasive treatment of blood clots (DVT) and cancer.

                          He has always had in interest in innovation. He holds two patents, has worked as a consultant for numerous medical device companies, both start-ups and large companies, and is currently the Global-Principal Investigator for the first clinical trial testing a venous stent.

                              Christine Way

                              Christine Way

                              A seasoned technology executive with over 20 years of software engineering experience across a wide range of industries — healthcare, retail, telecommunications and professional services — Christine is currently the Vice President of Ascension Technologies’ Enterprise and Experience Products overseeing custom development, customer contact center, revenue cycle and back office systems.  Additionally, Christine has responsibility for Ascension Technologies’ agile transformation.

                              Prior to Ascension Christine was vice-president of Patience Experience and Home Delivery Pharmacy software engineering at Express Scripts.  In this role she led teams to transform the overall patient experience through technology and agile adoption.  The most significant were the cultural changes to embrace empowerment through agile adoption which led to greater productivity for the teams.

                              Prior to Express Scripts Christine spent several years at Accenture providing professional services and worked in the non-profit sector at a small high school in Eastern Kentucky.

                              Christine’s core philosophy is to put the right people in the right roles and help them to realize their full potential.  “It is only through our people that we are successful.”

                              Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and Accounting from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX and an MBA from University of Missouri, St. Louis. She is a native St. Louisan and lives there today with her husband, Andy and son, Drew.


                              Updated February 2019
                                  Jeff Johnson of Banner Health

                                  Jeff Johnson

                                  Jeff Johnson serves as Banner Health’s Vice President of Innovation and Digital Business. His focus is developing digital strategy and purposeful innovation to realize Banner’s mission to “Make healthcare easier, so life can be better.”

                                  Jeff leads Banner’s Digital Business Group to drive customer-centric healthcare on three fronts – the digital consumer experience, the digitally engaged patient, and the digital workforce. Banner’s innovative work with conversational chatbots, virtual waiting room experiences, and AI supported digital triage have received industry recognition and are part of a Banner’s broader portfolio of digital services including digital therapeutics, mobile apps, voice assistants and many other products designed with and for the customer.

                                  Prior to joining Banner, Jeff has served as CEO at ZAACT Consulting in Salt Lake City and SVP of Strategy at Datu Health, a digital health startup in Boulder, CO. Prior to that Jeff was AVP, eBusiness at Intermountain Healthcare. Jeff holds a J.D. and B.A. in American Studies from Brigham Young University.

                                  Bio updated November 2020
                                      San Banerjee of Texas Health Resources

                                      San Banerjee

                                      San Banerjee is VP Digital Experience for Texas Health Resources and leads the Digital Health experience for the health system, its subsidiaries and joint ventures. He has more than 20 years of experience in digital transformation, information systems delivery, as well as building and launching new innovative products that influence customer experience. Prior to Texas Health he served as the head of Consumer Digital Solutions of Humana where he led the execution of Humana’s digital strategy through innovation and creating cross-channel digital capabilities/experiences with consumers, providers, agents/brokers and associates. Under his leadership, Humana launched its first health care rewards program for Medicare and group members with more than a million members on the platform. He also led a major initiative to drive e-adoption among prospects and members by digitizing plan, insurance and care documents, which resulted in significant operating expense savings.

                                      San has many years of experience in Financial services prior to Humana where he has worked for Barclays Bank, SunGard Financial Systems, InfoSys and Goldman Sachs.

                                      San holds a Bachelor of Computer Science Engineering, as well as a Master of Business Administration with specialization in marketing from Southern Methodist University. He is also a certified consumer experience professional (CXP) and SAFe® Agilist. San has penned several research papers, and has even filed a few patents on mobile technology, digital channel and payments.


                                      Updated November 2018