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Up & Comers - 2004

Roland Abellera

By Mark Taylor  |  September 20, 2004

It's no wonder Sister Elizabeth Van Straten, president and chief executive officer of 194-bed St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center in Chicago, raves about Roland Abellera. Abellera, the hospital's 38-year-old vice president of quality and corporate compliance, is an executive pack mule. Most people would need to clone themselves to juggle as many jobs as he has handled.

Cathy Easter

By Linda Wilson  |  September 20, 2004

A plan to build a 300,000-square-foot home for outpatient services at Houston's Methodist Hospital is going better than expected-particularly considering the upheaval caused by Baylor College of Medicine's decision this year to sever long-standing ties with Methodist. Executives credit Cathy Easter, 37, Methodist's vice president of operations, with keeping the outpatient project on schedule to open in 2008.

Kurt Gensert

By Michael Romano  |  September 20, 2004

Kurt Gensert followed a fairly typical career course in healthcare, focusing first on clinical care before moving into management. A longtime emergency room nurse, Gensert's first love was caring for patients. As he added more and more management responsibilities, he began to realize his overall impact-on the hospital, its staff and its patients-was increasing more than he could ever have imagined.

Maggie Koehler

By Joseph Mantone  |  September 20, 2004

Maggie Koehler is well prepared when she walks into a meeting."When Maggie calls a meeting," says Mary Cummings, general counsel for the Wyoming Valley Health Care System in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., "you know you're not going to waste time."

Michael Lauf

By Joseph Mantone  |  September 20, 2004

At age 30, Michael Lauf was not only young to be taking over as president and chief executive officer at what was then called Miners Hospital in Hastings, Pa., but he also looked even younger than his years, says Richard Salluzzo, CEO and chief medical officer with Miners' parent Conemaugh Health System and its flagship Memorial Medical Center.

Bradford Mathis

By Linda Wilson  |  September 20, 2004

Using enthusiasm, persistence and an affable personality, Bradford Mathis strives to provide poor, inner-city residents with the same quality of healthcare available to affluent suburban residents.Mathis, 34, serves as director of community-benefit integration at St. Mary's Health Care in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Lori Price

By Mark Taylor  |  September 20, 2004

Lori Price began running an acute-care hospital at the age of 35. Today, four years later, she's operating two. Price, 39, is president of two of the three hospitals in the South Bend, Ind.-based St. Joseph Regional Medical Center health system.

Deneen Richmond

By Tony Fong  |  September 20, 2004

Deneen Richmond's mother never did make it to the hospital in time. Whyethia Johnson Knight was supposed to deliver at George Washington University Hospital; but just outside the doors of the Washington facility, while Knight was still in the car, Richmond was born.

Brian Smith

By Michael Romano  |  September 20, 2004

For Brian Smith, a dramatic U-turn early in his career couldn't have been more propitious. Indeed, the abrupt job switch turned out to be a very good move for both Smith and St. Rita's Medical Center in Lima, Ohio, where officials persuaded him to give up his job as a midlevel executive for a local cabinet manufacturer and turn his attention to healthcare.

Trace Swartzfager

By Ed Finkel  |  September 20, 2004

Behavioral health services were not a central priority at St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital in Jackson, Miss., when Trace Swartzfager became vice president of the division in 1996. Located across the street from the main facility, the division was a "status quo, laissez-faire" program, Swartzfager says.

Dionne Viator

September 20, 2004

Starting a new job by dissolving a financially hemorrhaging unit while negotiating with creditors and state regulators is no one's professional dream scenario. But Dionne Viator, senior vice president and chief financial officer of General Health System/Baton Rouge (La.) General Medical Center, was "the epitome of grace under fire" during the shutdown of the Gulf South Health Plans HMO shortly after her promotion from vice president of finance to CFO in 2001, says William Holman, president and chief executive officer of both the system and hospital.

Christine Winn

By Cinda Becker  |  September 20, 2004

Christine Winn may know her limits, but her limits stretch as far as a marathon. When Winn, 35, arrived at 334-bed Bridgeport (Conn.) Hospital as senior vice president of ambulatory services and operations in 2002, she already had nearly 10 years of experience under her belt at the nation's oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.


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