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America’s Essential Hospitals Introduces 2022–2023 Fellows Class

July 11, 2022

WASHINGTON — Twenty-nine rising leaders from 18 essential hospitals will explore population health, diversity and inclusion, policymaking, and other issues central to care for low-income and marginalized patients as the newest class of America’s Essential Hospitals fellows.

The association welcomed its latest  class at its recent annual conference, in Boston. America’s Essential Hospitals established the program in 1987 to help member hospitals develop and inspire their high-potential staff.

Designed for senior clinical and administrative personnel, the Fellows Program focuses on strategic leadership and advocacy for policies and resources that sustain the nation’s health care safety net and promote access to care. The program has produced more than 650 alumni, including CEOs, other hospital executives, and national health care thought leaders.

“Our fellows represent the future of essential hospital leadership,” said Kalpana Ramiah, DrPH, MSc, vice president of innovation and director of Essential Hospitals Institute, the association’s research, education, and leadership development arm. “This leadership development opportunity helps them become well-rounded, inspired advocates for patients and essential hospitals.”

America’s Essential Hospitals welcomes the following essential hospital leaders to its 2022–2023 fellows class:

Alameda Health System, Alameda, Calif.

  • Lorna Jones, JD, chief human resources officer
  • Sarah Rahman, MD, associate chief medical information officer
  • Evan Rusoja, MD, PhD, medical director of acute care health outcomes/emergency medicine attending physician

Cook County Health, Chicago

  • Whitney Lyn, MD, senior attending
  • Iliana Mora, EdD, chief administrative officer
  • Christina Urbina, MBA-HA, director of maternal child health programs and initiatives

City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco

  • Daisy Aguallo, MSHA, acting deputy director population health department and director of supply chain

Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis

  • Lori Thorp, MS, MBA, director of rehabilitation services, patient support services, orthopedic service line

Grady Health System, Atlanta

  • Murry Ford, MBA, MHA, vice president, revenue cycle

Harris Health System, Houston

  • Maria Cowles, MHSA, senior vice president, chief of staff, and chief transformation officer
  • Lydia Rogers, RN, MBA, MSN, administrative director clinical operations

Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis

  • Joseph Strangfeld, physician assistant, division of hospital medicine; senior inpatient medical director; interim medical director of acute care quality

NYC Health + Hospitals, New York

  • Leon Boudourakis, MD, MHS, critical care service line lead
  • Erfan Karim, MPH, executive director, ExpressCare
  • Sarah Joseph Kurien, MPA, deputy chief operating officer/senior director
  • Jeremy Segall, MA, assistant vice president, system chief wellness officer

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • Vera Appiah-Agyemang, RN, director of nursing/maternal child health
  • Julie Nagpal, MD, chief of adolescent medicine, associate program director of pediatric residency training, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine

NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, Bronx, N.Y.

  • Monique Nickles, MD, chief of pediatric and adolescent ambulatory care practice

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, Brooklyn, N.Y.

  • Sophia Isaac, MPA, regional human resources director
  • James Knight, PhD, director of respiratory care/nursing

Parkland Health, Dallas

  • Francesco Mainetti, vice president of transformational initiatives
  • Monal Shah, MD, associate chief medical officer

University of California, Irvine Medical Center, Orange, Calif.

  • Douglas Niedzwiecki, MBA, MHA, executive director ambulatory care

University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Va.

  • Timothy Pierce, PharmD, MSHA, manager, ambulatory pharmacy

WVU Medicine, Morgantown, W.Va.

  • Jessica Belt, RN, BSN, MHA, assistant vice president, behavioral medicine and psychiatry
  • Ziad Dimachkie, MD, associate section chief hospital medicine

Yuma Regional Medical Center, Yuma, Ariz.

  • Breanna Caraway, RN, MSN, administrative director of emergency and trauma services

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, San Francisco

  • Valerie Williams, MPA, assistant director of radiology & imaging

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About America’s Essential Hospitals
America’s Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals dedicated to equitable, high-quality care for all, including those who face social and financial barriers to care. Since 1981, America’s Essential Hospitals has advanced policies and programs that promote health, health care access, and equity. We support our more than 300 members with advocacy, policy development, research, education, and leadership development. Communities depend on essential hospitals for care across the continuum, health care workforce training, research, public health and health equity, and other services. Essential hospitals innovate and adapt to lead all of health care toward better outcomes and value.

About Essential Hospitals Institute
Essential Hospitals Institute is the research, education, dissemination, and leadership development arm of America’s Essential Hospitals. The Institute supports the nation’s essential hospitals as they provide high-quality, equitable, and affordable care to their communities. Working with members of America’s Essential Hospitals, we identify promising practices from the field, conduct research, disseminate innovative strategies, and help our members improve their organizational performance. We do all of this with an eye toward improving individual and population health, especially for vulnerable people.

Carl Graziano


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