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Governor Abbott Names Chair and Appoints 14 to Texas Health Services Authority Board of Directors

Board to Provide Guidance on THSA’s Strategic Efforts to Expand Health Information Exchange as Agency Seeks Funding for Health IT Solution to Disaster Response

Austin, TX – November 8, 2023

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Wes Tidwell, Kourtney Kouns, Lacey Fails and reappointed Victoria Bryant, Pharm.D., Shannon Calhoun, Salil Deshpande, M.D., Calvin Green, Jeff Hoogheem, Kenneth James, Jerome Lisk, M.D., Leticia Rodriguez, Jonathan Sandstrom Hill, Cynthis Stinson, Ph.D., and Carlos Vital, M.D. to the Texas Health Services Authority Board of Directors for terms set to expire June 15, 2025. The Authority is responsible for coordinating the implementation of health information exchange in Texas.

Wes Tidwell of Round Rock is the president of Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, member of the Texas Hospital Association, and board member of the Quality Texas Foundation. Previously, he served as a board member of the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce and the Round Rock Independent School District Partners in Education Foundation. Tidwell received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science at Texas A&M University and Master of Business Administration and Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Houston.

Kourtney Kouns of Seymour is the regulatory and quality program coordinator for application services at United Regional Health Care System. She has over 18 years of experience as a critical care nurse, nursing informatics coordinator, director of nursing, and clinical informatics analyst for various applications such as Meditech, Allscripts, Cerner, and Epic. She is an administrative council member for First Methodist Church of Seymour and former member of the Health Information Management Systems Society and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. She is a certified agile scrum master, earned a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, and holds many Epic Systems application certifications. Kouns received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and a Master of Science in Healthcare Informatics from the University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing.

Lacey Fails of Hollywood Park is the director of physician recruitment for Baptist Health System. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Medical Group Management Association, and Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment. She is former vice president of the Hollywood Park Community Association and former board member of the Hollywood Park Humane Society. Fails received a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from Texas A&M University – Commerce and Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Victoria Bryant, Pharm.D. of Houston is the founder of Ambassadors Caregivers and president of the Faith, Hope and Joy Foundation. She is the scholarship chair for the Vietnamese American Pharmacists Association. She is the former president for the World Chamber of Commerce – Texas. Bryant received a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston.

Shannon Calhoun of Goliad serves in a leadership role in the adoption of healthcare transformation, where information and interoperability support improved healthcare and population health. She served as regional vice president of growth for Aledade and as vice president of network development for the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium and Caravan Health. She served as CEO of Southeast Texas Health System for over 20 years. She previously volunteered as the logistics officer for the Goliad County Emergency Response Clinic and is a past member of the Goliad County Chamber of Commerce Finance Committee, Goliad Community Network, Goliad Rotary Club, and the Texas American Health Education Center East – Victoria Region. Calhoun received a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Texas A&M University.

Salil Deshpande, M.D. of Houston is the chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Texas. He is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Physicians, Texas Medical Association, and the Harris County Medical Society. Additionally, he is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He also serves on the boards of The Living Bank and the March of Dimes. Deshpande received a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California, Doctor of Medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and Master of Business Administration in Finance and Health Care Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

Calvin Green of Austin is the deputy executive commissioner of data, analytics, and performance for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Green received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and History from Texas A&M University – Commerce and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Texas.

Jeffrey Hoogheem of San Marcos is the director of the Center for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response at the Texas Department of State Health Services. He is the state public health and medical preparedness director and serves as incident commander in the Texas State Medical Operations Center, where he is responsible for coordinating public health and medical preparedness and response activities in Texas. He is a retired Army Aviator, who served 21 years in the U.S. Army. Hoogheem received an Associate of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics from Liberty University.

Kenneth James of Volente is the senior vice president of operations at Superior HealthPlan. He currently serves on Superior HealthPlan’s Performance Improvement Team and Compliance, Quality Measures, and Diabetes Steering Committees. He is a former coach for Elgin Little League and has volunteered with the Cajun Navy. James received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Tarleton State University.

Jerome Lisk, M.D. of Lantana is a board-certified movement disorder neurologist at MD Neurology – Denton, as well as principal site investigator for clinical trials in Parkinson’s Disease since 2008. He is a member of the Medical Advisory Committee for the California State Athletic Commission, Alzheimer Association’s Medical and Scientific Program Committee, and the American Academy of Neurology and board member for the Parkinson’s Foundation – South Central Chapter. He has also been a moderator and a speaker for past International American Academy of Neurology annual meetings and serves as senior medical advisor for Beneufit, Likeminds Global, National Patient Care System, and Level Ex. Lisk received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Hampton University and Doctor of Medicine from Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine. He is currently pursuing an Executive Health Care Master of Science and Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Dallas.

Leticia Rodriguez of Monahans is the CEO for Ward Memorial Hospital. She is a member of the Monahans Ambassadors Club and the Permian Basin AHEC Advisory Board. She is former president of the Monahans Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division and the local rotary club. Rodriguez received a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from Lubbock Christian University.

Jonathan Sandstrom Hill of Lakeway serves as general counsel for Capital Commercial Investments, Inc. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas. He volunteers as a preschool Sunday School teacher and usher at Southwest Family Fellowship and serves on the board of Recycle NOW. Sandstrom Hill received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston College, where he was a member of the Honors Program, and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.

Cynthia Stinson, Ph.D. of Lumberton is a registered nurse, associate professor, and chair of the JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing at Lamar University. She is a member of the Texas Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society. Additionally, she is a member and medical educator with Gift of Life. Stinson received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lamar University, Master of Science in Nursing from The University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston, and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University – Houston.

Carlos Vital, M.D. of Friendswood is the president and CEO of Vital Allergy & Asthma Center. He is past president of the Greater Houston Allergy and the Asthma and Immunology Society, and a member of the Texas Medical Association, Texas Allergy Asthma and Immunology Society, Houston Medical Forum, Harris County Medical Society, and the Houston Academy of Medicine. He is also an assistant professor for the Texas A&M College of Medicine. Vital received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana, Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University, and fellowship in allergy and immunology from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.

About THSA
The Texas legislature established Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) in 2007 for the purpose of promoting, implementing, and facilitating the secure electronic exchange of health information. The THSA accomplishes this purpose through its health information exchange (HIE) and privacy and security certification and supporting programs. Learn more about the THSA at www.thsa.org

Contact: George Gooch


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