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Parkland names new Chief Nursing Officer

Chief Nursing Officer. NGHS is a not-for-profit health system comprised of a 557-bed medical center, 261-bed skilled nursing facility, three urgent care centers, two outpatient imaging centers, outpatient therapy clinics and a mental health and substance abuse treatment center. During her tenure she had direct responsibility for operational and strategic direction for clinical services including surgical services, medical surgical services, women’s services, professional practice, respiratory therapy/sleep centers, critical care services, transport and long-term care.

In addition, Watts expanded and implemented a capacity management plan to handle unprecedented volume growth locally and regionally. This work included the opening of four overflow areas, emergency department triage changes, transfer center development, throughput dashboard and capacity as a strategic imperative for the NGHS system resulting in no instances of diversion.

From 2009 to 2013, Watts was System Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Good Shepherd Health System in Longview, Texas. There she had direct responsibility for operational and strategic direction for critical care, medical-surgical, women’s services, emergency services, infection prevention, professional practice and the center for innovative learning. She also reduced the registered nurse vacancy rate from 22 percent to 3 percent in less than a year.

Prior to that, Watts held a wide variety of leadership roles from 1992 to 2009 at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia including the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer.

“Karen brings a vast amount of nursing and leadership experience to this position,” said Fred Cerise, MD, MPH, Parkland’s president & CEO. “Maintaining high levels of quality and safety as well as competing for nursing staff is challenging in today’s healthcare environment. Karen has a track record of strong performance in all of these areas. Her strategic planning and critical thinking ability will benefit Parkland and ultimately all of the patients we serve. We are pleased to welcome her into the Parkland family.”

Watts holds a Master of Science in Nursing from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. She is a member of numerous professional associations and holds several certifications. She is a published author and has received multiple honors throughout her nursing career.
Karen S. Watts has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Parkland Health & Hospital System. She will join Parkland on May 11, 2015.

Watts comes to Parkland from Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) in Gainesville, Georgia, where since 2013 she served as System Vice President of Patient Care Services and
Methodist Health System Receives Prestigious Texas Award for Performance Excellence

“Recognition through the Texas Award for Performance Excellence is the culmination of a journey to excellence that began with the unfailing dedication of our staff and physicians to live out our mission, vision and values each and every day,” said Methodist Health System Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Pamela Stoyanoff. “We are proud to receive this well-respected honor. Achieving this award was a team effort. The examiners cited our family-like culture and emphasis on continual process improvement as key success factors.”

TAPE employs the full set of performance excellence criteria used for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The TAPE recognition is the result of a comprehensive application process that includes a demonstration of performance excellence in the areas of organizational leadership, strategic planning, customer and workforce focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, and process management and results. Onsite visits were conducted by state examiners at each campus.

About Methodist Health System: Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Dallas-based Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated health care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Four hospitals and 27 Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups are among the facilities served by the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the fastest-growing health systems in America, Methodist continues to add facilities and services to enhance patient care along the entire continuum. Additional information is available at MethodistHealthSystem.org. Connect through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter at MethodistHealthSystem.org/SocialMedia.
Today Methodist Health System announced it has received the distinguished Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) from the Quality Texas Foundation. This award establishes Methodist Health System as a consistent leader in quality care, and a state role model for achieving sustained performance excellence.
AccentCare Announces New Chief Medical Officer

comprehensive, integrated clinical platform to deliver high value, patient-centered care in the home environment.

“I am pleased to have Dr. Sheff as part of our team,” said Chief Executive Officer Steve Rodgers. “We are a highly diversified post-acute care provider serving a very wide range of client needs.  Dr. Sheff will lead our efforts in further expanding our clinical platforms and innovative healthcare partnerships that improve the patient experience while reducing the cost of care.” 

Sheff joins AccentCare from Seton Healthcare Family, where he served as executive vice president, clinical systems and served as chief executive officer of Seton Health Alliance ACO. Previously he served in senior leadership positions at Austin Regional Clinic, a large multi-specialty physician group.

“I’m joining AccentCare at an exciting time,” said Sheff. “The company is growing and has a very sound strategic vision for success in our evolving healthcare environment.  I can’t wait to contribute to our advancements in provider partnerships and integrated, coordinated delivery models, while also supporting our continued focus on clinical excellence. I believe dedication to these efforts sets us apart in the industry.”

Sheff’s resume includes degrees from Stanford University, the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and residency in family medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

About AccentCare: AccentCare, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is one of the nation's leaders in post-acute healthcare services ranging from personal, non-medical care to skilled nursing, rehabilitation, hospice and care management.  Nearly 17,000 dedicated professionals provide comprehensive care for individuals with a wide variety of care needs including complex chronic conditions.  AccentCare has more than 110 locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. AccentCare is a portfolio company of Oak Hill Capital Partners.
Dr. Gregory S. Sheff has joined AccentCare, Inc. as executive vice president and chief medical officer, the company announced Thursday.

Sheff will serve as the senior clinical leader for all lines of business, consisting of home health, medical home care, hospice, personal care services and care coordination and management.  He will lead the development of a
Biomedical Research Building named in honor of UT Southwestern President Emeritus Dr. C. Kern Wildenthal

Dr. Wildenthal, currently President of Children’s Medical Center Foundation and Executive Vice President of Children’s Health System of Texas, served as UT Southwestern President for 22 years, during which time he helped lead the Innovations in Medicine campaign, which raised more than $750 million between 2001 and 2007 for research and clinical programs at UT Southwestern. Among other accomplishments, he also led the initiative to develop the North Campus, including construction of the building now being named for him.

“The C. Kern Wildenthal Research Building is a fitting acknowledgment of Dr. Wildenthal’s legacy of significant contributions and enduring impact,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern, who holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science. “As home to the groundbreaking research that Dr. Wildenthal’s vision helped promote, the building stands as a testament to his passion and commitment for our missions of research, education, and patient care.”

The C. Kern Wildenthal Research Building (NL on UT Southwestern campus map), is home to state-of-the-art laboratory space that includes the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), and laboratory space for the Departments of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Dermatology, Microbiology, and Cell Biology. The building also houses offices for UT Southwestern’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences’ Rolf and Ute Haberecht Administration and Academic Center.

The CRI, directed by Dr. Sean Morrison, Professor of Pediatrics and holder of the Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics, is a joint venture established by Children’s Medical Center Dallas and UT Southwestern in 2011. Its research programs focus on areas of unmet needs of children and encompass stem cell biology, cancer, and metabolism.

“I am very gratified by this recognition, and deeply honored to be associated with the world-class research that is undertaken every day in these laboratories,” said Dr. Wildenthal, a 1964 graduate of Southwestern Medical School.

Dr. Wildenthal spent the majority of his career, from 1970 to 2008, at UT Southwestern, first as a faculty member, then as a Dean for 10 years, and finally as the institution’s President from 1986 to 2008. He then served as President and Senior Consultant of Southwestern Medical Foundation for five years, and in 2013 joined UT Southwestern’s pediatric partner, Children’s Health System of Texas, where he continues to be an advocate for the institutions that comprise the Southwestern Medical District, including Children’s, Parkland Memorial Hospital, and UT Southwestern. In 2013, the UT System Board of Regents elected him to the honorific positions of Professor Emeritus and President Emeritus of UT Southwestern, in recognition of his contributions.

Under Dr. Wildenthal’s leadership, the institution more than quintupled in size and emerged as one of the world’s leading medical institutions. Research expenditures grew more than tenfold to nearly $400 million per year. The medical center’s endowment grew from $40 million to more than $1.3 billion, including more than 300 new chairs, professorships, and other special endowed funds. The size of the campus grew from 65 acres to more than 300 acres, including the addition of two referral hospitals and outpatient facilities, as well as the first half of a planned 4-million-square-foot research complex.

During his academic career, Dr. Wildenthal practiced cardiology, was active in teaching (he was elected by the student body as Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1975), and led an internationally prominent heart research program. He has published more than 120 scientific and medical papers, as well as numerous articles on health and education policy issues. He has held leadership positions in the American Federation for Medical Research; Association of Academic Health Centers; American Heart Association; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and International Society for Heart Research, among many other organizations. In 1975, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1999, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Wildenthal has been a visiting lecturer and organizer of conferences in 24 countries. He was awarded honorary Doctor of Science degrees by Southern Methodist University in 2006 and by Austin College in 2010. In 2008, Dr. Wildenthal was elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame, the first leader of a non-profit organization to be so honored. Also in 2008, upon his retirement and in appreciation of his contributions, community and medical center leaders donated more than $20 million to establish two professorships, a distinguished chair, and the “Kern Wildenthal Fund” in his name.

Dr. Wildenthal earned a B.A. from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, an M.D. from UT Southwestern, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in England. He spent his post-graduate training in internal medicine, cardiology, and research at Bellevue Hospital in New York; Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas; at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland; and at the University of Cambridge.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center: UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. Numbering approximately 2,800, the faculty is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to about 92,000 hospitalized patients and oversee approximately 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.
UT Southwestern Medical Center’s newest biomedical research building is being named in honor of Dr. C. Kern Wildenthal, President Emeritus and Professor of Medicine Emeritus, who served more than two decades as UT Southwestern’s second President and helped steer the development of the campus and its research and clinical facilities.

The 12-floor, 331,400-square-foot, $216 million C. Kern Wildenthal Research Building, located on UT Southwestern’s North Campus at 6000 Harry Hines Blvd., is being formally named for Dr. Wildenthal in a special dedication ceremony on Friday, March 20.