Joshua Nemzoff, Chief Executive Officer
The CEO of StoneBridge Healthcare, LLC is Joshua Nemzoff, one of the country’s leading consultants on hospital mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Nemzoff has more than 40 years’ experience in the industry and has been involved with hundreds of hospital mergers, sales, acquisitions and joint ventures with a combined transaction value in excess of $15 billion. His role in most of those transactions was project director and lead negotiator on the deal, usually reporting directly to the board of trustees. This has placed Mr. Nemzoff in the unique position of supervising hundreds of teams conducting due diligence for his clients and observing others conducting it on his clients, affording him invaluable insights as to what was wrong with these hospitals and how to fix them. His primary area of expertise is negotiating large complex transactions for clients and identifying how to return distressed hospitals to operational and financial health.
Stuart Brown is a Partner at DLA Piper, a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. An accomplished bankruptcy lawyer, Mr. Brown’s practice encompasses the representation of companies in distress and as debtors in possession, institutional lenders, investors and business enterprises in diverse matters, including general business, transactions with bankruptcy estates, anti-bankruptcy transactional consultation, bankruptcy litigation, substantive non-consolidation, securitization and servicing and bankruptcy fraud. A significant part of Mr. Brown’s practice is M&A, including the sale and acquisition of businesses and assets out of court and through in-court processes and Article 9 sales. Mr. Brown also represents non-traditional funding sources with respect to workouts, claim realization and asset recovery. The American Board of Certification recognizes Mr. Brown as a specialist in the area of Business Bankruptcy.
J. Michael Cowling
J. Michael Cowling has over 40 years of progressive healthcare leadership experience serving as CFO, COO, CEO, Regional and Divisional VP in both the not-for-profit and for-profit environment. Throughout his career he managed a wide-variety of hospitals including those with major residency programs, small and mid-size general acute care hospitals, and multi-hospital tertiary systems as well as managing the construction and startup of specialty cardiac hospitals throughout the country. Mr. Cowling has extensive experience in financial turnarounds, hospital start-ups and development, as well as physician relations and program development. Mr. Cowling has strong financial credentials, serving as CFO at three different hospitals, as well as serving as a certified public account at two firms, including Ernst and Young. He is a leading healthcare strategist, advising clients on strategic planning, operational assessment and business development.
Prior to his consultancy work he served as Senior Vice President Operations of National Surgical Healthcare, an innovative healthcare company that empowers physicians to thrive in a changing marketplace from 2014 to 2018. He worked with physician partners and local management teams to grow the core business and develop new product lines in Neurosurgical and Orthopedic Joint Venture Hospitals. In 2009, Mr. Cowling was hired by Tenet Healthcare Corporation to serve as CEO of Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Prior to Tenet, Mr. Cowling worked for two other investor-owned hospital chains serving as a division vice president with Health Management Associates in Naples, Florida. In that role, he oversaw the operations of two hospitals. Mr. Cowling also served as hospital CEO with HMA and Regional Vice President of Operations for MedCath Inc., which owned and operated a nationwide network of Acute Cardiac Hospitals. Prior to that, he was Chicago market president for Vanguard Health Systems, a for profit hospital system based in Nashville.
Mark Diana is a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He is a nationally known public health and health care delivery expert with substantial experience in the field of Community Health Needs. His research focuses on the organizational impact of health information systems, primarily in hospitals in the U.S., and the performance of new care delivery models, such as patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations, among others. He also has experience in funded evaluation work as the principal investigator (PI) on the external evaluation of the Louisiana Long-term Care Real Choice Systems Transformation Grant, through the Louisiana Department of Health, as the PI for an evaluation of an electronic health record implementation in Mexico, funded by the MEASURE Evaluation project of USAID, as the PI for the evaluation of the Louisiana Health Information Exchange, and as the PI for the evaluation of Louisiana’s Medicaid Expansion, among other projects.
Michele Deverich is a leading expert in healthcare management with decades of experience developing, leading and implementing wide-ranging healthcare solutions in the payer/ managed care, specialty management (MH/ SA, Imaging, Pharmacy, etc.) as well as the for-profit and nonprofit health system arenas. Ms. Deverich serves as CEO of Strategic Healthcare Associates (SHA), where she provides executive consultation also in program improvement and M & A initiatives.
Prior to launching SHA, Ms. Deverich served in multiple senior executive positions at Magellan Health Services, a publicly traded, national specialty healthcare management organization focused on optimizing the appropriate delivery of Behavioral Health, Imaging, and PBM services for clientele operating in the payer/managed care industry. With more than 5,500 employees, Magellan positioned Ms. Deverich in critical areas of performance improvement to provide leadership in corporate strategic planning, network optimization, execution of new business initiatives, program/product development and mergers and acquisitions.
Prior to Magellan, Ms. Deverich served as Regional Vice President of Private HealthCare Systems, Inc. (PHCS) Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions where she directed the planning, implementation and management of provider network strategies and tactics across the 17-state region and, when MultiPlan acquired PHCS, she was chosen to lead the two-company integration within her region.
Ms. Deverich spent nearly a decade at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where she led one of the healthcare consulting practices serving managed care organizations and provider health systems throughout the United States and in some international territories. Prior to PwC, Ms. Deverich served as the Johns Hopkins University’s (JHU) first Assistant Dean for Strategic Clinical Initiatives spearheading strategic managed care and operational initiatives throughout Johns Hopkins’s medical facilities and clinical faculty. Prior to JHU, she served as the Chief Marketing Officer for both the George Washington University (GWU) Medical Center/Medical Faculty Associates and the George Washington University Health Plan where she led both organizations’ strategic planning, advertising, public relations, network development, client service, group sales, and physician referral program teams.
Ms. Deverich is a member of the Jupiter Medical Center JMC Board of Trustees and serves on and chairs numerous JMC Board Committees. JMC is a CMS 4-Star-rated, Leapfrog A-rated regional health system in Palm Beach and Martin Counties in South Florida.
Mr. Dondero is a retired partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global network of firms delivering world-class assurance, tax, and consulting services for businesses worldwide. He has significant experience in the area of financial and strategic planning as well as mergers and acquisitions. He has advised dozens of hospital boards on the financial and strategic implications of proposed transactions and complex healthcare compliance matters usually involving the Department of Justice and other regulatory bodies. During the last decade of his career, his responsibilities included Operations Partner and Partner in Charge of the U.S. Health Industries Consulting Unit. Health Industries encompassed all key sectors of the U.S. healthcare economy including pharma, life sciences, provider (including hospitals) and payer sectors. He was also actively involved in several of the firm’s acquisitions of consulting practices around the country. Mr. Dondero served on the firm’s U.S. Advisory Leadership Team and on the Chairman’s Extended Leadership Team encompassing the firm’s leadership in markets, sectors and business lines of service.
John Kastanis is a leading healthcare executive with over 25 years of experience in the industry. He’s a financial and operational turnaround specialist, who revitalized six organizations — including bringing two back from the brink of bankruptcy — and delivered upwards of 2 to 4 percent annual profit margin. Throughout his career he has effectively instilled financial discipline and led service line expansion at academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, and successfully steered safety-net hospitals to national prominence.
Most recently, from 2016 to 2018, Mr. Kastanis served as President and CEO of University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, a 519-bed, publicly owned acute care teaching hospital and only Level 1 trauma center in northern New Jersey, with 690 medical and adjunct physicians on staff, 616 medical residents and over $700 million annual net patient revenue. From 2011 to 2016, Mr. Kastanis served as President and CEO of Temple University Hospital, Inc., a 728- bed, nonprofit academic medical center and Level 1 regional trauma center that provides patient care on four campuses and serves as the defacto public health hospital for Philadelphia. Prior to Temple University Hospital, Mr. Kastanis led an independent healthcare consulting practice, specializing in hospital management and organizational turnarounds to deliver interim executive leadership at community teaching hospitals nationwide. From 1996 to 2005 he served as the President and CEO of the Hospital for Joint Diseases, at the NYU Langone Health.
Mr. Kastanis serves as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is also an Advanced Member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and a member of the American Hellenic Education & Progressive Association.
Jeffrey Koury is a seasoned healthcare executive and strategist accomplished in driving organizational growth by creating data-informed and fiscally sound business development and operational strategies that improve organizational performance and foster quality, value, relevance, and sustainability in healthcare service delivery. Mr. Koury served for over 30 years in executive leadership roles for Tenet Healthcare, a multi-regional, multibillion-dollar healthcare network, including Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Executive Officer. As CFO, he was recognized four times with Tenet Health‘s Chief Financial Officer Award. From 2011 to 2017 he served as CEO of Tenet’s Western Region in Irvine, California where he directed the strategies and operations of 21 acute care regional hospitals with annual net operating revenue of $4.5 billion and annual capital budgets of $115 million to $180 million. In this role, he managed and developed an outstanding team of 30 regional clinical, financial, and strategy leaders as well as hospital CEOs. From 2005 to 2011, Mr. Koury served as the Vice President and CFO of Tenet’s California Region where he established and led the financial management strategies and activities for 11 acute care hospitals and 2 academic-affiliated medical centers. Prior to that, he served as the VP of Finance in Atlanta, Georgia.
Fran Pennell is a leading health care consultant with over 35 years of working experience in the industry. Ms. Pennell has worked as a Health Care Consultant for most of her career, including 21 years as Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in their Health Care Performance Improvement consulting practice. Her focus has been on operational improvement, financial turnarounds, strategic planning, and organizational restructuring for clients such as hospitals, academic medical centers, physician practices, and Schools of Medicine. Ms. Pennell has directed many professional teams to resolve difficult and complex operational, financial, and strategic issues with successful outcomes. For several turnaround projects, Ms. Pennell has provided senior leadership with day-to-day management support. Ms. Pennell has worked extensively with boards of directors, senior leaders, and medical personnel to guide decisions for achieving efficient and effective health care operations and financial stability.
Throughout Ms. Pennell’s career, she has achieved numerous accomplishments. She implemented small and large scale operational and financial improvement projects for hospital systems, academic medical centers, and Schools of Medicine resulting in net operating margin improvements. She led and supported financial turnaround projects for hospital and health systems (with operating deficit ranges of $10 million to $200 million) who were seeking to achieve financial solvency and stability. She’s successfully worked with hospital boards, where she led numerous strategic planning activities with boards of directors and senior leadership with a focus on clinical program development, operational and organizational reconfiguration, and change management. Ms. Pennell understands how to deliver returns on investments, providing expertise to large financial investment groups in acquisitions and equity/ debt investments.
Marsha Powers is a veteran health care executive with over four decades of experience, including operational responsibility for large and diverse hospital networks. Ms. Powers recently retired from Tenet Healthcare Corporation where she served as the company’s Chief Strategy Officer. She previously served as the CEO of Tenet’s Eastern Division, Coastal Region. She was responsible for directing the strategy and operations for 17 acute care hospitals, five freestanding emergency rooms, seven mental health facilities, two Level 1 Trauma Centers, seven rehab centers, 10 outpatient surgery centers and 25 outpatient centers in South Florida, Massachusetts and South Carolina.
Prior to joining Tenet, Ms. Powers served as a division president of Triad Hospitals, Inc., where she oversaw the operations of 11 hospitals, two ambulatory surgery centers and a physician management organization in Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. She also helped develop two new hospitals and three replacement hospitals and completed four major hospital expansions. Before working at Triad, Ms. Powers served as President of Quorum Health Service’s Southeast Region.
Ms. Powers is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and previously served on the board of governors of the Federation of American Hospitals where she received the “Corris Boyd Leadership Award” for her “outstanding leadership, knowledge, experience, energy, wisdom and integrity instrumental in promoting awareness, changing behaviors and empowering others.” In 2018, Ms. Powers was named by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of “100 Great Leaders in Healthcare” and in 2019 as one of the “Women Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems to Know”.
Warren E. Ross, MD
Warren E. Ross, M.D. is a Senior Client Partner in the Philadelphia office of Korn Ferry International, representing the firm’s Global Healthcare Services Market. Dr. Ross is a nationally recognized physician executive who lends deep industry knowledge to his senior search assignments. He led the successful financial and academic turnaround of the Drexel School of Medicine (formerly MCP Hahnemann). Previously, Dr. Ross served as executive associate dean at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, and then as chief executive officer of the University of Florida Health System. In this role, he led the strategic direction of the academic medical center’s clinical enterprise, including mergers and acquisitions, network development, and managed care strategy. In his role at the University of Florida, he oversaw the acquisition of the Av Med Health System, a five-hospital group that dramatically expanded the strategic footprint of the University’s teaching and research programs. Mr. Nemzoff was hired at the time by Dr. Ross and served as the Project Director and Lead Negotiator on the transaction. Dr. Ross is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Mr. Rudish is President and CEO of Rudish Health, which provides executive search; interim management; and strategic, financial and IT advisory services. Rudish Health also assists small and mid-cap companies with strategy, financing, sales and marketing. Mr. Rudish has more than 30 years of experience serving the healthcare industry and has enduring relationships with major healthcare organizations both in the United States and abroad. Through May of 2014, Mr. Rudish was Vice Chairman and U.S. Global Health Care Leader for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, the world’s largest professional services firm. Before joining Deloitte in 2006, he was Executive Vice President of Eclipsys Corporation, a healthcare clinical and financial software vendor. Prior to that, Mr. Rudish was at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and its predecessor firm, Ernst & Young, LLC. for 20 years, where he was the National and Global Director of the Health Care Practice. EY has the largest hospital audit practice in the United States.
Michael J. Sarrao
Michael J. Sarrao has represented one of the nation’s largest health systems, as general counsel; serving as chief legal officer in the acquisition and financing of multiple hospitals with total consideration in excess of $750 million. His representation extended to handling disputes involving health plans, independent practice groups, insurance companies, regulatory agencies and billing reimbursement.
Mr. Sarrao focuses on the representation of healthcare systems, hospitals and medical groups in myriad healthcare matters including anti-fraud and compliance matters, heath information privacy matters, managed care disputes, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement matters, mergers and acquisitions licensure and accreditation matters, physician relations/ medical staff issues, contracting, labor and employment matters, and risk management services for medical malpractice matters.
Della K. Shaw
Della Shaw is a leading healthcare executive with over 30 years of experience achieving sustained results in healthcare strategy, business development, operations and marketing. Most recently, Ms. Shaw served as the Executive Vice President of Strategy at Palomar Health, a 428-bed district hospital located in Escondido, California. At Palomar, Ms. Shaw led strategic planning, business development, marketing, communication, and public relations. She also served as Chief Clinical Outreach Officer. Prior to Palomar Health, Ms. Shaw held two senior executive level positions where she worked directly on physician engagement and employment. From 2009 to 2012 she served as the CEO of Tenet Florida Physician Services, where she provided executive leadership for the organization. In that role she partnered with Tenet Florida hospital CEOs to develop a physician network to support Tenet’s 10-hospitals in south Florida. She also worked with Tenet to develop physician practice support systems for regional and national use. Prior to that, she served as chief operating officer of First Physicians Group of Sarasota where she provided executive and operational leadership for the physician division of the not-for-profit healthcare system including strategic alignment and integration with the system. She left Palomar in 2018 and started her own consultancy, DK Shaw Coaching, where she serves as an Executive Leadership Coach.
Mr. Walker is a senior healthcare executive with diverse experience and a solid track record of leadership and successes in for-profit, not-for–profit, and academic environments. He has a reputation as a pragmatic leader who possesses strong strategic, business development, financial, and operating skills. A graduate of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in Health Administration, Mr. Walker started his healthcare career in 1977. By 1982 Mr. Walker took his first of many CEO roles with American Medical International and Tenet Healthcare spanning 27 years. Most notably, from 1985–1999, Mr. Walker built Piedmont Healthcare System from a county hospital to a Regional Referral Medical Center serving the upstate of South Carolina. He also served from 1999-2001 as the Senior Vice President, Operations, over eight hospitals and a Medical School when Tenet acquired the bankrupt Allegheny Health System in Philadelphia. Tenet then moved Mr. Walker to south Florida on two turnarounds including as CEO of 382-bed Parkway Regional Medical Center in North Miami Beach, then later as CEO of 460-bed St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
In 2006, Mr. Walker left Tenet to return to Philadelphia and work for the Chairman of the Temple University Health System in Business Development and Operations. In 2009, Mr. Walker was recruited to become the SVP Operations of the Kennedy Health System in southern New Jersey.
Mr. Walker later formed his own company to do interim management and turnaround consulting through Walker Healthcare LLC. Roles have included CEO of Hoboken, NJ, University Medical Center from 2012-2014; CEO/CRO of Tulare Regional Medical Center in Tulare, California for 8 months; and more recently, Interim SVP/COO of Central Maine Health System in Lewiston, Maine. He has also been a Senior Advisor to Flagler Investments of Miami in OP Healthcare Real Estate in the Northeast.
Kristy L. Waters is a seasoned healthcare operations and finance executive known for developing solutions to problems and leading teams that quickly and efficiently identify, evaluate and execute on value added change from small to large enterprises. Her career has spanned stand-alone hospitals to senior level corporate leadership roles under for-profit and not-for-profit faith-based capital structures. She is well recognized for understanding the needs of individual entities as well as system requirements to improve operating margins, efficiency, and outcomes.
Ms. Waters worked for nearly 20 years at Tenet Healthcare Corporation, where she served in a variety of executive leadership positions including senior vice president of performance management and innovation, as well as Regional CFO for Tenet’s Southern and Texas Regions, where she managed the overall fiscal performance of the region, made of up 14 to 16 acute care hospitals and various non-hospital entities. Prior to joining Tenet, she was a facility then regional CFO within Bon-Secours Health System serving South Carolina and Florida Markets for fourteen years. She currently provides assistance as a subject matter expert in a myriad of hospital operations finance and throughput opportunity identification and implementation of improvement plans.
Mr. Wright has been an executive in the healthcare industry for over 40 years. He served as a senior executive for Universal Health Services, Inc. (UHS) from 1978 – 2013 and spent eight years with its predecessor company, American Medicorp. During his tenure at UHS, Mr. Wright held positions as CEO of two acute care hospitals in Florida and Texas, Senior Vice President of the Acute Care Division, Vice President of Development and President of UHS Building Solutions. In this capacity as Vice President of Development, he led the acquisition/divestiture process for more than 35 transactions valued over $2 billion and developed strategic initiatives for acute care hospitals. His transaction experience includes: the acquisition of George Washington University Hospital in partnership with the University, acquisition of a nine county health system subject to public referendum, took a three hospital system in California through Chapter 363 bankruptcy and developed a six hospital healthcare system in South Texas. Mr. Wright also has vast experience in the design/build of acute care hospitals. Following UHS, Mr. Wright formed Allergy Services of America LLC, Wright Transactions Advisors LLC, Fusion Health Partners, and served as an Advisor to Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Senior Advisor to Blue Wolf Capital Partners. Mr. Wright has served on many hospital boards throughout his career and is a former board member for Modern MD Urgent Care in New York.