2021 East Texas ACHE Forum Board of Directors
For more information about serving the East Texas Forum, please contact our chapter executive director, John Whittemore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
George Roberts, FACHE
CEO, Northeast Texas Public Health District
George T. Roberts, Jr., has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northeast Texas Public Health District since November 2006. The Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health) is a local Health Department established by the City of Tyler and Smith County. Services provided by NET Health include Community Outreach, Disease Surveillance, Environmental Health, Immunization, Tuberculosis Control, Public Health Emergency Preparedness, Regional Laboratory, Vital Statistics, and the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program. NET Health has started and participated in many community collaboratives including Fit City Tyler whose Mission is to make Tyler a Fit City “One Step, One Bite and One Health Conscious Decision at a Time”. NET Health primarily serves Tyler and Smith County but also provides some services in 21 counties in East Texas. The WIC Program serves a 20 county area and Public Health Emergency Preparedness serves a 7 county region.
Mr. Roberts has over 40 years of health care experience, the majority of which was spent in hospital administration, having previously served at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, and Henderson Memorial Hospital in Henderson, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and his Master of Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. He is President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Board of Directors, and he also has served as President of the Texas Association of City and County Health Officials (TACCHO). He currently serves on the Board of the Episcopal Health Foundation, the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce, Carter BloodCare, Piney Woods Regional Advisory Council (RAC) Area G, and the Texas Health Institute. Mr. Roberts is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is active in a number of church, community, and statewide efforts. Mr. Roberts has been married to his wife Leslie for 32 years, and they have 2 children – Claire (27) and Travis (23).
Dawn Johnston, MBA, MSN, CFRN, LP
Dawn Johnston, MBA, MSN, CFRN, LP, is the Administrative Director of Nursing and Clinical Services, CHRISTUS Flight For Life, Northeast Texas.
Dawn Johnston has been in her Director role for CHRISTUS Flight For Life since October of 2018. With helicopter outposts at Mt. Pleasant, Wills Point, Palestine and Longview, Dawn provides clinical leadership for an amazing team of nurses and paramedics that provide critical care to the most seriously ill and injured patients in Northeast Texas while rapidly transporting them to definitive care. Dawn’s focus on organizational excellence enabled the well-respected agency to attain industry accreditation for the first time in 2021. Dawn served as Education Chair for the East Texas Chapter of ACHE in 2021 and became a Board member in 2022. She received her BSN from Western Michigan University and MSN in Nursing Leadership and Administration from Capella University. She also obtained her BA in Communications/Journalism from Truman State University, and MBA from California Coast University.
Previously, Dawn was Project Coordinator for Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan managing hospital-wide nursing communications, completing Magnet projects, and contributing to a number of Quality Improvement projects on multi-disciplinary teams. As a member of the Trauma Research Committee, Dawn also contributed to the requirements for meeting the hospital’s Level I Trauma designation. Dawn has a broad inpatient critical care background and was also a full-time flight nurse for West Michigan Air Care for over a decade. During this time, Dawn also became Air Care’s Marketing Coordinator, managing most aspects of the organization’s public relations in Southwest Michigan, in addition to providing education for the flight crew. She has been teaching since she became a nurse, first American Heart Association courses and then many critical care subjects. Dawn has provided public education through the media on community health initiatives and was instrumental in garnering support for the introduction of a legislative bill to curb dangerous methamphetamine labs in Michigan.
Dawn’s background includes firefighting, National Ski Patrol and community health education as a Crisis Pregnancy Coordinator for the Salvation Army. Serving as a “Big Sister” for many years, Dawn was also honored as Mentor of the Year for Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Battle Creek, Michigan in 2008. Dawn’s hobbies include writing and she has several publishing credits, including Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America and the International Medical Corps Training Manual, a resource for war-torn areas of the world, in which she was the Associate Editor. In addition, she has written and edited the company newsletter almost everywhere she has worked.
Dawn has been married to her husband Neal for 29 years, and they have one adult son – Harrison. She and her husband are members of Marvin United Methodist Church. Dawn resides in the Tyler area and enjoys running, traveling, writing and spending time with family, friends and neighbors. She is involved in Tyler’s Sunrise Rotary Club and Women in Tyler, which hosts an annual luncheon honoring influential women from the Tyler area.
Immediate Past President
Mark S. Leitner, MHA, FACHE
CEO, UT Health Henderson / UT Health Carthage
Over 30 years of senior-level experience in hospitals ranging from smaller regional to larger tertiary facilities, in both not-for-profit and for-profit settings.
In 2005, assumed the Chief Executive Officer position for Henderson Memorial Hospital, Henderson, Texas, a rural, 96-bed, 501(c)3, independent hospital. In 2018, joined the UT Health East Texas system of hospitals as UT Health Henderson and assumed additional responsibility serving as Chief Executive Officer for UT Health Carthage as well.
Earned a BSBA (’84) from the University of Arizona and a MHA (’86) from Washington University School of Medicine’s Health Administration Program in St. Louis. Completed a post-graduate residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. A Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Married Margaret in 1988. Two adult daughters, Sarah and Hannah.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona.
Cynthia Gaddy , MBA, BSN, RN, FACHE, CENP, CPHQMS
Chief Quality Officer/VP, Clinical Experience, Titus Regional Medical Center
Cynthia Gaddy joined Titus Regional Medical Center in 2020 and has twenty-four years of experience in healthcare with thirteen of those in leadership. Her previous position was Nursing Administrator at The Queens Medical Center, West Oahu, a rural hospital that is part of the larger Queens Health System. The hospital is focused on improving the health of Native Hawaiians and all of the people of Hawai’i. Before being a member of the executive leadership team at Queens West, Mrs. Gaddy was Chief Nursing Executive and Director of Patient Care Services, for Straub Medical Center, part of Hawai’i Pacific Health, a system that consists of four hospitals and multiple clinics across Hawai’i.
Mrs. Gaddy earned both her bachelor’s in nursing and master’s in business Mrs. Gaddy earned both her bachelor’s in nursing and master’s in business administration, with a focus on healthcare administration, from Western Governors University.
She is a Fellow with The American College of Healthcare Executives as well as holding certifications with American Organization for Nursing Leadership (CENP) and in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).
Mrs. Gaddy is married to her husband of twenty-four years, David Gaddy and they have one daughter, Stephanie, and two dogs Rousey and Tucker. Her hobbies are focused primarily on recreational reading, gardening, and travel.
Mrs. Gaddy’s role at TRMC includes oversight for quality & patient safety as well as employee health, infection control, and clinical education.
Titus Regional Medical Center is a 174-bed multi-specialty hospital with over $180 Million in Annual Revenues. The hospital is located in Mount Pleasant, Texas and serves over 100,000 lives within 5 counties. TRMC is Joint Commission certified and is recognized as a premier Stroke Center and Primary Heart Attack Center in Northeast Texas.
Chuk Ogobuiro, DNP, MBA, RN, PMH-BC, NEA-BC
UT Health Science Center
Chuk Ogobuiro serves as the senior manager for the behavioral health services at UT Health East Texas. Chuk is an experienced behavioral health clinical leader in acute inpatient, residential inpatient, geriatric inpatient, ambulatory clinic (Family, Child, Adolescents and Adult) and intensiveness outpatient mental health and substance use programs. Few months after joining the UT Health system, Chuk received a promotion after demonstrating effective leadership by achieving complex organizational goals through listening, communicating, empowering, and building consensus around the execution of the organizational objectives. Prior to joining UT Health, Chuk served as the director of clinical services with a for profit, multispecialty hospital. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Master Business Administration and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in executive leadership from the university of Texas at Tyler. In addition to professional certifications in Advanced Nurse Executive leadership and Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Chuk has earned Institute of Healthcare Improvement certificate in quality and safety and Federal Emergency management Administration Certificates.
Outside of healthcare, Chuk is a volunteer at the East Texas Food Bank and PATH Bev’s Kids Reach Mentoring Program.
Chuk’s career is dedicated to leading clinical and operational excellence in Healthcare.
Member at Large
Guy Cayo, MHSA, CLSSGB, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer, UT Health Pittsburg (Ardent Health Services)
Guy B. Cayo has 15 years of healthcare experience with expertise in hospital operations, strategic planning & execution, contract management, business development & physician relations, and human capital management. He has served his community by leading improvement in health, quality of life, and through volunteerism and philanthropy.
In 2021, Guy joined the UT Health East Texas region of hospitals as UT Health Pittsburg Chief Executive Officer. UT Health Pittsburg is a 25 beds critical access hospital (5 star CMS, level four trauma, level three stroke support) located in Pittsburg, TX. The campus is also home to a rural health/specialty clinic.
Guy is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He previously served as Chair of ACHE Community & Philanthropy Committee and Co-Chair of Network & Relations for ACHE South East Texas Chapter. He has one son, Cayden A. Scott. Guy has several hobbies including scuba diving, archery, swimming, and hiking. In addition, he believes he is nothing without God’s grace and favor on his life.
Member at Large
Kerrie Anne Ambort-Clark, MBA
Faculty, Department of Management and Marketing, Soules College of Business Executive Director, Executive MBA Healthcare Management Program Director, Healthcare Leadership Distinction, School of Medicine President, Academy of Distinguished Teachers, The University of Texas at Tyler
Kerrie Anne Ambort-Clark, MBA
Faculty, Department of Management and Marketing, Soules College of Business
Executive Director, Executive MBA Healthcare Management Program
Director, Healthcare Leadership Distinction, School of Medicine
President, Academy of Distinguished Teachers
The University of Texas at Tyler
Kerrie Anne Ambort-Clark’s professional focus is on strategic leadership. Kerrie Anne designs, develops, and executes the implementation of programs and curricula in business and the business aspects of healthcare. Kerrie Anne is passionate about developing the next generation of healthcare leaders. Kerrie Anne has served The University of Texas at Tyler since 2009 where her drive to provide a challenging yet engaging learning environment, centered around innovation and critical thinking, is coupled with her passion for the overall success of every stakeholder she works with.
Kerrie Anne has her Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in the disciplines of Management and Marketing. Kerrie Anne was at the forefront of developing the first executive education healthcare program at The University of Texas at Tyler in 2010 where she worked to connect healthcare professionals and administrators to executive graduate education. Kerrie Anne continues to lead executive education in healthcare initiatives as the founding Executive Director for the first executive MBA program in the Soules College of Business, the Executive MBA Healthcare Management Program. Kerrie Anne is the Director for the Healthcare Leadership Distinction in the School of Medicine (SOM) and a contributing faculty member to the PHSS course Healthcare Administration Leadership and Management (HALM) module in the SOM.
Leadership training modules used in academia as well as industry have been developed by Kerrie Anne. She has provided leadership development to community stakeholders including an “Elements of Leadership -Improving Communication and Group Decision Making” presentation to CHRISTUS® Trinity Mother Frances Health System leadership. In addition to teaching, strategic development, and the development of leadership initiatives, Kerrie Anne was previously a Contractor of Special Projects at UT Tyler for the office of the Provost and Academic Innovation and Student Success where she worked with University Administration on state authorization, faculty development, and developing online education standards and best practices.
Recognized for her innovations and excellence in teaching; Kerrie Anne was named a 2019 Faculty Fellow in the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, she was recognized as a 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award recipient for UT System, the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Award recipient for Teaching in the College of Business and Technology at UT Tyler, and a 2016 Cengage Pride/Ferrell Innovations in Teaching Competition Finalist for the Society for Marketing Advances. Kerrie Anne also serves as a Faculty Advisor for various student organizations.
Kerrie Anne is a ROTA, Fellow in the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, and President [2022-2024] for the Academy. She is a 2019 graduate of Leadership Women Texas. Kerrie Anne is a board member for the East Texas American College of Healthcare Executives [ACHE] and serves as the Academic Liaison. Kerrie Anne was named the “2022 Mentor of the Year” by the Office of Leadership and Service for her contributions to mentoring students. Kerrie Anne also serves as a faculty Mentor for AMP, the Academy Mentoring Program.
Member at Large
President, FaithSearch Partners, Inc
Ed Fry has successfully assisted healthcare systems, hospital boards and executive teams in securing visionary leaders for more than 30 years. Prior to founding FaithSearch Partners in 2007, he held senior/partner positions with Witt/Kieffer and Russell Reynolds Associates, two large international executive search firms.
To date, he has managed more than 500 searches, including nearly 100 CEO-level searches. His clients have included more than half of the 20 largest healthcare systems in the country. A large focus of his practice has been with faith-based hospitals and systems.
Ed was one of four individuals who founded HealthSearch Partners and serves as its President/CEO, leading the firm’s day-to-day operations as well as implementing strategic initiatives.
Ed holds an MBA from Dallas Baptist University and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Southwestern Adventist University, where he is a member of the institution’s board of trustees. He also serves on the board of the Ardmore Institute of Health, a $75 million, faith-based national foundation promoting wellness and healthy living, recently completing a four-year stint as board chair.
Member at Large
Pulmonary Dept Manager, UT Heath North Campus Tyler
My healthcare career began as a middle school junior volunteer at Mother Frances hospital. I always looked up to healthcare providers but never thought I could compare to that extraordinary profession. Fast forward to 2001 freshman orientation in college, I thought I wanted to be an elementary teacher until I realized that wasn’t my calling at all. I wanted to be a nurse, and so nursing is what I did.
I earned my ADN from Tyler Junior College in 2004. I thought I would be a bedside nurse forever! My career began in Trauma ICU and I loved it! Life has its way and so, I thought I would try my hand at nursing leadership. For three years I managed a small rural Emergency Department. Surprisingly nothing happens Monday – Friday 8a-5p in the ED. As a young mother of two I learned it’s impossible to burn a candle at both ends. Thankfully I transitioned to managing the pulmonary department at UT Health for seven years. During that time I earned my BSN from UT Tyler. I still yearned for more education but not necessarily in nursing. With the encouragement of Dr. Julie Philley and several other leaders at UT Health I began the journey of earning a MHA. In the spring of 2022, I earned my MHA at UTHSCT. During the midst of earning my MHA, Covid happened. I was asked to lead the Covid vaccine clinic at UT Health, and that was an experience I will take with me forever. I was also honored to administer the first Covid vaccine in East Texas. Looking back, I have no idea how I did it, but I can say it would have been impossible without remarkable servant leadership from all over East Texas.
The Covid 19 mass vaccination clinic taught me how to be a versatile leader during a very turbulent time. It was through this experience that I knew my calling was healthcare leadership. Serving on the board of the ACHE East Texas chapter is an honor I will hold near and dear for many years to come and I am blessed to serve East Texas as a healthcare leader.
Member at Large
Jamie-Crystal Wylie, FACHE
Regional Research Director - Northeast Texas, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals & Clinics
Jamie-Crystal Wylie, FACHE, is currently CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic’s Project Manager Specialist, and supports the Cardiovascular and Neuroscience Institutes. She has been serving CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System for the past 4 years.
She completed her Bachelors in Science and Masters in Healthcare Administration from Texas A&M University, and completed her Administrative Fellowship with Northwestern Medicine in Lake Forest, Illinois. Before joining CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic, Jamie was the hospital administrator for a rural hospital and rural health clinic in Northeast Texas.
Jamie is a part of the Texas Hospital Association’s Fellows Class of 2015, became a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2017, and is honored to serve on the Northeast Texas ACHE Executive Committee for a second year.
Jamie resides in the Tyler-area with her husband, Matthew, and their three sons. She is active in her church, enjoys volunteering at the local Christian radio station, and loves traveling and spending time outdoors with family and friends.