Frederick P. Cerise, MD, MPH, was named Chief Executive Officer in March 2014.
Prior to joining Parkland, Dr. Cerise served as Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans School of Medicine. From 2007 to 2012, he was Vice President for Health Affairs and Medical Education of the Louisiana State University System. From 2004 to 2007, Dr. Cerise was Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. He began his career at the Earl K. Long Medical Center, Baton Rouge, La. Between 1991 and 2004, he advanced from the role of Assistant Program Director and Clinical Faculty member to Medical Director and ultimately served as Chief Executive Officer.
Dr. Cerise holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Notre Dame and earned his Medical Degree at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. In 2011, he earned a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University School of Public Health. He is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and has served on the Louisiana Federal Health Care Reform Steering Committee and the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, among others.
Jim Dunn, PhD, joined Parkland in January 2014 from the Cleveland Clinic where he served as the Executive HR and Learning Officer for the Office of Learning and Performance Development.
Prior to that, he acted as Chief Learning Officer for Texas Health Resources and as National Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Strategies for the American Cancer Society. Additionally, he led the global HR operations for former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta. Dr. Dunn also served in Adjunct Professor roles for Harvard School of Public Health, Morehouse School of Medicine and both University of Texas at Dallas and Arlington.
Dr. Dunn holds a Doctor of Healthcare Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and a PhD in Organization Development and Management from Benedictine University. He received his Master of Public Health with a specialization in occupational epidemiology and doctorate for advanced study in teaching from Emory University in Atlanta and a master’s certificate in human resources management from Harvard University. He completed his Bachelor of Science in chemistry and macro-environmental science at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He also holds eight professional certifications in the areas of strategic HR and learning, including Senior Professional in Human Resources and certified compensation and benefits designations.
Mary Findley joined Parkland in 2011 from Corporate Integrity Partners, LLC, a health care consulting company specializing in health care compliance program design, implementation assessment, conflicts of interest disclosure management, health care contract managements and other consulting services.
Prior to that, Findley spent nearly 20 years with the Baylor Health Care System in Dallas. She began as a tax manager and worked her way up to become Baylor’s vice president and chief compliance officer.
Findley holds a Master of Science degree in tax accounting from Texas Tech University, is a certified public accountant and certified in health care compliance from the Health Care Compliance Association. She is a member of the Health Care Compliance Association.
Kris Gaw joined Parkland in March 2014 from Renown Health in Reno, Nev., where she started as an emergency room registration supervisor in 1987. Since 2008, Kris has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Renown Regional Medical Center, an 808-bed tertiary care facility and the region’s only Level II trauma center providing services that span over an 80,000 mile radius from Sacramento to Salt Lake City. Previously, she served as the system’s Vice President of Human Resources for six years.
She received both a bachelor’s and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a member of American College of Healthcare Executive, and is a Certified Rapid Process Improvement Workshop Leader.
Ron Laxton, DNP, RN, joined Parkland in March 2012 as Chief Implementation Officer.
Prior to that, Dr. Laxton worked as a health care consultant for various medical systems. In this role, he provided consultative services on all aspects of performance improvement to hospital and health care organizations, including productivity analysis, patient satisfaction, physician engagement, cost containment, survey preparations and strategic planning. Dr. Laxton also served as the Chief Nurse Executive for Renown Regional Medical Center and Renown Children’s Hospital from 2003 before being promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2005. Before that, he worked as Chief Nurse Executive at Inova Fairfax Hospital from 1996 to 2000.
Dr. Laxton graduated with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in nursing degrees from Marymount University in Arlington, Va. He completed a doctoral degree at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Laxton is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives, American Organization of Nurse Executives, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and other professional leadership organizations.
Paul Leslie joined Parkland in October 2010 as Interim General Counsel. He was named Executive Vice President and General Counsel in October 2011.
Prior to joining Parkland, Leslie was a partner with Taber Estes Thorne & Carr, a Dallas-based law firm. He brings more than 25 years of legal experience, including as an in-house assistant general counsel of a Fortune 250 hospital and health care company, where he was responsible for its managed care legal operations and all enterprise-wide, non-insured litigation and government inquiries and investigations.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University and a law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law.
John Moore, CPA, joined Parkland in January 2015 from Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he served as Vice President/Chief Financial Officer since 2008. There he was responsible for financial operations, patient accounting, Health Information Management, patient access, information systems, communications and wound care.
Prior to that, Moore was Chief Financial Officer at Northwest Medical Center Oro Valley in Tucson, where he was responsible opening and staffing all financial-related areas of a de novo hospital. Moore also has served as Senior Financial Analyst for Triad Hospitals, Inc., in Plano; Chief Financial Officer at Samaritan Surgicenters of Arizona in Phoenix; and accounting manager for HCA-The Healthcare Company in Dallas.
Moore earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University. He is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
Sharon Phillips joined Parkland in 1985 from Maricopa County Hospital, where she started her health care career as a nurse in 1981. She quickly advanced to a variety of clinical and administrative leadership positions across the Parkland system. Phillips has over 20 years of experience managing and delivering health care. In 1997, her focus expanded to include establishment of the Parkland Health Plan and further development of the community clinic network, and in March 2006 her responsibilities extended to include providing health care services for adult and juvenile inmates in the Dallas County Jail Health System, the seventh largest in the United States, serving more than 100,000 people. Phillips and her team took a jail that was on the verge of being federally operated to an exemplary county jail system.
Phillips earned her registered nurse licensure in 1980, and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dallas Baptist University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Esmaeil Porsa, MD, MPH, CCHP was named Interim Chief Medical Officer in 2015. He previously worked in the Parkland system as the Senior Vice President of Professional and Academic Affairs and Associate Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Porsa earned a bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center Medical School in San Antonio, Texas, and a master’s degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Porsa completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas, and served as Chief Medical Resident. In addition, he completed a fellowship in primary care at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Porsa’s research has focused on management of tuberculosis as well as management of MRSA in the correctional health setting. From 1991-1992, he was Research Fellow with the American Heart Association, studying the effects of heart failure on the aortic smooth muscle function.
Karen Watts joined Parkland in May 2015 coming from Northeast Georgia Health System in Gainesville, Georgia where she served as System Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer since 2013. She was responsible for all of emergency, medicine, surgery, staffing, professional practice, transport, dispatch, transfer center, wound care center and skilled nursing facilities.
Prior to that role, Watts served as the System Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Good Shepherd Health System in Longview, Texas and System Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. She has also served in various leadership roles including Executive Director of Ancillary Services, Quality and Patient Safety, Business Administration for Service Lines and Physician Practice Administration. Her background includes strategic planning, productivity analysis, patient satisfaction, employee engagement, patient safety, lean models, patient flow and professional practice implementation.
Watts holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Armstrong Atlantic State University and a Master of Science in Nursing from Georgia Southern University. She is certified as a Nursing Executive-Advanced. She is a member of American Organization of Nurse Executives, American Nurses Association, Texas Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and the American College of Healthcare Executives.