Frederick P. Cerise, MD, MPH, was named President and 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.
With more than 22 years of experience in a variety of clinical and leadership roles at Parkland, Roberto de la Cruz most recently served as Chief of the Hospitalist Service at Parkland before being named Chief Medical Officer. In addition, he is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He served as Associate Medical Director of Parkland’s East Dallas Health Center, now known as Hatcher Station Health Center, from 1998 to 2000. He also completed a two-year appointment to Parkland’s Board of Managers from 2011 to 2013 and has served on the Board of Directors of the Parkland Foundation.
Dr. de la Cruz is a 15-year veteran of Hospitalist Medicine and was Associate Medical Director of the Texas Primary Care Hospitalist Service at Baylor Medical Center. He attended medical school at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and completed his residency training at UT Southwestern and Parkland. He is double board certified in Internal Medicine as well as Palliative Care and Hospice Medicine.
Dr. de la Cruz received the Distinguished Physician Award at Parkland in 1999, the John S. Miller Outstanding House Officer Award at UT Southwestern in 1996 and the Teaching Award at Baylor University Medical Center in 2004. He is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine and American College of Physicians.
Jim Dunn, PhD, DHA, DAST, 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, Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Southern Methodist University and both University of Texas at Dallas and Arlington.
Dr. Dunn holds a Doctor of Health Administration (DHA) 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 (DAST) from Emory University in Atlanta. Additionally he holds a Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management along with a certificate in human resources management (CSS) 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 numerous 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.
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.
David S. Lopez, FACHE, came to Parkland in 2016 as the Chief Operating Officer.
Before joining Parkland, Lopez served as Chief Executive Officer for nine years and Chief Operating Officer for four years at Harris Health System in Houston. He helped lead many initiatives to strengthen the fiscal health of the Harris Health System and improve the health of the community. Much of his career has been spent working in public health systems throughout Texas and he is committed to the public health care mission.
He earned both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Health Care Administration from Trinity University in San Antonio. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served in various roles for the American Hospital Association, Texas Hospital Association and National Association of Public Hospitals.
Esmaeil Porsa, MD, MPH, CCHP, is the Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy and Integration Officer at Parkland. 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 from Northeast Georgia Health System in Gainesville, Ga. 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, Ga. 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.