Networking | Learning | Advancement
Amir Farooqi, FACHE, was appointed Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) effective September 27, 2020 having served Veterans since 2002 at the medical center, network, and national levels. Prior to his appointment, he served in this role on an interim basis starting October 2, 2019 and previously served in this role on an acting basis from April 2019 – June 2019.
Mr. Farooqi previously served as Associate Director/Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center (VAMC) starting July 2017 and served in this role on an acting basis prior starting in November 2016. Prior to Tuscaloosa, he was Acting Assistant Director at Atlanta VAMC (August-November 2016). Starting in October 2015, he served formally as Public Affairs Officer for VA Southeast Network (VISN 7), having joined VISN 7 in November 2013 as Operations Manager and simultaneously serving as Interim Strategic Planner and Interim Public Affairs Officer for extended periods until September 2015.
Before VISN 7, Mr. Farooqi was the Senior Analyst in VHA Strategic Planning under the Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Policy and Planning, where he coordinated VHA’s National Leadership Council Strategic Planning Summit, supported the VHA Strategic Plan, and coordinated VHA’s Performance Plan in VA’s Congressional Budget submission. He started his VA career as an Administrative Fellow at G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VAMC in Mississippi, progressing to Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff and prior for the Chief Nurse Executive. While there, he received the Secretary’s Hero Award for service during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Mr. Farooqi achieved Fellow status in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) in 2009, has been a Member of the VA ACHE Regent’s Advisory Council since 2016, and is a Certified Mentor. He was recognized with the VA ACHE Regent’s 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Senior Leader Award. He is a graduate of the Executive Career Field Career Development Program (2008-2009), Leadership VA (2012-2013), and the Excellence in Government Fellow Program (2015-2016). He has served on various national and VISN committees and workgroups. He is Vice President/President-Elect for the Alabama Healthcare Executive Forum and previously served terms on other boards including the Leadership VA Alumni Association, Pets Are Loving Support (PALS), Mississippi HeARTs Against AIDS, and Unity Mississippi. He has spoken on national and regional webinars and panels related to leading successful change in healthcare organizations as well as diversity and inclusion. He is a Life Member of Mensa. Originally from Texas, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration, he is also a graduate of the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science.
Chad Collins, MHA, FACHE, CHFP, is a healthcare executive with over 10 years of healthcare experience. He serves as Administrative Director of Operations at the University of South Alabama Health where he oversees the hospital operations for gastroenterology, neurology, emergency medicine, as well as inpatient physical therapy, and laboratory operations. Additionally, he has held leadership roles in for-profit and not-for-profit sectors of healthcare, having stopped at Tenet Health, United Surgical Partners International, and Texas Health Resources along the way. Chad received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Faulkner University and his MHA from LSU Shreveport. Recently Mr. Collins was featured in the 2022 Becker’s Hospital Review’s 75 Black Healthcare Leaders to Know and 2022 Mobile Bay Magazine 40 Under 40. He was also the 2021 recipient of the ACHE of Alabama State Regent Early Careerist Award.
Mr. Collin’s community activities include NAHSE Birmingham Regional Chapter, ACHE of Alabama, Leadership Mobile, Mobile Chamber of Commerce, VP of the DREAM Foundation, VP of the board Child Day Care Association, Treasurer for Salty Kidz, Treasurer for Whale of Hope, Inc, and Fairhope Youth Sports Programs.
Robert Leech holds the position of Chief Compliance Officer for Enhabit Home Health & Hospice, formerly Encompass Health Home Health and Hospice. He holds an MPA degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Memphis, is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is certified by the Health Care Compliance Association in both healthcare compliance and healthcare privacy. He currently serves as Treasurer of ACHE of Alabama, is a past president of the Tennessee Association for Home Care and a past board member of the National Association for Home Care, representing eight (8) states in the Southeastern US. Prior to joining Encompass Health (HealthSouth) in 2006, he was Chief Operating Officer of Unity Hospice Care, LLC and is the former Director of Home Health for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, based in Memphis, TN. He began his career with Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare.
Caitlyn P. Traffanstedt
Secretary & Region 3 Co-Director
Caitlyn serves as a Performance Improvement Analyst within the Office of Patient Safety at East Alabama Health (EAH) in Opelika, AL. Most of her day-to-day work includes project management and working with other departments of the hospital to improve processes, outcomes and strategic goals within the organization. Caitlyn is an alum of Auburn University and is currently working on her Master of Health Administration (MHA) at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM). Caitlyn also currently serves on the Communications and Education & Programs Committee within ACHE of Alabama.
Caitlyn lives with her husband Cody in Opelika, AL and enjoys working on home improvement projects, traveling to other cities and countries and watching a good movie!
Immediate Past President
Rett J. Grover completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama. He later received his Master of Science in Health Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed his Administrative Residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi and assumed the position of Director of Business Operations for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation in April of 2010. After several years at UMMC, Rett joined the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital and Ophthalmology Services Foundation as the Operations Administrator in 2012. In 2015, Rett became the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital & Clinics Chief Operating Officer and in 2018 he was named Chief Executive Officer. Grover is a member of the Alabama Hospital Association Birmingham Regional Council and the American College of Healthcare Executives. He serves as a board member for the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Ophthalmology Services Foundation and the Eyesight Foundation of Alabama.
Kidada Hawkins, FACHE
Kidada Hawkins is a healthcare executive with 13 years of experience in various senior leadership roles at both non-profit and for-profit acute care health systems. Prior to joining the 505-bed Princeton Baptist Medical Center as Chief Operating Officer, he served as CEO for Shoals Hospital in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Additionally, he has held executive roles within the Birmingham-based St. Vincent’s Health System
and Stringfellow Memorial Hospital in Anniston. Mr. Hawkins graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He received his Master of Science in Health Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Recently, Kidada was featured in Becker’s Hospital Review’s 68 African American Leaders in Healthcare 2019. This list included both established and emerging leaders throughout the country.
Mr. Hawkins’ community activities include completion of Leadership Shoals; President of ACHE of Alabama; and he serves as a board member for KidONe Transport, Inc., and chambers of commerce throughout the state.
He and his wife, Kia, have a daughter, Alahna, and a son, Houston.
Josef Saway is from Birmingham, AL. He attended University of Alabama at Birmingham earning his Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. While attending UAB, he was a part of the UAB Undergraduate Student Government Association, UAB Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, UAB Ambassadors, UAB Best Buddies, and UAB Inter- Fraternity Council. He is currently in the Master’s program for Business Administration at UAB.
Chapter Committee Chair- Communications
Lucy Hoyle serves as a Senior Associate of Strategy and Business Development for UAB Health System. She joined UAB Health System in 2018 to provide market analytic support and develop novel strategies to advance UAB initiatives.
Lucy received her undergraduate degree in Medicine, Health, and Society from Vanderbilt University and her Master of Science in health Administration and Master of Business Administration from UAB.
Ruben Martinez-Raposo, ME, MSHA
Chapter Committee Chair- Membership Engagement and Advancement
Ruben is a Healthcare IT executive with 17 years of experience working in various IT operations, management and leadership roles with Alabama startups companies such as Emageon and Awarix as well as global companies like McKesson, Change Healthcare and Becton & Dickinson. In this current role with Syntelli Solutions as a Healthcare Enterprise Account Executive he engages with Healthcare Executives to identify, evaluate and develop business intelligence, clinical decision support and data analytics solutions that will bring the most value out of their data to match their business strategies and drive optimal outcomes. Prior to his current role, he developed data and analytical platforms and products as a Program Manager for global medical device company Becton & Dickinson and as Senior Product Manager for McKesson and Change Healthcare. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems, completed his Master of Engineering in Information Sciences in 2012 and received his Masters of Science degree in Healthcare administration in 2015 all from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is an active member of HIMSS and ACHE of Alabama.
Chapter Committee Chair- Programs & Region 2 Director
Lavon Beard has over 16 years of healthcare experience. He is a licensed Physical Therapist who has practiced in several settings throughout his career. He earned a Master of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of South Alabama. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Jackson State University. Throughout his career as a Physical Therapist, he has held several leadership roles. Those roles included Lead Physical Therapist and Manager of Physical Therapy at UAB, an 1,100 bed hospital.
To further his leadership skills, Mr. Beard earned a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is currently the Director of Patient Experience at Princeton Baptist Medical Center where he is focused on improving Customer Satisfaction and Employee Engagement. Mr. Beard is very excited about serving with ACHE and looking forward to an amazing year.
He and his wife, Latoya, have a son, Loren, and a daughter, Lexie.
Director of Sponsorship
Mike Bartell received his undergraduate degree in Health Science at Fresno Pacific before serving four years in the USCG. He attended Loma Linda University for his MPH in Health Administration. His health administration career began in medical practice administration, which opened a door to the acute care setting. He started in the acute care setting as Director of Quality, which evolved into 7 years in business development and service line administration. Mike joined Encompass Health in 2014, which led to CEO positions in freestanding acute inpatient settings in Phoenix City and Birmingham. He currently serves as the CEO of Encompass Health Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital in Birmingham.
Director of Mentoring and Student Affiliations
DeWayne Bailey received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He currently serves as the Manager of the Alabama Rural Health Collaborative at UAB Health System.
Mr. Bailey’s community activities include: Past Vice President of UAB Minority Health and Health Equity Research Center (MHERC) Young Professionals Board; President- Elect of the National Association of Health Services Executives Birmingham Regional Chapter (NAHSE BRC); Benevolent Fund Council Member and the Kidney Advocacy Committee for the National Kidney Foundation.
CHANDRA BONDUGULA, MD
Region 1 Director
Chandra Bondugula, MD, is a healthcare executive with more than 23 years of combined experience in patient care, hospital operations, graduate medication, informatics and healthcare innovation. As a founding Designated Institutional Official (DIO), he is instrumental in developing Graduate Medical Education Program at North Alabama Medical Center, Florence, AL. He served as the director of healthcare operations and managed multiple co-management value-based programs and engaged many physicians and healthcare leaders in improving the outcomes.
He is active in healthcare IT and advanced technologies like analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. He has been a strong advocate of price transparency in healthcare. He focuses on value-based healthcare and workforce development in under resourced and rural healthcare communities.
Apart from medical education, he did Master of Health Informatics with healthcare administration focus from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is on the board of Shoals Community Clinic (SCC), a non profit clinic that provides medical and dental to people without health benefits in Shoals Community.
Region 1 Co- Director
Robert is a University of Kentucky Alum holding a master’s degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s in business administration. With more than a decade of experience in healthcare, Robert currently serves as the Executive Director of Network Strategy at Viva Health with responsibility for alternative payment arrangements, strategy and health policy. His passion in healthcare is focused in the areas of Population Health, Value-Based Care and Healthcare transformation. He has spent his entire career in this space providing leadership to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Clinically Integrated Networks (CINs) and Independent Physician Associations (IPAs).
Carol J. Ratcliffe, DNP, RN, COI, FACHE
Region 2 Co- Director
Dr. Carol J.Ratcliffe is chair and professor in the Healthcare Administration Department in the School of Public Health at Samford University. In addition to her roles in academia, she was vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer for 16 years in two top 10-large Catholic Healthcare Systems. Dr. Ratcliffe is a certified online instructor and board certified in healthcare management through the American College of Healthcare Executives where she is also a Fellow. She has published in peer reviewed journals and text books. Dr. Ratcliffe has been the invited speaker for numerous events and has presented internationally. She has received numerous awards and honors including induction into the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame in 2011. Dr. Ratcliffe received a BSN from the Capstone College of Nursing at University of Alabama in 1986, a MSN in Nursing Administration from UAB School of Nursing in 1995, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Nursing Administration from the Ida Moffett School of Nursing (IMSON) at Samford University in 2009.
Region 3 Director
Ledrick received his bachelorette from Auburn University Montgomery and his masters from Troy University Montgomery. Ledrick will be graduating from Walden University with a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration in 2022. Ledrick has 9-years of healthcare experience in operations management with an additional 4 years of healthcare sales experience. Currently, Ledrick is the Associate Vice President of Operations at CareHere, LLC. Before CareHere, Ledrick worked as the Chief Operating Officer for an urgent care company in Montgomery, Alabama.
Ledrick is from Greenville, Alabama but moved to Montgomery, Alabama after his tour of duty concluded with the U.S. Navy. Ledrick enjoys developing processes, policies, and protocols that positively impacts the patient’s experience and drives change for a healthier population of people. The CareHere model eliminates barriers such as cost, time constraints, and access to doctors and positions the patient-provider interaction as the focus in a patient visit. Ledrick loves the fact that patients of CareHere can get better or improve upon their current health issues with no cost to the patient.
Region 4 Director
Donna is a Senior Managing Consultant in BRG’s Healthcare Performance Improvement Portfolio Optimization Practice. Donna has more than 20 years in the hospital and physician clinic setting. Donna’s skill set in the acute & non-acute clinical settings have focused on operations, supply chain management, implementation, strategic planning, new program start-ups, quality, performance improvement, and physician-hospital collaboration/integration.
Donna received her Bachelor of Science (Nursing) from the University of South Alabama. She is currently completing her Doctorate of Healthcare Administration and projected to be finished December 2020.
Nancy Borkowski, DBA, CPA, FACHE, FHFM
Member At Large
Member At Large
Member At Large