Networking  |  Learning  |  Advancement

ACHE Chapter Positions

Select an image to view a bio

Officers

Michael Bartell

Michael Bartell

President

Mike Bartell

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.

Michael Bartell, FACHE
President

Lavon Beard

Lavon Beard

Vice President/President-Elect

Lavon Beard

Lavon Beard has over 18 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 Manager of Physical Therapy at UAB and Director of Patient Experience at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. 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 Associate Administrator at Princeton Baptist Medical Center where he is focused on operational excellence. 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.

Lavon Beard, FACHE
Vice President/
President-Elect

Liz Mahon

Liz Mahon

Treasurer

Liz Mahon DPT, MBA, FACHE is a healthcare executive with over 25 years’ experience in healthcare across the continuum. Liz is currently a healthcare consultant for Kassouf and Company in Birmingham, AL where she provides consulting services to solo physician practices, multispecialty practices, critical access hospitals and large healthcare enterprises within Alabama and across the nation. Prior to joining Kassouf, Liz worked as the CEO for a rehabilitation hospital in Alabama where she led operations for a 49-bed facility.  Liz has worked in a variety of settings, both in clinical and leadership roles in South Africa, for the NHS England and in the US. Liz is passionate about creating cultures that foster enhanced experiences for patients and that support employee wellness and resiliency.

Liz has a clinical background as a physical therapist and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.  She also has a MA from Denver Seminary, a DPT from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions, Provo, UT and an MBA from the University of St Mary, Leavenworth, Kansas.  

Liz became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Professions in 2021. She is a member of Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and the Healthcare Leaders Association of Alabama.

Liz Mahon, FACHE
Treasurer

Caitlyn P. Traffanstedt

Caitlyn P. Traffanstedt

Secretary

Caitlyn currently serves as a Supply Chain Business Analyst within Supply Chain Services at East Alabama Health in Opelika, AL. Caitlyn works to develop analysis strategies and tracking tools for supply chain and organizational KPI’s as well as provides support and analysis for Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) and Value Analysis opportunities across the system. Additionally, Caitlyn provides project management and process improvement strategies for the department, including participating in GPO, prime distributor, MMIS, and vendor management conversions. Caitlyn recently completed her Master of Health Administration (MHA) at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) in 2023. Additionally, Caitlyn has been a part of ACHE of Alabama for several years and recently received the “Early Careerist” Regent’s Award at the Healthcare Policy Summit in 2023. Outside of work and ACHE, Caitlyn had the opportunity to conduct research on the Holocaust, specifically the Swedish White Buses Rescue Mission that saved over 15,000 lives through the Swedish Red Cross, including traveling to Sweden to meet an ancestor involved in the Rescue. Caitlyn is passionate about serving others, building relationships, and making a difference in someone’s life, whether big or small.

Caitlyn P. Traffanstedt
Secretary

Committee Chairs and Directors

James Stout

James Stout

Chapter Committee Chair – Programs

James Stout

James Stout
Chapter Committee Chair
Programs

Rebecca Simon

Rebecca Simon

Chapter Committee Chair – Director of Membership Engagement & Advancement

Rebecca Simon

Rebecca earned her MBA from the University of Alabama. She is an Associate of Strategic Planning and Business Development at UAB Medicine. She also serves on the ACHE of Alabama Board as the Membership Engagement and Advancement Chair. She’s excited to help our Alabama chapter grow and to keep our members engaged through various educational and networking activities.

Rebecca Simon
Chapter Committee Chair
COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING

Timothy Wright

Timothy Wright

Chapter Board Member – Director, Sponsorship

Timothy Wright

I work as a Senior Accountant in Montgomery, AL, for the Baptist Health Center of Central Alabama. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I decided to leave Birmingham, AL, and pursue a career in healthcare, which was the catalyst towards continuing my education with Auburn University in Montgomery to acquire a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. Through my education at AUM, I learned of the ACHE organization of which it is a privilege to serve with others voluntarily in the culmination of ideas to improve the delivery of care throughout our national healthcare system. Other than school and work, I enjoy traveling, outdoor activities, and  serving with others in voluntary organizations within the Montgomery Community.

Timothy Wright
Chapter Board Member
Director of Sponsorship

Veronicia Johnson

Veronicia Johnson, MBA, BSHCM, ASN, LNHA, ALA

Chapter Board Member – Student Affiliations & Mentoring

Veronicia Johnson

Veronicia Johnson, MBA, BSHCM, ASN, LNHA, ALA, has over 16 years of long-term care experience. She is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and Assisted Living Administrator in the States of Alabama and Georgia. She earned a Master of Science in Business Administration from Troy University and recently completed her Associate of Science in Nursing from Troy University (December 2023). She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management and Community Health Education from the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB). While attending UAB, she was a part of the UAB Track and Field Team. There, she was awarded Student-Athletes of the Week and a Conference Academic Honor Award. Throughout her career in long-term care, she has worked in various roles, which include leadership roles, with the past 12 years being Executive Director. Throughout her career in long-term care, she has also received several awards, which include several deficiency-free surveys, quality awards, customer service excellence awards, and most recommended facility awards.

Ms. Johnson is currently the Executive Director at North Hill Health and Rehab, a 190-bed skilled nursing and rehab facility that offers short- and long-term care. Her focus is managing the facility’s day-to-day operation, improving the patient’s quality of care and life while providing the highest quality of care possible. Ms. Johnson is excited about serving with ACHE and looks forward to a fantastic year.

Veronicia Johnson
MBA, BSHCM, ASN, LNHA, ALA

Chapter Board Member
Director of Student Affiliations & Mentoring

Regional Program Directors and Co-Directors

Chandra Bondugula, MD

Chandra Bondugula, MD

Chapter Board Member – Director of Region 1

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.

Chandra Bondugula, MD
Chapter Board Member
Director of Region 1

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco

Chapter Board Member – Co-Director of Region 1

Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco, Ph.D., MBA, is an associate professor and Coordinator of the Healthcare Administration program in the Business Department at Oakwood University and also teaches in the Department of School of Nursing and Health Professions at Oakwood University. Dr. Blanco’s teaching experience includes Montemorelos University School of Public Health in Mexico, Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California, and Andrews University College of Health and Human Services in Michigan. In addition, during his professional career, he served as Regional Public Health Administrator II, Manager of Lloyd Baum Dental Clinic, and Coordinator of the Health Window (Ventanilla de Salud). Dr. Blanco completed his undergraduate studies in Public Accounting at the Latin-American University of Science and Technology, his Master’s degree in Business Management at Montemorelos University, and his Doctoral degree in Healthcare Administration at Capella University.

Special areas of interest include patient experience, ethics in healthcare delivery, and healthcare reimbursement.

Richard Blanco
Ph.D., MBA

Chapter Board Member
Co-Director of Region 1

Phil Cendoma

Phil Cendoma

Chapter Board Member – Director of Region 2

Phil Cedoma

Dr. Cendoma is an Assistant Professor in University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)’s Department of Health Service Administration.  Currently, he teaches undergraduate and master’s degree-level courses in Healthcare Finance within his department as well as a doctorate-level course at UAB’s School of Nursing. His research interests include Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), operational performance of rural hospitals, as well as innovative approaches and disruptive trends in health care.

Prior to joining UAB, Dr. Cendoma was a hospital administrator for 5+ years.  He worked in both the not-for-profit as well as the for-profit sectors of health care.  As a hospital executive, his primary responsibility was managing the hospital’s financial operations.  His managerial responsibilities included labor management, growing service line revenues, controlling expenses, capital budget, construction projects, and driving process and quality improvement initiatives.

Dr. Cendoma’s educational background includes a BS in Finance as well as a dual master’s degree, an MBA and a master’s degree in Health Administration from the #1 MHA program in the nation ranked by US News and World Report, UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham).

Earlier in his career, Dr. Cendoma was a health insurance consultant in his hometown of Las Vegas, NV.  He and his wife, Raime, are proud parents of two young boys, Vaughn (10 years old) and Theodore (8 years old).  They are very much a soccer family with both boys playing competitive soccer year-round.  Outside of sports, they love to travel as a family and explore new places… their next bucket list travel destination is Finland.

Phil Cendoma
PhD, MSHA, MBA, FACHE

Chapter Board Member
Director of Region 2

Jeremy Herring

Jeremy Herring

Chapter Board Member – Co-Director of Region 2

Jeremy joined CVMC in September 2017 as the Director of Imaging & CV Services. Prior to joining CVMC, Jeremy worked for Tanner Health System in Carrollton, GA. Jeremy graduated from Armstrong Atlantic State University with a BS in Radiologic Science and took his registry to become a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist (RCIS). After gaining several years of experience in the cath lab, Jeremy completed his Masters in Healthcare Administration. He has since obtained registry as a Certified Radiology Administrator, Certified Healthcare Finance Professional, and Fellow American College of Healthcare Executives. Jeremy serves on the Healthcare Advisory Board for the Coosa County School System, the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the American College of Healthcare Executives’ Alabama Chapter Board of Directors.

Jeremy Herring
RCIS, CRA, CHFP, FACHE

Chapter Board Member
Co-Director of Region 2

Cody Traffanstedt

Cody Traffanstedt

Chapter Board Member – Director of Region 3

Cody Traffanstedt is the Region 3 Director for ACHE of Alabama. He currently serves as the director of specialty clinics at East Alabama Health where he oversees the operations of rheumatology, urology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, and maternal fetal medicine. Cody has a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Auburn University in Montgomery (AUM) and a Bachelor’s in Health Services Administration from Auburn University. With a diverse background in healthcare, including experience in long term care administration and healthcare analytics, Cody is passionate about education, serving his local community, and ensuring the needs of the aging populations within our communities are met. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Cody Traffanstedt, FACHE
Chapter Board Member
Director of Region 3

Caitlyn P. Traffanstedt

Caitlyn P. Traffanstedt

Chapter Board Member – Co-Director of Region 3

Caitlyn currently serves as a Supply Chain Business Analyst within Supply Chain Services at East Alabama Health in Opelika, AL. Caitlyn works to develop analysis strategies and tracking tools for supply chain and organizational KPI’s as well as provides support and analysis for Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) and Value Analysis opportunities across the system. Additionally, Caitlyn provides project management and process improvement strategies for the department, including participating in GPO, prime distributor, MMIS, and vendor management conversions. Caitlyn recently completed her Master of Health Administration (MHA) at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) in 2023. Additionally, Caitlyn has been a part of ACHE of Alabama for several years and recently received the “Early Careerist” Regent’s Award at the Healthcare Policy Summit in 2023. Outside of work and ACHE, Caitlyn had the opportunity to conduct research on the Holocaust, specifically the Swedish White Buses Rescue Mission that saved over 15,000 lives through the Swedish Red Cross, including traveling to Sweden to meet an ancestor involved in the Rescue. Caitlyn is passionate about serving others, building relationships, and making a difference in someone’s life, whether big or small.

Caitlyn P. Traffanstedt
Chapter Board Member
Co-Director of Region 3

Brittany Brown

Brittany Brown

Chapter Board Member – Director of Region 4

Brittany Brown

A registered nurse by training with a Bachelor of Science as well as a Master of Science degree (Nursing Executive Administration) from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Clinical background in both adult and pediatric intensive care and adult Sickle Cell Disease management. In addition, advanced training in Sickle Cell Disease counseling and collaborative program development of the PACT Program (Pediatric to Adult Care Transition Program) for adolescents transitioning to adult Sickle Cell Disease care at USA Health. In addition, national board certifications acquired include the American Nurses Credentialing Center-Nurse Executive Certification. Actively in a postmaster program through The University of South Alabama for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, with anticipated completion in Spring of 2024.

A class of 2019 40 under 40 recipient for Mobile, Alabama, 2021 Distinguished Young National Level Leader award, the 2023 Mobile Medical Museum leadership award and the international recognition by PerfectServe “2023 Nurses of Note” award.

Priority focus on further development of healthcare access for underserved patient populations and contributing to the development of community partnerships to provide specialty services.

An active member of the following professional organizations: Gulf Coast Organization for Nursing Leadership, Alabama Organization for Nursing Leadership and Director for the American College of Healthcare Executives, state of Alabama, Region 4. Community volunteer work includes Aubreigh’s Army 328 Foundation and Buy a Tree, Change a Life, LLC. In addition, volunteer partnerships with several local high schools to provide mentorship, interview skills and resume development for junior and senior grade students.

Brittany Brown
Chapter Board Member
Director of Region 4

Steve Le Moine

Steve Le Moine

Chapter Board Member – Co-Director of Region 4

Steve Le Moine

Steve Le Moine joined Infirmary Health in October 2020 and is the Vice President for Cardiovascular / Neuroscience service lines.

He attended Virginia Commonwealth University for a Master of Health Administration degree after completing and Bachelor of Science (Healthcare Administration) from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

He is an accomplished healthcare executive with over 20 years of experience within the areas of health system operations, service lines, quality improvement and patient engagement.

Steve has been a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives since 1998 and appreciated every moment with the organization.

During his time in Alabama, Steve furthered his commitment to his community, Spanish Fort, by joining their fire department as a Volunteer Fire Fighter.

Steve is married to his wife Stephanie and together they are raising five wonderful children.

Steve Le Moine
Chapter Board Member
Co-Director of Region 4

Members At-Large & Past President

Michael McEachern

Michael McEachern

Chapter Board Member – At-Large

Michael L. McEachern is an accomplished healthcare professional with a wealth of experience and unwavering dedication. Currently serving as Executive-in-Residence and MHA Program Director for Auburn University at Montgomery, Dr. McEachern boasts over 30 years of practical leadership in the healthcare industry.

His extensive career includes roles as a Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Sr. Vice President, EMS leader, and educator. Dr. McEachern’s impact spans acute and long-term acute care health systems, free-standing hospitals, and a variety of organizational structures, including non-profit, for-profit, religious-sponsored, government entities, and distressed organizations. Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in developing leaders and transforming healthcare delivery systems.

Noteworthy accomplishments include his role as Chief Operating Officer for a two-hospital regional system, where he spearheaded the development of a NeuroSpine Institute, establishing Medical Staff membership contingent on quality outcomes. As Chief Executive Officer of a regional trauma and teaching hospital, Dr. McEachern successfully grew a center for research studies in cardiac surgery and implemented six-sigma programs. During his tenure as Chief Operating Officer, he orchestrated the transition of physician-dominated anesthesia services to a collaborative model, integrating Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists and Anesthesiologists.

In the realm of EMS leadership, Dr. McEachern contributed significantly to regional and state bodies tasked with developing EMS standards. His influence extends to teaching seminars at The Congress of the American College of Healthcare Executives and presenting to CEO groups on transformation through methodologies such as six-sigma, LEAN, simulation, and emotional intelligence.

At the university level, Dr. McEachern’s educational impact encompasses courses in Healthcare, Leadership, and Development at the undergraduate level, as well as Masters’ level courses in Finance, Leadership, Health Policy, and Quality Improvement. Additionally, he has played a pivotal role in mentoring several administrative residents in healthcare administration.

Passionate about innovation in healthcare that enhances cost, quality, and access, Dr. McEachern is not only a seasoned professional but also an active member of his church and various community organizations. His commitment to the field is evident through his status as a Life-Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Board Member of the Alabama Chapter of ACHE, Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality, and membership in The National Association of Health Service Executives (NAHSE). Dr. McEachern’s dedication to excellence and service sets him apart as a leader in the healthcare sector.

Michael McEachern, FACHE
Chapter Board Member
At-Large

Amir Farooqi

Amir Farooqi

Chapter Board Member – At-Large

Amir Farooqi

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 medical center, network, and national levels. Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System is a Level 2 Facility with two historic campuses (101yo and 84yo respectively) in addition to 8 outpatient clinic sites across Central and South Alabama and West Georgia (2 located on military bases) serving a growing population of 54,500 unique Veteran patients with a budget over $598 Million.

Mr. Farooqi 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 (currently Awards and Recognition Chair), and is a Certified Mentor. He was recognized with the VA ACHE Regent’s 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Senior Leader Award as well as the Alabama ACHE Regent’s 2021 Senior Leader Award and the ACHE Distinguished Service Award in 2023.

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 serves on the VHA GHATP Advisory Board. He is a Past President for ACHE of Alabama and current Board Member-At-Large, national Chair of the ACHE LGBTQ+ Health Leaders Community Committee, Board Member for the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, and Board Member on the Alabama Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund Advisory Board.

He 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. 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 and a Life Member of Mensa.

Amir Farooqi, FACHE
Chapter Board Member
At-Large

Chad Collins

Chad Collins

Past President

Chad Collins

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.

Chad Collins, FACHE
Past President

Regents and Interns

Robert Leech

Robert Leech

Regent

Robert Leech

Robert Leech is the Alabama Regent for the American College of Healthcare Executives. Robert presently holds the position of Chief Compliance & Privacy Officer for Enhabit Home Health & Hospice. He has a Bachelors Degree from Christian Brothers University, a 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 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 Enhabit, he was VP for Home Health & later VP for Compliance for Encompass Health (HealthSouth) beginning in 2006.

Robert Leech, FACHE
Regent