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Leadership

Governance

Margaret Shannon – Chair

Margaret B. Shannon is a retired officer of BJ Services Company, a Fortune 500 international oil field services company operating worldwide. She served as their Vice President and General Counsel for 16 years until their acquisition by Baker Hughes Inc. Margaret served for six years on the Board of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities. She is actively involved in community activities, primarily in the health field. She also serves on the Board of Matador Resources Company, an oil and gas company listed on the NYSE.

Beth Robertson – Vice Chair

Beth Robertson is President of two real estate development firms. Her Houston firm is a member of the Greater Houston Partnership and she also serves as an Advisory Director for Amegy Bank of Texas. She is a Past Chair of the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System and currently serves as a Trustee of the Cullen Foundation and Chair of its Health Care Trust.

Stephen Williams – Secretary/Treasurer

Stephen Williams has been Director of the City of Houston Health and Human Services Department since May 2004. His work experience includes positions in behavioral health, health care, public health and general government. Prior to his current position, he served as Executive Manager of Travis County Health, Human Services and Veterans Services and Deputy Director of Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services.

Christopher Born

Mr. Christopher Born, a longtime executive with the Texas Children’s Hospital Integrated Delivery System, currently serves as the President of Texas Children’s Health Plan, as well as Texas Children’s Women’s Specialists.  The Health Plan currently serves nearly 300,000 Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) enrollees in the Greater Houston area.  Prior to this role, Chris served as President of Texas Children’s Pediatric Associates and numerous executive positions with Texas Children’s Hospital.  A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by background, Mr. Born holds an MBA from Rice University.

Katy Caldwell

Katy Caldwell is a native Houstonian and has extensive experience in a variety of community and civic organizations. She is currently chair of the AIDS Action Council and Executive Director of Legacy Community Health Services, Inc., a non-profit clinic in two locations in Houston. Her background includes having served as the elected Treasurer of Harris County and as a partner in a government relations and political consulting firm.

George S. Conklin

George S. Conklin is Senior Vice President for Information Management at CHRISTUS Health, one of the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare delivery system operating in two countries and in more than 300 locations. Additionally, as a member of CHRISTUS Health’s senior leadership team, he participates in setting short and long term strategic and tactical directions for the system at large. Mr. Conklin was also awarded the Smithsonian Institution Face of Innovation award in 1997 that recognized applications of computers to medical decision support at Integris Health in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Conklin writes and lectures frequently in the areas of health care informatics, systems implementation, ROI, clinical quality, and management of complicated information systems, biomedical and operating environments.

Cathy Easter

Cathy Easter is President and CEO of Methodist International, the global subsidiary of The Methodist Hospital System. Easter joined Methodist in 1991 and has had responsibility for various hospital operations and corporate functions during her 16-year tenure. She played a fundamental role in establishing the Community Benefits Program in 1993, and has coordinated Methodist’s charity care and community benefits programs ever since.

Lewis Foxhall, M.D.

Dr. Lewis Foxhall is a family medicine physician who has held a variety of positions with the Harris County Medical Society and the Texas Medical Association. His current position is Vice President of Health Policy at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Other organizations which have benefited from Dr. Foxhall’s expertise include the American Cancer Society, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Cancer Council. He has served for the past 14 months as Chair of the Harris County Public Health Care System Council.

David Lopez

David Lopez is the President and CEO of the Harris County Hospital District. HCHD is the fifth largest metropolitan public healthcare system in the nation. He has extensive experience in healthcare management and public policy issues. He serves on the board of the Teaching Hospitals of Texas and on various committees of the Texas Hospital Association (THA). David also serves on the Board of the National Association of Public Hospitals and is Chairman of the THA Council on Policy Development.

Steven B. Schnee, Ph.D.

Dr. Steven Schnee became Executive Director of MHMRA of Harris County, one of the largest community mental health and mental retardation service systems in the nation in 1992. Before coming to MHMRA, he was the Superintendent of the San Antonio State Hospital for five years and Executive Director of Central Counties Center for MHMR Services for thirteen years. Dr. Schnee has served on numerous TDMHMR committees.

Umair A. Shah, M.D., M.P.H.

Umair A. Shah, M.D., M.P.H, was appointed in May 2013, as Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) Executive Director and the Local Health Authority for Harris County, Texas – third most populous county in the United States. Prior to joining HCPHES, he was an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Chief Medical Officer at the Galveston County Health District. He earned his B.A. from Vanderbilt University; M.D. from University of Toledo Health Science Center; before completing an Internal Medicine residency, Primary Care/General Medicine fellowship, and M.P.H. at The University of Texas Health Science Center. His focus areas include population health, wellness and prevention; healthcare management; global/refugee health; health equity; community engagement; and emergency response. Dr. Shah currently serves as a member of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Board of Directors and also provides leadership in numerous national initiatives, remaining engaged in clinical patient care, academic teaching, and is actively involved in the local community.

Managment

Lisa Mayes, Executive Director

Ms. Lisa Mayes joined the Harris County Healthcare Alliance as the Executive Director in April 2013.  Lisa's professional background includes more than 25 years of experience in the communications, legislative, political, government and not-for-profit arenas, with particular focus on elevating the prominence and effectiveness of governmental relations and lobbying efforts for clients.  She was based in Austin, Texas for 26 years in various roles in and around state government.  Most recently, Lisa was Director of Government Affairs for the Texas Medical Center.  Lisa received her BA in Journalism/Radio-TV from Baylor University in 1984.

Sylvia Castillo, Executive Assistant

Sylvia Castillo has been the Executive Assistant to the Harris County Healthcare Alliance since January 2010 with the additional responsibility of providing support to TexHealth Harris County 3-Share Plan, Partners for Community Health (P4CH), and Greater Houston Health Information Exchange (GHHIE).  Prior to joining the Alliance, Ms. Castillo was employed with a private alternative education company for 11 years and brings extensive experience to this crucial position.  She brings a wealth of administrative skills and knowledge to all facets of the organization and has thrived in the Alliance workplace as she is unyielding to any responsibilities and challenges to which she is confronted.  During her tenure with the Alliance, she has proven to be an invaluable asset to this multi-faceted role and is loyal and dedicated to furthering the mission and vision of the Alliance.  Ms. Castillo continues to further establish herself with the Alliance and provides valuable contributions to the Alliance team as well as all other entities formed by HCHA.

Harry Holmes, PhD, Senior Policy Advisor

Dr. Holmes joined the Alliance September of 2008, as Senior Policy Advisor. His prior positions include President of Governmental Interface Strategies, a Washington, D.C. and Austin based healthcare public policy consulting firm, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at the Texas Medical Center, and Vice President for Governmental Relations at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Holmes has served on numerous bodies for health and higher education including but not limited to the boards of directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the National Coalition for Cancer Research and the National Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. A graduate of Rice University, Holmes earned his Ph.D. degree at the University of Missouri – Columbia in American Urban Development. He was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He has also completed executive management programs at Rice University Jesse H. Jones School of Management, Wharton School of Business, Stanford University and Harvard School of Public Health.

Diane Arms-Signore, CCFC Program Manager

Diane Arms-Signore joined The Alliance as the Community Clinics Funders' Collaborative (CCFC) Program Manager in July 2014. Prior to coming to The Alliance, she worked as an independent consultant preparing mental health agencies for Joint Commission accreditation in El Paso, Texas. In addition to her experience with privately funded organizations, Mrs. Arms-Signore served as Operations Administrator for a not-for-profit children’s behavioral health clinic under the El Paso Local Mental Health Authority, Emergence Health Network. She received her Master’s from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2009. She has received several grants to support her research, which consists of evaluating Health Related Quality of Life in the Colonias, Advancing Latinos Professional Development, using a web-based program to assist with smoking cessation and Efficient Colorectal Cancer Screening Aids. She is delighted to become part of The Alliance and collaborate with its members.

Stephen Collazo, Project Manager

Stephen Collazo joins the Harris County Healthcare Alliance with six years of experience in the Department of Social Work at MD Anderson Cancer Center. As the Administrative Social Work Counselor at MD Anderson, he managed projects focused on improving the psychosocial care that patients and families recieve across the continuum of the cancer experience. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Stephen also recieved a Masters of Science in Social Work specializing in community and adminstrative leadership from the University of Texas. Stephen has held state and national level leadership positions in the Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care seeking to improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare that addresses the psychosocial aspects of health and illness. He is excited to utilize his background and skills to advance the mission of the Harris County Healthcare Alliance.

LaVonne Carlson, Marketing & Communications Director

LaVonne Carlson brings 25 years of communications and marketing experience to the Alliance. While in New York City for 15 years, she worked for global corporations including DK Publishing (Penguin/Pearson), Random House, and Scholastic. During that time she authored five books (several related to health education) and developed and delivered numerous series on health-related topics. In the 10 years since returning to Houston, LaVonne has focused on marketing for nonprofit organizations such as The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston and Texas Children's Hospital, where she led community-outreach projects that won the AMA Crystal, PRSA Excalibur, and national MarCom Awards. She is pleased to contribute her skills in serving the Alliance and its members.

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