AHLCNTX’s Inaugural Event: Breaking the Bamboo Ceiling
October 20 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
ACHE of North Texas’ newly launched Asian Healthcare Leaders Community (AHLCNTX) is pleased to invite you to
their inaugural event! Asian healthcare leaders, friends, colleagues and allies are all invited to attend.
Benson Chacko, FACHE
Methodist Southlake Medical Center
Ajith Pai, PharmD, FACHE
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth
Nimesh Patel, MD, MBA
Executive Medical Director, Methodist Health System
Neurosurgeon, Methodist Dallas Medical Center
Donna Persaud, MD, MBA
Kean Villarta, MHSA
Thank you, Methodist Southlake for hosting this event!
Benson P. Chacko, FACHE, serves as President of Methodist Southlake Medical Center. In his role he provides day to day leadership for the hospital, collaboratively implements strategies, and efficiently manages hospital operations to maximize quality. Benson’s healthcare career spans two decades in various areas to include human resources, project management, ambulatory care, business development & strategy, physician relations and hospital operations. In 2018 he joined Methodist Health System as the Vice President of Operations at the systems’ flagship hospital Methodist Dallas Medical Center (MDMC), a 592-bed tertiary care facility. There he led operational improvements in many areas and expanded key service lines to include the construction of a 36-bed Progressive Care Unit, renovations of multiple patient care units and enhanced ancillary services. In his three years at MDMC he was responsible for implementing $82M of investments to enhance patient care and hospital operations. Through his executive leadership he ensured the delivery of high-quality care while maintaining efficient operations. Benson’s passion for the Methodist mission is paramount and with his growth-oriented style is committed to Methodist Health System. Prior to joining Methodist, he served in Chief Operating Officer roles in Tenet Healthcare at Des Peres Hospital in St. Louis, MO and The Hospitals of Providence-Sierra Campus in El Paso, TX. At Sierra Campus he managed a $53M, two-year renovation of the 329-bed tertiary care hospital. He relocated back to the DFW area to serve as the Interim Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer at Tenet’s joint venture hospital, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center Lake Pointe. There he led the organization through a successful Joint Commission Survey, achieved the Leap Frog “A” Rating for the organization, and led the corporate transition from Tenet Healthcare to Baylor Scott & White.
A native to DFW, Benson started his career as a junior volunteer at St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas, TX. His mother was a nurse at the hospital and this exposure at an early age defined his career path to serve in healthcare. He holds a Bachelors of Healthcare Administration from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, and Master of Healthcare Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from Texas Women’s University in Dallas. Throughout his career as a healthcare executive, Benson has continued to find time to serve on professional councils with the Texas Hospital Association and serving for community nonprofits such as The Boys & Girls Club and Center Against Sexual and Family Violence. Finally, he’s had the honor of being recognized by the United States Congress for Community Service during his time at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, CA.
Ajith Pai, PharmD, FACHE, has served as President of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth since July, 2022. Prior to this role, Ajith served as President of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne for nearly four years.
In the role of president, Ajith oversees day to day operations, works to advance physician engagement and promote effective employee, governance, and community relations. Ajith is responsible for ensuring the achievement of the hospital’s goals for patient safety, clinical and non-clinical quality, operational performance and patient, physician, and employee engagement.
Ajith received his Doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) from Texas Tech School of Pharmacy and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).
Ajith enjoys spending time with his family which includes his wife of 15 years, Myriam, their 7 year-old daughter, Elyse, their 21 month-old son Nikhil, and the newest addition, 8 month-old Yvette. He’s an avid runner and has participated in more than 15 marathons throughout the country and remains involved in the community through memberships on various boards and committees. Ajith is a proud Board member of ACHE of North Texas, was the 2020 national chair of ACHE’s Asian Healthcare Leaders Forum, continues to serve as an Asian Healthcare Leaders Community (AHLC) national committee member, and is a founding member of ACHE of North Texas’ AHLC.
Nimesh Patel, MD, MBA, has over two decades experience as a successful Dallas neurosurgeon. He is Section Chief of Neurosurgery for the Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Executive Medical Director of Methodist Health System in Dallas, where he leads a team of over a hundred physicians, nurses, and technicians committed to high quality patient care.
Dr. Patel is cited in numerous scientific publications. US News and World Report ranks him as a 5-Star Neurosurgeon, and he has been recognized among D Magazine’s Best Doctors for the past 15 years. He is a member of the Lone Star Dallas Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and also serves as the managing director of a successful Dallas based investment fund. He is the author of the soon to be released book, Beyond a White Coat: What I Wish I Knew as a Young Doctor.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing the acoustic guitar and spending time with his family.
Dr. Donna Persaud is a board-certified pediatrician and Medical Director in The Population Health Division at Parkland Health-the Dallas County safety net serving a diverse and under resourced population. She is the physician leader for the Homeless Outreach Medical Services (HOMES) program which is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) funded by HRSA. With direct responsibility for clinical quality of care for 8000+ unique individuals with 35,000 visits annually and leadership influence over several aspects of the entire division service including community primary care clinics, school- based clinics, and specialty care.
In the COVID 19 Pandemic, was the Medical Officer for the Federally Supported Community Based mega testing sites in Dallas. She provided leadership in setting up the first Parkland drive thru testing sites in North Texas and worked extensively with the health department, city of Dallas, shelter agencies and Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation (PCCI) to provide accessible testing, outreach, COVID 19 testing, vaccination and healthcare. The work resulted in a National Award for Parkland Health from America Essential Hospitals for COVID Pandemic Response. Additionally, she is the Medical Director for the Community Health Needs Initiatives- population level metric driven, multi-pronged long-range projects deployed by several clinical and community outreach teams to address health disparities.
Her publication and research focus areas are disparities in care; social determinants of health; population health registries; vaccine decision making; predictive risk driven health care for pediatric asthma and preterm delivery prevention.
She received her medical degree from the University of West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica.
Pediatric residency-University of Miami, Ambulatory Fellowship UTMB Galveston and MBA-UT Dallas. She is volunteer faculty for UTSW and Guyana Pediatrics and was a Parkland Distinguished Physician Awardee in 2011 and 2021.
Kean Villarta, MHSA, is currently a manager, program development and project management, at Children’s Health System of Texas where he leads and manages a portfolio of systemwide projects in construction, healthcare compliance and accreditation, clinical operations, and information technology.
He previously served as the Business Operations Manager at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Heart and Transplant Institute. He received his master’s degree in health systems administration from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree in health science from the University of Florida.
Kean is excited to work and collaborate with colleagues and leaders across the world and continue advocating for pediatric hospitals.