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First Quarter Double Panel Education Event

Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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Offering 3.0 Face-to-Face Credits (1.5 per panel)

Panel 1: Equity of Care

Quality of care should not vary based on the patients’ socioeconomic, ethnic, gender, or geographic background. It is known however, there is a healthcare divide in the U.S. especially in vulnerable populations including: those lacking health insurance, low income families, racial and ethnic minorities, and LGBT populations. The Affordable Care Act aims to address access and equity of care issues by expanding health insurance coverage. The improvement in access to care will change the way healthcare is delivered and financed.

To embrace diversity is a core principle of the healthcare management profession and is also an ethical and business imperative. Healthcare organizations must ensure their staff is educated on disparities in order to appropriately address the needs of patients from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds to provide equitable high-quality care to all. It has been shown that patient-centered care improves clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing medical errors and costs. Eliminating healthcare disparities provides a strategic component to ensure organizational excellence and long-term financial viability.

Moderator: Virginia Rose-Harris, MBA, FACHE
VP of Service Line Officer & Administrator
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital


Tiffany Capeles, MBA
Director, Health Equity

Nydia A. Gonzalez, MS, CCDP
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
JPS Health Network

James H. Sammons Jr., M.D., M.S., FACHE, FACOG
Chief Medical Officer
Texas Health Arlington Memorial

Panel 2: Diversity in Healthcare Management: Value-Added Business Sense

Diversity in healthcare management is of critical importance and this factor must be recognized in the health care industry as organizations explore their recruitment processes. An increasingly diverse patient population can place pressure on health care organizations to reflect the communities they serve. Healthcare leaders also recognize that diversity brings fresh perspectives and skills provided by diverse employees that can help produce a bottom-line benefit for their organization, resulting in added value as well as competitive advantage.

Often, there is disconnect between an organization’s diversity initiatives and the ability to promote diverse workforce within all levels of the organization. Many c-suite executives and managers fail to understand diversity, its value, and the importance of identifying, developing, and advancing diverse talent. Building a diverse leadership team will help drive organizational success and enhance cultural competence. It is important for healthcare leaders to begin a realistic discussion about diversity and their responsibility in effectively encouraging diversity within their organization and integrating into strategic initiatives


Guwan Jones, MPH, CHES
Vice President Workforce Planning/Chief Diversity Officer
Human Resources
Baylor Scott & White


Nkem Okafor
Vice President, Strategy & Planning
Methodist Health System

Jyric Sims
Chief Executive Officer
Medical City Fort Worth

Paula Turicchi, FACHE
Administrator of Hospital Operations
Parkland Health & Hospital System

Speaker Bios:

As Director of Health Equity, Tiffany Capeles is responsible for establishing and advancing the Health Equity strategy of CHRISTUS Health by working across the organization to ensure initiatives, resources and tools are effectively leveraged. She is particularly skilled at driving business results, as well as establishing processes to advance the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities that align and support population health and other organizational goals. Ms. Capeles’s knowledge navigating the complex challenges of connecting the IT infrastructure for multisite hospital systems with different EMR platforms, to enable data collection, analytics, and reporting has positioned CHRISTUS Health to begin setting metrics on Equity of Care initiatives. She leads the implementation of innovative system changes that promote community health, reduce health inequities, and improve patient outcomes.

Prior to CHRISTUS, Ms. Capeles served as the Program Director for the Health and Wellness Alliance at Children’s Health in Dallas, TX. There she led a collective impact initiative that brought together over 60 community leaders to ensuring that every child with asthma achieves their fullest health, well-being, and potential. Her work in guiding this coalition resulted in long-term successes for both the community, as well as the children themselves. As a result of the community collaborative, Dallas Housing Authority is now smoke-free, the city’s decade old housing policy was revised to require landlords to maintain properties in alignment with the National Center for Health Housing standards, as well as training city code compliance officers to issue violations for potential health concerns, not just safety concerns.

Before her time in Texas, Ms. Capeles served as a Consultant at the Center for Health Equity & Wellness at Adventist HealthCare in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Throughout her tenure with the Center, she advised hospitals’ leadership and served as a pioneer in helping hospitals achieve health equity through the establishment of culturally and linguistically appropriate programs, services, and policy for underserved populations. Her portfolio of work also includes concerted efforts in enhancing organizational cultural competence through the development of lectures and e-learning modules for clinical and non-clinical personnel, as well as, conducting organizational cultural competency assessments, developing organizational strategic plans to achieve health equity, and mobilizing internal and external coalitions across domains to address the social determinants of health.

Ms. Capeles’s work has received attention from healthcare systems both nationally and internationally and has been presented her work at national conferences and webinars. Additionally, Ms. Capeles led a collaborative partnership with the National Diversity Program Office of Kaiser Permanente to re-develop their Qualified Bilingual Staff (QBS) Model for adoption in acute care settings, and then piloted it at Adventist HealthCare. Success and recognition of the revised program resulted in Adventist HealthCare training over 800 bilingual healthcare professionals on proper medical interpretation in 10 languages, both internally and externally, in the community. These efforts ultimately led to Adventist HealthCare’s designation as the state model for training bilingual dual-role health care professionals, by the Maryland Hospital Association. Ms. Capeles then later led the effort to launch the first QBS Train-the-Trainer for Maryland hospitals statewide.

Her passion for population health is sincere and evident as she continues to help communities realize health equity, improve access to care, and ultimately improve the health of her community.

Ms. Capeles earned her Master of Business Administration in Finance at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She currently resides in Richardson, Texas with her husband and two adored, highly spirited little girls. Her interests include health policy, teen mentoring and camping.

Nydia Gonzalez is the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for JPS Health Network, Tarrant County’s tax-supported healthcare system that includes an acute care hospital, the county’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and only psychiatric emergency center and more than 60 unique points of care including 20 school-based health centers. JPS Health Network has been named among Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare, placing JPS among the top 150 healthcare companies in the nation. JPS is the only public entity in Texas included on the list of 2017 Best Places to Work, one of the most coveted honors in the industry.

Ms. Gonzalez’s division, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), oversees cultural competency education, diversity compliance affirmative action, and business supplier diversity. The role of the ODI is to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusion are considered at the highest levels of institutional governance and established as a core organizational competence.

Changing demographics, the emergence of a knowledge-based economy and increases among the racially, ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse populations residing in Tarrant County have provided a focus on the benefits of cultural competence at JPS. At the patient level, the presence of culturally competent employees builds trust, provides patient confidence and reduces costs associated with various types of medical errors. At the provider level, advancements in cultural competency can improve quality and accreditation scores. Minimizing racial and ethnic disparities requires not only culturally competent clinicians but also leaders who create an organizational environment in which cultural competence is enabled, cultivated and reinforced.

During the course of her career, Ms. Gonzalez has held diversity leadership positions in academic healthcare with The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, in higher education with Yale University, and in corporate America with Dell Computer Corporation.

Ms. Gonzalez believes a global perspective matters and that the fabric of our lives are given color, shape and texture by those close to us as well as those we meet in passing. They are an important part of the fabric of our lives – creating a global tapestry of friendship.


Guwan Jones is the Chief Diversity Officer of Baylor Scott & White Health. She is an ongoing advocate for underserved and vulnerable patient populations. Through her work with three healthcare systems and other not-for-profits, she has worked on issues such as funding to increase access to health insurance for children, focusing community resources on providing health care access for low socio-economic populations, organizing resources for HIV/AIDS patients, designing meaningful interventions for minority diabetes patients, and designing analytic dashboards to measure human capital investment and patient outcomes. Guwan has helped advance Baylor’s work around access and health care improvement and produced the Baylor Health Care System Health Equity Performance Analysis. She participated in the nationally recognized Disparities Leadership Program designed to tackle racial and ethnic disparities in health care lead by the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA,. She served on the CitySquare board, an organization supporting basic needs for lowsocioeconomic Dallas families and homeless communities. She was featured as a case study in the 2014 book “Be the one to start change at work and in life: Make Waves” because of her reputation of marrying the business case for working in parallel on the diverse needs of both talent and patients’. Guwan holds a Master of Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth and a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Guwan is also a Certified Health Education Specialist and received the 2008 U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy Youth for a Healthy Future Champion Award.


Nkem Okafor is a senior healthcare executive with experience in strategy, business development, program management, hospital operations, and consulting. She is the Vice President of Strategy & Planning at Methodist Health System, a $1.4 billion, 9 hospital system in DFW. She oversees setting system-wide strategies and business planning, leads business development and growth activities, and guides market research and data analysis for the company’s decision-making.

Last year, Nkem was named one of the Top 15 Businesswomen in Dallas by the National Diversity Council. Previously, Nkem was a System Director at Houston Methodist Hospital System, where she oversaw programs focused on business development, operational improvement, global operations, community benefits, and population health management. Under her leadership, she expanded the company’s operations to new countries and turned a budget negative department into a profit-generating center, tripling revenue expectations. She also assisted in two acquisitions and improved operational performance, resulting in over $70 million in financial savings. She oversaw the system’s community benefits, totaling $530 million in funding for community health-related programs. She began her career at Deloitte Consulting as a Strategy & Operations Business Analyst.

Nkem has a Master of Public Health degree in Health Management from Yale School of Public Health and Yale School of Management, and a Bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating cum laude and Honors with distinction. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and an active member of National Association of Health Services Executives and the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Leadership Dallas. 


Virginia Rose-Harris serves an Officer for Texas Health Resources and the Administrator of The Margot Perot Center for Women’s and Infants at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas Hospital. In addition, Virginia heads up the community outreach initiatives and DSRIP/1115 Waiver programming forging relationships with community partners for Texas Health Dallas with an ultimate outcome of improving the health of the people in the communities Texas Health Resources serves. Most recently, Virginia led the organization in the development of a strategic relationship with Children’s Health and UT Southwestern resulting in pediatric specialty service offerings creating enhanced coordinated care for newborns and the neonatal patient population. The Margot Perot Center has achieved the distinction by Dallas Child as being the Best Place to Have a Baby for five years running.

Virginia is a graduate Fellow with the Texas Hospital Association and is a Leadership Dallas alum. She was formerly with HCA, Inc. out of Nashville Tennessee from 1990 – 2010 serving as Vice President and Strategic Development Officer and Chief Ethics and Compliance/Diversity Officer at Medical City Dallas Hospital, the flagship hospital for the system’s 166 hospital nationwide.

Virginia has been recognized most recently as one of the Inspirational, Accomplished and Engaging Women of Northeast Tarrant County, as one of Texas’ Most Powerful and Influential Women by the National Diversity Council and by the Dallas Business Journal for Women in Business Awards as a Change Maker for her significant contributions and achievements on the business front. In addition, community projects have resulted in recognition by D CEO Magazine for the Excellence in Healthcare Awards and by the Texas Hospital Association.

Virginia holds an MBA from Dallas Baptist University and is a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has been a keynote speaker at the Greater Fort Worth Healthcare Summit and the Women of Visionary Influence Annual Recognition luncheon. She has been invited to speak on topics such as successful workplace engagement, patient experience, diversity, leadership, business operations and strategy in several venues including the North Dallas Chamber, the Texas Diversity Council National Conference, Southern Methodist University Roundtable, Dallas North Chamber of Commerce, Texas Diversity Leadership Conference, HCA, the Society for Healthcare Marketing and Strategy Development and The Gallup Organization. Virginia has also consulted for hospitals across the nation in the areas of leadership, operations and employee engagement.

Virginia serves as a board member for the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Texas Diversity Council, Texas Health Women’s Specialty Surgery Center, Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center and the Texas Health Surgery Center of Dallas and has served on the Executive Leadership Team of the American Heart Association Go Red Initiative for the last six years. Virginia also works with the Vickery Meadow area “brain trust” of non-profits including Healing Hands Ministries to design programs to care for refugees and families in the community who need access to health care.


World Affairs Council, Society for Healthcare Marketing and Strategy, American College of Healthcare Executives, American Heart Association – Go Red Co-Chair-2012/2013, March of Dimes, Genesis Women’s Shelter, Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Destination Imagination, Vickery Meadows Learning Center, Carroll Independent School District.


Virginia is married and has two teenage children.

Dr. James Sammons serves as chief medical officer at Texas Health Arlington Memorial. He is responsible for promoting clinical excellence and safety in patient care throughout all hospital departments.

Since 2012, Sammons has led many diverse efforts such as preventing hospital-acquired infections and decreasing Medicare spending per beneficiary. Additionally, Texas Health Arlington Memorial became the first hospital in the system to achieve certification by The Joint Commission for Fragility Fractures.

With more than 25 years of physician leadership experience, Sammons formerly served as vice president for medical affairs at two Virginia health care systems: Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center in Williamsburg. Having served in the Armed Forces for more than 26 years, Sammons is a retired colonel from the United States Air Force Medical Corps, where he completed clinical and leadership assignments during two wars.

Sammons graduated from Texas A&M University and Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Portsmouth Naval Regional Medical Center in Virginia. He also holds a master’s degree in national resource strategy from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

He also serves the community as Texas Health’s representative to the Texas Hospital Association’s Council on Policy Development, an Advisory Board member for the Arlington Life Shelter and a member of the Board of Managers for the Texas Health Heart and Vascular Hospital.

Sammons and his wife, Cindy, who is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Jyric Sims is the Chief Executive Officer at Medical City Fort Worth. Prior to his current position, Sims has served as senior vice president and chief operating officer at Hospital Corporation of America’s (HCA) Tulane Health System, where he was responsible for daily operations of two acute care hospitals with over 500 beds and 35 hospital based clinics. His leadership is credited with remarkable improvements in patient experience, service line growth and recruitment of top talent to the organization. He led more than $50 million in construction and capital improvements over the past two years and exhibited a commitment to the community, having served on multiple community boards including the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Sims brings more than 17 years of healthcare experience to the role. His medical career began as a certified nursing assistant and quickly advanced to leadership and business development roles, including director of operations at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He joined HCA in 2011 serving as chief operating officer of St. Lucie Medical Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida and Associate Chief Operating Officer at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center in Webster, Texas. Sims received a Master of Health Administration from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and holds an undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University (LSU). He was also awarded the 2016 UAMS Alumnus of the Year and in 2015 the Modern Healthcare Up and Comer Award.

Paula Turicchi, FACHE, is Administrator of Hospital Operations, at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Texas. She assists the Chief Operating Officer with all aspects of hospital operations including performance improvement, regulatory compliance, survey readiness, and project management. Parkland is an urban, inner-city, multi-specialty, academic health system with approximately 870 beds, a Level 1 Trauma Center, 39,000 adult and 1,500 neonatal ICU discharges, 18,000 surgeries 12,000 deliveries, and 1 million outpatient visits. Previously, she served as the Senior Vice President and Administrator of Women and Infant’s Specialty Health (WISH), overseeing outpatient, inpatient, and emergency services for one of the largest maternity services in the United States.

She recently served as the Chair of the Women’s Health Advisory Committee of Texas which was created by Senate Bill 200 of the 84th Legislature to advise the Health & Human Services Commission on consolidation of women’s health programs.

Paula is board certified in Healthcare Administration and holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Trinity University and Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

A special thanks to Jyric Sims and Medical City Fort Worth for hosting this event!


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Thursday, February 22, 2018
3:00 pm - 7:30 pm
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