Fellows Class of 2019

Paul Aslin, FACHE, chief transformation officer and senior vice president of strategic alignment, Wise Health System, Decatur
Paul Aslin currently leads the system’s participation in the 1115 Waiver program and has administrative responsibility for quality, patient experience, population health, telehealth, value-based care, community health improvement, and organizational performance excellence. Prior to his current role as Chief Transformation Officer, Paul served as Chief Population Health Officer for Wise Health System and Chief Operating Officer for Wise Health Clinics.

Before joining the Hospital in 2011, Paul held management positions beginning in 1999 in telecommunications and in 2007 in financial services. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington where he won first place in the graduate division of the national ACHE Richard J. Stull Student Essay Competition in Healthcare Management. Paul resides in Haslet with his wife, Amanda, and three daughters.

Wes Barnt, vice president of ancillary services, Midland Memorial Hospital, Midland
Wes Barnt currently serves as the Vice President of Ancillary for Midland Memorial Hospital. The hospital is licensed for 474 beds and offers several innovative programs, including the Heart Institute, Total Joint Center, women’s and children’s health care services and various rehabilitation programs. He has worked in healthcare for over 30 years and has been his current role since 2014. In this role, he is responsible leadership and oversight for Imaging Services, Rehab Services, Perioperative Services, Laboratory, Cardiovascular Services, Cardiopulmonary Services and Pharmacy.

Wes started his career in health care as a Radiologic Technologist. During his career, Wes has held a number of leadership positions in three health care organizations. He has served in leadership positions as a Cath Lab Manager, Director of Cardiovascular Services and Director of Perioperative Services. He has been active leaders of a local Boy Scout Troop and is a member of the Buffalo Trail Council Boy Scouts Board. The Culture of Ownership journey at Midland Memorial Hospital has been one of the best experiences of his career.

Ben Benitez , vice president of clinical operations, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
Ben Benitez joined The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, a CHRISTUS Health entity, as the VP of Clinical Operations in December 2018. Prior to his current role, he was with Memorial Hermann Healthcare System for 12 years. His most recent role was a Director of Hospital Operations at the Texas Medical Center location in Houston. Ben’s experience within the healthcare industry includes surgical services, operations, ambulatory services, and human resources. He has played a vital part in accomplishments relating to expansions, operational excellence and strategic growth.

Ben earned his Master of Healthcare Administration at the University of Houston in Clear Lake and Bachelor of Healthcare Administration at Texas State University in San Marcos. He also went through the Executive Education Program through Memorial Hermann and Rice University at the Jones Graduate School of Business.

Vishal Bhalla, vice president, chief experience officer, Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas
Vishal Bhalla joined Parkland in August 2016 and soon moved into the role of Vice President and Chief Experience Officer (CXO), focusing on the experience of employees, patients, families and providers. He also serves as the Chair of the Workforce Collaborative at the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council. Vishal is passionate about leveraging his Quant and System Science skills, along with his operations and hospitality experience, to enable meaningful employee and patient experiences.

Transitioning to healthcare from a successful career in hospitality, Vishal completed his Master of Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) along with a Healthcare Certificate from the joint Harvard-MIT “Initiative for Health Systems Innovation”. Prior to coming to Parkland, Vishal was the Director of Operations for a Hospitality firm overseeing twelve facilities with over 6000 rooms. He has worked on four continents and also previously served as a Director for Sandals Resorts International. He possesses a Masters in Hotel Administration from University of Strathclyde and a General Managers’ Program certification from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

Loren Fouch, chief operating officer, Millwood Hospital, Arlington
Loren Fouch joined Universal Health Services in 2014 and currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Millwood Hospital. Millwood Hospital is one of the largest inpatient and outpatient behavioral health providers in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Loren has held multiple clinical and administrative roles in behavioral health settings throughout Texas.

She began her career as a therapist working with children, adolescents, and adults in acute and residential settings, further expanding her expertise in mental health and substance abuse treatment within inpatient and outpatient facilities. Loren's clinical experience provided her a unique understanding on how to guide teams in providing high quality, patient centered care. She is driven by a passion dedicated to helping individuals and families find peace and understanding on their journey towards recovery.

Loren is an active member of her local community; serving with the Junior League of Richardson, Don’t Wait To Vaccinate no cost immunization clinic, National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and is a member of EWF International. Loren graduated from The University of Texas with her Masters of Science in Social Work and from Louisiana State University with her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Communication Studies. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor.

Carolynn Jones, J.D., senior vice president, corporate compliance, Harris Health System, Houston
Carolynn Jones is responsible for the development, implementation, and daily operation of Harris Health System’s Compliance Program. She also the distinction of being Certified in Health Care Compliance by the Health Care Compliance Association and has been licensed to practice law in State of Texas since 2006, and became Board Certified in Health Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from The University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law Houston.

Jessica Loy, J.D., physician recruiter, The Hospitals of Providence, El Paso
Jessica Loy is an in-house physician recruiter with The Hospitals of Providence which includes four acute care hospitals and is the largest healthcare network in the El Paso region. After experiencing three years of Wisconsin winters, she was eager to get back to her sunny and warm hometown. Jessica joined The Hospitals of Providence in 2011 and has been instrumental in the recruitment of over 100 physicians to the underserved El Paso area. Her expertise includes helping physicians understand and navigate the legal and business complexities that apply to healthcare. Always motivated in advancing her community, Jessica takes pride in finding careers for physicians rather than jobs.

Jessica is interested in staying at the forefront of the healthcare industry and strives to improve, grow and diversify her talents. She was honored to be recognized by The University of Texas El Paso as one of a select group of 50 exceptional College of Business Administration Hispanic alumni from the past 50 years who have positively influenced and enriched their country, their society and their college. Prior to joining The Hospitals of Providence, Jessica worked as a law clerk for the Chief Justice of the Texas Eighth Court of Appeals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of Texas at El Paso, a Juris Doctor from University of Wisconsin Law School and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas El Paso.

Bryan McLeod, director of the corporate communications department, Harris Health System, Houston
Bryan McLeod is responsible for strategic communications planning, media relations and crisis communications, special events, website and social media management, and internal communications for an employed staff of 8,000, plus more than 2,000 affiliated doctors working in approximately 50 locations throughout Harris County, Texas.

Over the years, he has provided crisis response support for the Harris Health during events such as Tropical Storm Allison, the Hurricane Katrina medical relief effort at the NRG complex, Hurricane Harvey, as well as dozens of smaller news events, ranging from billing errors and privacy breaches to potential hospital acquisitions and active shooter situations. He also works to promote the expertise of Harris Health’s medical staff by connecting the right expert for the situation, whether it be for diseases such as Ebola, Zika or HIV to more routine conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart health. He is often the one working in the background making sure the right spokesperson is addressing the media at the right time.

He is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas (Houston) where he received a bachelor’s degree in Communications. He also has served as member of the Strategic Communications Constituency Council of the Texas Hospital Association.

Natasha D. Montez, Ph.D., CEO, Guadalupe Regional Medical Group, Seguin
Natasha D. Montez, is a healthcare executive successful in fostering positive and constructive clinical and operational outcomes. Her career in health care began at the bedside as a Speech-Language Pathologist, and has evolved into various roles including the implementation of clinical, patient and staff education programs, the developing and deploying physician practices and urgent care centers, integrating technologies and information systems, and operating a complex integrated health system. Although no longer at the bedside, she retains her foundational understanding that care must be centered around the patient and physician. She is passionate about building and sustaining organizations that honor and respect the fundamental premise of the patient and physician relationship.

An avid life learner, Natasha obtained her Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees in health care related fields from Texas State University and enjoys mentoring young professionals in their development. Natasha lives in New Braunfels with her 11-year old son who is a nationally ranked wakeboarder.

Ajith Pai, Pharm.D., FACHE, president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne
In the role of president, Ajith oversees day to day operations, works to advance physician engagement and promote effective employee, governance and community relations. Together with Texas Health Cleburne's chief nursing officer and chief medical officer, he 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 satisfaction.

Ajith began his career with Texas Health Resources, at Texas Health HEB in 1999 as a certified pharmacy technician. In 2011, he became the director of Pharmacy at Texas Health Kaufman where he oversaw the day to day operations and championed safe, quality-driven patient care through the implementation of best practices and improved clinical monitoring. His leadership continued as he served as the professional and support services officer working closely with the Texas Health Kaufman triad to meet system and entity objectives. Under Ajith’s leadership, the hospital achieved the highest performing Consumer Focus metrics in 2017, in the hospital's ambulatory patient experience scores.

Ajith received his Doctorate of Pharmacy 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.

Ajith enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife of 11 years, Myriam, and their three-year-old daughter, Elyse. He's also an avid runner and has participated in more than 15 marathons throughout the country and remains involved in the community through memberships on various committees. Ajith is a member of the Texas Health Huguley Community Board, Texas Health Surgery Center Cleburne Board of Managers, City of Cleburne Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, ACHE Asian Healthcare Leaders Forum, Leadership North Texas and ACHE North Texas.

Megan Powe, director of strategy, The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus and Transmountain Campus, El Paso
Megan is responsible for strategic planning, service line development, physician recruitment, marketing, and physician relations. Under Megan’s direction, The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus achieved Comprehensive Stroke Center certification. Prior to joining The Hospitals of Providence, Megan completed an Administrative Residency with East Cooper Medical Center, also a Tenet Healthcare facility, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Megan holds a Master’s in Health Care Ad