Damond W. Boatwright, FACHE

Damond W. Boatwright, FACHE, is regional president of hospital operations at SSM Health of Wisconsin. He joined SSM Health Care of Wisconsin as regional president of hospital operations in February 2014. He is responsible for overseeing all hospital operations within SSM's integrated care delivery network within its Wisconsin region, including St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo, St. Mary's Hospital in Madison and St. Mary's Janesville Hospital. SSM Health is a St. Louis-based health-care system, dedicated to providing high-quality, compassionate care in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Its facilities are located throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Mr. Boatwright is originally from Charleston, S.C., and graduated from The Citadel with a degree in business administration, while on scholarship to play football at the military college. He earned a master's degree in health administration and health sciences from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and completed a health services management fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.

Mr. Boatwright began his health care career at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1995. During his 14 years within the HCA Healthcare System, he served in various capacities including associate administrator, chief operating officer and chief executive officer in several of the system hospitals. His active involvement in state and local community efforts includes membership in the Wisconsin Chapter of American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). He is also a member of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state's chamber of commerce and largest trade association.

In 2010, Mr. Boatwright was named to the national list of "Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know" in Becker's Hospital Review, and received Modern Healthcare's prestigious "Up and Comer" Award in 2009.

Debra Canales

Debra A. ("Deb") Canales

Deb Canales is executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Providence Health & Services. Called to Providence in 2014, Ms. Canales is responsible for human resources, communication, foundation boards, community partnerships and government affairs.

Prior to joining Providence, she served CHE Trinity Health for over 10 years, most recently as executive vice president and chief administrative officer. During her tenure, she guided the organization through significant change, creating synergy across a geographically and operationally diverse system in 21 states.

Throughout her 25-year human resources career, Ms. Canales has worked in a range of global Fortune 500 organizations, including Hewlett Packard/Compaq Computer Corporation, Yum Brands/PepsiCo, R.H. Macy's Inc. and Centura Health.

A nationally recognized leader, she was named a "Healthcare Executive to Watch" by Modern Healthcare in 2016. A champion of creating an exceptional employee experience, Ms. Canales sponsored a groundbreaking benefits program that provides free or reduced medical insurance to those employees most in need, resulting in Providence Health & Services receiving the Employee Assistance Trade Association's (EASNA) Corporate Award of Excellence in 2016.

She has served on a number of community and business boards. Currently, she a member of the boards of directors for AMICA Mutual Insurance, The Breakaway Group-Healthcare Division of Xerox, the Inforum-Women's Alliance Group, Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. She is also a certified executive coach with a reputation for helping executives develop transformational leadership styles. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration and the American Society of Employers board. 

Born in Uvalde, Texas, she is a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin.  


John Capasso, MS

John Capasso is executive vice president of continuing care at Trinity Health (formerly Catholic Health East), which he joined in 2001. He has more than 35 years of experience in health care and senior living services. In his role he provides leadership to Trinity Health's home care agencies and hospices, senior living communities, nursing homes and Programs for the All-inclusive Care of the Elderly.

Prior to this role, Mr. Capasso served as the president and chief executive officer of St. Joseph of the Pines Health System, a continuing care ministry providing a variety of housing and health care services to older adults in central North Carolina. Prior to joining St. Joseph of the Pines, Capasso served in a variety of executive roles at Asbury Services, Gaithersburg, Md., a provider of senior living services across multiple states. Before joining Asbury, Capasso was assistant vice president of clinical services at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md.

Capasso has a master of science degree in health services administration from George Washington University; a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Geneva College, Beaver Falls, Pa.; and is a certified health care executive with the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is also a licensed nursing home administrator.


Christopher Karam, FACHE

Christopher Karam serves as president and chief executive officer of CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System in Alexandria, La. Previously, he served as senior vice president of group operations with oversight of all of the system's ministries in Louisiana and Southeast Texas, including CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System, CHRISTUS  Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana and CHRISTUS Southeast Texas Health System.

Mr. Karam comes back to Louisiana after serving as president and CEO of CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System for the past 15 years. During his time with St. Michael, the hospital earned numerous accolades and awards, including U.S. News & World Report naming it "Best Hospital in Texas" in 2016 and 2017. It was also named one of the "Best Places to Work in Healthcare" by Modern Healthcare five times, one of the "100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare" honor from Becker's Hospital Review and was in the top 15 percent in the nation for outstanding patient experience in 2017 and 2018 by HealthGrades.

In total, he has more than 30 years of leadership in Catholic health care ministry, having held a variety of clinical, operational and management positions in acute and rehabilitation hospitals across the country. In 2008, he was named one of the "24 Hospital Leaders to Know" by The Hospital Review and Beckers' ASC Review, and in 2009 was named one of "58 Hospital and Health Industry Leaders" by Hospital Review Magazine. In 2011, he was honored to be one of 300 "Most Influential People in Healthcare" selected out of 400,000 nominees by Modern Healthcare.

Mr. Karam brings a unique background to his authentic leadership in community health and population health management with a master's degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, a master's degree in exercise physiology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and a degree in theology from St. Gregory University, Shawnee, Okla. His early commitment to health and well-being was shaped by his bachelor's degree in food and nutrition from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. He holds a Fellowship (FACHE) designation from the American College of Healthcare Executives.



Rhonda M. Medows, MD

Rhonda M. Medows, MD, is president of population health management at Providence St. Joseph Health, the fourth largest not-for-profit health system in the United States and the chief executive officer of Ayin Health Solutions, Providence's population health management company. She leads Providence's Medicaid, Medicare, commercial and employer population health strategies, as well as the organization's value-based care, health plans, population health informatics, government programs, care management, contracting and community health partnerships.

She also currently serves as a member of the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee to make recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services on current and future physician payment models. Dr. Medows has been recognized as a health care industry leader by Modern Healthcare in 2018 as one of the "Top 50 Physician Executives" in the U.S. as well as one of the "Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare." In 2018, the Puget Sound Business Journal recognized her as a "Women of Influence."

Dr. Medows has an extensive background in both the private health sector health industry and government health programs including Medicare and Medicaid.

Prior to joining Providence, she served as an executive vice president and a chief medical officer at UnitedHealth Group. While there, she led quality management and improvement initiatives across all lines of business nationwide for UnitedHealthcare and developed a centralized quality management and improvement shared service. She also provided leadership and oversight of efforts to improve clinical quality and performance improvement for Optum.

From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Medows served as commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) and as the state health officer for Georgia where she oversaw Georgia's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance programs and led the state employee benefit plan, the state public health department, emergency preparedness, rural health program and established the state's office of health information technology.

Dr. Medows also served as secretary of Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) from 2001 to 2004. She led the state agency responsible for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs, health facility regulation, managed care quality, health information exchange, health care system and Medicaid reform, as well as public policy development. She also served as the chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Southeast Region. 

Dr. Medows holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and earned her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga.  Dr. Medows practiced medicine at Mayo Clinic and at Kaiser Permanente. She is Board Certified in Family Medicine and is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She is an alumni member of NAMD (National Association of Medicaid Directors) and ASTHO (Association of State Health Officers).


Diarmuid Rooney, M.S.Psych., M.T.S., D.Soc.Admin.

Diarmuid Rooney is senior director, ministry formation at the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). He assists the Catholic health ministry with thought leadership and subject matter expertise in ministry formation. Responsibilities include providing strategic direction in the design, development and implementation of a ministry formation strategy; collaborating with key stakeholders to develop an integrated approach to formation; and assisting in the implementation of projects related to Catholic identity.

Prior to joining CHA in 2018, Diarmuid served for eight years as vice president, formation and communication technology, at the Ministry Leadership Center in Sacramento, Calif. The Ministry Leadership Center was established in 2004 to expand and enrich executive health care leaders' commitment to the Catholic tradition's mission, vision and values. His key focus was co-designing and facilitating innovative leadership formation programs that transformed leaders personally and professionally, enabling them to deliver cultural transformation for their organizations. Previously, Diarmuid was regional director of mission formation for Providence St. Joseph Health & Services in Oregon (16,000 associates), where he provided organizational leadership for cultural transformation to sustain the work of the founders and ensure the presence of core values in all aspects of today's ministry.

During his active role in ministry since 1991, he worked with the Christian Brothers and was a Benedictine monk in Ireland. He trained as a clinical psychotherapist at St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin. He co-founded and directed a community-based counseling and psychotherapy center, where he provided individual and group therapy, facilitation and organizational consultancy. He subsequently served as director for the Mercy Conference and Retreat Center in Burlingame, Calif., sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.

His professional experience includes cultural analysis, organizational development, clinical psychotherapy, retreat direction, pastoral counseling and program development specific to adult education. He holds master's degrees in both theology, from the Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University, and clinical psychotherapy, University College Dublin, School of Medicine. Diarmuid is particularly interested in how these disciplines impact the culture of spirituality in the workplace. He also holds degrees in business and social administration (University College Dublin); philosophy and politics (University College Dublin) and is a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu, The Honor Society of Jesuit Institutions of Higher Education.