Health System Executive TeamAdministrative Fellowship

UTMB Administrative Fellows receives a high level of exposure to the Health System Executive Team. Fellows are part of the executive team and participate in multiple committee meetings and executive team retreats. Fellow participation is emphasized, and fellows are often called upon to offer their insight, allowing the fellow to develop the necessary skills to be a effective member of a management team. Members of the UTMB Health System Executive Team are listed below.

Donna Sollenberger

Donna K. Sollenberger, Executive Vice President and CEO, UTMB Health System

Since 2009, Donna K. Sollenberger has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Health System, where she oversees all clinical strategy and operations of a system that includes five hospitals and 70 clinics, plus a healthcare system that serves the health care needs of two-thirds of Texas’ offenders.

Under her leadership, UTMB has made numerous quality improvements, including increases in patient satisfaction, and achieved many awards and accolades, including designation as an ANCC Magnet for Nursing, accreditation by The Joint Commission for stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease care, and the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines—Resuscitation Gold Quality Achievement Award.

Ms. Sollenberger led UTMB in the first collaboration among University of Texas System institutions, partnering with MD Anderson Cancer Center to care for cancer patients. She also helped facilitate a clinical affiliation between UTMB and CVS Health to enhance patient access to high-quality, affordable health care services, such as medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs. In August 2014, she assumed responsibility for the Angleton Danbury Medical Center (now the UTMB Health Angleton Danbury Campus) through a long-term lease negotiated with the Angleton Danbury Hospital District. She has been influential in developing many community partnerships across the region.

Throughout her tenure at UTMB, she has overseen plans for numerous health care facility renovations and construction projects, including new and consolidated clinic locations, the addition of a new clinical services wing on the Galveston campus, and opened the Jennie Sealy Hospital and League City Hospital. She has also led the implementation of various cutting-edge health information technologies, including a state-of-the-art electronic medical record system that created a safer patient care processes, a single medical record for patients, and unified scheduling, registration and billing functions across the organization.

Ms. Sollenberger currently serves on the Board of America’s Essential Hospitals as Chair-elect, as well as on the Finance and Policy Advisory Committees. She is on the Data and Analytics Committee and the member Board of Vizient and also serves on the University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics Advisory Council. She previously served on the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Metropolitan Hospitals Governing Council, the AHA Nominating Committee, the AHA Committee on Performance Improvement, and the Board of the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

Prior to joining UTMB Health, Sollenberger was Executive Vice President and CEO of the Baylor Clinic and Hospital. She also served as president and CEO of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, Executive Vice President and COO of City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles, and Vice President for Hospital and Clinics at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Sollenberger is from Springfield, Illinois and earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Springfield where she was the 2016 Commencement speaker.

Deb McGrew

Deborah McGrew, MHA, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Most recently, Ms. McGrew was the Associate Vice President, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital (UAB), a 1,146-bed quaternary care academic medical center with total operating revenue of $1.2 billion and annual discharges of 50,000 patients. At UAB, Ms. McGrew was responsible for leadership of the Center for Psychiatric Medicine, a 120-bed inpatient psychiatric hospital; the Comprehensive Transplant Center, one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the world; operation of the UAB hospital-based clinics; Critical Care Transport which provides both air and ground transportation; Laboratory Services which performs over two million tests annually at two hospitals and multiple outpatient sites; Respiratory Services; Infusion Services; the Palliative Care and Geriatric Service Line; and the Hospital Health Club. She arrived at UAB in 2005 and held progressively responsible positions within the organization.

Prior to her work at UAB, Ms. McGrew was Administrative Director of Transplant Services at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC) from 2003-2005. Ms. McGrew completed her BA in Biology at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, graduating cum laude. She received her MHA in Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating with high honors. She completed her administrative fellowship at the City of Hope National Medicine Center, a comprehensive cancer center and research institute located in the greater Los Angeles area.

She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Momentum, a Women's Leadership Development Program in Alabama. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Alabama Department of Mental Health, appointed by the Governor in 2012; a Board Member of One Roof, an organization that serves the homeless; the Birmingham Literacy Council; and served as Board Member and Chair of the Program Committee for the Alabama Kidney Foundation from 2006-2010.

Emily Blomberg

Emily Blomberg, Vice President, Professional and Support Services

Emily Blomberg serves as the program sponsor for the UTMB Administrative Fellow. She brings insight into achieving a successful fellowship under the mentorship of Donna Sollenberger both as a past fellow and as a program sponsor.

Prior to joining UTMB, Emily was Director of Business Development for the Department of Surgery at UW Health, the clinical component of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. In that capacity, Emily developed budgets and marketing plans for strategic areas and worked collaboratively with other departments to provide integrated clinical services to advance UW Health's mission. Prior to that, she served as Senior Management Analyst at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In this role, she worked under the direction of the CEO and the Director of Operations to provide administrative support for all operational and management activities for the Baylor Clinic and Hospital building project. From 2004 to 2006, she was an administrative fellow for Donna Sollenberger at UW Health.

Emily received her BS degree in Business from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and her MHA degree from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Ann O'Connell

Ann O'Connell, MS, MSN, RN, Vice President, Ambulatory Operations

Ann was formerly the Vice President for Ambulatory Care at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), a position she has held since 2009. She joined the OHSU team in 1989. In this position, she managed more than 60 ambulatory practices with more than 1000 physicians and 2000 staff who see over 750,000 patient visits annually. Ann supervised all of the directors and ambulatory practice managers and has full responsibility for a $120M operation.

During her tenure, Ann has focused a great deal of time and attention on developing and implementing a comprehensive quality plan for ambulatory care that addresses patient satisfaction, clinical quality, access and cost. Ann and her team have successfully standardized and streamlined the referral management process across the network which resulted in patient access improvements. She has experience in developing and implementing new models of ambulatory care that are needed in a health reformed environment. Ann led OHSU's three medical home demonstration projects resulting in very innovative changes in the models of care. These projects have been acknowledged at the state and local level and have been replicated in many other practices.

A nurse by training, Ann's early career was spent as a Surgical Nurse and as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. Early in her career at OHSU Ann moved from nursing to administration. She spent time in recruitment at OHSU's School of Nursing and then served as program director for OHSU's Nursing Personnel and Support Services. This work in human resources prepared Ann well for the challenges of managing staff in the ambulatory world.

Ann received her Bachelor's degree in Nursing and her Master's degree in Nursing Administration from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina; and her Master's degree in Healthcare Management from Oregon Health Sciences University. In 2007, Ann received the OHSU Ambulatory Nurse Leader of the Year award and in 2013 the ROSE Award for recognition of Outstanding Service Excellence.


David C. Gruener, CPA, Vice President, Finance - Clinical Enterprises

David C. Gruener, CPA joined UTMB Health as vice president of Finance, Health System in Dec. 2016. He is responsible for providing overall financial leadership to the Health System. David comes to UTMB from Catholic Health Initiatives’ (CHI) St. Luke’s Health in Houston, where he served as chief financial officer. He has more than 20 years of extensive financial experience in operational finance, accounting, auditing, strategic planning and business development. David holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a Certified Public Accountant.



David Marshall, DNP, JD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CENP, Assistant Vice President & Chief Nursing and Patient Care Services Officer

David currently serves as Chief Nursing and Patient Care Services Officer for UTMB Health. David began his association with UTMB in 1983 as a staff nurse, advancing to the positions of Assistant Head Nurse, Nurse Manager, Nursing Supervisor, Nurse Administrator, and Director of Nursing. In 2001, he assumed the role of Chief Nursing Officer. David has served on the American Nurses Association Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics, the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, and the Committee on Practice Issues for the Texas Nurses Association. He also served on the Board of Directors of American Organization of Nurse Executives and is a past chair of the Galveston County Branch of the Greater Houston Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is an active member of a federal disaster medical assistance team, and was deployed to Florida in 2004 and to New Orleans in 2005.


Owen Murray, DO, MBA Vice President, Correctional Managed Care

As Vice President of Offender Health Services for the University of Texas Medical Branch Correctional Managed Care program (UTMB-CMC), Dr. Murray is responsible for ensuring the provision of all medical, mental health, and dental services for about 120,000 adult offenders in Texas Department of Criminal Justice state jails and prisons as well as juvenile offenders in Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities. He oversees a staff of approximately 3,800 UTMB-CMC healthcare and clinical support employees located at more than 100 correctional facilities throughout the state. Dr. Murray also holds an appointment as assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at UTMB.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Boston College in 1983, Dr. Murray graduated from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1988 and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Michigan State University in 1991. He earned an MBA from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1999. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and also holds certification as a Correctional Health Professional by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. In addition, he is an active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association. Dr. Murray has served on a number of UTMB committees, has published and lectured extensively on correctional health care, and has provided invited testimony before various committees of the Texas Legislature and other governing bodies.

Dr. Murray has more than 20 years of experience in correctional health care. Before joining UTMB as medical director of the Correctional Managed Care program in 1995, he served as the medical director of Chicago’s Cook County Jail and several correctional centers operated by the Illinois Department of Corrections.


Gulshan Sharma

Gulshan Sharma, MD, MPH, FCCP Vice President, Chief Medical and Clinical Innovation Officer in the UTMB Health System, Sealy & Smith Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine Professor, and Director, Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Dr. Sharma did his medical school training in India and came to the United States in 1995, to an externship at UTMB which allowed him to complete his medical degree. Dr. Sharma completed his residency in internal medicine at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan and stayed an additional year as a chief resident.

For his pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship, he moved to the east coast and joined Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT. Always one interested in outcomes research, he was fortunate to benefit from good mentoring, which enabled him to hone his  skills and ultimately earn a Master’s in Public Health at Yale University while doing his fellowship training.

In 2004, he and his wife with two small children decided to return to the Houston area and joined UTMB’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care as an assistant professor. During his tenure at UTMB, he has served as medical director of MICU/CCU and TDC-ICU, and program director for the pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship program. Dr. Sharma is a Sealy and Smith Distinguished Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, Professor and Director of Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. In 2014 he began to serve as associate chief medical officer, where his focus was on quality, patient safety and assisting with transformation to version 2.0 Medicine—from "fee-for-service" to "value-based care." He is the physician champion on a regional collaborative effort for Region 2 to reduce readmissions and model bundle payments under the 1115 Medicaid waiver demonstration project.

His research interest includes health services, quality and outcomes. He has received a K-08 career development award from the NIH and serves as co-investigator on PCORI and NIH grants. Dr. Sharma has also received grants from the UT System on integrating Health IT and systems engineering to improve the care of patients with COPD. Over the past several years, work on these projects has led to the first COPD-Center of Excellence in Texas from The Joint Commission. Nationally, he is involved with the COPD Foundation® in its newly launched PRAXIS®, a platform to share best practices to improve care of patients with COPD across the care continuum. His work is published in leading journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American Medical Association and JAMA Internal Medicine (formerly Archives of Internal Medicine).

He began serving as vice president and chief medical and clinical innovation officer at UTMB Health in December 2016.

Jeremy Brynes

Jeremy Brynes, MBA, Associate Vice President, Health System Business Development

Jeremy was the Assistant Administrator/Director of Business Development for Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital, a position held since 2006. In this role, he was responsible for leading the hospital’s Neuroscience, Oncology, Heart & Vascular, Pediatric and Orthopedic & Rehabilitation service lines. In addition, he oversaw several operational functions and ancillary services including the cancer center, wound care center, environmental services, food & nutrition services, patient relations and volunteer services. 

Preceding Memorial Hermann Northwest, Jeremy served as Director of Patient Support Services at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas (Beaumont) where he led the hospital’s patient experience work and oversaw environmental services and food and nutrition services. Jeremy has experience in a variety of roles in the fields of healthcare and advertising including Vice President of Operations for Medical Design Technology and Director of Production for a Washington, DC-based marketing/ad agency. 

Jeremy received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from the State University of New York (SUNY Cortland) and his MBA. from Tulane University.


Annette Macias-Hoag

Annette Macias-Hoag, RN, Associate Vice President, Health System Operations and Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Angleton

Annette Macias-Hoag services as Associate Vice President, Health System Operations. Prior to joining UTMB, Annette was the Director of Patient Care, Heart & Vascular Institute at Memorial Hermann TMC where she was responsible for the direction and leadership of operational and clinical activities for the Cardiothoracic Surgery units and nursing services as well as Neuroscience clinical areas and house-wide telemetry. Prior to this position, she served as Director of Clinical Services at Baylor College of Medicine, where she oversaw operational, financial, programmatic and personnel activities for the Baylor Clinics and Hospital Pulmonary Care Services, Emergency Care Programs, Endoscopy Services, and Nursing Services. Annette received an Associate's degree in Nursing from Madison Area Technical College, a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin and a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix. She served as a nurse at the University of Wisconsin, an academic medical center located in Madison, where she later became a Care Team Leader and was promoted to Clinical Nurse Manager of the UW Cardiothoracic Surgery and Transplant, a 27-acuity-adaptable-unit. Annette is currently a member of the American Academy of Medical Administrators, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, ACHE and Texas Nurses Association.

Tom Riley

Tom Riley, Vice President and Chief Health Strategies Officer

Tom Riley, Vice President and Chief Health Strategies Officer, provides strategic oversight for the development of an innovative delivery network/system for UTMB, collaborating with the Health System, School of Medicine, the Faculty Group Practice, managed care and health system finance.

Tom works directly with the leadership within the University of Texas Medical Branch and is the interface between UTMB and external entities including, but not limited to, external hospital CEO’s and their leadership teams, physician practices, and community constituencies.

Tom joined UTMB in October 2012 as Vice President of the newly formed department of Healthcare Transformation. Tom was born in Syracuse, New York, moved to Chicago then Charlottesville, Virginia, later graduating high school in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of Northwestern University (BA) and the Duke University, Fuqua School of Business (MBA).

Prior to UTMB, Tom served as Interim COO for Christus Provider Network, Vice President of Clinic and Hospital Operations at Baylor College of Medicine, and as a Senior Manager with Ernst & Young Healthcare Consulting practice.