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 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, 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.
Katrina Lambrecht, JD, MBA, Vice President & Administrator Angleton Danbury Campus and Vice President, Institutional Strategic Initiatives
Katrina Lambrecht, JD, MBA, serves a dual role as Vice President & Administrator for the Angleton Danbury Campus and Vice President, Institutional Strategic Initiatives at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health).
In her role as vice president and administrator for the Angleton Danbury campus, Katrina is the chief executive for the campus, responsible for operations and strategic growth for the market. The Angleton Danbury campus is one of three hospital campuses for UTMB Health.
In her role as vice president of institutional strategic initiatives, Katrina oversees the organization’s involvement in the 1115 Medicaid Waiver and the UTMB Multi-share plan. Under the Medicaid 1115 Waiver, UTMB serves as the anchor for a 16-county region in southeast Texas and also manages more than 30 delivery system innovation projects aimed at increasing access to care.
Katrina earned both her JD and her MBA from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.
Ann O'Connell, MS, MSN, RN, Vice President, Ambulatory Operations
Since 2013, Ann O’Connell has served as Vice President for Ambulatory Operations of the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Health System, where she oversees all operations for over 90 clinics both on Galveston Island and the mainland.
Under her leadership, UTMB clinics has grown patient volume by 30% by opening nine new practices, three practice acquisitions, transitioned 13 Regional Maternal Child Health practices, and opened four new urgent care clinics. In FY18, UTMB clinics visits are expected to exceed 1M. Ms. O’Connell has led numerous quality improvements, including increase in patient satisfaction and improved access to care. During her tenure, UTMB achieved Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition utilizing the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Level III certification standards for all Family Medicine and Community Based Clinics. Ms. O’Connell implemented 10 Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) projects aimed at transforming care delivery, growing primary care and urgent care, and expanding access to underserved populations. Ms. O’Connell led a collaborative access improvement initiative by creating new access goals for each clinical service and developing contingency plans to ensure that access goals are achieved.
Before joining the UTMB family, O’Connell was vice president of ambulatory care at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. She spent 25 years at OHSU in a wide variety of leadership roles, including serving as executive director of a federally qualified health center and director of operations for 11 primary care practices. Prior to OHSU, she served as nurse manager for respiratory intensive care at National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, Colorado. She has also held a variety of clinical and administrative roles at East Carolina University where she was a clinical nurse specialist for nutrition support and clinical nurse in surgical intensive care. She brings a rich experience of health care administration, a clinical nursing background and a broad understanding of academic medical centers.
Originally from North Carolina, O’Connell received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from East Carolina University. She received her master’s in health care administration from Oregon Health Sciences University.
Ms. O’Connell and her husband, Kevin, reside in Galveston. They have two daughters.
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, 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.
Gulshan Sharma, MD, MPH, FCCP Vice President, Chief Medical and Clinical Innovation Officer
Dr. Sharma completed 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.
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 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.
Owen Murray, DO, MBA, Vice President, Offender Services
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.
James Amato, MBA Interim, Vice President Health System Operations
James Amato provides leadership and oversight for designated operational and management activities in the following areas within the Health System: Laboratory Services, Radiology Services, Rehabilitation Services, Transportation Services, Environmental Services, Food Services, Clinical Equipment Services, Pharmacy Services, and Laundry Services.
Jim comes to UTMB with more than 38 years of experience in radiology and health care administration. Most recently he served as Chief, Clinical Ancillary Services at University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia. Jim began work at UVA in 2001 as the Medical Center Administrator, Radiology and progressed through roles as Interim Administrator, and Interim Chief Operating Officer of Hospital and Clinics Operations. During his time at UVA, Jim increased outpatient net revenue in ancillary services by 65 percent in three years as a result of expanding retail and specialty pharmacy services, improving medical lab turnaround times, expanding outpatient imaging services and reducing the base operating budget across all areas of clinical ancillary services.
Jim earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island and his Master’s in Business Administration from University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, earned the AHRA (American Health Care Radiology Administrators) Award for Excellence in 2006, serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Piedmont CASA, and chaired the 2011 Community Giving Campaign at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
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.