Bronson System Executive Leadership Team
Leadership is an essential ingredient in our organization's success. Guiding our work at locations across southwest Michigan is Bronson's System Executive Team.
Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Bronson Medical Group™
Laurel Barber is vice president of operations for Bronson Medical Group. She is responsible for the operations, financial performance, strategic plan development and oversight of provider recruitment and employment agreements as well as provider compensation.
Barber has nearly 30 years of healthcare leadership experience in both acute care and ambulatory settings. She graduated from Bronson School of Nursing with a diploma in nursing and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan, graduating magna cum laude. After many years practicing nursing in the neonatal intensive care unit at Bronson Methodist Hospital, she assumed leadership roles for Bronson Children’s Hospital and pediatric subspecialty practices. Barber is a certified medical practice executive with the American College of Medical Practice Executives.
Sue (Reinoehl) Birch, FACHE
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Communication & Chief Strategy Officer
Sue (Reinoehl) Birch oversees system-wide strategic planning, corporate communications, and board development.
Birch has over 33 years of experience in health care administration. She has held many roles at Bronson including outpatient services, operations, physician recruitment and development, physician practice administration, regional development, planning, marketing, and service line administration. Prior to joining Bronson, Birch was the system vice president for physician support services at Oakwood Healthcare System in Dearborn, Michigan.
Birch received her Master of Health Services Administration in Hospital Administration from the University of Michigan and her Bachelor of Arts in Business from Michigan State University. She served on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has served on many community boards including Leadership Kalamazoo, Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, West Michigan Cancer Center, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Bronson Lakeview Foundation and United Way of the Battle Creek and the Kalamazoo Region.
Vice President Information Technology
Ken Buechele is vice president of information technology. His responsibilities include system-wide oversight of clinical information technology for Bronson Healthcare.
Buechele joined Bronson in 2003. Prior to his current role, Buechele served as director of information technology responsible for the implementation and support of Bronson’s enterprise electronic health record (EPIC). His earlier career includes work in software development at Country Insurance in Bloomington, Illinois, and Thompson Reuters in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Buechele earned his bachelor of science in Applied Computer Science from Illinois State University.
Matthew N. Dommer, MD
Vice President, Medical Affairs of Bronson LakeView Hospital and Bronson South Haven Hospital
Matthew Dommer, MD, MBA, FACEP, is vice president for medical affairs at Bronson LakeView Hospital and Bronson South Haven Hospital. His responsibilities include overseeing Bronson medical staff and medical staff leadership in Van Buren County as well as clinical leadership for Van Buren Emergency Medical Services (VBEMS) and for Bronson FastCare.
Dr. Dommer obtained his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in 1996, and completed his residency in emergency medicine at the Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies in 1999. He also served as emergency department director for Lakeview Community Hospital and subsequently as vice president and treasurer for Southwest Michigan Emergency Services from 2001 through 2014. In 2006, he became the chief medical officer for then Lakeview Community Hospital and continued as vice president for medical affairs after it became Bronson LakeView Hospital in 2008.
Dr. Dommer served on the steering committee for the Bronson Network as well as vice chair of the board of directors for the statewide Affirmant Health Partners ACO. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians as well as a member of the American Association for Physician Leadership and the Michigan Hospital Association.
Becky East, CPA, MBA, FHFMA
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Becky East is responsible for system-wide activities at Bronson Healthcare related to general accounting, budgeting, investments, treasury management, accounts payable, payroll, decision support, taxes, reimbursement, patient accounting, health information management, registration, insurance verification and patient access.
Prior to joining Bronson in 2004, East worked as a certified public accountant and manager at Plante Moran in west Michigan. During her career at Bronson, she has served as director of reimbursement and compliance, assistant controller and assistant vice president/controller.
East received her bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Walsh College and completed her master of business administration degree from Cornerstone University in May 2015.
East is an active member of numerous professional and community organizations, including: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; The Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants; Healthcare Financial Management Association; Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Finance Committee; West Michigan Air Care Board of Directors; West Michigan Cancer Center Board of Directors and Finance Committee; and Bronson Health Foundation Board of Directors and Finance Committee.
James B. Falahee, Jr.
Senior Vice President, Legal & Legislative Affairs
James “Chip” Falahee is Senior Vice President, Legal & Legislative Affairs for Bronson Healthcare. He joined Bronson in 1987 and has more than 40 years of experience in health care law and legislation. He has been named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in health care. He is a frequent speaker about health care policy and reform. Falahee is a founding member, past president and a Fellow of the Health Care Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and past president of the Michigan Society of Hospital Attorneys.
Falahee is one of two hospital representatives on the state’s Certificate of Need Commission. He served as Chairman of the Commission from 2011-2014.
He is a board member of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association.
He is a board member of 340B Health, an organization of over 1,100 public and private non-profit hospitals and health systems throughout the U.S. that participate in the 340B drug discount program.
Falahee received his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and his juris doctor degree at Wayne State University.
Ashutosh Goel, MD, MMI, CHCIO
Senior Vice President, Information Technology, Chief Information & Medical Informatics Officer
Ashutosh “Ash” Goel, MD, is senior vice president, information technology, chief information (CIO) and medical informatics officer (CMIO), for Bronson Healthcare. His responsibilities include: oversight of Bronson Healthcare's systemwide I.T. enterprise, managing effective use of the electronic medical record, facilitating the use of technology to improve and coordinate patient care, and developing and enhancing the use of data analytics throughout the health system to make informed decisions that support better clinical and business outcomes. In addition, he practices medicine as an adult hospitalist on a part-time basis.
Goel has 20 years of healthcare experience as a practicing physician in various acute care settings and nine years of experience as a hospitalist program medical director. Prior to joining Bronson, he served as vice president information technology and CMIO for Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, WY.
Goel completed his medical education at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in 1994 and his graduate medical education at West Virginia University - Charleston Division. He is board certified with the American Board of Family Medicine. He also holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. in medical informatics. In addition, he is a member of the College of Healthcare Information Executives’ Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO) program and serves on the board of the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region.
John T. Hayden
Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer
John T. Hayden is responsible for system-wide activities at Bronson related to compensation and benefits, employment, employee relations, education, diversity & inclusion, talent management, organizational development and the Bronson Center for Learning.
With more than 40 years of experience in health care human resources, Hayden has held positions primarily at a corporate or system level. Prior to joining Bronson in 2006, Hayden served as vice president, chief learning officer at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Throughout his career at Henry Ford Health System, he held several executive-level Human Resources positions.
Hayden received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University and his master’s degree in Management and Supervision from Central Michigan University.
Hayden is an active member of numerous professional and community organizations, including:
- American Society for Healthcare Human Resources
- Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA)
- Society for Human Resource Management
- Family & Children’s Services Operations Committee
- Gift of Life Michigan Advisory Board
- Kalamazoo Air Service Retention and Expansion Committee
- West Michigan Cancer Center Board of Directors
- Southwest Michigan First Board of Directors
Vice President of Revenue Cycle
Ryan Horn is Vice President of Revenue Cycle. His responsibilities include providing strategic direction and oversight of revenue cycle operations including Patient Accounting, Health Information Management, Patient Access, Charge Data Master, and Revenue Integrity.
Horn has over 20 years of experience in the health care industry. He joined Bronson in 2001 and has held several leadership roles in Information Technology, Patient Accounting, and Compliance. Horn earned his Master of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University.
John L. Jones, Jr.
Senior Vice President, Community Care
John Jones, Jr. is responsible for Bronson Healthcare’s 440-provider physician group, regional hospital services, clinically integrated network, regional service lines and business development.
Jones has over 40 years of experience in the health care industry. He joined Bronson in 1999 and has held several system-wide leadership positions, including vice president of IBA Health Plans. Jones was promoted to his current position in 2016. Prior to joining Bronson, Jones was chief operating officer and treasurer of Michigan State University – Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, a subsidy corporation of Bronson.
A Michigan native, Jones received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Olivet College, Master of Arts from Michigan State University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. Jones is very active within the Kalamazoo community, serving on numerous boards of directors: the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, Hospital Network Inc., Chemical Bank, Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo, and Stewart Sutherland, Inc.
Cheryl L. Knapp
Senior Vice President, Chief Quality Officer
Cheryl Knapp has worked in various positions at Bronson for the past 30 years. Her current responsibilities include research and patient satisfaction for the entire Bronson system.
Knapp is Bronson’s executive liaison for the Michigan Hospital Association Keystone Center for Patient Safety and Quality. She is past board chair for Michigan Health Association's Patient Safety Organization and was a Baldrige examiner in 2002 and 2003. She has been a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) for the past 20 years and is a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS). Knapp became a Registered Nurse through the Bronson School of Nursing, and received a bachelor’s degree in Health Studies and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Western Michigan University.
Scott D. Larson, MD
Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer
Scott Larson, MD, has overall responsibility for the medical staff and medical staff leadership, as well as clinical quality for the Bronson Methodist Hospital, Bronson Vicksburg Outpatient Center and the physician practices.
Dr. Larson received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1978, and completed his residency in internal medicine at Michigan State University – Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies in 1981. He has practiced emergency medicine at Bronson Methodist Hospital since 1982 and is board certified in internal medicine and emergency medicine. At Bronson Methodist Hospital, Dr. Larson previously held positions as executive medical director, chief of staff and medical director of the Trauma and Emergency Center prior to assuming his current role in November 2000. He also held the position of medical director for IBA Health Plans.
Dr. Larson is a board member of several organizations including the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine, Affirmant Health Partners, Michigan Physician Insurance Exchange and the Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority.
Dorothy Malcolm, MSN, RN
Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, Bronson Battle Creek
Dorothy Malcolm, MSN, RN is the vice president, chief nursing officer at Bronson Battle Creek. Her responsibilities include maintaining clinical and patient care standards and coordinating the implementation of new nursing strategies.
Malcolm began her nursing career in 1996 as a surgical staff nurse at Community Health Center of Branch County in Coldwater, Mich. For the next fourteen years, she served as an oncology staff nurse and held several leadership positions at Borgess Medical Center focused in emergency and trauma nursing prior to joining Bronson in 2011.
Malcolm received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. and her Masters of Science in Nursing from Grand Valley State University.
James E. (Jim) McKernan
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Bronson Battle Creek
Jim McKernan, MBA, BSN, RN, is a senior vice president with Bronson Healthcare and has been the senior executive at Bronson Battle Creek since 2014. Prior to that, he spent 15 years as the chief executive officer for HealthCare Midwest, a multidisciplinary physician group that became part of the Bronson Healthcare system in 2013.
From 1994-1998, McKernan was director of trauma and critical care at Bronson Methodist Hospital overseeing the Level I Trauma Center, regional burn center, medical intensive care unit, regional communication center, ambulance transport service and orthopedic and neurology service lines.
The first ten years of his management career (1984-1994) were spent at The Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, as administrative director of emergency and outpatient services.
He has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from East Stroudsburg State College in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He is certified by the American College of Medical Practice Executives.
Vice President of Development, Bronson Health Foundation
Terry oversees fund development for the Bronson Healthcare system and has executive oversight of the Bronson Health Foundation. The Foundation focuses on fundraising to support patients, employees, programs and special projects. Terry also assists in leading community health strategies throughout Bronson’s service area. Focusing on these areas helps Bronson’s understanding of the social determinants of health. Those are the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play and how they impact health. Terry leads efforts to partner with the community to better provide equitable healthcare experiences and outcomes for all.
Terry has more than eighteen years of professional fund development experience, having performed consulting and management roles in various not-for-profit healthcare, higher education and faith-based organizations throughout the United States. A Kalamazoo native, Terry earned his Bachelor of Science in economics from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Science in management, strategy and leadership from Michigan State University. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, American College of Healthcare Executives, and is active in the community with Communities in Schools, Cradle Kalamazoo, Residential Opportunities Inc., Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Western Michigan University, and the Lakeview Foundation in Paw Paw, Michigan.
Denise J. Neely, BSN, MBA
Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Bronson Methodist Hospital
Denise Neely, BSN, MBA, is the senior vice president, chief operating officer, chief nursing officer for Bronson Healthcare. With more than 30 years of experience in nursing, clinical operations and healthcare leadership, Neely has served since 2005 as director of service lines and regional business development at Bronson.
Neely began her nursing career at Bronson in 1980 as a nurse in surgical services where she served in both staff and leader capacities. From 1991 to 2005, she held leadership positions at Southern Hills Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., Saint Thomas Health Services, also in Nashville, the Bureau of TennCare, and the University Hospital Methodist Health Systems in Memphis, Tenn. Neely earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Nazareth College and master’s degree in business administration from Belmont University’s Jack Massey School of Business in Nashville.
Shaun Phillips, PharmD
Vice President, Ambulatory Operations
Shaun Phillips, PharmD, is vice president of ambulatory operations for Bronson Healthcare.
Prior to joining Bronson, Phillips held various pharmacy leadership roles at Trinity Health in West Michigan and the metro Detroit area. He was transferred to Battle Creek Health System in 2009 and joined Bronson in 2011. He is professionally active in the 340B drug purchasing program, expanding the reach of traditional institutional pharmacy practice and developing pharmacy residency programs.
Phillips is a graduate with the highest distinction of Ferris State University College of Pharmacy and the Ferris State Honors Program. He completed a general practice residency at Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Mich. He also completed intensive research training in pharmacology and holds an MBA in integrated management from Michigan State University. He went on to complete the Boston University Pharmacy Leadership Institute and ASHP Pharmacy Leadership Academy.
In addition to his responsibilities at Bronson, he serves as professor for administrative pharmacy at Ferris State University, course coordinator in financial planning for Health Institution Leaders at the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy, as a preceptor of BMH and BBC pharmacy residencies, is a member of the Ferris College of Pharmacy Alumni advisory board and serves as chair of the Ferris Honors Program board.
Kirk Richardson, RN, BSN, MSN
Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Bronson LakeView Hospital & Bronson South Haven Hospital
Kirk Richardson, RN, BSN, MSN, is the vice president and chief operating officer (COO) for Bronson LakeView Hospital and Bronson South Haven Hospital. Richardson has more than 28 years of progressive leadership experience in the healthcare field including nursing administration, occupational health, safety, fire service, emergency medical services and emergency management.
Richardson began his healthcare career at LakeView Community Hospital in 1985, initially as an Emergency Medical Technician and then as an Emergency Department registered nurse in 1986. Richardson also served as safety officer, director of patient care departments, and vice president of patient care services. Richardson has served since 2008 as chief nursing officer for Bronson LakeView Hospital.
In addition to his responsibilities at Bronson LakeView and Bronson South Haven hospitals, Richardson holds numerous professional certifications and is active in the local community. He serves as captain of the Paw Paw Fire Department and as an emergency services unit nurse for the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.
Richardson educational and professional background in healthcare is extensive. He earned a master’s degree in management from Cornerstone University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ferris State University.
Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer
Christine Sangalli serves as vice president, chief compliance officer for the Bronson Healthcare system.
Sangalli is responsible for overseeing ethical and legal standards and ensuring corporate compliance at all Bronson entities and works closely with the Bronson Board of Directors Audit and Compliance Committee.
Previously she served as Bronson's director of risk management, responsible for patient safety and privacy; risk prevention and education; laws and regulations that impact patient care services and promoting a safe working environment.
Sangalli earned her master’s degree in nursing administration from Andrews University, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Nazareth College.
Frank J. Sardone
President & CEO
Frank J. Sardone is responsible for overall leadership of Bronson Healthcare, southwest Michigan's leading health system. A national leader in healthcare quality, Bronson is an innovative, award-winning organization that partners with patients and families to achieve an exceptional care experience.
Bronson has been recognized nationally for excellence in patient care, its culture of excellence, its facilities and the quality of its workforce. Key organizational achievements under Sardone's leadership include: Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (2005), American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize (2009), Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospital (2011), Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence (2009-13) and Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence (2009-2022).
Sardone received both a bachelor’s degree in 1979 and a Master of Business Administration in 1981 from the University of Kentucky. He joined Bronson in 1988 and assumed his current role in 1996. Also in 1996, Sardone received the Michigan ACHE Regent’s Young Healthcare Leader Award. In 2000 under his leadership, Bronson Methodist Hospital completed a $210 million redevelopment of its campus into a new, all-private room facility utilizing light, nature, art and music to foster healing. For this work, Sardone was named the 2006 recipient of the Center for Health Design’s Changemaker Award. In 2016, Bronson was awarded the Legacy Project Award from the American College of Healthcare Architects for demonstrating superior planning and excellence in design that remains of enduring significance today.
Sardone has served on the boards of numerous professional organizations including the Center for Health Design, Center for Healthcare Governance, Michigan Hospital Association (Chairman in 2009) and Michigan Hospital Association Insurance Company. Active in his community, Sardone is a board member of Southwest Michigan First; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Gilmore Keyboard Festival; Kalamazoo Community Foundation; Kalamazoo Promise Accountability Team; and W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. In the past, he served on the community boards of Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc., Greater Kalamazoo United Way (Chair in 2006), Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Ministry with Community, and Hospice of Greater Kalamazoo.
Daniel Stewart, MD, FACEP
Vice President, Medical Affairs, Bronson Battle Creek
Daniel Stewart, MD, FACEP, vice president of medical affairs for Bronson Battle Creek. He is responsible for overseeing Bronson medical staff and medical staff leadership and patient satisfaction at Bronson Battle Creek.
Since 2000, Dr. Stewart has held multiple director positions within the Bronson Healthcare system. These include the Bronson Methodist Hospital Emergency Department, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital Emergency Department, Bronson Occupational Medicine and Calhoun County Medical Control.
Dr. Stewart obtained his medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. and received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Alma College in Alma, Mich. He has several certifications from the National Board of Emergency Medicine Diplomate, American Board of Emergency Medicine Diplomate and Fellow American College of Emergency Physicians.
Vice President, Contracting & Clinically Integrated Network
Nancy Vannest is responsible for managed care strategy, contracting and development of a clinically integrated network (CIN) for Bronson Healthcare. Vannest joined Bronson in 2016 and comes with over 30 years of experience in the health care industry. Areas of expertise include managed care strategy, contracting, payer relations, network development, credentialing, clinical integration, claims operations and business intelligence analytics. She is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and American Academy of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Prior to joining Bronson, Nancy was responsible for establishing business intelligence and managed care contracting functions at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. She also held various management positions in Health Management Organizations (HMOs) for over 20 years. Vannest holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Leadership and a master’s degree in Science with focus on Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University.
Vice President, Community Health, Equity and Inclusion
Beth Washington is vice president of community health, equity & inclusion. She is responsible for expanding health equity practices within the organization, among community partners, and across Bronson's service area. She leads Bronson's efforts to create environments, mindsets, policies and interventions that enable all people to have full and equal access to opportunities to lead healthy lives. Her department works with the health system's employees and patients and families to improve access to medical care and wrap around services that support equitable care delivery. Their work is an integral part of expanding the organization's place-based community-building strategies targeted at tackling social and environmental determinants of health. Those are the conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play and how they impact health.
Washington is a graduate of Kalamazoo College with degrees in Human Resources and Relations and a secondary teaching certificate in Social Studies and English. She worked as an educator for 18 years, teaching in Niles Community Schools, Holland West Ottawa Public School and in Kalamazoo Public Schools. Washington came to Bronson in 2015 after serving as Director of Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation's Jeter's Leaders. She is currently a Kalamazoo College Trustee and serves on the Urban Alliance Board and the KVCC Groves Advisory Board.
Vice President Communications & Public Affairs
Susan Watts is responsible for corporate communications, brand strategy, marketing, public relations and community outreach for the Bronson Healthcare system.
Watts has over 30 years of experience in all facets of marketing and communication and has been with Bronson since 1993. She is a member of the Society of Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD), and represents Bronson in various community leadership roles including the Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc. board of directors and the campaign cabinet of the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region.
Prior to joining Bronson, her career experience included management roles in franchise marketing and in television and radio broadcasting. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin.
Michael S. Way, MBA, CPM
Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, Facilities & Real Estate
Michael has been with Bronson for over 28 years leading areas such as supply chain, contracting, facility development and real estate management.
Way received a bachelor’s of science degree in Health Services Administration from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in Finance from Western Michigan University. He is also a certified contract/purchasing manager as designated by the ISM (Institute for Supply Management).
Way has acquired a thorough background in healthcare contract negotiations, facility planning and development and real estate management. He has led Bronson’s environmental initiatives, which resulted in receiving the Healthcare Environmental Leadership Award in 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007 from Practice Greenhealth, the Energy Star Label from the Environmental Protection Agency and recognition from the Green Guide as one of America's Top Ten Green Hospitals.
Mike has been involved in several professional and community organizations, including:
- Hospital Network Ventures
- WMed School of Medicine Site Selection and Facility Committee
- Southwest Michigan First
- Michigan Medical Device Accelerator
- Downtown Tomorrow Incorporated
- Leadership Kalamazoo
- Vine Ventures Board of Directors
- Hospital Network Incorporated Board of Directors
- Association for Healthcare Resource and Materials Management
- American Society for Healthcare Engineering