2017 Board of Directors
VCA of Administration, Neurological Surgery
1801 NW 9th St.
Miami, FL 33136
Maggy Perez-Dickens is the Vice Chair of Administration for the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami. In this capacity she oversees the group practice of 22 physicians for one of the country’s leading neurosurgical programs. The practice generates 4000 admissions and 14,000 outpatient visits per year. Maggy first joined the University of Miami in 2001 and has focused her career on the management of surgical group practices.Prior to joining NeuroSurgery in 2016, she was the Administrative Director for the Miami Transplant Institute for 12 years. Ms. Perez-Dickens holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with specializations in Finance and Legal Implications from the University of Miami. Ms. Perez-Dickens has been a MGMA member since April of 2003, receiving her certifications as a Medical Practice Executive in July of 2004.
Director of Business Operations
Nicole Adams Lergier is the Director of Business Operations for the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the University of Miami – UHealth. In her capacity she oversees a multidisciplinary clinical laboratory of 2 Faculty and 90 staff that includes Pathology services. The lab is nationally, as well as internationally, known for its expertise, ground breaking testing and quality of care. The lab results over 1M tests per year and has responsibility for an operating budget of $40M. Nicole first joined the University of Miami in November of 2004 as a Director of Medical Human Resources. In May of 2011 she branched out into her current business operation role for the Department of Surgery.
Ms. Lergier holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from the Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus. Ms. Lergier is a current member of the MGMA.
Administrative Director, Physician Practices
3329 Johnson St.
Hollywood, FL 33021
Karen McCandless, MBA, BSN, RN is the Administrative Director for the Memorial Physician Group Pediatric Specialties of the Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Florida.In this capacity, she oversees 18 pediatric multidisciplinary group specialty practices, 59 physicians, and 200 employees spanning Broward and West Palm Beach counties. These practices generate 22,000 new patient visits per year.Karen joined the Memorial Healthcare System in 1991 as a Registered Nurse in pediatrics. Over the course of the next 24 years, she developed 16 specialty practices, transitioned three community-based practices into employed operations, and oversaw 17 construction build-outs of new medical office suites as well as four suite renovations. Karen has secured more than $1.5 million in grant dollars for program start-ups and led her team to achieve and maintain seven national designations for various specialty services. Karen received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Florida International University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, with specializations in Healthcare Management, from Nova University. She has been a member of MGMA since 2011 and SFMGMA since 2014.
1120 NW 14th St.
Miami, FL 33136
Brianne Neuburger is a Project Manager for the Office of Process Improvement and Innovation at UHealth – the University of Miami Health System, inclusive of The University of Miami Medical Group, the University of Miami Hospital, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Six Sigma Green Belt and Black Belt Candidate. Brianne earned her Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences degree from the University of Miami and is currently working towards a Master’s of Science in Management Science. 2+ years of process improvement and project management in an academic healthcare setting. Proven record of building strong relationships and leading teams to deliver exceptional results. Collaborates with all levels of management and leads teams of any size to create and launch innovative solutions. Skilled in planning, developing, supervising and implementing business strategies.Interests include comprehensive health care delivery, community outreach and medical group and practice management.
AVP of Managed Care
1120 NW 14th St., Executive Offices, Suite 310-X
Miami, FL 33136
Entrepreneurial and Healthcare executive with over 20 years of leadership experience spanning across many business, financial, and operational aspect of healthcare, including tech, managed care, provider contracting & network development, population health, practice management, EMR, Revenue Cycle Management, Business Development, and Patient Experience. Alain has held leadership positions at several prestigious organizations, such as Miami Children’s Hospital, Physicians Corporation of America, and Cleveland Clinic. Currently, Alain is the AVP of Managed Care at the University of Miami Health System. In this role, Alain is responsible for developing, implementing and managing overall financial responsibility for Managed Care Contracting, Medical Economics, and Single Case Negotiations at the University. Alain and his team are tasked to develop and implement innovative contracting strategies with government and commercial payers and create and continually re-evaluate new reimbursement models, such as value based purchasing, bundled payments, and risk based agreements.
Administrative Director, Physician Practices
3329 Johnson St.
Hollywood, FL 33021
Chief Executive Officer
9500 Dadeland Blvd., Suite 802
Miami, FL 33156
Alejandro Fernandez is the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for providing the leadership and direction of Gastro Health, PL and its subsidiaries. Mr. Fernandez has over twenty years of experience in operations, finance, management, information technology, sales and marketing in healthcare, technology, and other industries. In 1997, Mr. Fernandez joined one of Gastro Health’s founding practices, Gastroenterology Care Center, as Executive Administrator and was instrumental in the formation of Gastro Health, PL. In 2011, he was promoted to CEO and since has taken the company to the next level by recruiting physicians, developing new lines of business, and centralizing operations and services. Under Mr. Fernandez’s leadership, Gastro Health, PL has received awards for excellence in revenue cycle operations from Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and has been listed for the past two years as one of the fastest growing companies in Florida, one of South Florida’s leading medical group and imaging center. Mr. Fernandez has also received multiple awards for leadership in healthcare and other industries; is a national speaker with MGMA, American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and GI Roundtable; currently serves on several national committees, as well as served as president of several local charities and non-for-profit organizations. Mr. Fernandez has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Florida International University, a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami, and is a board certified medical practice executive from the American College of Medical Practice Executives.
Chair Elect, Sponsorship Committee
Chief Financial Officer
Chair, Events and Education
Bukky is the principal for FUNMI Healthcare Consulting. She provides strategic,administrative, clinical and financial operations and overall interim management services for physician & group practice, medical offices, ambulatory & outpatient centers Bukky has about 15 years of healthcare industry experience including academic research & clinical research organizations, and specifically over 7 years of healthcare management in various provider settings (hospital, practice, ambulatory and post-acute).She has worked as the director of physician surgical operations, operation manager,planning & performance improvement leader and management fellow leading operation teams in fast-paced and result-oriented settings. Bukky holds a Masters of Health Service Administration from University of Michigan and Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.
Chair Elect, Events and Education
Administrator of Orthopaedic and Rheumatologic Center
Chair, Networking and Symposium Committee
Senior Manager, Business Development
Wendy Wriggins Ernst is a senior business manager and patient-centered medical home (PCMH) professional with over 24 years of experience in leading medical group management, business development, and physician network contracting and service. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Economics from Texas Christian University, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a special focus on Healthcare Programs and Policy, from the University of Miami.
Throughout her career, she has specialized in building relationships and improving processes across a broad continuum of the industry, including private and not-for-profit payers, independent and group physician (primary care and specialty) practices, ancillary providers and facilities. She led teams in Member Services, Sales/Marketing, and Physician/Provider Relations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida from 1994 - 2010, and was the Director of Physician Contracting and Service for South Florida at AvMed Health Plans from 2010 through 2013. From 2014 - 2016, she became the Senior Manager of Business Development at Femwell Group Health, a management services company for VitalMD, a multi-specialty group practice with more than 500 physicians and 12 ancillary centers throughout Florida, and served as an Advisor with Press Ganey Associates in 2017. She established CareCentered Consulting, LLC in July of 2017 to pursue a passion for working side-by-side with physicians through PCMH certification, as well as contracting, credentialing and payer relations.
Since 2015, she has served on the board of directors for the South Florida Medical Group Management Association (SFMGMA) and currently chairs the Networking and Annual Symposium Committee. She has been recognized by various employers and community organizations for outstanding leadership and corporate mentorship, and enjoys tutoring English, Economics, Reading/Writing & Public Speaking in her free time. She is also a certified Guardian Ad Litem advocate for children in the foster care system for the Miami-Dade judicial circuit. She is a Miami native, loves to read, and happily resides with her family in Homestead, Florida.
Chair Elect, Networking & Symposium Committee
Chair, Membership Committee
Elizabeth Kourtesis Fisher currently serves as the Director of Patient Access and Revenue Cycle for the University of Miami Medical Group of the Miami Transplant Institute at Jackson Memorial Hospital. She has been with the University of Miami for 19 years with the departments of Neurological Surgery and now Surgery Transplant, and currently oversees the physician revenue cycle for 13 Surgeons and 23 physicians of the MTI one of the largest and most comprehensive Transplant programs in the nation performing more than 450 transplants each year in addition to other organ and lifesaving procedures. Elizabeth is a member of MGMA, the Transplant Financial Coordinators Association, and has received the Transplant Foundations Krueger Award for exemplary service and care to patients, fellow colleagues, and the Transplant community. Elizabeth is very involved in her community, currently serving as President of the GFWC Miami Springs Woman’s Club, member of the Lions Club, church council, prison and youth ministry, and numerous organizations benefitting children and those in need.
Chair Elect, Membership Committee
Imaging and Biologics Manager
Gisselle Gonzalez is the Imaging and Biologics Manager at Gastro Health. Gisselle joined Gastro Health in 2008 and has held numerous positions within the company leading up to her current role. She graduated from Miami Dade College in 2013 with an Associate’s degree in Accounting, then transferred to Florida International University where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Gisselle is responsible for overseeing a diagnostic center and three infusion centers. After 10 years of experience in the medical field, Gisselle has decided to continue her education and is currently enrolled in the Executive MBA program at FIU.
Chair, Marketing and Communications Committee
Brooke Gardner is a graduate from East Tennessee State University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Health Administration and a minor in Marketing upon completion of an internship in the Business Development and Managed Care Department at the University of Miami Hospital. Ms. Gardner was an MGMA Scholar in the East Tennessee MGMA Division, and recently transferred to the SFMGMA in 2016.
Member at Large:
Chief Operating Officer
Jeff Kaplan is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 30 years’ experience in operations,finance, managed care, IT, customer service and marketing. He has experience with single andmulti-specialty practices in the public and private sectors. He brings entrepreneurial experiencewith a focus on partnering with hospital systems, insurance carriers, specialists and PCP’s.
He is the former President of the South Florida Medical Group Managers Association and the current Chief Operating Officer for HeartWell LLP, a 24 physician, multi-location cardiology practice in the Miami Florida area. His responsibilities include managing the company’s business operations, reimbursement activities including billing and collections, its financial and information systems, and human resources. Mr. Kaplan negotiates with insurance providers and coordinates the group’s advanced diagnostic services and the sophisticated software used to manage patient information.