2021 Board of Directors


Christopher A. Cook, MBA, FACHE, LSSBB 
Associate General Manager
Chen Medical Senior Centers

Christopher A. Cook, is the Associate General Manager for ChenMed Senior Medical Centers specializing in concierge style value-based healthcare for seniors.  At ChenMed we honor our seniors with affordable VIP care that delivers better health.  Mr. Cook has over 20 years of executive leadership experience in the healthcare industry.  He is passionate about healthcare and providing patients with an outstanding experience in medical facilities that provide the highest quality of patient care.  Mr. Cook specializes in the medical practice management of multi-specialty physician practices, surgery and diagnostic centers.  He has experience in a broad array of specialties including, senior care, cardiology, general and endovascular surgery, nephrology, neurology, otolaryngology, pediatrics, sleep medicine, primary care, and much more.

Mr. Cook earned his MBA with specialization in Healthcare Administration from Florida International University. Mr. Cook has a passion for performance improvement and is Certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CLSSBB). Mr. Cook is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).  A highly regarded designation representing excellence in healthcare administration. He has served as the President-Elect and Treasurer for the South Florida Medical Group Management Association (SFMGMA). 






Valeriya Bondar 
Director,Physician Practices
Memorial Physician Group


Immediate Past President

Karen McCandless, MBA, BSN, RN
Administrative Director, Physician Practices
Memorial Physician Group
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, 121 providers, and > 375 employees spanning Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach counties generating > 25,000 New Patient visits per year with a budgetary oversight of $65M.

Karen joined the Memorial Healthcare System in 1991 as a Registered Nurse in pediatrics. Over the course of the next 29+ years, she developed 12 specialty practices, transitioned 3 community-based practices into employed operations. 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.

As a part of her role within the Memorial Physician Group Karen oversaw 17 construction build-outs of new medical office suites as well as four suite renovations and in 2018 the development, from conception to reality, of a 32,000 square foot medical office building/ambulatory surgical center in Wellington, Fl to solidify the presence of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Palm Beach County. Karen oversees all regulatory operations of these tri-county offices/locations. In, addition Karen participates as a RFP Committee Member for various services such as Outpatient Environmental Services, Answering Service and Medical Transcription Systems.

Karen received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Florida International University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, with a specialization in Healthcare Management, from Nova University. She has been a member of Medical Group Management Association since 2011, Florida Medical Group Management Association since 2011 serving as Vice President Southeast Operations 2017, 2018 and 2019 and now Treasurer in 2020 and 2021, South Florida Medical Group Management Association since 2014 serving a Treasurer in 2016, 2017, President Elect in 2018, President in 2019 and 2020 and now Past President 2021.


Past Presidents


2017 President

Maggy Perez-Dickens, MBA, CMPE
VCA of Administration, Neurological Surgery
University of Miami Health System
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 had focused her career on the management of surgical group practices. Before 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 an MGMA member since April of 2003, receiving her certifications as a Medical Practice Executive in July of 2004. 

2016 President

Alain Fernandez, MHSA
AVP of Managed Care
University of Miami  Health System
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 businesses, 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. 

2015 President

Rob Parker MBA, CMPE, CPXP
Administrative Director, Physician Practices
Memorial Physician Group
3329 Johnson St.
Hollywood, FL 33021

Rob Parker, MBA, CMPE is the Administrative Director for the Memorial Physician Group Adult Specialty Divisions of the Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood, Florida. In this capacity, he oversees 20 multidisciplinary specialty divisions, 160 physicians, and 200 employees spanning Broward and West Palm Beach counties. Rob joined the Memorial Healthcare System in 2010. Rob received a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Florida International University. Rob has been a South Florida MGMA since 2011 where he served as the Treasurer and President.



Jeff Kaplan
Chief Operating Officer 
HeartWell, LLP

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 and multi-specialty practices in the public and private sectors. He brings entrepreneurial experience with 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.


Jeff Herschler

FHI Communications

Jeffrey Herschler is currently the President of FHIcommunications, a digital media and marketing consulting firm serving Florida’s health industry. Key accounts include Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, BDO, Accountable Care Options, Mag Mutual Insurance Company and Danna-Gracey. Launched in January of 2010, FHIcommunications serves healthcare clients in the areas of digital branding, e-mail marketing, events and media buying. The firm publishes the digital newsletters Week in Review, Specialty Focus, Updates in Pediatrics, FHIweekly and Game Changers in addition to producing the website FloridaHealthIndustry.com. The company is the creator of the Healthcare Roundtable, an ongoing series of healthcare business panel discussions held at various South Florida venues throughout the year.

Mr. Herschler is a current sponsor and former board member of the South Florida Healthcare Executive Forum. He is also a board member of the South Florida Medical Group Management Association. He has actively served as a member the American College of Healthcare Executives for many years. Mr. Herschler graduated from the University of Maryland in 1986 with a B.S.in Finance and a B.A. in Economics. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. An avid motorcycle enthusiast and amateur chef, Mr. Herschler resides in Coral Gables, FL.