DFWHC is governed by a 14-member Board of Trustees comprised of hospital Chief Executive Officers or Chief Operating Officers. Voting members hold annual elections to fill vacant positions. A newly elected member serves a three-year term. The Board is authorized, via bylaws, the discretion of selecting two additional ex-officio, non-voting members to serve for a one-year term to provide specific expertise.

Daniela “Dany” Decell, Chair

Chief Executive Officer – Las Colinas Medical Center
Dany Decell

Daniela Decell began her career in healthcare as a critical care nurse at Saint Joseph Hospital and began her management career with Plaza in 1996 as the Neuroscience Service Line Director. She became Chief Nursing Officer in 1997 and Chief Operating Officer in 2000. Daniela received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Texas Christian University in 1985. In 1991, she earned her Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, became a Certified Healthcare Administrator in 2004 and achieved Fellow status in the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2007.

Rick Merrill, Past-Chair

President/CEO – Cook Children’s Health Care System
Rick Merrill

In August 2007, Rick Merrill became the new President and CEO of Cook Children’s. Merrill’s selection came following an exhaustive nationwide search, which lasted more than a year. Merrill is a respected leader in the pediatric health care industry. Under Merrill’s leadership Cook Children’s began a new era of “promise.” Cook Children’s new promise is: “Knowing that every child’s life is sacred, it is the promise of Cook Children’s to improve the health of every child in our region through the prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury.”

Dr. John Warner, Chair-Elect

Vice President/Chief Executive Officer - UT Southwestern University Hospital
Dr. John Warner

Dr. Warner is an interventional cardiologist whose clinical interests include coronary artery disease, complex valvular heart disease, adult congenital heart disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He serves as medical director of the UT Southwestern University Hospital Heart, Lung and Vascular Center and directs the Clinical Cardiac Catheterization Services at UT Southwestern’s Affiliated Hospitals.

Tom Trenary, Trustee

President, Baylor Medical Center at Garland

Tom Trenary was named president of Baylor Medical Center at Garland in July 2008. His impressive career in health care spans more than two decades and encompasses senior leadership roles at health care organizations across the country. Prior to joining Baylor, Trenary was the vice president of operations for MedCath, a cardiovascular health care system based in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this capacity he oversaw planning, hospital operations, physician relations and recruitment. Other health care systems Trenary has provided senior leadership for include Transitional Hospitals Corporation, Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NME) and Community Hospitals of Central California.

Cindy Schamp, Trustee

President - Baylor Medical Center in Irving

Cindy Schamp has been president of Baylor Medical Center at Irving since 2008. Schamp has been instrumental in growing and expanding services including, a robotic-assisted surgery program, an imaging center in Grand Prairie, a hyperbarics wound program, a neurosurgery program and emergency services. During her tenure, Baylor Irving has received numerous recognitions including the Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program, ranking the hospital’s nursing care in the top 7 percent of hospitals in the country. Ms. Schamp earned her undergraduate degree in gerontology/business administration from the University of Oregon and her master’s degree in hospital and health administration from the University of Iowa.

Brett D. Lee, Trustee

Chief Executive Officer of Tenet’s Lake Pointe Health Network

Brett D. Lee serves as the chief executive officer of Tenet’s Lake Pointe Health Network in Rowlett, Texas. Lee spent a majority of his career in pediatric healthcare, serving in executive roles at four of the nation’s largest children’s hospitals. He is the author of the bestselling book Growing Leaders in Healthcare: Lessons from the Corporate World, and was honored as the national young healthcare executive of the year by the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Audra Early, Trustee

Division VP of Integrated Care - DFW Area Hospitals Kindred Healthcare

Audra has been with Kindred Healthcare’s Hospital Division since June 2000 where she started her career at Kindred Hospital White Rock. During her tenure at Kindred Hospital White Rock, Audra held the positions of Director of Education/Infection Control Practitioner/ Employee Health, Chief Nursing Officer, Director of Quality Management, Chief Operating Officer and finally Chief Executive Officer. After leaving Kindred Hospital White Rock in May 2006, she joined the team at Kindred Hospital Fort Worth Southwest as Chief Executive Officer until January 2010. After her tenure at Fort Worth Southwest, Audra accepted the position as Market CEO of Kindred Hospital Dallas and Kindred Hospital White Rock until June 2011 when she was promoted to Executive Director of the DFW Area Hospitals. Audra now oversees seven LTACs, one In patient rehab facility, and one Sub-Acute unit in the DFW Area.

Audra lives in Ennis, TX with her husband Rob and their three adorable dogs.

Douglas G. Hock, Trustee

President / Chief Operating Officer - Children’s Medical Center Dallas

Doug Hock joined Children’s Medical Center of Dallas in 2006 and serves as the executive vice president of hospital and clinic operations and chief operating officer. In this capacity, he is responsible for nursing, ancillary and ambulatory services, quality, and facilities across Children’s three campuses in Dallas, Plano and Southlake

Previously, Hock worked for Texas Children’s Hospital, most recently as a senior vice president. During his 19 years there, he served a variety of leadership roles in clinical operations, administration, and finance. He is a certified public accountant and worked for KPMG Peat Marwick and Cooper Industries in Houston. His industry experience includes healthcare, manufacturing and financial institutions.

Mr. Hock graduated from Lehigh University with a bachelor of science degree in business and economics and from Rice University Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management with a master’s degree in business administration.

E. Kenneth Hutchenrider, Trustee

President - Methodist Richardson Medical Center

E. Kenneth Hutchenrider, Jr., joined Methodist Health System as president of Methodist Richardson Medical Center in July 2010, bringing more than 20 years of executive experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Methodist, Hutchenrider served as chief executive officer of Community Health Systems’ Galesburg Cottage Hospital in Illinois. While at Galesburg Cottage Hospital, he substantially increased financial stability and strengthened the management team and medical staff. Before serving at Galesburg, Hutchenrider was chief executive officer of Terre Haute Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, Indiana. Hutchenrider holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and a Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Debbie Paganelli, Trustee

President - Texas Health Harris Methodist Hurst-Euless-Bedford

Deborah Paganelli, F.A.C.H.E., joined Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford as president in 2007. Previously, Paganelli served as president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. Under her leadership, Paganelli has overseen multiple milestones including: Level III Trauma designation – the first such effort in Northeast Tarrant County, recognition as a “Baby-Friendly” hospital – the third in the state of Texas and earning a three-year accreditation with commendation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer – also the first in Northeast Tarrant County. Prior to joining Texas Health Resources, Paganelli served as chief operating officer of Alice Regional Hospital and vice president of Memorial Medical Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Lillie Biggins, Trustee

President - Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital

Lillie Biggins, RN, FACHE, became president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth in 2012. She joined Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth in 1997 as vice president of operations, overseeing Emergency Services, Trauma Services and Restorative Services. Prior to joining Texas Health Resources, Biggins held executive and clinical leadership positions at HCA Plaza Medical Center, JPS Health Network and Parkland Memorial Hospital.

Ashley McClellan, Trustee At-Large

Chief Executive Officer - Medical Center of Lewisville

Ashley McClellan was named Chief Executive Officer of Medical Center of Lewisville in December 2012. She joined Medical Center of Lewisville as Chief Operating Officer in 2008. Prior to that, she was the associate administrator at Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Kansas, as part of HCA‘s COO development program. While attending Southern Methodist University (SMU), McClellan held various roles at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas including director of patient and physician relations and a Spanish interpreter. She also served as the campaign coordinator at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2003. McClellan graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2004 with a BBA from SMU Cox and a Bachelor of Arts from SMU. She went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude with an MBA and a Master of Hospital Administration from Texas Woman’s University in 2005.

Robert Walker, Ex-Officio

President/Chief Executive Officer, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Robert Walker joined the administrative staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in 1979. He was named executive vice president and administrator in 1989. Robert’s responsibilities include management of the day-to-day operations of the hospital to ensure that the highest degree of medical care is provided to our patients. Robert is a native of Garland, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from East Texas University and his Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Bob is a 33° Scottish Rite Mason and holds fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Dr. Fred Cerise, Ex Officio

Chief Executive Officer - Parkland Health & Hospital System

Frederick Cerise, MD came to Parkland Health & Hospital System in 2014 with years of experience as a health care administrator, medical school faculty member and physician. He served as associate dean for clinical affairs at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans School of Medicine. From 2007-2012 Dr. Cerise was vice president for Health Affairs and Medical Education of the Louisiana State University System. Prior to that, he was secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals from 2004-2007. Dr. Cerise began his career at the Earl K. Long Medical Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Between 1991-2004, he advanced from the role of assistant program director and faculty member to medical director and ultimately chief executive officer. Dr. Cerise holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and earned his Medical Degree at Louisiana State University.