Gwen M. MacKenzie, President and Chief Executive Officer
Gwen M. MacKenzie is president and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. The regional medical center consists of an 806-bed hospital, physician practices and a network of specialized medical campuses and clinics that include a nursing and rehabilitation center, a psychiatric hospital and urgent care and outpatient centers. The only public hospital in the Southwest Florida region, Sarasota Memorial has nearly 4,000 staff, 1,000 volunteers and 800 physicians. It is one of the largest acute-care public hospitals in the nation and one of the largest employers in the region.
Despite the challenges of being the county’s only safety-net hospital for the uninsured and underinsured, Sarasota Memorial continues to offer a breadth and depth of services usually found only in major academic medical centers. It is the only hospital in southwest Florida named in the nation’s top 1 percent of hospitals for consistent clinical excellence, earning a spot on HealthGrades' “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” list for 2013 (and since 2007). The organization also is the only hospital in the region with “Magnet” status – the nation’s highest honor for excellence in nursing — and to earn a ranking on U.S. News’ 2013 “Best Hospitals” list.
Since joining Sarasota Memorial in 2005, MacKenzie has successfully opened six outpatient centers, including a freestanding Emergency Room and Health Care Center in North Port, the first of its kind in the region. She shepherded the hospital through an ER initiative with a 30-minute door-to-doctor goal, eliminating ambulance diversions while increasing patient volumes and satisfaction. Those kinds of improvements, coupled with a strong focus on growth opportunities and cost-saving measures, helped Sarasota Memorial turn around a financial loss into a positive margin. Indeed, the organization’s financial performance resulted in bond-rating upgrades and paved the way for the $250 million campus improvement project.
MacKenzie served on the Florida Governor’s Health and Human Services Transition Team. She is chair-elect of the board of the Florida Hospital Association and serves on the boards of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, FSU College of Medicine, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Cooperative Services of Florida and USF Community Leadership Council.
MacKenzie was named among the “100 Leaders of Great Hospitals” by Beckers Hospital Review in 2013. She earned the Girls, Inc. of Sarasota County “She Knows Where She’s Going Award” in 2007 and the Ear Research Foundation of Sarasota Recognition Award in 2010. In 2011, she was honored as a Woman of Valor by JFCS and received the Community Youth Development’s (CYD) Leadership Award. She also received the AJC/West Coast Florida’s 2011 Civic Achievement Award.
Trained as an oncology nurse, MacKenzie worked for 25 years at the Detroit Medical Center before assuming the leadership role at Sarasota Memorial. Starting as an advanced practice nurse practitioner, she worked her way from bedside care and clinical management to executive vice president and chief operating officer at DMC. She also was president of a number of the DMC hospitals and for a time served as interim CEO of the system. MacKenzie attended the University of Michigan, earning a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s in Health Services Administration. She received a Master’s degree in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles.
David Verinder, Chief Operating Officer
In July, 2010, David Verinder was named Sarasota Memorial’s Chief Operating Officer. He oversees the health system’s Ambulatory Services, Radiology Department, Laboratory Services, Supply Chain Management, Biomedical Engineering, Hospitality Services, First Physicians Group’s Operations and the Physician Hospital Organization. He also is responsible for the organization’s Architecture and Construction projects, group purchasing and distribution company (Leesar) and several additional Joint Ventures. Verinder joined Sarasota Memorial in 2006 as Chief Financial Officer. During his tenure with the health system, Verinder successfully instituted significant financial and operational improvements, focusing on strategic growth opportunities, disciplined expense controls and improved financial results.
Verinder came to Sarasota Memorial from Scott & White Memorial Hospital & Clinic in Temple, Texas, where he served as Chief Financial Officer for Hospital and Clinic operations. Verinder received his Master of Business Administration degree from Auburn University and his Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University.
William Woeltjen, Chief Financial Officer
William Woeltjen was named Chief Financial Officer in November, 2010. Previously, he served as interim CFO and Treasurer for the health system.
As Chief Financial Officer, Woeltjen is responsible for all financial matters related to the health care system, including financial reporting, financial planning, revenue cycle, reimbursement, debt management and managed care contracting. He has more than 20 years’ experience in corporate health care finance. Before joining Sarasota Memorial’s Finance Department in 2007, Woeltjen, a Certified Public Accountant, served as corporate treasurer and as corporate chief financial officer for University Community Health in Tampa. He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management from Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of South Florida.
R. Stephen Taylor, MD, MBA, Chief of Medical Operations
R. Stephen Taylor, M.D., M.B.A., was appointed Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s Chief of Medical Operations on May 2, 2011.
As Chief of Medical Operations, Dr. Taylor serves as a key member of the senior management team with administrative responsibility for the practice of medicine. He will work with our more than 750 medical staff members and serve as a liaison between the medical staff and administration to ensure the highest quality of medical practice.
Before joining Sarasota Memorial, Dr. Taylor was Chief Medical Officer at the Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville, North Carolina and Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, Dr. Taylor had a private Internal Medicine practice in the Florida panhandle for 18 years. Dr. Taylor received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Drury College, Springfield, Mo., his medical degree from the St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., and an MBA from the University of South Florida.
Jan Mauck, RN, CNOR, Chief Nursing Officer
Jan Mauck joined Sarasota Memorial Health Care System in 1975 as an RN on the Orthopedic Nursing Unit. In 1982 she became the Director of Surgical Services and, in 1999, she was promoted to Executive Director of the Diagnostic & Procedural Division. Prior to her appointment as CNO in 2003, Mauck was Vice President of Heart and Vascular Services. Today, she is responsible for consistency in nursing practice and policy, as well as the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs, budgets and services to assure quality and cost-effective care along the continuum. She oversees a nursing organization of over 1,200 staff positions. Mauck received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Murray State University in 1975 and a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from Saint Francis College in 1997.
Denis Baker, Chief Information Officer
Denis Baker was appointed Sarasota Memorial's Vice President and Chief Information Officer in February of 2000. Previously, he served five years as the health care system's director of Information Services. Under his administration, Sarasota Memorial undertook system-wide improvements, including upgrades to become Y2K compliant and conversion to electronic medical records, among other initiatives. Before coming to Sarasota Memorial, he served as the Vice president-Chief Information Officer for The Sisters of Mercy-Cincinnati Region for four years. He holds a master's degree from Marylhurst College in Oregon.