New Heights Group Associates

(listed alphabetically)

Our core group of experienced associates bring expertise in a variety of specialized areas. Our associates are called upon to augment a project team to meet specific client needs.

Steven M. Berkowitz, MD
Board certified in Internal Medicine, Steven has over 25 years experience in health care executive management, speaking and consulting. For twelve years he was Chief Medical Officer for St. David’s Healthcare, a six-hospital system in Austin, Texas, as well as a Division CMO for HCA. He sits on the Board of the Society of Chest Pain Centers, Texas Association of Health Care Quality, and the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency, and has been on the Board of the Texas Hospital Association. He speaks frequently to physician groups, hospital associations, and hospital boards on such topics as clinical and financial integration, hospital-physician relations and health care reform.

Gary Buerstatte
Over 30 years as a healthcare executive with responsibility for strategic services including planning, marketing, communications, and community benefit. Received the 2006 NOVA Award from the American Hospital Association for a Community Health Outreach Initiative, and the VHA Award for Community Benefit Excellence in 2009. Participates with New Heights Group in Community Health Needs Assessments

Gary Buff, EdD
Assists New Heights Group with behavioral health projects, particularly focusing on clinical programs and managed care. Served in various hospital administration roles including Vice President of Planning for a regional medical center, Chief of Behavioral Health for a multi-site clinic and CEO of a state psychiatric hospital. Along with a doctorate in Counseling Psychology, 11 years private practice and start-up of psychiatric treatment facilities, brings expertise and leadership in clinical programming, supervision and training, regulatory standards and government relations.

Katie Carow, MBA, FACHE
Over twenty years of experience in strategic planning, business development, marketing and operations with health care providers. Specializes in developing business strategies based on data-driven evidence and for academic, community, and pediatric hospitals and systems. She helps New Heights Group develop business plans, analyze markets and prepare physician and service needs assessments.

Pamela DeSmidt, MS
Managing Partner of Decision Support Systems & Services with MS from MIT Sloan School of Management and 20+ years of experience in strategic analyses and planning. She assists New Heights Group by providing quantitative and analytical support to business planning and strategy projects including scenario development and modeling.

Frank Fox, PhD
A PhD in economics along with experience as Chief Planning and Chief Financial Officer in a variety of healthcare organizations. Provides New Heights Group with quantitative, model-driven and outcome-focused work focusing on the development and implementation of actions to improve performance. Experience developing demand and financial models for new or expanded services, measuring the impact of organizational strategic plans, financial forecasting and developing business plans for niche services.

Leslie Marc Garson, MD, MBA
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care at University of California, Irvine. Board Certified in Integrative and Holistic Medicine. Former position was Director of Physician Practices, overseeing a multi-specialty group of employed physicians at a community hospital. Dr. Garson guides New Heights Group in surgical program development and group practice management issues. Bilingual professional (English/Spanish) with additional expertise in international health services.

Douglas E Hough, PhD
With a PhD in Economics, specializes in guiding physician/hospital strategies for New Heights Group. As Johns Hopkins University Associate Professor and Chair of The Business of Health, oversees seven graduate business programs for health professionals. Experience as research economist at the American Medical Association, health care strategy consultant, a frequent speaker and author on health care issues related to physicians.

Matthew Reigle, MBA
Seasoned management consultant with 18 years of experience in designing and implementing customer-focused service lines across numerous industries including Fortune 200 healthcare, financial service, and insurance companies. Expertise in patient experience design and performance improvement assessment. Frequent speaker and teaching assistant for The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Roseanne Schmidt, RN, MPA, CNHA
Experienced medical center administrator who brings over 30 years of commitment to healthcare. With a clinical background and extensive experience in operations of various post acute settings, post acute reimbursement, and its impact on service delivery, helps New Heights Group in evaluating post acute strategies and services. Dedicated to designing unique solutions that assure regulations compliance and positive results.

J. Kenneth (Ken) Upchurch, AIA
This licensed architect brings 25 years in health care planning and design. Collaborates with New Heights Group on facility master plans & functional space planning, including assessing existing facilities and developing of designs to improve accessibility of services and workflow. Experienced in planning and design of acute and psychiatric health care facilities, medical malls, medical office buildings and educational facilities and co-author of Enhancing Physician Performance, an American College of Physician Executives textbook.

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