Cogent HMG names executive team, board for newly merged company

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Cogent HMG today announced its new executive team and outside directors, setting the stage for the newly merged company to move into the next phase of its growth as the nation’s largest private hospitalist provider.

Gene Fleming, formerly President and Chief Executive Officer of Cogent Healthcare, will serve as Executive Chairman, assisting Chief Executive Officer Dr. Stephen Houff, who was founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hospitalists Management Group (HMG).

Ron Greeno MD, a founder of Cogent Healthcare, will serve as Chief Medical Officer of Cogent HMG and will drive the consulting business and serve as an advisor to the board. Antoine Agassi, formerly Chief Operating Officer of Cogent, will serve as President and oversee day-to-day business operations. Linda Ellis, formerly COO of HMG, will serve in the same role with Cogent HMG, directing all regional and site operations.

Other key executives will be: Rusty Holman MD, Chief Clinical Officer; Susan Brownie, Chief Financial Officer; Doug Mefford, Chief Legal Officer; Anna-Gene O’Neal, Senior Vice President of Quality; and Cheryl Slack, Senior Vice President of Human Resources.

In addition to Fleming and Houff, Cogent HMG outside board members include:

“We are very privileged to have such an outstanding group of executives to lead our company and distinguished board members to guide us,” Fleming said.

“The wide range of experience these executives and directors bring to the table will be of enormous value to Cogent HMG as we position the company to grow as healthcare reform unfolds,” Houff said.

The merger of Cogent and HMG was announced in April and the deal closed in May. The combination forms the largest private hospitalist company in the United States, with more than 1,000 affiliated hospitalists and extenders practicing in over 100 healthcare facilities nationwide. Cogent HMG is based in Brentwood, Tenn., just outside of Nashville.

Additional background about the executive team and board members:

Gene Fleming, Executive Chairman Fleming served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cogent Healthcare from 2005 through the creation of Cogent HMG. Prior to Cogent, he was President and CEO of Surgical Alliance Corporation and held executive roles with Quorum Health Group and Hospital Corporation of America.

Stephen Houff MD, Chief Executive Officer – Dr. Houff was a founder of Hospitalists Management Group and has been a practicing hospitalist since 1993. He is a pioneer and recognized leader in the hospitalist space. He is a former Chief of Staff at Ohio State University Hospital East (UHE) where he was also Assistant Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine.

Ron Greeno MD, Chief Medical Officer – Dr. Greeno is a founder of Cogent Healthcare and is a nationally recognized author and speaker on clinical and administrative management of hospitalist programs.

Antoine Agassi, President – Agassi, formerly COO at Cogent, brings more than 25 years of experience in healthcare operations, acquisitions and integration, as well as large-scale healthcare technology development and deployment.

Linda Ellis, Chief Operating Officer – Ellis, formerly COO at HMG, has a strong background in hospital administration and physician practice management and has been an executive with EmCare and Sterling Healthcare.

Rusty Holman MD, Chief Clinical Officer – Holman was Chief Clinical Officer at Cogent and is past-president of the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Susan Brownie, Chief Financial Officer – Brownie was CFO of Cogent and was previously CFO at HealthStream.

Doug Mefford, Chief Legal Officer – Mefford was Chief Legal Officer of Cogent and previously was Senior Group Counsel with Community Health Systems.

Anna-Gene O’Neal, Senior Vice President of Quality – O’Neal, an R.N., served in the same role at Cogent and is a national speaker on hospital medicine and patient safety.

Cheryl Slack, Senior Vice President of Human Resources– Slack held the same role at Cogent and previously was in charge of human resources at an international company based in England.

Board members:

Gary Chartrand, Executive Chairman, Acosta Sales & Marketing – Chartrand, who has been with Acosta since 1983, has been the pivotal force behind quadrupling the company's geographic coverage, transforming Acosta into a leading full-service sales and marketing company. With a client roster that includes 66 percent of the #1 and #2 brands sold in most grocery stores, Acosta has more than 18,000 associates in 65 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Mike Leavitt, Founder and Chairman, Leavitt Partners – Leavitt has held numerous high-level government roles, both elected and appointed, including U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Governor of Utah, to which he was elected three times. Leavitt now advises clients in the healthcare and food safety sectors through Leavitt Partners. The firm helps clients enter new markets, enhance the value of product and service offerings and navigate regulatory and reimbursement systems.

Mark Neaman, President and Chief Executive Officer, NorthShore University HealthSystem – Neaman, who has served in his current role since 1992, has served in leadership roles in a variety of healthcare organizations, including as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American College of Healthcare Executives and as Chairman of the Board of the National Committee for Quality Health Care. As CEO of NorthShore University HealthSystem, Neaman leads the fully integrated, health delivery system with annual revenue over $1.7 billion, more than 2,000 affiliated physicians and a staff of nearly 9,000.

Since the completion of the Cogent Healthcare and Hospitalist Management Group merger on May 9, Cogent HMG continues to grow with recent successes in joint development efforts leading to enhanced service offerings for their hospital partners.

About Cogent HMG

Cogent HMG is the nation’s largest private hospitalist company, partnering with more than 100 hospitals across the country to build and manage high-performing hospitalist and intensivist programs. To improve efficiency and care in partner systems, Cogent HMG offers a comprehensive System of Care™ that supports hospitalists and intensivists with structure, a coordinated care team, data driven processes, rigorous ongoing training and experienced leadership. With more than 1,000 affiliated physicians and mid-level providers, Cogent HMG is dedicated to the advancement of the field by setting best practices for hospital medicine and through its established national mentoring program. Cogent HMG was formed in 2011 from the merger of Cogent Healthcare and Hospitalist Management Group, LLC, two pioneers of the hospital medicine industry. For more information on the newly merged company, click here.


For Cogent HMG
Anne Hancock Toomey, 615-254-0575

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Tennessee

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Practice Management  Health  Hospitals