NGHS Administration

Carol Burrell

Carol Burrell

President and CEO, Northeast Georgia Health System
  • BS in Medical Technology, Emory/Georgia Southern
  • MHA - Health Care Administration, Central Michigan University
  • Responsible for all health system operations including clinical, support and human resources, facility and construction projects, physician practice management

Nancy Colston

The Medical Center Foundation President & CDO

  • BS, Brenau University
  • Responsible for the legal obligations, financial and managerial functions of the corporation. Provides administrative guidance and direction to the Directors of Community Benefit and Volunteer Services Departments.

Elyse Gates

Vice President, Revenue Cycle

  • BS in Psychology, University of Florida
  • Responsible for overseeing Revenue Cycle for the Health System, which includes: patient access, centralized scheduling, patient financial services, system patient receivables, physician central billing office, health information management, physician and hospital coding, physician and hospital charge capture and utilization management.
Roy Griffin

Roy Griffin

Vice President, Financial Planning & Decision Support

  • BS in Accounting, Alabama State University
  • MACC, University of South Florida
  • MBA, University of Tampa
  • Responsible for financial planning, budgeting, and decision support services
Tony Herdener

Tony Herdener

Chief Financial Officer
  • MBA, University of Puget Sound
  • Responsible for financial planning, reporting, investments, capital formation, treasury, risk management, internal audit, managed care and Health Partners (PPO Network)

Pranav Jain, MD, FHM

Chief Medical Informatics Officer

  • MBBS, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
  • Residency, Internal Medicine. Saint Peter’s University Hospital, NJ
  • AMIA 10 x 10 Certification,  Health Informatics, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Responsible for providing strategic guidance to help leverage technology throughout the healthcare system. Focus on workflow integration to provide actionable data at point of care help improve health outcomes of the whole community.
Sam Johnson - Small

Sam Johnson, MD

Chief Medical Officer/VP, Medical Affairs
  • MD, Medical College of Georgia
  • MMM, Tulane University
  • Responsible for overseeing Medical Staff Services, Performance Improvement, Case Management and Risk Management departments; also serves as liason for NGHS' relations with the medical staff.

Steve Kelly

Chief Compliance Officer

  • JD, University of Pittsburgh
  • Postgraduate Law Degree in Health Law, Loyola University of Chicago
  • Responsible for ensuring compliance with changing healthcare trends, guidelines, laws and government regulations.
Sonja McLendon

Sonja McLendon

Chief of Operational Excellence
  • BS in Biology, University of North Carolina
  • MEd, Sports Medicine, University of Virginia
  • MBA, University of South Carolina
  • FACHE, Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives
  • Responsible for Pharmacy, Lab, Imaging, Bariatrics, Security, Plant Operations, Environmental Services and Nutrition Services

Steve McNeilly

Vice President, Managed Care & Integration Strategies

  • BA, University of North Georgia
  • MBA, Brenau University
  • Responsible for value-based contracting, the Health Partners network and continued development of a new network – called HP2 – with area physicians/providers as they explore innovative strategies for alignment with payers and employers.
Linda Nicholson

Linda Nicholson, CPA

Vice President, Finance/Controller
  • BS in Accounting, University of Georgia
  • Responsible for financial reporting and operations including Accounting, Payroll, Cost Accounting, and CMS cost reporting for the Health System and entities

Chris Paravate

Chief Information Officer, Northeast Georgia Health System
  • BS in Business Operations, DeVry Institute of Technology
  • MBA, Brenau University
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification

Brenda Simpson, RN, MSN, PhD

Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President, Patient Care

  • BSN, Tennessee State University
  • DNP, University of South Alabama
  • Responsible for overseeing nursing services at NGMC’s hospitals in Gainesville and Braselton.

Louis Smith

President of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville

  • MHA, Medical College of Virginia-Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BBA, Mississippi College
  • Responsible for overseeing continuing development of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville and market development in Gainesville

John Turner, MBA

Vice President, Post-Acute Care

  • BS, University of Florida
  • MBA, East Tennessee State University
Tracy Vardeman

Tracy Vardeman

Chief Strategy Executive
  • BS in Business Administration/Marketing and Management, Shorter College
  • MBA, Georgia State University with study emphasis in health administration
  • Responsible for guiding strategic planning and marketing efforts for the Health System

Penny Vigneau

Vice President, Heart & Vascular Services

  • Bachelor’s Degree, Michigan State University
  • Master’s Degree, University of Chicago
  • Master’s Degree, West Virginia University
  • Responsible for the execution of business development initiatives in accordance with the strategic plan and ensures the promotion of positive community relations.

Rose Wagner

Interim NGPG President & Chief Administrative Officer

  • Bachelor’s and master’s degree, Health Services Management, Webster University
  • RN, St. Luke’s School of Nursing
  • Responsible for guiding NGPG – a network of more than 200 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners representing more than 20 specialties at more than 40 locations throughout Northeast Georgia.

Tina Walden

Vice President, NGPG Operations

  • BS in Management Studies, University of Maryland
  • MBA, Brenau University

Bo Walpole, MD

Vice President of Clinical Effectiveness

  • MD, Medical College of Georgia
  • MBA, Emory University
  • Responsible for provider technology interaction, data analytics and sharing, improved clinical documentation, waste reduction, cost effectiveness, patient flow and transitions of care. 

Debbie Weber

Chief Human Resource Officer

  • Responsible for workforce planning and recruitment, employee benefits, compensation, human resource information systems, employee wellness, employee education and occupational health and safety.
Anthony Williamson

Anthony Williamson

President of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton
  • MBA, University of Florida
  • MHS, University of Florida
  • BS, Florida State University
  • CHE, Certified Healthcare Executive
  • FACHE, Fellow, American College of Healthcare Executives
  • Responsible for overseeing continuing development of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton and market development in Greater Braselton


If you have any concerns about patient care and safety at NGMC, or any of its facilities that are not addressed to your satisfaction, please contact us at 770-219-2998.

Copyright ©2016 Northeast Georgia Health System, Inc. | 743 Spring Street Gainesville, GA 30501 | (770) 219-9000