What’s the Best Advice You Can Give in a Single Word?

On June 23, 2017 leaders from across CHRISTUS Health gathered for the Health, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (HEDI) Council.  At CHRISTUS, the intense efforts to diversify staff and promote health equity has started to gain national and international attention from groups and other organizations working to duplicate how the HEDI Council works.

During their summer meeting, the HEDI Council welcomed Dr. Samuel Ross MD, a respected Baltimore physician and community leader, as the meeting’s guest speaker. The meeting was also used to greet CHRISTUS Health’s new executive fellows.

Ernie and Dr Ross
(Left) Dr. Samuel Ross, CEO Bon Secours Baltimore Health System pictured with Ernie Sadau, President & CEO of CHRISTUS Health


Words of Wisdom for the Fellows (3)
Seated: Three of the five new CHRISTUS Executive Fellows. Left to Right: Reyaan Ali, Angelia Dingle and Shanna Thibodeaux

The current cohort of executive fellows are:  Reyaan Ali, Executive Access Director, Patient Logistics at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System; Angelia Dingle, Director of Nursing at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System-Medical Center and Shanna Thibodeaux, Director of Pharmacy at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Health System, along with two CHRISTUS Muguerza Executives in the CHRISTUS Muguerza Development Department: Luis Gerardo Ordaz Salinas and Isaac Arjona Alvardo.

When asked to share their vision of the future, HEDI Council members, made up primarily of high-profile CHRISTUS leaders, had fun sharing their thoughts on what leadership attributes and behaviors will be required for a more inclusive future that reflects the needs of a CHRISTUS patient.

We’ve compiled those words for you. Here’s their one word of wisdom–well, sometimes more than one–offered up to the new CHRISTUS Executive Fellows. But these words are applicable for anyone in health care looking to be a leader in their field and in their community.


Remember you are always serving others.                                                                        Shawn Adams, Chief Financial Officer, CHRISTUS Southeast Texas

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Your ministry should bring you and others joy.                                                           George Avila, Vice President, CHRISTUS Health Mission Integration

George Avila


Remember where you came from.                                                                                 Tiffany Capeles, CHRISTUS Health Director of Health Equity  

Tiffany Capeles


Ron Croy, Vice President, CHRISTUS Health Talent Acquisition

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Be willing to step out of your comfort zone.                                                                       Dr. Dave Engleking, Chief Medical Officer, CHRISTUS Health Plan

David Engleking


Preston Gee, Vice President Strategic Marketing

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Gerald “Gerry” Heeley, Senior Vice President & Chief Mission Integration Officer

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  Put trust in those who support you.                                                                                     Dr. Marisa Johnson, VP of Medical Affairs, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier

Christus Louisiana Ministries Board; headshots


Chris Karam, President and Chief Executive Officer, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System

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You can’t do anything without it.                                                                                   Kimberly King, Vice President Labor and Employment Counsel, CHRISTUS Health

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Crystal Kohanke, Group Vice President, CHRISTUS Health Human Resources

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Don Lloyd, CEO, CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital

Don LLoyd


Tim Martin, CHRISTUS Health Manager, Supplier Diversity, Contracting & Resource Utilization  


Tim Martin



You will encounter diversity of thought and actions, people and personalities. Value them. Know their story. Stay flexible.                                                                                   Marcos Pesquera, Vice President Diversity and Health Equity, CHRISTUS Health

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Bring new ideas.                                                                                                                 Nadine Monforte, Project Manager I, CHRISTUS Health HEDI


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Trust in yourself and the goodness of others.                                                                  Debi Pasley, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, CHRISTUS Health

Debi Pasley


If you lose this, no one will follow you.                                                                                    Dr. Samuel Ross, Guest Speaker



Be the same person as a leader as you are at home.                                             Bennetta Raby, System Director IM Stategic Planning, CHRISTUS Health

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Choose wisely how you use it and what battles to fight.                                                       Lisa Reynolds, Vice President, CHRISTUS Health Talent Management

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Listen, Open & Focus                                                            

Listening to others is key.  Be Open to make mistakes and correct them. Don’t have a list of 20-30 things on your to-do-list. Be a focused leader and have 2 to 3 major issues to tackle at one time. Ernie Sadau, CHRISTUS Health President and CEO

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This allows others to be open to you.                                                                                      Paula Vasquez, Student Intern

Paula Vasquez Intern


Don’t be afraid to shine in the process.                                                                         Wendy White, Group Vice President, Human Resources 

Wendy White