Be Well. Get Well. Stay Well.

Leadership Biographies

Ronald A. Paulus, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer

Ronald A. Paulus, MD, is president and CEO of Mission Health, a $1.4 billion regional integrated delivery system serving western North Carolina. Prior to joining Mission in September 2010, Dr. Paulus served as executive vice president, clinical operations at Geisinger Health System, where he was responsible for the operations of its $1.3 billion clinical enterprise, including two hospitals, an 800+ physician multispecialty group practice, and more than 40 ambulatory care facilities. Dr. Paulus also served as Geisinger's chief innovation officer, where he was responsible for ensuring system-wide innovation. Prior to joining Geisinger, Dr. Paulus was co-founder, president and CEO of CareScience, Inc., now part of Premier health care informatics. CareScience is a clinical solutions and data analytics provider supporting health systems in improving the quality and efficiency of care. Before that, he served as vice president, operations at Salick health care, Inc., a national provider of oncology and dialysis services subsequently acquired by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Paulus received his MD from The School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and his MBA, with a concentration in health care management, and BS in Economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and speaks regularly on the topics of health care quality and efficiency, innovation, physician leadership and new models of care.

Paul McDowell
Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer

Prior to joining Mission, Paul was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for A+ rated King’s Daughters Health System in Ashland, Kentucky. While at King’s Daughters, he oversaw 12 years of solid financial performance, with an operating margin averaging 4.9 percent, and led significant cost reduction efforts. Paul’s previous experience includes five years at for-profit Health Management Associates (HMA), six years with what is now Wellstar Health System in metro Atlanta, and three years in public accounting.

McDowell has an Accounting degree from Georgia Southern University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University. He is a member of the American Business College of Health Care Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Taylor Foss
Senior Vice President, Organizational Transformation

Foss, has more than 25 years of human resources executive leadership experience. Prior to joining Mission Health, Foss worked at LifeBridge Health as vice president and chief human resources officer (LifeBridge is a regional health care system based in the greater Baltimore area). Prior to that, she spent many years in financial services, managing both human resources as well as serving as the chief administrative officer. During that time, she oversaw numerous mergers and acquisitions from both sides of the table. At LifeBridge, Foss helped create a successful “Great Place to Work Strategy” and, as a result, LifeBridge was named one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” (2010), won the Best Place to Work designation from the Baltimore Business Journal (2006, 2007 and 2008), and received Maryland TOPS Employer of Distinction Award. In addition to her leadership position at LifeBridge, Foss was actively involved in her community, and served as the Chair of the Women’s Leadership Council for United Way of Central Maryland. Foss recently served on the National Women’s Leadership Council Board for the United Way of America, where she chaired the Leadership Committee. She is a former trustee for Notre Dame of Maryland University and served on both the Compensation and Resources committees. Foss is also a Board Member of the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County where she is founder/former chair of the Women’s Leadership Council. Foss also currently serves as Chair of the Economic Development Coalition Asheville-Buncombe County. Foss received her BA at Purdue University, and earned her MA in Organizational Consulting and Executive Coaching from the University of Pennsylvania. She is married to her soul mate, Gary Foss, and they have four great adult children, seven wonderful grandchildren, and one very loving Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Jill Hoggard Green, PhD, RN
Chief Operating Officer, Mission Health and President, Mission Hospital

Hoggard Green, has overall responsibility for Mission Hospital and MMA (Mission Medical Associates) in addition to operational responsibility for the health system. Hoggard Green joined Mission Health from PeaceHealth, a system that includes nine hospitals in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. She served as regional chief operating officer for the PeaceHealth Oregon Region, which includes three hospitals, ambulatory and home health services, a 200-member medical group practice and related health services. Before joining PeaceHealth, Hoggard Green served in a variety of leadership roles at Intermountain health care in Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the nation's leading not-for-profit health systems. There, she served as assistant vice president. She also spent eight years as the operating officer for various hospitals in the Intermountain system. A registered nurse, she began her career on the oncology and bone marrow transplant units at LDS Hospital, a 420-bed Level I trauma facility, and later held management positions at LDS in patient care management and quality improvement. Hoggard Green earned both her MS and PhD in Healthcare Leadership and Quality from the University of Utah, College of Nursing. Her husband, David, is also an RN, and they have two grown sons.

Sonya Greck, MSN, RN
Senior Vice President, Patient Safety Net Services and Behavioral Health

Sonya B. Greck has extensive experience in hospital leadership, development and operations. She has held various operational leadership positions in diverse rural and urban healthcare organizations. During her more than thirty-year career in healthcare, Sonya has led significant systems’ change efforts and fiscal operations. Her strategic and operational leadership in smaller hospitals and larger systems has resulted in development of facilities, programs and initiatives for improved quality, improved care and reduced costs. 

She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Clemson University, her Masters of Nursing Administration from University of South Carolina and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau. Sonya has a passion for her community and is on the Board of Buncombe County Health and Human Services and Eblen Charities. She serves on the Buncombe County Community Health Improvement Process (CHIP) Advisory Committee and on the Mission Health Community Benefits Committee. 

Kathleen Culhane Guyette, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and President, Regional Member Hospitals

As chief clinical nursing leader, Guyette, is responsible for establishing consistent nursing practice standards across the health system. In addition to her responsibilities as the chief nurse executive for Mission Health, Guyette is leading the integration work for system clinical support services such as laboratory, rehabilitation services and pharmacy. She represents nursing staff within the health system and voices nursing perspectives within the community, governmental agencies and schools. Guyette brings more than 18 years of experience in nursing leadership. She served as the vice president and associate chief nursing officer for University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill for seven years. In this role, she led the organization through multiple clinical information technology initiatives, developed advancement and leadership initiatives for nursing, reduced costs, and produced clinical and business improvements throughout the organization while maintaining excellent relationships with physicians, employees and colleagues throughout the system. Prior to joining the University of North Carolina Hospitals, Guyette served in multiple capacities in Rochester, NY at VIA Health, Rochester General Hospital and Strong Memorial Hospital. Guyette holds an MSN from University of Rochester and a BSN from The College at Brockport, State University of New York.

J. William Kinard, Jr.
Senior Vice President, Department of Philanthropy and President, Mission Foundation

A graduate of Presbyterian College with a BS in Biology with a preliminary medical studies emphasis, Kinard began his professional career working for a family-owned bank. In 1994, he was asked to assist his alma mater with raising funds for their athletic program. By 1998, Kinard embraced his love for fund raising and development and has since held philanthropy leadership positions with St. Joseph’s Catholic School and St. Francis Health System (now owned by Bon Secours Health System). In 2003, Kinard was recruited by Greenville Hospital System to serve as their Director, Philanthropy and Partnership of the Children’s Hospital and successfully oversaw the strategic direction of the Children’s Hospital philanthropic efforts, which include Major Giving and the Children’s Miracle Network. Kinard also serves in various leadership roles within the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, including Southeast Regional Cabinet Chairman of Education, Chairman of Certification, Chairman of State Liaisons, Education Track Dean in both regional and international conferences, and Southeast Regional Education Conference Chairman. He also served as special committee appointments, including Editorial Committee for the AHP Journal and on a task force on the Future of Healthcare Philanthropy. His interests include general aviation, woodworking, urban farming, road cycling, mountain biking, and hiking.

William R. Hathaway, MD
Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Mission Hospital

Dr. Hathaway joined Asheville Cardiology Associates, PA, in 1999. He completed his premedical education in Biology from Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT. Hathaway obtained MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He completed his Internship and Residency at Duke University Medical Center, in Durham. Dr. Hathaway served as Chief Resident and completed his Cardiology Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. Prior to coming to Asheville Cardiology, Dr. Hathaway served as Medical Director at LaSalle Heart and Lung Center in Appleton, WI. His professional societies include Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Buncombe County Medical Society.

Marc Malloy
Senior Vice President, Health Plan Solutions

Malloy provides strategic direction and implementation of key goals for risk-bearing provider operations, including collaborative physician- and provider-network development, administration, health and wellness, and sales and marketing to manage health, wellness and total population cost of western North Carolina. Malloy brings to Mission Health more than 20 years of senior leadership experience with several nation-leading companies that provide health care business and insurance solutions. Malloy has successfully managed multiple insurance and at-risk products together with existing team members who have helped develop value-based provider organizations including Intermountain Healthcare, Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic and Geisinger Health System. For the last two years, he has been an executive with Healthways, the leader in well-being products and services, leaving that organization as President, Health Plan Markets. He began his career at insurance giant Aetna, Inc. in 1994, and ascended through various leadership positions, including vice president, Georgia Network Operations, and vice president, Southeast Region Medical Economics. After leaving Coventry Health Care (2009), he became president and CEO of Renaissance Medical Management Company, a clinically integrated group of 230 primary care physicians located in suburban Philadelphia. Marc holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration in economics and an MBA, both from Kennesaw State University. He will join Mission Health on April 21.

Chris DeRienzo, MD, MPP
Chief Patient Safety Officer

Dr. Chris DeRienzo serves as Chief Quality Officer for Mission Health in Asheville, NC. In this role, Dr. DeRienzo has executive responsibility across Mission’s inpatient, outpatient, and post-acute services for patient safety, performance improvement, clinical and operational redesign, risk management, infection prevention, and security. He is also a practicing neonatologist with Mission Children’s Specialists and Adjunct Faculty within the Duke University School of Medicine.

Dr. DeRienzo completed both MD and Masters in Public Policy at Duke, as well as his residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. A graduate of Duke’s Physician Leadership in Patient Safety and Quality course, Chris focuses his time outside the NICU on efforts to prevent harm and improve outcomes for western North Carolina's 900,000 patients. He has published and presented internationally on improving quality outcomes, transitions in care, and the implications of the analytics revolution in healthcare, and has been continuously grant funded in his research efforts since his first year of fellowship.  He has also received multiple clinical and teaching awards, is a Team STEPPS Master Trainer, and serves as Chair-Elect of the Board for the Western North Carolina March of Dimes.

At a national level, Dr. DeRienzo was the just the fourth medical student elected and re-elected to serve on the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. He is a Past-President of the Durham-Orange County Medical Society and has served in leadership roles within the American Academy of Pediatrics and the North Carolina Medical Society. Chris was also an inaugural Doximity Fellow, and currently serves as both a Quality Mentor for the Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership and as a member of the North Carolina Division of Public Health Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Group.

David P. Franklin, MD, FACS
President, Mission Clinic

David P. Franklin, MD, serves as President, Mission Clinic for Mission Health. David comes to Mission Health from Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania, where he recently served as Chairman of Surgery. In his role with Mission Health, he leads both Mission Medical Associates (MMA) and practices contracted with Professional Service Agreements (PSAs).   

Dr. Franklin earned his undergraduate degree from Emory University and is a graduate of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University. A Board-certified Vascular Surgeon, David completed his surgery residency at Dartmouth, and his vascular fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. His current academic appointment is Clinical Professor of Surgery at Temple University. He has been published more than 70 times in highly regarded medical journals.

David is an avid outdoorsman, including backpacking the Appalachian Trail throughout the eastern United States as well as canoeing. David is the proud father of three adult children: Molly, an industrial engineer in Pittsburgh; Hannah, a graduate student in Baltimore; and Lucas, a financial professional with Ernst and Young in Pittsburgh. 

David is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and a Distinguished Fellow of the Society for Vascular Surgery.

Rowena Buffett Timms
Senior Vice President, Government and Community Relations

Timms, is responsible for managing strategies that inform and influence public policy at the local, county, state and federal levels, and advising on legislative matters affecting areas of interest to Mission Health. She is also responsible for the projection of Mission Health’s “face and voice” within the communities it serves. Most recently, Timms held a similar executive position with CaroMont Health, a full-service, 435-bed hospital system in Gastonia. Prior to CaroMont, Timms was a senior executive with Bon Secours Saint Francis in Greenville, SC, where she was senior vice president of Government Affairs and Foundation. Previously, she had experience with the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. During her tenure at CaroMont, Timms led a number of innovative projects designed to transform and improve traditional healthcare delivery, including an accountable care initiative that partnered the hospital with large employers and insurance companies to provide improved healthcare at a lower cost, and the Bundled Knee program, a collaborative effort with GE Healthcare and Sg2 health care Solutions that offered a new delivery model for knee replacements. She was also instrumental in a number of high profile marketing efforts, including the rebranding and unification of the hospital’s diverse cardiac services into “CaroMont Heart” and the Gaston County Health Summit, a public-private partnership of various community groups convened to improve community health.

Marc B. Westle, DO, FACP
Senior Vice President, Innovation

Dr. Westle leads the innovative approach to health care delivery by leading a number of innovative health care delivery strategies, initiatives, and partnerships. Working in conjunction with the leadership team, Dr. Westle ensures Mission Heath leverages new technologies, products, and partnerships to deliver efficient, world-class health care in pursuit of Mission Health’s BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family. Prior to his appointment as Senior Vice President of Innovation, Dr. Westle served as president and CEO of Mission Medical Associates (MMA), the physician group practice of Mission Health. A board-certified internist by training, Dr. Westle received his medical degree at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, MO, and went on to complete his residency at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Westle’s professional affiliations include the American College of Physician Executives, Certified Physician Executive (CPE), Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), and Fellow of Hospital Medicine (FHM) Society of Hospital Medicine. He has also completed the Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives at Harvard Law School. Dr. Westle and his wife, Jackie, reside in Asheville, with their two daughters, Amanda and Lacy.

Gwen McKinney
Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer

McKinney’s leadership responsibilities include oversight of the Corporate Compliance Program for Mission Health, as well as the audit and compliance and privacy departments. McKinney also serves to facilitate the system-wide enterprise risk management process for the health system. She is native to Asheville and has been with Mission Health since 1983, serving in various roles during the progression of her career. McKinney started her career as a board certified medical laboratory technologist and has held positions in health information management and finance before joining audit and compliance services in 2000. McKinney graduated cum laude from Montreat College with a degree in Business Administration and received her MBA from Western Carolina University. She is certified in Healthcare Compliance through the Healthcare Compliance Association. McKinney serves on the board of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry and is the board treasurer. She and her husband, Greg, have two grown daughters. They enjoy traveling, hiking and spoiling their little dog, Sophie.

Don Esposito
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Esposito is responsible for Mission Health’s legal affairs and serves as the primary legal advisor to Mission Health’s Board of Directors and senior leadership.

Esposito joined Mission Health in November 2017 from UNC Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, where he served as Vice President of Legal Services and General Counsel. In that role, he oversaw and directed the legal affairs of UNC Rex Hospital, a 660-bed acute care tertiary hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina and numerous facilities and physician practices throughout Wake County and the surrounding region. Esposito was engaged in numerous strategic and legal matters for UNC Health Care and also helped to conceive and develop Rex Health Ventures, a strategic venture capital fund designed to foster innovation. Prior to joining UNC Health Care, Esposito was in private practice in Charlotte and Raleigh and previously served as an Assistant Attorney General for the North Carolina Department of Justice.  Esposito began his legal career in Asheville as a law clerk to United States District Judge Lacy H. Thornburg.

Esposito graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a John Motley Morehead Scholar before receiving his JD from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the North Carolina Bar Association. Esposito is admitted to practice before all North Carolina state and federal courts, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the US Supreme Court. In addition, he is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.

Outside of work, Esposito enjoys reading (particularly United States history), traveling with his family, watching soccer, college basketball and his daughters’ various sporting events. He and his wife, Audrey, have three daughters: Addie, Mary and Emma.