2019 ApolloMD Leadership Conference Awards

ApolloMD hosts more than 200 clinical and corporate leaders from across the organization in Atlanta each year for the ApolloMD Leadership Conference. During this two-day retreat, our leadership team has the opportunity to recharge, reconnect and refocus. This year, we focused on Challenging Boundaries and excelling beyond industry-wide standards and common limitations to provide top-quality patient care in every practice. Each year we recognize our medical directors, lead advanced practice clinicians and one practice coordinator who has gone above and beyond to make great strides for their teams, hospital and the organization.

Medical Directors of the Year


Ashley Ryan, MD
Floyd Medical Center

“When asked if he would consider becoming medical director, Dr. Ryan responded, ‘I’ve never been a medical director so I’m not sure I would be good at it.  But I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help our group and hospital.’ Dr. Ryan has been instrumental in the re-structuring of the entire anesthesia team and has never hesitated to step up in times of need,” explained John Sherman, ApolloMD Chief Medical Officer – Anesthesia. “Under his guidance, the Anesthesia team has one of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the company.  His dedication has earned the respect of hospital administration, the surgeons and the entire anesthesia team.”

Emergency Medicine

Darius Brown, MD
Piedmont Columbus Regional

“Over the course of the last year, Dr. Brown has seen his ED grow by over 100 percent in patient volume while maintaining solid performance in patient satisfaction and all quality metrics,” explained Josh Hargraves, MD, ApolloMD, Regional President.  “He has built and continues to build, an excellent core team of physicians and APCs from the ground up while running the emergency department with a calm, cool, and collected demeanor.”

Ed Malcom, MD
WellStar North Fulton Hospital

“Dr. Malcom is truly one of the nicest people I have ever met, and is a clear example of someone who wins over his colleagues with kindness,” explained Mike Lipscomb, MD, ApolloMD, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer & Regional President.  “Dr. Malcom has worked tirelessly with the physician team, nursing team, and other staff to improve patient experience and patient throughput times. His continued commitment to the patient, improving safety, quality and their experience has made a significant impact on WellStar North Fulton’s Emergency Department. Dr. Malcom serves as Medical Director for the Roswell Fire Department and AMR Ambulance Service, integrating prehospital care with subsequent care in the department. His initiatives have shortened times in getting stroke patients faster CT times and getting heart attack patients quicker time to the cath lab.  Similar coordination for trauma patients has improved trauma care as well.”

Jeff Mullins, MD
Atrium Health Union

“From the moment he joined ApolloMD in 2013, Jeff has been a dedicated, committed physician who embodies the ideals of a servant leader. When he formally stepped into the role as our director at Atrium Health Union in late 2014, he did so with enthusiasm and with a keen eye to build the right team for success. He threw himself into countless initiatives around patient experience, department throughput, and patient flow to ensure that we were delivering our best to our patients, every time. Over the years, his leadership has been not only invaluable to our team but to Atrium Health as a whole,” explained Yogin Patel, MD, President of ApolloMD. “His thoughtful management and support of his team have been recognized over the years by his peers and by the hospital administration. Jeff has created a culture of partnership and camaraderie amongst his team that is frankly inspirational. It speaks volumes that multiple team members nominated him for this year’s award. Strong work, Dr. Mullins, for an outstanding job!”

Hospital Medicine

Lynn Crawford, MD
Grandview Medical Center

“We would like to congratulate Dr. Lynn Crawford for selection as our Hospital Medicine Medical Director of the Year for 2019,” explained Mike Lipscomb, MD, ApolloMD, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer & Regional President.  “Dr. Crawford took on a very tough assignment when she came on board as Hospital Medicine Medical Director three years ago. The team started from scratch as all previous hospitalists had left.  In addition, the program has grown rapidly, increasing in size over 50% with many growing pains. Despite these challenges, the team is now almost fully staffed with full time physicians, and morale is at an all-time high. Working in close collaboration, the Hospital Medicine team, a strong administrative team, nursing, and a wide array of consultants have improved a variety of metrics, and hospital wide patient experience routinely remains in the top quartile. Dr. Tom Lewis, Associate Medical Director, and Tiffany Webster, lead APC, have been huge additions to the leadership team, and each have contributed greatly under Dr. Crawford’s leadership.”

Lead Advanced Practice Clinicians of the Year

Kristen Karellas, PA
WellStar Douglas Hospital

“Over the last few years, Kristen has expanded her local onboarding process and bridged the gap between recruiters and the credentialing team,” explained Jennifer Goldbach, PA-C, National Director, Advanced Practice Clinician Program. “She has helped develop and grow the APP council at Douglas hospital, where she is now the Chair.  The council involves all APC’s within the hospital and surrounding community which promotes education and hospital engagement of APC’s.  She has grown well beyond being just a clinical superstar and developed into an amazing leader.”

Chris Wright, PA
UNC Lenoir Health Care

“We have worked with Chris for the past 10 years and I have to say day after day, year after year, he impresses me with his intelligence, work ethic, incredible bedside manner, and team work,” explained Daniel Minior, MD, Medical Director.  “Chris was awarded the Acute Stroke Provider of the Year for the UNC Lenoir Healthcare System. All of the nurses love him… and hate him at the same time… he is kind, friendly, considerate, and always ready to play a prank or tease the team into better spirits.   He brightens up our department and makes it a fun place to work.  He is gifted with sarcasm and self -deprecating humor, and also willing to humiliate himself with the silliest of costumes when the time is right.  When the flood gates open, there is no one I would rather have at my side.  He can go slow and warmly bond with his patients on normal days, but then can turn on the afterburners and fix the scariest of surges.  He is a thinker with great ideas, but also a skilled people person who helps work through tough issues.  No matter how demanding or disruptive a new initiative can be, he meets it with a positive attitude and a can-do spirit.  When he is asked to jump and then jump higher, he takes out his jump rope and gets to work. Chris is a special person, the heart of our department, and we all feel grateful to have him on our team.”

Joe Zarembski, NP
Atrium Health Stanly

“Joe is an exceptional servant leader who always has a smile on his face,” explained Paul Neagle, PA-C, Vice President, Operations. “Joe has been involved in many different process improvements and has been the lead APC at Atrium Health Stanly for four years. Through Joe’s leadership and his great team player attitude, Stanly has some of the best efficiency and quality metrics in the Atrium Health System.”

Rookie of the Year

Will McCammon, DO
Southeastern Health

“Will has been nothing short of a true professional. His dedicated leadership has been a tremendous asset to the entire team and has been demonstrated over his short tenure as a director,” explained Ayaz Pathan, MD, ApolloMD Regional President. “Unfortunately, Dr. McCammon was unable to attend our annual conference to accept his award due to the threat of Hurricane Dorian to the Carolinas, and this wasn’t the first year he had to miss out because of a hurricane. Last year he was stationed at the ED for several days due to flooding working alongside his team to ensure a high quality of care was received by patients no matter what the weather was doing around them. This steadfast dedication is a testament to why he was nominated and awarded the 2019 Rookie of the Year.”

Practice Coordinator of the Year

Krystal Hughson
MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center

“Krystal began her career as a part-time employee with ApolloMD at a small hospital system in Iowa,” explained Casey Crane, ApolloMD Executive Vice President, Front Billing Operations. “Once she heard of an opening at MercyOne in Des Moines, she immediately approached me to express interest. This particular facility was a much larger system than Krystal was accustomed to working but enthusiastically accepted the challenge. Krystal exceeded all expectations and has become integral to the operations team, physician leaders and providers. She was unanimously nominated by her medical directors, Dr. Gary Hemann and Dr. Hijineo Carreon and all members of the regional management team. Congratulations Krystal!”

Click here for more photos of the 2019 ApolloMD Leadership Conference | Challenging Boundaries.

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