The 2023 ApolloMD Leadership Conference was a celebration of 40 successful years as a privately held, independent physician management group with no outside ownership. Our company is committed to advancing our clinical teams and patient care into a robust future. Over the course of three days, attendees at the ApolloMD conference engaged in a comprehensive program that included diverse presentations, interactive workshops, skill-enhancing training modules, and opportunities for social networking.
Influential keynote speakers graced the stage, delivering presentations that left a lasting impact on each member of the ApolloMD team. Jason Gardner from Echelon Front spoke about Combat Leadership Principles for Work & Life. Bryan Warren, President of War-Sec Security, joined us to touch on Workplace Violence in Healthcare and how to diagnosis the risks.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) sessions that tackled current trends in emergency medicine, offering essential knowledge to our physicians were also included. This year, we had a competitive but friendly SIM war aimed at refining clinical skills while having fun.
A significant highlight of our event is the awards ceremony, where we honor the unwavering commitment and outstanding contributions of various clinicians. These remarkable individuals receive accolades such as Medical Director of the Year and Lead APC of the Year, with their peers celebrating their achievements. In 2023, we proudly recognize the following distinguished professionals from the ApolloMD team:
Medical Directors of the Year
Mitch Brantley, MD
Dr. Mitch Brantley has been with ApolloMD at Pensacola Baptist for the last 20 years and he has been the ED Medical Director for the last 11 years. He is one of the only physicians in the history of the Company to have a seat on the system board of a major medical center, (the Baptist Health Care (BHC) Board), and in 2023 he is also the president of the medical staff. Additionally, he loved by both his colleagues and the ED staff, as well as by his patients.
Keith Blanks, DO
Dr. Keith Blanks is a director who exemplifies thoughtful leadership. His emergency department has grown significantly over the past three years while he has been director and the volume of patients has doubled in the last 5 years. All the while his department has consistently remained a top performer on multiple metrics and within its system. The hospital administrators trust him explicitly at his site, and I am grateful every day that he’s on our team.
Steve Noggle, MD
Dr. Noggle exemplifies the true essence of exceptional leadership in emergency medicine. His unwavering dedication to high-quality patient care has not only set a standard for excellence but also inspired the entire team. He is truly deserving of this award and title ‘Medical Director of the Year.’
Kellen Alstatt, MD
Dr. Kellen Alstatt seamlessly integrated into our team during the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, exhibiting unwavering dedication. His remarkable leadership qualities were swiftly recognized and embraced by both our nursing staff, clinicians, and hospital leadership. Within the ApolloMD family, he stands out as an exceptionally formidable advocate for both clinicians and patients alike.
Geoff Murphy, MD
Dr. Geoff Murphy truly embodies the core principles of outstanding leadership within the field of emergency medicine. His steadfast commitment to delivering top-tier patient care has not just established a benchmark for excellence, but it has also served as a wellspring of inspiration for the entire team. Without a doubt, he is one of our most deserving recipients of the ‘Medical Director of the Year’ award. Dr. Murphy is a phenomenal physician and medical director. He is an advocate for change and challenges all parties to consistently evaluate processes to help improve flow and patient outcomes.
Tayari Mchezaji, MD
Dr. Tayari Mchezaji is the epitome of outstanding leadership in the field of emergency medicine. His unwavering dedication to delivering exceptional patient care not only sets the gold standard for excellence but also deeply inspires the entire team. It is unquestionable that he is highly deserving of this award and the title ‘Medical Director of the Year.’
Gail Robinson, MD
Dr. Gail Robinson, the Medical Director for Hospital Medicine at UNC Southeastern in North Carolina, is unquestionably deserving of the Hospital Medicine Director of the Year award. Her invaluable contributions have not only led to substantial enhancements in all core metrics at her facility but, most notably, she has successfully transformed the relationship with the C-suite from a state of imperfection to one of harmony and collaboration.
Lead APCs of the Year
Brent Rysewyk, PA-C
Brent Rysewyk left UNC-Lenoir to serve as the lead APC at Onslow Memorial Hospital. He was faced with a handful of resignations upon his arrival. Regardless of how challenging the situation became, he remained patient and positive. He reassured his VPO that he wasn’t going anywhere.
Brent is retired from the US Navy. He served as a Chief Independent Duty Navy Corpsman. He met all the above challenges with perseverance, commitment, and resolve. He now leads a fully staffed team of 10 APCs, all locally recruited. He excels in patient experience. He recently won the “Shining Light “award at Onslow Memorial Hospital. Brent dominates the front-end process and patient throughput. In one shift recently, he saw over 75 patients in the front end alone. His doctors breathe a sigh of relief and rest easy when they are on shift with Brent.
Zachary Walden, NP
I have had the honor of working with this APC since he was a nurse at the old Paulding Hospital. He approached me as he was applying to be an NP and talked me into being his preceptor. He was the most self-motivated and engaged student I have ever had.
Upon graduation he applied for a job so as the lead APC at the time, I offered him a position. He was an instant clinical rockstar and great teammate. Fast forward a few years later when a lead position opened up at Wellstar Douglas, he seemed like a great fit. He inherited a big challenge just after the first wave of Covid-19 and a new nursing leadership. For those of you not familiar with Douglas, it has a fairly high volume ED that see patients in a small amount of real estate. He quickly made a name for himself and bettered his department.
This year a lead position opened up at Wellstar Paulding, so he came back home and is now my boss. Definitely a FULL CIRCLE.
He is a true epitome of a servant leader, and one of the most selfless hard-working providers I’ve ever worked with.
Sarah Moore, NP
Despite a new construction project, additional patient care areas, and increasing patient volumes, Sarah Moore has been able to maintain a work culture that has fostered results. As stated by one of her teammates, “She is a very hard worker and an exceptional leader.”
Rookie Lead APC of the Year
Nicole Bowser, NP
Few things about Nicole:
She leads by experience and hard work. She is the hardest working APC in the department. Always 10 min early to every shift, and a big smile on her face when she gets to work. She is adored by the entire staff (nurses and doctors). There’s a general sigh of relief when Nicole shows up to her shift.
Transitioning into a leadership role was extremely smooth for Nicole. She was an ER nurse/Charge nurse for 10+ years before becoming a nurse practitioner in the ER. She has put a lot of thought and effort into training new APCs, making sure that they are comfortable and up to speed before their first shift. She’s developed a protocol for shadowing and training new hires. Scheduling is a tough job no matter where you go, but she has taken that on and has come up with new strategies to better cover the ED and decrease our LWOT.
Overall, a very positive asset to our group and our department. I’m glad she’s being recognized. She is the last person to toot her own horn. Congrats to Nicole!
— Dr. Christopher Hwang, Medical Director – Department of Emergency Medicine
Gerald Bortolazzo, MD
In celebration and recognition of Dr. Bortolazzo’s contribution to the founding and success of ApolloMD.