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Executive team

Mel McNea, chief executive officer

Mel McNea, MHA, chief executive officer at Great Plains Health, is leading the system through an unprecedented period of growth, quality improvement and expansion.

His genuine leadership and passion for healthcare excellence have brought many successful strategic initiatives to fruition, including the addition of a heart and vascular program, a new patient tower, the development of the Great Plains Physician Network, a spine surgery center, a wound healing center and the first mobile CT program in western Nebraska. Throughout his 30-plus years with the organization, McNea has implemented countless programs and processes that have improved patient, physician and employee engagement at Great Plains Health.

McNea joined Great Plains Health in 1987 as the director of diagnostic imaging, leading that department through tremendous growth in volume and changes in technology and process improvement. He was selected for the prestigious Caring Kind award from the Nebraska Hospital Association in 1998. In 2004, he was promoted to vice president of operations and in December of 2014, Mel was appointed by the Board of Directors to serve as CEO.

Prior to his tenure at Great Plains Health, McNea was the director of radiology at St. Anthony's Hospital in O'Neil, Nebraska, and at St. Andrew's Hospital in Bottineau, North Dakota. McNea is active on the boards of the Nebraska Hospital Association, North Platte Area Chamber & Development and Educational Service Unit 16.

McNea holds a master's degree in healthcare administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor's in biology and secondary education from Valley City State College in Valley City, North Dakota

Brandon Kelliher, chief information officer

Brandon Kelliher was selected in November 2015 as Great Plains Health's Chief Information Officer (CIO). Kelliher serves as a principal adviser to physicians and leadership with respect to the strategic use of technology, information management, information assurance and security, clinical data sharing activities management, technology governance, policy and operations. Kelliher led the electronic medical record conversion to Epic in the clinics in 2016 and in the hospital in 2018.

Prior to his selection as CIO, Kelliher served as the senior director of information services for Great Plains Health.

During his career, Kelliher has held several leadership roles in the information technology and healthcare administration fields. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the planning, development, delivery and monitoring of technical solutions that address the needs of his customers in support of their missions.

Kelliher obtained his MBA from Phoenix University, has held leadership roles in several local service organizations and is a certified instructor for the John Maxwell leadership organization.

Department responsibilities

  • Information systems
  • Biomedical

Tom Legel, chief financial officer

Tom Legel serves as the chief financial officer of Great Plains Health. He joined the team in 2017, coming from Twin Falls, Idaho, where he served as the East Region Financial Administrator for St. Luke's Health System. His responsibilities include strategic financial planning, revenue cycle enhancement, cost performance improvement, managed care contracting and budgeting.

Tom brings his diverse finance and information technology experience to GPHealth in a healthcare career that spans 25 years. He has a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in public accounting from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Department responsibilities

  • Accounting
  • Revenue Cycle
  • Patient access
  • Patient Financial services
  • Support services
    • Nutrition services
    • Environmental services
    • Laundry
  • Great Plains Home Care Equipment

Megan McGown, chief development officer

Megan McGown

Megan McGown, MSOM, is charged with growing service line and clinic volumes, developing staff (including front line, leadership and physicians) and improving access at consumer entrance points throughout the organization.

As chief development officer, she provides administrative leadership and oversight to strategic planning, business development, marketing and public relations, outreach, education, telehealth, government affairs, transfer hotline, communication center and the community health needs assessment.

McGown began working for Great Plains Health in 2018 as the director of marketing. Prior to her position Great Plains Health, McGown spent the past fifteen years of her career in community and economic development, where she served in various capacities working with communities in Nebraska including North Platte and Sidney on business recruitment, retention and downtown redevelopment.

McGown attended the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where she received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/pre-law and a graduate degree in organization management-economic development from Peru State College.

McGown remains active in the North Platte community serving on the North Platte Area Chamber and Development Board of Directors and as chairman of the North Platte Area Parks, Recreation and Wellness Foundation.

Department responsibilities

  • Outreach and business development
  • Strategic planning
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Telehealth
  • Transfer hotline and communication center
  • Education
  • Diabetes management
  • Government relations
  • Community Health Needs Assessment

Ivan J. Mitchell, chief operating officer

Ivan Mitchell, FACHE, MHA, MPA, chief operating officer, is responsible for daily operations of the overall health system.

Prior to relocating to North Platte, Mitchell served as CEO at Towner County Medical Center in Cando, North Dakota; administrative director at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas; and radiology and cardiology service manager at Intermountain Park City Medical Center in Park City, Utah.

He received a bachelor of science degree in nuclear medicine from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and a dual master's degree in public administration and healthcare administration from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Mitchell is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and certified as a radiology administrator (CRA), nursing home administrator (NHA), and nuclear medicine technologist (CNMT) and is also certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (RT).

He is active in the North Platte community, serving on the North Platte Public School Board, the North Platte Economic Development Committee and the North Platte Housing Task Force.

Department responsibilities

  • Heart & vascular service line
  • Oncology service line
  • Surgery
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Laboratory

Barb Petersen, chief quality officer

Barb Petersen, APRN, MSN, RN, chief quality officer, is responsible for ensuring the clinical and operational oversight of quality, patient satisfaction, infection control, best practice and regulation integrity.

Petersen has 25 years of clinical experience in the North Platte community that extends to emergency medicine, family medicine, pain management, cardiology, stroke, orthopaedics and quality.

Petersen received her master's degree in nursing with a family nurse practitioner specialty from Clarkson College in Omaha. She received her bachelor's in nursing from Midland Lutheran College and is certified as a professional in healthcare quality by the National Association of Healthcare Quality.

Petersen was instrumental in establishing Great Plains Health's first Joint Commission-certified stroke program, joint replacement program and certified bariatric program.

Department responsibilities

  • Quality department
  • Risk management
  • Infection control
  • Stroke program
  • Trauma coordination

Dr. Narayana Koduri, chief medical officer

Dr. Koduri is a board-certified psychiatrist. He attended medical school at Rangaraya Medical College in Kakinadam India and completed his residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Tina Pate, chief nursing officer

Tina Pate, MSN, RN, CEN, leads the nursing areas of Great Plains Health, ensuring quality care from our nursing team.

Tina began her career at Great Plains Health in 2013 as the stroke coordinator. From there, she was promoted to medical/surgical clinic manager and then on to critical care manager. Tina became the senior director of nursing in 2017.

Prior to her employment at Great Plains Health, Tina worked as an emergency room nurse, charge nurse and then clinical coordinator at Memorial Hospital – University of Colorado Health in Colorado Springs, Colo. Her final role with this organization was stroke coordinator.

Tina earned her BSN from the University of Phoenix and her master’s degree in nursing from Grand Canyon University.

Department responsibilities

  • Women's and children's division (second floor GPWest)
  • Intensive care, progressive care units (third floor GPWest)
  • Medical / surgical unit (fourth floor GPWest)
  • Behavioral Health (fifth floor GPWest)
  • Home health and Hospice
  • House supervisors

Danelle Franzen, chief provider network officer

Danelle Franzen, MBA, MLS (ASCP), leads the provider network, a division of Great Plains Health that creates a unified physician group working together to ensure that quality healthcare is available and accessible throughout the North Platte region. Before assuming this position in 2019, Franzen served as the senior director of ancillary services for six years. In that role, Franzen was responsible for the laboratory, rehab services, home health and hospice, cardiopulmonary services, clinical nutrition and pharmacy.

She began her healthcare career as a medical laboratory technician at Great Plains Health and has had several positions of increasing responsibility in laboratory and management. During her tenure, she was instrumental in the implementation of automated instrumentation to improve productivity and efficiency within the Great Plains Health Laboratory.

Franzen earned a master's degree in business administration from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska. She earned a bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory science from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and an associate's degree from Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte.

Department responsibilities

  • All GPHealth-owned clinics at the North Platte Health Pavilion
  • Great Plains Health General Surgery
  • Great Plains Health Orthopaedics
  • Great Plains Health Wound Healing Center
  • Great Plains Family Medicine
  • Hospitalist program

Senior leadership team

Marcia Baumann, vice president of physician services

Marcia Baumann, vice president of physician services, is responsible for all physician recruitment and retention and medical credentialing services. Baumann has been with Great Plains Health for more than 20 years and has recruited well over 100 physicians to the North Platte area. She does so out of a passion for the community and the belief in the health system. Her focus is on finding the right candidate and the right fit for the organization.

Baumann earned her master's of education degree with an emphasis in business and her bachelor's in education from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

During her time with Great Plains Health, Baumann has held a number of interim positions, including executive director of the North Platte Nebraska Physician Group, and the vice president of development. Baumann is an active member of the North Platte community, most currently, serving on the Mid Plains Community College Foundation Board.

Before joining Great Plains Health, she was the office administrator for a law office in North Platte and an instructor in business at two Nebraska high schools.

Department responsibilities

  • Physician recruitment
  • Medical staff services
  • Medical staff credentialing

Kathy Bourque, Foundation executive director

Kathy Bourque

Kathy Bourque serves as the executive director of the Great Plains Health Care Foundation. Prior to serving GPHealth in this capacity, Kathy was the senior director of patient experience at Great Plains Health.

Her background is in small business and as a community volunteer. She was a longtime member of two health system boards including the Great Plains Health Board (where she led the quality committee) and the Great Plains Health Care Foundation Board.

Kathy received a master's degree in organizational leadership from Western Governors University and a bachelor's degree in business management and marketing from Chadron State College.

Kathy Bourque
Great Plains Health Care Foundation Executive Director

Department responsibilities

  • Volunteer services
  • Gift shop
  • Valet services

Jayne Johnson, senior director of human resources

Jayne Johnson is the Senior Director of Human Resources at Great Plains Health. Jayne began her career at GPHealth in 1993 in behavior health services and also worked in med/surg, renal and peritoneal dialysis case management. In 1996, she moved to the role of medical social worker for home health and hospice. Her journey in human resources began in 2005, when she became the recruitment coordinator. Jayne worked her way to manager in 2011 and became the senior director in 2013.

She is the current president of Community Connections, serves as a member of End of Life Coalition, on advisory boards for Lutheran Family Services, the Surgery Center board, North Platte High School business partners, Lincoln county guardianship committee and numerous GPHealth committees over the last 26 years.

Jayne received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Chadron State College and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Monica Lynch, senior director of finance

Monica Lynch is the senior director of Finance at Great Plains Health. Monica began her career at GPHealth in 2012 as the accounting manager. In 2013, Monica was promoted to the director of accounting leading the accounting team and overseeing all function including payroll, AP, subsidiaries and regulatory reporting. In 2017, Monica continued her journey at GPHealth to become the senior director of finance. In this role, she works closely with the CFO and senior leadership to direct financial strategies and planning processes. Responsibilities include oversight of accounting functions, budgeting, decision support and treasury management.

Monica has more than 30 year of accounting experience extending from various industries including construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and utility before joining health care at Great Plains Health.

Monica received her Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University.

Lori Schoenholz, senior director of nursing informatics

Lori Schoenholz, MSN, RN, is the senior director of nursing informatics at Great Plains Health. Lori works with the information systems team, physicians and the nursing team to ensure successful use, maximum application and optimal deployment of EPIC, the electronic medical record system that is used throughout the Great Plains Health system.

Lori has more than 30 years of nursing experience extending from long-term care, dialysis, acute care, home visitation, clinical informatics and clinical consulting. In addition, she has spent 15 years of her career in leadership roles serving as a chief nursing officer in two organizations.

Lori obtained her nursing diploma from Mary Lanning Hospital School of Nursing in Hastings, Neb., her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing and her Master of Science in nursing degree from Walden University.

Department responsibilities

  • Epic clinical support

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