LMH Health Senior Leadership
Russ Johnson, President & Chief Executive Officer
Johnson joined LMH Health as President and Chief Executive Officer Aug. 1, 2016. A seasoned health care executive with 30 years of successful senior leadership in hospitals and health systems, he previously served as Senior Vice President of Network Development and Outreach with the Centura Health System in Englewood, Colorado.
He grew up in Merriam, Kansas, graduating from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, and still has strong family ties to the area. He began his health care career in 1984 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he was an assistant administrator and administrative fellow for a 540-bed regional medical center. He also served as vice president of operations for VHA Iowa before returning to the Kansas City area in 1989 to become assistant administrator of operations for Saint Luke’s Northland, a position he held for eight years. He was chief operating officer for Edinburg Regional Medical Center, a 169-bed hospital in Edinburg, Texas, from 1997 to 2000. He then served as the CEO for San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in Alamosa, Colorado, for 12 years.
Johnson is active in many professional, civic and community organizations. He served 12 years on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Hospital Association and was a board member for the American Hospital Association for three years. In 2007 he was awarded the American Hospital Association’s Shirley Ann Munroe Leadership Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of a small or rural hospital leader who has improved health care delivery in their communities through innovative and progressive efforts. He also received the Rural Healthcare Excellence Award by the Colorado Rural Health Center in 2007 and was the Colorado AHA Grassroots Champion for 2008.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. He received a bachelor’s degree in management and economics from the University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a master’s degree in health care administration from Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Jared Abel, Associate Vice President/Ambulatory and Orthopedic Services
Abel joined LMH Health in 2018 and oversees Ambulatory and Orthopedic Services. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 2009 with a master's degree in Health Services Administration and a Juris Doctorate. Abel began his career in healthcare as an administrative fellow with the VA Eastern Kansas Healthcare System. After his fellowship, he continued to work in the VA system in leadership roles. Abel then joined the Lawrence Surgery Center as the Clinic Administrator in 2016, a role he continues to this day. He also serves as the administrator for the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine providers at OrthoKansas.
Brian Bradfield, Associate Vice President/Ancillary Services
Bradfield joined LMH Health in 1998 and has worked in the Imaging Services Department in multiple capacities over the past 20 years. Prior to joining the Senior Leadership Team as Associate VP of Ancillary Services, Bradfield served as Director of Imaging Services. He is responsible for Facilities Management, Respiratory Therapy, Sleep Lab, Laboratory, Pharmacy, IV Therapy, and Imaging Services. Bradfield completed his undergraduate and graduate coursework at Washburn University. He has also served as an adjunct educator at Washburn for the past 10 years.
Sheryle D’Amico, Vice President/Physician Division
D'Amico oversees the operations of the Physician Division. She joined LMH Health in 1999 as Director of Rehabilitation Services. She previously worked as Director of Rehabilitation Services at Olathe Medical Center in Olathe and Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation Services at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka. She holds a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from Simmons College in Boston and a master's degree in health administration from the University of Kansas. A 2005 Leadership Lawrence graduate, D’Amico was honored with the 2004 Wellspring Professional Award and has served on the Douglas County VNA, Health Care Access, Lawrence Children’s Choir, Independence Inc., and Lawrence Chamber of Commerce boards.
Janice Early, Vice President/Marketing and Communications
Early joined LMH Health in 1992 and has responsibility for marketing, planning, communications, community outreach and education and media relations. She serves as the designated Freedom of Information Officer. Before coming to LMH Health, she worked in marketing and public relations for Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Saint Joseph Health Center in Kansas City. Early earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a master's in business administration from Baker University. A 1997 Leadership Lawrence graduate, she served on the boards of the Kansas Association of Health Care Communicators, Hospice Care, the United Way of Douglas County and Douglas County Extension Council, and serves on the executive board for Junior Achievement of Lawrence.
Traci Hoopingarner, Vice President/Clinical Care and Chief Nursing Officer
Hoopingarner, who joined LMH Health in 2011 as the Director of the Family Birthing Center and Pediatrics, was promoted in 2017 to Chief Nursing Officer. She has been a registered nurse since 1985, and has been in leadership roles since 1994. Hoopingarner grew up in western Kansas, and before coming to LMH Health she held leadership roles at Lifepoint Hospital in Dodge City, where her accomplishments included creation of a prenatal clinic for indigent patients and a free-standing birthing center. At LMH Health, she led the efforts behind the Family Birthing Center’s designation as Kansas’ first High Five Hospital for support of breastfeeding. Hoopingarner, who has a master of science degree, also is certified in inpatient obstetrics and fetal monitoring.
Janette Kirkpatrick, Vice President/Clinical Excellence
Kirkpatrick oversees the organization’s risk management, patient safety, patient advocacy, medical staff office, corporate compliance, privacy, HIPAA and quality excellence for the facility, as well as functions within the area of emergency preparedness. She has 28 years of healthcare experience. Kirkpatrick, who joined LMH Health in 2001, most recently served as the Director of Risk Management and the Medical Staff Office. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Newman University and a master’s degree in business administration from Baker University. A 2017 Leadership Lawrence graduate, Kirkpatrick is involved in several professional healthcare risk management and quality organizations as well as community activities.
Rebecca Smith, Executive Director, LMH Health Foundation
Rebecca Smith is the executive director of LMH Health Foundation. She joined LMH Health in April 2017, after serving as the executive director of communications and advancement at KU Libraries for more than 10 years. A communications strategist, she has led efforts in marketing, communications, and media relations, annual giving and major gifts at KU and in roles at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Nebraska Foundation. She has experience in constituent relations, branding, communications planning and crisis communication. Rebecca holds a master's degree in strategic communication from UW-Madison and an undergraduate degree in advertising from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Michael Williams, Vice President/Chief Information Officer
Williams was named Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 2015. He has more than 25 years of Information Technology experience, with more than 15 of those in Healthcare Information Technology. His current responsibilities include executive oversight for technology, production services, solution integration, telecommunications, clinical engineering and customer information systems. He leads strategic planning for the deployment and optimization of the electronic medical record across the organization, facilitating physician informatics committees and the Information Technology Steering Committee. Williams also coordinates the executive committee and working task forces for the Meaningful Use and other regulatory programs.
Before joining LMH Health in 2000, he served in the law enforcement information technology industry with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Customs National Aviation Center.
Williams is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration degree. He is a member of several professional, civic and community organizations. He is member of the Kansas chapter of the Health Information Management Systems Society and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. He is a lecturer at the University of Kansas in the School of Business and an adjunct professor at Johnson County Community College in its Health Information Technology program.