Connecticut Children’s Medical Center’s main campus is located at 282 Washington Street in Hartford, Connecticut

Executive Management Team

James E. Shmerling, DHA, FACHE

President and Chief Executive Officer

James E. Shmerling was named President and Chief Executive Officer at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center on October 1, 2015. For over three decades, Dr. Shmerling has served in management roles in children’s hospitals and is nationally recognized as a leader in issues concerning children’s health and wellness.

Prior to joining Connecticut Children’s, Dr. Shmerling spent the last eight years as the Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital Colorado, one of the top ranked children’s hospitals in the nation. Before that, he was the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt from 2002 to 2007. He was the Senior Vice President of Methodist Healthcare and President of Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center from 1995 to 2002, and was Le Bonheur’s Chief Operating Officer from 1991 to 1995. He served as the Associate Director of Hospitals at Indiana University Hospitals and Administrator of the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children from 1987 to 1991. Dr. Shmerling’s career in children’s hospitals began in the Children’s Hospital of Alabama where he progressed in administrative responsibilities from 1979 to1987, the last of which was as its Associate Administrator.

He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education from the University of Tennessee in 1976. In 1980, he was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Samford University in 1984 and his Doctorate of Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1999.

Dr. Shmerling is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE). He is an adjunct faculty member in the Hospital Administration programs, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Additionally, Dr. Shmerling is active in several national healthcare organizations.

Currently he serves as:

  • Board Member of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Board member of Pediatric Health Services, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Board Member of Biostage, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Shmerling is a native of Nashville, Tennessee.

Gil Peri, MBA, MPH

President and Chief Operating Officer
Gil Peri has more than two decades of leadership experience in strategic planning, performance improvement and business development for healthcare systems.

Peri last worked at Children’s Hospital Colorado, where he served as the senior vice president & chief strategy officer for three years. During his time there, he successfully implemented an enterprise financial and operational performance metrics system. His earlier experience includes serving as vice president for strategic development & operations at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

Peri holds a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Florida.

Paul Dworkin, MD

Executive Vice President, Office for Community Child Health
Founding Director, Help Me Grow® National Center

Paul Dworkin, MD, is Executive Vice President of Community Child Health and professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Dr. Dworkin was the 2003 recipient of the C. Anderson Aldrich Award, given by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ section of developmental pediatrics. Past winners of this award for work in childhood development include Dr. Benjamin Spock and Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. Dr. Dworkin is a member of numerous professional societies including the Academic Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. He was the editor of the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from 1997-2002. He serves on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Urban League of Greater Hartford, and is a member of the first entering class of the Academy of Distinguished Educators at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Dr. Dworkin received his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed a pediatric residency and fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston, with a special emphasis on developmental and behavioral issues.

Trisha A. Farmer, MSN, RN, CPHRM

Vice President, Regional Partnerships & Operations

Trisha Farmer holds the title of Vice President, Regional Partnerships and Operations.  Farmer has extensive healthcare operations, leadership, risk, patient safety and quality, compliance, regulatory, strategy and business development experience.  In her current role, she collaborates with internal and external executives to develop and operationalize strategic partnerships and acquisitions. Her diverse experience allows her efficiently navigate the complexities of modern healthcare.

Farmer is responsible for the implementation of several new strategic initiatives and was responsible for internally leading the development of the organization’s five-year strategic growth plan.

Farmer’s current areas of responsibility include development, implementation and oversight of an access center and access strategy, clinically integrated network (CIN) and virtual health program. She has oversight of the planning and business development, network development, project management and enterprise analytics teams.

Previous to this role, she served as the Chief of Staff to the President and CEO.  She held the position of Senior Director of Risk Management and Administrative Services. When Trisha arrived at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in 1996, she served in several nursing leadership roles and has broad experience with nursing leadership and clinical operations.

Farmer graduated Sigma Theta Tau from Yale University with a Master of Science in Nursing. She received her Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Hartford. She is CPHRM certified as a professional healthcare risk manager.

Bridgett Feagin, MBA

Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Bridgett Feagin is senior vice president, chief financial officer for Connecticut Children’s. In her role, she’s responsible for leading the organization’s financial planning, analysis and operations.

Recently, Bridgett was recognized as one of Becker’s Hospital Review’s 70 African American Leaders in Healthcare to Know. She joins Connecticut Children’s with more than two decades of financial experience and a proven track record of successfully managing the financial operations of highly complex matrixed organizations. She most recently held the position of CFO for three of Tenet Healthcare Corporation/Detroit Medical Center’s (DMC) seven hospitals, including Detroit Receiving, Harper University and Hutzel Women’s Hospitals. Bridgett provided direct oversight of finance, supply chain, medical records, revenue integrity, clinical resource management and physician advisors, and patient access. Prior to DMC, she held the role of CFO at United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) in which she managed the financial health of the organization, information technology and facilities administration. Prior to UWSEM, she spent 20 years serving in various financial leadership roles at DMC, including Financial Controller of DMC’s Children’s Hospital of MI.

She received her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Alabama State University and earned a Master of Business Administration in Information Systems Management from Wayne State University. Her professional memberships include Healthcare Financial Management Association, American College of Healthcare Executives, Inforum and National Black MBA Association.

Christine Finck, MD

Executive Vice President, Surgeon-in-Chief; Peter Deckers Endowed Chair of Surgery; Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Christine Finck, MD has served as Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery since 2007 and is an associate professor of pediatrics and surgery at UCONN Health. Most recently, she took on the role of Associate Director of Academic Affairs, advocating for various clinical, academic and research efforts across the institution and serving as a mentor to our pediatric research investigators.

Through her own research, Dr. Finck is revolutionizing health outcomes of pediatric and neonatal diseases, most specifically spearheading efforts focused on identifying and treating those that affect the lungs, esophagus and brain. This past May, those innovations were recognized by The Group on Women in Medicine and Science, who awarded Dr. Finck the Outstanding Clinical Scientist Woman Faculty Award.

Dr. Finck received her bachelors degree from Boston University and her medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse. She completed a surgery residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse and a pediatric surgery fellowship at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Glenn Focht, MD

President, Connecticut Children’s Specialty Group

Dr. Focht has close to 20 years of experience as a physician and health care clinician and administrator. Dr. Focht came to Connecticut Children’s from Boston Children’s Hospital, where he was the Chief Medical Officer with the Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Boston Children’s.

Prior to that, he was the first president and physician executive for the provider organization, which consists of more than 350 physicians practicing 37 specialties in 19 communities. As the chief executive of Central Maine Group, Dr. Focht delivered winning direction and stewardship to an organization with annual gross revenues in excess of $100 million.

Prior to his tenure at Central Maine Group, Dr. Focht served as the Vice President of Medical Affairs for Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass. In this position, Dr. Focht was responsible for operating and leading a group practice of more than 80 physicians, 24 practice locations, and yearly gross revenues exceeding $35 million.

From 1999 through 2004, Dr. Focht served as Medical Director of Quality Care and Education, and Chief Medical Officer, for Milford Regional Hospital (Milford, Mass.).

Dr. Focht was also a clinician at Tri-River Health Center (Uxbridge, Mass.), an affiliate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, from 1994 through 1999. It was during this time that he also won awards as a member of the faculty at UMass Medical School.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Dr. Focht did his residency at University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and liberal arts from Messiah College in Grantham, Pa.


David Kinahan

President, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation

David Kinahan is the President of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation. Prior to Connecticut Children’s he served as Vice President of Development for Tulane University’s School of Medicine providing leadership in the quiet phase of their first Billion dollar campaign. Kinahan has served in advancement roles at Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston Children’s Hospital and Georgetown University.

He earned an undergraduate degree from Bethany College, his Masters in Public Administration from Georgia State University and a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University. He is the recipient of the CASA Volunteer of the Year award for his work advocating for children in foster care.

Sarah Matney, MSOL, BSN, RN, CPON, CENP

Interim Senior Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer

Sarah Matney is Interim Senior Vice President, Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer. She leads the nursing organization and collaborates with team members to create an environment that hardwires excellent clinical care, access to the appropriate care for all of the children and their families in Connecticut and its surrounding regions, and an environment that all clinicians and team members can find joy in each day. Matney most recently served as Vice President, Ambulatory Operations, building upon her extensive healthcare operations, leadership, patient and family experience, continual improvement, and patient safety and quality experience.

Since joining Connecticut Children’s in 2000, she has served in a variety of nursing and clinical operations positions both at the bedside and in leadership roles, including Practice Administrator for Connecticut Children’s Specialty Group and Business Director of the Cancer and Blood Disorders service line.

Matney graduated from Quinnipiac University School of Business with a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership. She received her Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing degree from Pensacola Christian College. She is certified in Executive Nurse Practice (CENP) as well as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON©).

Lawrence (Larry) Milan

Senior Vice President, Human resources

Larry Milan is senior vice president for human resources at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. He was previously senior vice president of human resources – ING Americas of ING North America Insurance Corporation. Milan was responsible for HR consulting, talent management and talent acquisition, leadership and organization development and workforce diversity. Since joining ING in 2000, he served as head of human resources at ING U.S. Financial Services and as vice president of customer service centers for ING U.S.

Milan’s expertise includes significant business, strategic, organizational, and leadership experience gained throughout his tenure at ING and Aetna Financial Services, as well as in assignments with industry leaders such as Pitney Bowes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and State University of New York (SUNY) Oswego.

He earned an undergraduate degree from Bluffton University, Ohio, and a master’s degree in higher education administration and personnel management/labor relations from Michigan State University. Milan also completed the University of Michigan Executive Management Program. In 2011, he was selected among the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America” by Savoy magazine.

James Moore, MD, PhD

Division Head, Neonatology; Vice President, Clinical Network Development and Chief Clinical Network Development Officer

James Moore MD, PhD, is the Division Head of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and Vice President, Clinical Network Development and Chief Clinical Network Development Officer for Connecticut Children’s. He is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UCONN Health. Jim has been involved in neonatal research and education through his career and has previously been awarded the Richard Rivas Memorial Teaching Award, the Founder’s Award from the Southern Society for Pediatric Research, and the Graham’s Foundation honoree for Contributions to Neonatology. Previous to his arrival at Connecticut Children’s he was faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern and was the medical director of the Level IV NICU at Dallas Children’s.

Dr. Moore received his Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University, and his MD and PhD from Emory University in Atlanta. He completed his Pediatric Residency at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, and his fellowship in Neonatal Perinatal Medicine at the Harvard Combined Program in Neonatology at Boston Children’s.

Deb Pappas, MBA

Vice President, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Deb Pappas is vice president, chief marketing and communications officer for Connecticut Children’s. In her role, she’s responsible for leading the development of comprehensive marketing and communications strategies to build Connecticut Children’s brand and reputation, and customer acquisition initiatives in support of the organization’s growth strategy. Pappas oversees digital and content marketing, earned and social media, internal and external communications, and creative services.

Pappas brings a career of marketing and communications experience in both agency and industry sectors, including healthcare, to Connecticut Children’s. Most recently, she served as the Senior Director of Marketing and National Physician Relations for Boston Children’s Hospital. Prior to that she was the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for UMass Memorial Health Care.

Throughout her career, Pappas has managed corporate and product marketing and communications strategies for a variety of healthcare, technology, financial services and retail brands. Known nationally for her marketing expertise, she has been a featured speaker at conferences across the country.

Pappas earned a BA degree in Psychology from Colby College and an MBA in Marketing from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, Babson College.

Jung Park

Interim Chief Information Officer

Jung Park is the Interim Chief Information Officer. He is responsible for leading information systems strategy, security, and operations at Connecticut Children’s. After his arrival in 2011, Jung co-led formative initiatives to build the IS organization and implement key enterprise systems like Epic and Lawson. Prior to Connecticut Children’s, he served for 10 years in various leadership roles at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia including physician practice IS operations and corporate IS predominantly focused on system development and EHR implementation. Prior to this, he had joined various technology startups around the dot-com era.

Jung is a member of key professional organizations including College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

He attended MCP Hahnemann medical school as well as earning his BS degree in Computational Biology and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lori R. Pelletier PhD, MBA

Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer

Dr. Pelletier is Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer at Connecticut Children’s and Assistant Professor at UMass Medical School in the Division of Health Informatics and Implementation Science in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences. She completed her PhD in Health Systems Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute focusing on design, systems, processes and statistics. Dr. Pelletier worked for nine years at UMass Memorial Health Care building an organizational capability of improvement and operational excellence through systems design and people development. Prior to her PhD, Dr. Pelletier worked for many years as a Senior Quality Engineer and leader, Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt and ISO Lead Auditor at Solutia, Inc. Dr Pelletier lectures nationally on her current research in suicide prevention, cultural transformation, quality improvement, and the use of electronic health records.

Juan C. Salazar, MD, MPH

Executive Vice President, Physician-in-Chief

Dr. Salazar is Physician-in-Chief, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Medical Center. He is also the Director of the Pediatric and Youth HIV program at Connecticut Children’s and serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the UConn School of Medicine.

Dr. Salazar has received several NIH and private Foundation grants to study Pediatric HIV, congenital syphilis and Lyme disease. Dr. Salazar and his colleagues at the Spirochetal Research laboratories at the University of Connecticut Health Center are actively studying the immune response of children and adults who become infected with the Lyme disease bacterium. He also collaborates with translational and clinical researchers in Southern China and in Cali, Colombia.

Aimee Monroy Smith

Senior Vice President, Government Relations and External Affairs

Aimee Monroy Smith is senior vice president for government relations and external affairs at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. In her role, Smith builds and maintains Connecticut Children’s relationships with government officials and civic leaders on the federal, state and local levels. She also serves as the organization’s liaison to civic organizations and trade groups in Fairfield County and represents Connecticut Children’s statewide.

Before joining Connecticut Children’s, Smith was the director of government relations for The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) for Genomic Medicine. Prior to joining JAX, Smith worked for Pitney Bowes as the manager of government and regulatory affairs focused on state legislative and global public policy issues. Her previous experience includes advocacy and public affairs positions at the American Cancer Society in Meriden, Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association in Jackson Heights, N.Y., and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Rhode Island, and a master’s degree in public policy from Trinity College in Hartford.

Moses Vargas, Esq.

Vice President and General Counsel

Moses Vargas, Esq. is Vice President and General Counsel for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. In this role, he oversees the Legal, Compliance and Risk Management Departments and provides legal advice and support to the operational departments of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Connecticut Children’s Specialty Group, Inc., the CCMC School and all other CCMC Corporation affiliates.

Prior to joining Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Moses worked as a health care transactional/regulatory lawyer for Robinson + Cole, LLP. He has an extensive background in health care law, and has authored several pieces in legal publications focused on HIPAA and patient privacy laws.

Moses is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Health Lawyers Association, Health Care Compliance Association, Connecticut Lawyers Association, and Health Law Section of Connecticut Bar Association.

Moses obtained his Bachelor’s Degree, Master of Social Work and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Utah and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

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