"LifeCare Hospitals was the first place able to heal my wounds."
-Pamela from Wisconsin
Lew Little, Jr., Interim Chief Executive Officer
As founding CEO of Harden Healthcare, LLC in 2002, he was instrumental in guiding the company from zero revenues and its initial acquisition of six long term care facilities in Austin to more than $800M in revenue in 2012. Driving that revenue growth was an expansion of the company’s mission from that of an operator of skilled nursing facilities to a broadly based provider of a full range of post-acute care services that included home health, hospice, and community care services from more than 200 sites nationwide. Over the nearly 12 years of continuous profitability and almost uniform growth, Little led the acquisition and successful integration of more than 20 organizations, many with operations in multiple states, as well as the successful organic scaling of existing operations. In 2013, he initiated and participated in negotiations that led to the sale of the home health, hospice, and community care services to Gentiva. The Company’s long term care division sold to Senior Care Centers in 2015.
A master’s program graduate of the University of Texas at Austin in 1981, Little holds both an MBA and a BBA from that school. He began his career in banking that same year in Houston with the JPMorgan Chase organization. In 1984, he returned to Austin to join InterFirst Bank which ultimately became Bank of America. Little remained with the Austin bank until December 1999, serving in a variety of roles and ultimately rose to the position of President. In 2000, Little cofounded and became President of Capstar Partners LLC, an investment vehicle for R. Steven Hicks, formerly the CEO of Capstar Broadcasting. He led strategies for equity investments and managed other investments for Mr. Hicks and his family.
Little’s career has led to significant involvement in the business communities. He has been a member of both the Young Presidents and World Presidents Organizations since 1998 and served as Chair of the Austin Chapters of both. Little was a member of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2012 - 2014 and served as its Volunteer Chair in 2013. In 1999, he chaired the United Way Campaign for the Austin area.
Little serves on several private boards of directors including LifeCare Hospitals, Corridor Title, Results Physiotherapy, HNI Healthcare and Tiff’s Treats. He has been recognized by the Austin Business Journal as Best CEO of a Large Company in 2013, by Concordia University for Excellence in Leadership in 2013, and by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year in Austin and San Antonio in 2005. Little and his wife Jeanne have been married almost 35 years and are blessed with 3 adult children.
Frank Battafarano, Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Battafarano joined LifeCare in October 2014 with more than 30 years of leadership experience in the long term and post acute sectors. Prior to joining LifeCare, Mr. Battafarano held several positions with Kindred Healthcare, Inc., including chief operating officer, executive vice president and president of the hospital division. At Kindred, Mr. Battafarano successfully led the company through a period of significant regulatory change, guided the development of its cluster market and network development activities, oversaw advancement of the company's marketing activities and implemented an enterprise-wide managed care strategy. He also previously served as the executive vice president of operations for Provident Medical Corporation and as vice president of operations at United Medical Corporation, both based in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Battafarano is a board member of Advanced Specialty Hospitals and a former board member of the American Long Term Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of South Florida.
Maegan Bowman, Vice President of Strategic Projects, Sourcing and Audit
Ms. Bowman joined LifeCare in July 2009 as the Director of Internal Audit before moving into her current role of Vice President of Strategic Projects, Sourcing and Audit in January 2012. She has overseen several strategic initiatives for the company including managing the acquisition of six hospitals and transforming the revenue cycle, as well as fulfilling corporate audit needs. Ms. Bowman has extensive experience in identifying and managing strategic projects for companies and in corporate process improvement. Prior to joining LifeCare, she worked as a senior manager with Protiviti, a global consulting firm, serving the needs of LifeCare as well as other healthcare clients. She has also worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the telecom industry focusing on the revenue cycle. Ms. Bowman earned her Masters Degree in Accounting with an emphasis in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Austin and is a certified public accountant.
Jimbo Cross, Chief Development Officer
Mr. Cross joined the LifeCare team in 2015 to lead our strategy, corporate development, and M&A activity with more than 20 years of healthcare business development and strategy experience. Prior to joining LifeCare, he led the business development and M&A strategy for Lifeline Vascular, a division of DaVita Health Care Partners. Jimbo was responsible for acquisitions and de novo development of ambulatory surgery centers at ASCOA, a privately held leader in the ASC industry. Prior to ASCOA, he held multiple leadership roles with Johnson & Johnson across the medical devices and pharmaceutical sectors. Jimbo received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University.
Stephanie Carpenter, Vice President, Finance & Planning
Ms. Carpenter has more than 20 years of experience working in healthcare accounting and finance. She began her career as a CPA with KPMG and has extensive experience with general acute, psychiatric and long term acute care hospital companies. Joining LifeCare in 2000 as Controller, she was promoted to Vice President of Finance and Planning in 2006. Ms. Carpenter holds a degree in accounting from Louisiana Tech University.
J. Michael Cronin, CPA, Vice President, Reimbursement
Mr. Cronin is a healthcare veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the hospital management and Medicare reimbursement arena. Prior to joining LifeCare in July 2007, he held various corporate reimbursement and management positions at the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Prior to joining HCA, Mr. Cronin held audit, reimbursement and appeals positions at AdminaStar Federal, a CMS-contracted fiscal intermediary. Mr. Cronin graduated with an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Indiana University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Twila Loudder, RN, BSN, MS, CPHQ, Vice President, Clinical Operations
Ms. Loudder has more than 25 years in healthcare with extensive experience in acute care settings, including medical-surgical, critical care and emergency medicine. Prior to joining LifeCare in 2010, she spent five years with Regency Hospital Company in positions that included Director of Quality, Chief Nursing Officer and Interim Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Ms. Loudder spent 15 years with the Presbyterian Healthcare System of New Mexico where she held positions with a Critical Access Hospital located in eastern New Mexico and as Director of Emergency and ICU for Ennis Regional Medical Center in Ennis, Texas. Her expertise includes acute care clinical nursing practice, quality/risk management, infection control, hospital administration and operations. Throughout her career, Ms. Loudder’s areas of responsibility have included the provision of quality nursing care, operations, and compliance with federal, state and Joint Commission regulatory standards. She holds a specialty certification as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).
Erik C. Pahl, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer & Secretary
Mr. Pahl joined LifeCare in August 2009. With extensive experience in corporate and health care law, previous positions include General Counsel and Vice President for national home care corporation, Intrepid U.S.A., and national staffing company, Snelling Staffing. He also served as Assistant General Counsel for Triad Hospitals, where he advised hospitals, surgery centers and physician groups. Mr. Pahl remains active in the Air National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel and chief legal advisor to the 136th Airlift Wing in Fort Worth, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago.
Chris A. Walker, Chief Financial Officer
Chris Walker has served as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Treasurer since 1997. Prior to joining LifeCare, he worked as a Certified Public Accountant with KPMG LLP from 1991 until 1997.
Mike Wattenbarger, Chief Information Officer
Mr. Wattenbarger joined LifeCare in 1999 with extensive experience in the field of information technology. Before assuming his current position as Chief Information Officer in 2006, Mr. Wattenbarger served as Application Developer and Director of Information LifeCare. He began his information technology career with the City of Shreveport, Louisiana, after obtaining his Master of Science degree from Louisiana State University. Mr. Wattenbarger has also worked as a manager for a Microsoft Gold Partner IT consulting firm.
Steven Harris, Vice President, Ancillary Services
Steven Harris has over 20 years management experience in multiple areas of pharmacy practice, beginning his career in pharmacy sales and retail pharmacy. Steven later moved into retail pharmacy management before transitioning to hospital pharmacy and joining LifeCare in 1998 as staff pharmacist. Mr. Harris served as the Director of Pharmacy for LifeCare Hospitals of New Orleans from 2000-2006 when he was promoted to Corporate Director of Pharmacy Operations. In his current position, Vice President of Ancillary Services, Steven provides leadership for the Pharmacy, Radiology and Laboratory Departments. Steven is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana - College of Pharmacy where he earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Following graduation, he trained as a Pharmacy Practice Resident at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. He is an active member of MedAssets Pharmacy Advisory Committee and former member of HealthTrust Purchase Group Pharmacy Advisory Board.
Karen Javine, Vice President, Total Rewards
Karen Javine brings more than 25 years of Human Resources experience to LifeCare with extensive experience in compensation and benefits, strategy and planning. Ms. Javine has responsibility for total rewards at LifeCare, including the development and implementation of compensation, benefits and recognition programs. Prior to joining LifeCare in 2006, Ms. Javine worked for Baylor HealthCare System and also held various Human Resources leadership roles in the energy and I.T. industry. Ms. Javine earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Becky Burton, Vice President, Business Development
Ms. Burton has over 10 years of Business Development leadership experience in the Post Acute spectrum. Prior to joining LifeCare, she was the Vice President of Business Development for Vibra Healthcare where she led the company's national sales efforts for their 22 LTACHs and 4 Transitional Care units. Prior to Vibra, Becky excelled as a Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Kindred Healthcare where she was responsible for 8 LTACHs and 2 Inpatient Rehab facilities. Becky earned her B.S.N. from West Texas A&M University.
Amy Broderick, Regional Vice President of Operations
Ms. Amy Broderick has 25 years experience in various areas of healthcare, with the past 17 years engaged in a management role. Prior to joining the LifeCare team, she worked for both acute and post acute organizations. After 8 years with Universal Health Services, she was employed by Kindred Healthcare for 12 years. While with Kindred, Ms. Broderick assumed many roles, including Hospital CEO to District Executive Director, managing 10 long-term acute care hospitals and 2 inpatient rehab facilities. Amy has a clinical background as a Registered Respiratory Therapist. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and earned her Master of Science in Health Services Administration in 2001, from University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Illinois.
Jake Socha, Regional Vice President of Operations
Mr. Jake Socha has over 25 years experience in both Healthcare Operations and Development. Jake joined our team in 2014 with responsibilities over our East Division. Prior to joining LifeCare, he worked for both Vibra and Kindred Hospitals over the largest LTAC in the Massachusetts District. Jake’s background also includes founding and operating several successful multi-specialty physician practices in the Northeast as well as operating outpatient sports medicine and rehabilitation centers. Jake earned his Bachelor’s in Health and Science from Springfield College, and is currently pursuing his MBA from Southern New Hampshire.
Kevin S. Cooper RN, MBA, Vice President of Case Management and HIM
Kevin Cooper has worked in healthcare for more than 20 years, and has been with LifeCare since 2000. Prior to joining LifeCare, he worked in critical care nursing at Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation and moved into Utilization and Case Management at a number of health plans in the New Orleans area. During his tenure with LifeCare, Mr. Cooper has worked in various operational roles including Nurse Manager, Director of Case Management, Director of Nursing, Chief Clinical Officer, and Assistant Administrator. From 2005 to 2014, Kevin was the Chief Executive Officer for LifeCare Hospitals of North Carolina and was promoted to Market CEO for North Texas and North Carolina. Kevin has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and earned his Master’s of Business Administration in 2003.