Our governing body.
St. Joseph Health is the governing body for all St. Joseph Health hospitals, clinics, long term care centers, St. Joseph Health EMS and other St. Joseph Health services in the 9-county Brazos Valley area.
Members of the St. Joseph Health Board of Directors include:
James E. Blair III
Immediate Past Chair
James Blair is a graduate of Texas A&M University. He is the Vice President of J&B Propane in Madisonville, Texas. James is an active member of First Baptist Church of Madisonville and also serves on the Madison County Appraisal Board.
Chairman of the Board
Robert Upchurch is a graduate of Texas A&M University ‘84. Robert serves as President, CEO, & Chairman of First State Bank of Bedias. He is also Mayor Pro-Tem of the City of Bedias. He is a former director of the Texas Bankers Association and has served on the Community Bankers Council of the American Bankers Association. Since 2000, Robert has held several governance roles at St. Joseph Health, including chairman of the Governance Council of the Grimes Hospital and later as chairman of the Governance Council of the Regional Hospital in Bryan.
Antonio Arreola-Risa, PhD.
Dr. Arreola-Risa is a faculty member in the Information and Operations Management Department at Mays Business School, Texas A&M University. He received his B.S. from Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) in Mexico, his M.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. Prior to joining Texas A&M he was on the faculty in the Foster School of Business, University of Washington. He is a member of the Decision Sciences Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.
Michael Cohen, M.D.
Dr. Cohen obtained his medical degree from Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College of Medicine in College Station, Texas. He completed an internship in Pathology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas. As a founding member of Brazos Valley Pathology, he has served as Medical Director of Laboratories and Department of Pathology chairman at St. Joseph Health since 1999. Dr. Cohen is also a past president of the St. Joseph Health medical staff. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. Dr. Cohen is a member of the College of American Pathologists, American College of Physician Executives and Brazos Valley Pathology Physicians Organization.
Chuck, a 1976 graduate of A&M has practiced law in the Brazos Valley since his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1983. He has served the community in many volunteer capacities, including as a founding member of the Ethics Committee of Hospice Brazos Valley since 2001 and a member of the Corporate Integrity Committee of St. Joseph Regional Health System since 2010. He currently serves on the boards of St. Joseph Health System and CHI Texas Division in Houston. He chairs the audit and compliance committee of the Texas Division.
A board member for more than 30 years, Caroline McDonald has faithfully served St. Joseph Health. Caroline is a native of Brownsville, Texas, and attended the University of Texas at Austin. Caroline’s extensive community volunteer service and leadership have been acknowledged with the presentation of the “Women of Distinction Award” by the Bluebonnet Girl Scout Council and “You Are Tops” by the Prenatal Clinic.
Mark Scarmardo attended Sam Houston State University and Texas A&M University. A resident of Bryan, Scarmardo owns The Farm Patch and Scarmardo Food service. He also serves on the boards for the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce and the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History.
Michael Steines, M.D.
Dr. Michael W. Steines earned his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine. He then completed his residency and internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Steines relocated to the Bryan/College Station to start his practice. Dr. Steines obtained board certification from the American Board of Surgery in 1997 and became a Fellow of the American College of Surgery in 1999.
Gina Flores received her Bachelor of Arts in teaching from Sam Houston State in 1979. Her teaching career includes three years in public school and fourteen years in Christian education. Since moving to Bryan/College Station in 2006, Gina has served on several community boards. Currently she serves on the Board of St. Joseph Health and Allen Academy Board of Trustees. She is also involved in Woman’s Club and Republican Women. Gina and her husband Bill attend Central Baptist Church. They have two grown sons, and four grandchildren.
Bryan Cole, PhD.
Dr. Bryan R. Cole previously served on the Board of Directors from 2007-2013. He is Professor Emeritus of Educational Administration in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M University. During his 41-year career at Texas A&M, Dr. Cole served in numerous administrative and professorial capacities in the College of Education and Human Development and at the University level. A retired Colonel from active duty and the U.S. Army Reserve, Dr. Cole holds his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Educational Administration from Texas A&M and his Bachelor’s from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is married to Wanda Kay Cole and has two adult children, Keith and Allison, and four grandchildren. He has served as a Deacon at First Baptist Church in Bryan since 1983.
Karen Boone, R.N.
Karen Boone retired from St. Joseph Health in 2017 after nearly 40 years of service. Beginning her career as a graduate/registered nurse in the Regional Hospital Labor and Delivery department. Karen went on to lead the team as Director of Maternity Services. As a director, Karen served on the St. Joseph Health Ethics Committee and was active in a number of internal leadership initiatives and team events. Karen has a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Texas Women's University. She is also a past member of the Ronald McDonald Advisory Board and Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, a Certified Weather Watcher and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. Karen has been married for over 40 years to her husband Glenn, and they have three children and four grandchildren.
A Loan Officer at Citizens State Bank in Caldwell for 16 years, John Smith has been a member of both the Burleson St. Joseph Healthcare Council and Skilled Nursing and Rehab Burleson Governance Council. Involved in his local community, he is also an alumnus of the Texas Agriculture Lifetime Leadership Program and served as part of the Deanville Heritage Foundation, Caldwell's Main Street Program and St. John's Lutheran Church Council. He has a Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University.
Brad White, M.D.
Dr. Brad White is a Neurosurgeon in the Texas Brain & Spine Institute and Vice President of Medical Affairs for St. Joseph Health. Part of the team since 2008, Dr. White is a past president of St. Joseph Health medical staff and former chair and vice-chair in the Department of Surgery. He holds both his Medical and Doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern College, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Finance. Dr. White has also served on the Board of Directors for the Texas Medical Association Insurance Trust and both the St. Joseph Health Affordable Care Organization and Clinically Integrated Network.
Marcia Ory, PhD., MPH
Dr. Marcia Ory is Regents and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. She also serves as Associate Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives at the Health Sciences Center and is Founding Director of the Texas A&M Board of Regents Center for Population Health and Aging. Dr. Ory holds a Doctoral degree in Family Studies and Sociology from Purdue University, Masters’ degrees from Indiana University and the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Frank B. Ashley III, Ed.D.
Dr. Ashley received his degrees from Louisiana College and The University of Alabama. Before assuming his current position at the Bush School he served as a Senior VP for the College Board Corporation in New York where he worked on initiatives to increase college participation for underprivileged students. In his 35+ years in education, Ashley has served in a variety of roles, including teacher, coach and administrator. Ashley also served as a faculty member, and administrator at Texas A&M University-Commerce, as the dean of the college of education, and he also served on the Commerce ISD School Board. During this tenure he received “The Citizen of the Year Award” and the “Distinguished Service Award”. After three years in Commerce, Ashley returned to College Station as vice chancellor of academic affairs for the A&M System. Dr. Ashley has numerous publications and presentations and has been invited to present nationally and internationally, however what he enjoys most is speaking to K-12 students, teachers and parents about the importance of education. Ashley is an Ordained Deacon serving at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, and has also served as a Chaplain for the Texas A&M Football team for several years. He and his wife Janice have two children, Frank IV and Elizabeth.
Sr. Nancy Surma, OSF, Ph.D.
Sister Nancy Surma came on as a board member in July 2019. Sister Nancy currently serves as the Vice President, Mission Integration for CHI Living Communities in Toledo, Ohio. She is responsible for leading mission integration, pastoral care and ethical activities throughout the 13-campus ministry and also serves on the Executive Leadership Team. In 2006, Sister Nancy joined Sylvania Franciscan Health (Franciscan Services Corporation) as the Vice President, Mission Integration. Prior to this role, Sister Nancy served in numerous leadership roles for the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, Michigan, Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio, Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School and Central Catholic High School, in Toledo, Ohio. Sister Nancy Surma received her Doctor of Philosophy at Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts, a Masters in Art and Education from the University of Toledo in Ohio, and a Bachelor of Arts from Mary Manse College in Toledo, Ohio. She has also received numerous professional certifications and recognition and currently serves on the Mission Leader Advisory Committee of Catholic Health Association.
Doug Lawson, PhD.
CEO, CHI Texas Division
Doug Lawson currently serves as CEO of the CHI Texas Division, a $2 billion+ regional health system with 17 hospitals that stretches across the southeastern section of the state and includes St. Luke’s Health in Houston, St. Luke’s Health Memorial in the Lufkin-East Texas area, and St. Joseph Health in Bryan/College Station and Brazos Valley region. He also serves as Senior Vice President for Catholic Health Initiatives, the Englewood, Colorado based parent company of the CHI Texas Division. Lawson began his healthcare career at Scott & White Memorial Hospital and Clinic in Temple, Texas, and served in Kansas City with the Saint Luke’s Health System and later in Huntington, West Virginia, for Cabell-Huntington Hospital. Following these leadership roles, Lawson returned to Texas and became president of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Grapevine and was asked to serve as President of the organization’s North Texas Central Region and Baylor University Medical Center in 2015. Lawson is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He went on to complete a Master of Science degree in healthcare administration from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, and a doctorate in philosophy from Dallas Baptist University. Lawson is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Interim President of St. Joseph Health
Mark Reifsteck has more than 30 years of experience successfully leading complex Catholic and faith-based health systems and maintaining excellent working relationships with physicians. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Cardinal Glennon College and Master’s degree in Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine, located in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition, Mark has been a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (LFACHE) for over 30 years. He currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, but joins our organization to provide leadership during this transition. St. Joseph Health’s ministry of healing in Brazos Valley provides and delivers care to patients across our integrated network in Texas. Mark’s leadership will provide our patients and community with high-quality, essential services and personalized care.