Executive Management Team

Lew Little - Chief Executive Officer

Lew Little | Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Little has an extensive background in building healthcare services companies, including 11 years as CEO of Harden Healthcare, LLC. Prior to the sale of its businesses to Gentiva (2013) and Senior Care Centers (2015) Harden owned and operated senior care facilities in addition to providing related, ancillary health services including therapy, community health, home health and hospice. Under Lew’s leadership, Harden grew from a six-location, single-state skilled nursing home business to more than 200 facilities in 13 states and a “continuum of care” model generating revenues exceeding $800 million annually. During his impressive tenure at Harden, Lew built a multi-disciplined healthcare services company both organically and via acquisition – while developing and maintaining a strong operating and clinical culture. Mr. Little has a BA in Marketing and a MBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin.

Yousif A-Rahim M.D. Ph.D. | Chief Medical Officer
Dr. A-Rahim works with our Medical Advisory Boards, our Medical Directors, and our quality assurance programs to oversee improvement of clinical outcomes for our patients. He also organizes and leads Company efforts to measure and improve clinical outcomes for all centers and the Company as a whole. Dr. A-Rahim earned his medical and doctorate degrees from the Pennsylvania State University and completed a residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. As a physician, he is known for his expertise in interventional endoscopy and minimally invasive treatments for gastrointestinal disease. He has authored several articles published in medical journals and has delivered presentations to fellow physicians around the country, including at his alma mater, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. A-Rahim is currently a Lecturer in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and practices gastroenterology at the VA Boston Healthcare System West Roxbury Campus in Massachusetts, and at Pacific Endoscopy Center, an ASC he co-founded in 2008 in Pearl City, Hawaii.

Whit Polley | Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer
Mr. Polley has over ten years of experience in the surgery center industry. At Covenant, he heads the business development team which is responsible for driving growth for the company. Prior to Covenant, Mr. Polley focused on business development at Surgical Health Group, LLC, a developer and manager of single and limited specialty surgery centers. He is a graduate of Washington & Lee University.

Rich Fogle - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Rich Fogle | Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Mr. Fogle has over 21 years of healthcare financial management experience, including the past 13 years as Chief Financial Officer for multi-site healthcare services companies. Rich has an extensive background leading companies through organic and acquisitive growth. Prior to joining Covenant, he was the CFO of Advanced Dermatology, the nation’s largest dermatology practice. During Rich’s tenure, Advanced Dermatology grew to over 180 locations operating in 14 states. Mr. Fogle has a BA in Business Administration and a Masters of Accountancy from the University of South Florida.

Justin Ezell | Senior Vice President of Finance and Controller
Mr. Ezell joined Covenant in July 2011 and has over 13 years of experience in healthcare financial services. Justin began his healthcare career with AmSurg Corp and most recently worked as Assistant Vice President of Accounting at Symbion Healthcare. Justin has a B.S. in Accounting from Lipscomb University.

Chad Stevens | Senior Vice President of Operations
Mr. Stevens has over 13 years of experience in health care administration, where he has focused on the development and operations of ambulatory surgery centers. Mr. Stevens began his healthcare career with AmSurg Corp and most recently worked as Vice President of Operations at HealthMark Partners, and Director of Center Development and Operations for Surgical Health Group, LLC. Mr. Stevens earned a B.S. in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Science in Health Care Administration at Trinity University.

Senior Management Team

Kristi Faulkner | Corporate Compliance Officer
Ms. Faulkner joined covenant in 2016 and has more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry. She has held several positions with emphasis in litigation, compliance, employment and transactions. During her career, she has served as the Associate Counsel of Litigation and Employment at SpecialtyCare, Inc.; she has served as the Privacy Officer and Senior Legal Counsel at Healthways, Inc.; and she has served as the Privacy Officer and Special Counsel to the Commissioner at the Department of Children’s Services. She was also a litigating attorney for the Department of Health and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Ms. Faulkner earned her J.D. from the University of Memphis and is licensed to practice in the state of Tennessee.

Richard Jacques | Vice President of Business Development
Mr. Jacques focuses on surgery center acquisition and physician recruitment. He is also an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. Richard received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School.

Melba Willis | Vice President of Clinical Services
Ms. Willis has over 20 years of experience in healthcare management with the last eight years specifically in the ASC industry. Melba has extensive experience in development and management of ambulatory surgery centers and has most recently focused on ASC clinical operations and regulatory compliance. Melba began her healthcare management career with HCA as Director of Surgical Services and continued as Chief Nursing Officer prior to becoming an ASC Administrator. Melba is a registered nurse and has a Bachelor of Arts in Management of Health Services from Ottawa University. Melba is also an AAAHC surveyor.

Mike Burney | Vice President of Laboratory Services
Mr. Burney supports the laboratory related functions of Covenant Surgical Partners. He has over 27 years of experience in the healthcare field. He has served as Director of Internal Audit/Assistant Controller of Dialysis Clinic, Administrator/CEO of DCI Laboratory, Vice President- Lab Services at Renal Care Group, and at Renal Advantage. He also served as CEO of RenaLab, providing approximately 14M tests per year to over 500 clients in 38 states across the US. He most recently served as a consultant for lab startups. Mike has a BBA degree in Accounting from Austin Peay State University and obtained his CPA license in 1986. He is a member of the National Society for Histotechnology.

Ryan Starnes | Regional Vice President
Mr. Starnes joined Covenant in 2016. Ryan has previous experience managing Perioperative Services and Anesthesia entities for Ochsner Health System. He has achieved a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University, and later completed an MBA in 2012 and a Master of Science in Health Administration (MSHA) in 2013 from The University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Cutler Averbuch | Regional Vice President
Mr. Averbuch joined Covenant in 2014. His prior experience is in Healthcare Information Technology where he specialized in implementing Electronic Medical Records and Meaningful Use measurement systems. He worked for Hospital Corporation of America as an managing administrator of the Teradata platform for six years in addition to working with HCA’s Big Data pilot program before joining the Covenant team. He currently manages Surgery Center Operations for Covenant’s East Coast Region.

Mark Payne

Mark Payne | Regional Vice President
Mark Joined Covenant Surgical Partners in July of 2017 with significant healthcare leadership. For six years, he ran dozens of dialysis clinics for both DaVita Healthcare Partners and U.S. Renal Care (DSI). Next he ran the entire West Coast Anesthesia operations for Envision Healthcare (Sheridan AmSurg). Mark began his career in the U.S. Marine Corps where he finished his military experience as a Captain and Company Commander, leading 180 Marines, during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2. He has a BS from the U.S. Naval Academy and a full-time MBA from Cornell University.

Beth Wampler | Vice President of Human Resources
Ms. Wampler, SHRM-SCP, joined Covenant in 2013 and has over 20 years of progressive Human Resources experience. Beth has specialized in large multi-site, multi-state companies with her last 15 years focused on healthcare. Ms. Wampler is responsible for the full-cycle Human Resources process at Covenant including culture and social responsibility initiatives. She earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Tim Pereira | Regional Vice President
Mr. Pereira joined Covenant in 2016 and has over 15 years of Medical Operations experience. Tim has previously held management positions at Sugar Dive, LLC, AmSurg Corporation, United Surgical Partners, Intl., and Sweet Sleep, Inc. Mr. Pereira is a graduate of The Citadel and graduated with his MBA from Vanderbilt.

Lance Perkins

Lance Perkins | Vice President of Technology Services
Mr. Perkins has over 17 years of healthcare IT experience including 12 years in the dialysis industry and 5 years in the ASC industry. In past roles he has held management positions at DSI Renal, Renal Care Group, and National Nephrology Associates. In the dialysis roles he held positions that integrated and supported all hardware infrastructure for 112 dialysis centers in 28 states. While currently serving as Vice President of Technology Services he provides leadership for an innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment.