Robert Yood, MD
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Chief of Rheumatology

Armin Ernst, MD
President/Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Marc-David Munk
Chief Medical Officer

Eric Buehrens
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President for Business Development

Bruce Plummer
Chief Financial Officer

Linda Coccola
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Deborah Gavron-Ravenelle, Esq.
Chief Compliance Officer

Stephen Knox
Vice President, Ancillary Services

Joe Ricciardi
Interim Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of Employee Relations

 

executive_robert_yoodDr. Robert Yood
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Chief of Rheumatology

Dr. Robert Yood has been with Reliant Medical Group throughout his entire career. After completing his fellowship in Rheumatology at Boston University in 1979, he became the very first rheumatologist to practice at Reliant Medical Group.
In his role as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Yood focuses on fiduciary and executive oversight, strategic planning, establishing appropriate committees, and overall clinical quality. Along with the other members of the Board of Trustees and President and CEO Dr. Armin Ernst, Dr. Yood is responsible for guiding the future of Reliant Medical Group and helping the Clinic achieve its overall goals and vision. Dr. Yood first joined Reliant Medical Group’s Board of Trustees in 1984 and has served as a member of the Board from 1984-1998 and from 2002 until present.

In addition to being Chief of Rheumatology at Reliant Medical Group, Dr. Yood is also Medical Director of the Research Department, which conducts many different drug and epidemiological studies. He has authored or coauthored over 60 published research studies while at Reliant Medical Group. Dr. Yood is also committed to teaching and is Chief of the Division of Rheumatic Diseases and Musculoskeletal Medicine at Saint Vincent Hospital and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

A graduate of Yale University and Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Yood has provided exemplary service to patients and the rheumatology community for many years. Dr. Yood previously chaired the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Committee on Ethics and Conflicts of Interest and the Government Affairs Committee, and he was a member of the ACR Board of Directors. In 2003, he was the recipient of the Paulding Phelps Award, a prestigious award given by the ACR in recognition of outstanding service on behalf of clinical rheumatologists. Dr. Yood was also named Reliant Medical Group Teacher of the Year in 1989 and Researcher of the Year in 1993.


executive_armin_ernstDr. Armin Ernst
President/Chief Executive Officer

As President and CEO of Reliant Medical Group, Dr. Armin Ernst leads a large multispecialty medical group practice that employs more than 2,000 people and serves patients in 20 locations throughout Central Massachusetts. Dr. Ernst joined Reliant Medical Group in March of 2013 from Steward Health Care.

As Vice President of the Medical Business Unit at Steward, Dr. Ernst oversaw 200 providers and 600 employees including all medical specialties, primary care providers, neurologists, pediatricians and office staff. During his career at Steward, Dr. Ernst was also Director of Network Development and Vice President of the Thoracic Service Line. His work at Steward included facilitating the development of an infrastructure prepared to function in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) environment.

Prior to being a vice president at Steward, Dr. Ernst was the Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Brighton, Massachusetts, a tertiary referral center for Steward Health Care and a major teaching hospital of Tufts University Medical School. From 1997 – 2010, Dr. Ernst was Chief of Interventional Pulmonology and Medical Director of the Complex Airway program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. Throughout his career Dr. Ernst has had a strong interest in teaching and research. He is a full professor of medicine at Tufts Medical School and has published six textbooks and over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Ernst has also trained many leaders in Interventional Pulmonology through one of the first dedicated training programs available in the world.

Born in Germany, Dr. Ernst received his medical degree from the University of Heidelberg. He completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, affiliates of Harvard Medical School. Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. Ernst also earned a Masters of Science in Health Care Management from Harvard University.


executive_marc_david_munkDr. Marc-David Munk
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Marc-David Munk has served as the Chief Medical Officer at Reliant Medical Group since 2013. In this role, he has responsibility for RMG’s clinical team, including physicians, advanced practitioners, podiatrists, optometrists, psychologists, nurses and medical assistants. In addition, he leads RMG’s Office of Population Health, clinician affairs, research and teaching programs. Much of Dr. Munk’s work involves the development and implementation of strategies to improve value in healthcare delivery.

Prior to joining Reliant, Dr. Munk was Associate Professor at the University of New Mexico, where he also served as the Executive Medical Director for Quality and Patient Safety. Over the years, he has held progressively influential leadership roles in government, academic medicine, public health and industry.

A board certified emergency physician, Dr. Munk completed residency and fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology from Boston University and a Master of Health Care Management degree from the Harvard University School of Public Health.


executive_eric_buehrensEric Buehrens
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President for Business Development

As Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President for Business Development Eric is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining strategic plans that support the growth and profitability of Reliant Medical Group. His role includes developing new products and services, pursuing new business and strategic partnerships, and leading marketing communications and network development activities.

Prior to joining Reliant, Eric served as the Interim President and Chief Executive Officer for Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital where he initiated and led a strategic planning process to reposition the medical center for success under national and local health care reform.

Eric also served for five years as Beth Israel Deaconess’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In this position, he sponsored the widespread adoption of lean management principles, negotiated key strategic relationships and led the successful implementation of a new strategic relationship with Atrius Health.

As an instructor at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, Eric served the University in multiple capacities. As the Deputy Provost for Administration, he led academic and program planning for the Allston campus, among other responsibilities. He also served as the Medical School’s Executive Dean for Administration and the Associate Dean for Planning and Facilities.


executive_bruce_plummerBruce Plummer
Chief Financial Officer

Bruce Plummer serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Business Development for Reliant Medical Group, Inc. A seasoned financial executive with 25 years of progressive audit and healthcare experience, he provides financial oversight to this $280 million multi-specialty group practice employing over 400 medical practitioners. Mr. Plummer’s financial responsibilities include revenue operations, payor contracting, financial planning and analysis, tax planning and compliance, internal controls and financial reporting. Operational responsibilities include management of the malpractice subsidiaries, business development, Information Services, Facilities, and management of the retail subsidiaries.

During his tenure at Reliant Medical Group, Mr. Plummer has led several key initiatives. Most notably he has restructured the economic and operational terms of the Health Care Services Agreement, implemented a financial turnaround of the Clinic’s pharmacy business, coordinated a complex ownership transfer that increased physician ownership of the Clinic to 100% and executed the divestiture of the Pharmacy business. He also provided oversight of several improvements in collection processes resulting in a considerable increase in up-front collection rates and cash flow.

Before joining Reliant Medical Group, Mr. Plummer provided financial direction and oversight for area healthcare organizations, including Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Centers and Matthew Thornton Health Plan. He has implemented financial turnaround initiatives, led the divestiture of key business units, and has consistently worked to improve the integrity of financial systems and reporting functions.

Mr. Plummer is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and holds a bachelor of science in Business Administration.


executive_linda_coccola

Linda M. Coccola
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

As Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Linda oversees the planning and execution of all external marketing and corporate communications activities.

Prior to arriving at Reliant in 2007, Linda spent 18 years in healthcare marketing leadership roles, including 15 years at The Providence Center, a large regional community mental health center in Rhode Island where she was the Chief Marketing officer. In this role she oversaw all advertising and public relations activities, and internal communication efforts. She also initiated and oversaw the business development function, which was instrumental in the designing and bringing to market new services. During her tenure with The Providence Center, Linda worked with Mental Health Corporations of America educating members about how to develop marketing functions within their non-profit organizations.

Previous to this Linda was the Director of Marketing & Fund Development at Dedham, Mass-based Riverside Community care. In this role she directed the health and human service organization’s marketing communications program, as well its fund development and major giving efforts.

Before entering healthcare marketing, Linda was a public relations account executive for two Rhode Island-based marketing consulting firms where her clients included A.T Cross, Ocean Spray, Simplex, and Bank of New England.


executive_deborah_gavronDeborah Gavron-Ravenelle, Esq.
Chief Compliance Officer

As Chief Compliance Officer, Deb provides leadership, guidance and counsel to our over 2,000 employees regarding Reliant’s corporate compliance program. She is responsible for the development, operation and ongoing refinement of Reliant’s comprehensive HIPAA, compliance and business integrity programs, which are designed to promote an organizational culture that fosters ethical business behavior. These programs provide the basis for ensuring compliance with all federal and state healthcare laws and regulations.

A graduate of Saint Michael’s College and Massachusetts School of Law, Deb first joined Reliant in 2008 as the Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs before being promoted to Director of Compliance and now Chief Compliance Officer. Throughout her tenure, Deb has played a critical role at Reliant by leading the alignment of compliance strategies for numerous growth initiatives.

Deb is extremely active in the community, serving on numerous committees including the Worcester Chamber of Commerce Expo, United Way of Central Massachusetts, Girls Inc. of Worcester, and the Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference. She is also a member of the YWCA Board of Directors.


executive_steven_knoxStephen Knox
Vice President, Ancillary Services

A skilled financial executive, Stephen’s experience on the payer, hospital and physician side of the health care industry make him a valuable addition to Reliant Medical Group’s Executive Management Team. Serving as Vice President of Ancillary Services, Stephen is responsible for leading and coordinating new strategies and ongoing activities that support the growth and profitability of Reliant’s ancillary businesses including Radiology, Laboratory, Same Day Services (including ReadyMED), Rehabilitation Services, Occupational Health, Lakeview Medical (DME), and InStyle Optical.

A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a BS in Health Care Management and an MBA from the University of Hartford , Stephen first joined Reliant Medical Group in 1998 as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis before being promoted to Executive Director of Business Support & Contracting and eventually Vice President of Ancillary Services. Stephen has played an important role in many key initiatives at Reliant, including the acquisition and divestiture of several lines of business, improvements in the capital and operating budget process, and the development of a unique financial reporting system that is used to manage the ongoing operations of Reliant Medical Group.

Before joining Reliant Medical Group, Stephen worked at UMass Memorial Health Care for nine years as Director of Financial Operations. He began his career at Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, working in financial analysis, contracting, and payer relations.


executive_joe_ricciardi

 Joe Ricciardi
Interim Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of Employee Relations

Joseph Ricciardi serves as Reliant Medical Group’s Interim Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of Employee Relations. Joe joined Reliant Medical Group in 2010 with over ten years of experience in Human Resources. He has built strong relationships within all levels of the organization through the implementation and oversight of policies and Human Resources programs in key areas including staffing, employee relations, training and development, performance management, compensation, benefits administration and HRIS reporting. Joe considers the challenge of balancing the needs of employees and protecting and mitigating company risk and liability as his main focus.

Prior to joining Reliant, Joe served as Senior Human Resources Generalist at Deluxe Corporation, Inc. where he was responsible for all aspects of Human Resources functions.

Joe received his Professional Human Resource Certification from Assumption College and is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and the Human Resources Management Association of Central Massachusetts.