Dr. Tarek Elsawy
President and CEO

Dr. Thad Schilling
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Luis Ticona
Chief of Population Health & Analytics

Dr. David Gilchrist
Chief of Primary Care

Dr. Louis Jenis
Chief of Specialties

Purnima Vepa Jain
Chief Financial Officer

Linda Coccola
Chief Communications & Administrative Officer

Stephen Knox
Chief Operating Officer

Joseph Ricciardi
Chief Human Resources Officer


Dr. Tarek Elsawy, Reliant Medical GroupDr. Tarek Elsawy
President and CEO

Since joining Reliant Medical Group in 2016, Dr. Tarek Elsawy has overseen system transformation through the implementation of a team-based primary care clinical model married with the establishment of nine new, state-of-the-art medical facilities designed specifically for delivery of team-based care. In 2018 he entered Reliant into a unique joint venture with two regional healthcare companies to open an Ambulatory Surgery Center, providing a lower-cost setting for high-quality surgical care. In that same year Dr. Elsawy negotiated the acquisition of Reliant by Optum, a national healthcare innovation company, which has assured Reliant’s future ability to provide its unique brand of value-based care in its Central and Metro West Massachusetts service area.

Before joining Reliant, Dr. Tarek Elsawy was a physician executive at the Cleveland Clinic, where he was the Vice President of Regional Medical Operations and Affairs. In this role he had direct responsibility for eighteen family health centers, as well as a leadership role in the operation of eight hospitals. At the Clinic, he launched and led operations for one of the nation’s largest clinical integration programs, the Cleveland Clinic Quality Alliance (CCQA). He has also served as Vice President and Medical Director for a 160-physician, multi-specialty group at the Cleveland Clinic. Among his priorities was enhancing care delivery system in both the inpatient and outpatient arenas through seeking ways to decrease length of stay, while enhancing care coordination, patient safety, and medical outcomes.

Dr. Elsawy received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He performed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical Center and engaged in a research fellowship at John Hopkins University. Prior to embarking on his executive career, he spent 10 years in private practice.


Thad Shilling, Reliant Medical GroupDr. Thad Schilling
Chief Medical Officer

A practicing internist, Dr. Thad Schilling first joined Reliant Medical Group in 2014. Dr. Schilling now serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Reliant Medical Group.

His initial leadership work was in Primary Care, with an emphasis on pioneering the transition to team-based care for patients at Reliant. This new model for primary care delivery focuses on patient-centeredness, interdisciplinary teamwork, and achieving key quality and efficiency initiatives. He is currently focused on clinical transformation in Reliant’s specialty practices.

Dr. Schilling earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and performed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham’s and Women’s Hospital in Boston.


Dr. Luis Ticona
Chief of Population Health & Analytics

Dr. Luis Ticona joined Reliant in 2020 as a primary care physician in our Framingham office and became the Medical Director for Medicaid Innovation. Previously, he was the Associate Medical Director of Strategy with the Boston Medical Center Health System.

As Chief of Population Health and Analytics at Reliant, Dr. Ticona helps to build care models and create the infrastructure needed to improve the health status of our patients, particularly in areas of cost efficiency and quality. The Office of Population Health oversees all utilization, quality, and risk management functions; including site-based case managers for our most complex patients, clinical pharmacy, quality initiatives and risk and patient safety.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Ticona completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. While at Harvard University, he also received a Master’s degree from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government.


Dr. David Gilchrist
Chief of Primary Care

Dr. David Gilchrist is a family medicine physician who joined Reliant Medical Group in 2019 as Executive Regional Medical Director and primary care physician at our Neponset St., Worcester office.

Shortly after joining the organization, Dr. Gilchrist took on oversight of Reliant’s Adult Medicine, Pediatrics, Same Day Services, Hospital Medicine and Behavioral Health departments as Chief of Primary Care. Previous to joining Reliant, Dr. Gilchrist practiced and held leadership positions at UMass Memorial Health, and provided addiction medicine care at AdCare and Community Health Link. He is a past president of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians. As a physician who practices Family Medicine, Dr. Gilchrist has a particular interest in helping patients make better lifestyle choices to improve their health and avoid the need for medication.

Dr. Gilchrist received his Bachelor’s degree from Gordon College and went on to earn his medical degree and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, where he also completed his residency in Family Medicine.


Dr. Louis Jenis
Chief of Specialties

Dr. Louis Jenis joined Reliant Medical Group in 2021. An orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Jenis previously practiced at Newton Wellesley Hospital where he was Chief Medical and Innovation Officer. Prior to this position, he cared for patients at the Boston Spine Group and at Mass General Brigham. Dr. Jenis has held numerous leadership roles during his career, including Chief of Spine Surgery and Vice Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at Newton Wellesley Hospital as well as Chief of Spine Surgery and Fellowship Director at Massachusetts General Hospital.

As Chief of Specialties, Dr. Jenis is responsible for overseeing and implementing innovative ways to deliver effective specialty care to Reliant patients. Dr. Jenis also works to promote a positive practice environment for Reliant’s specialty providers.

Dr. Jenis earned his Bachelor’s degree locally at Clark University and went on to the Boston University School of Medicine for his medical degree. He completed his residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and a fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Recently, Dr. Jenis earned his Master of Health Care Delivery Science degree from Dartmouth College.


Purnima Vepa Jain
Chief Financial Officer

Purnima Vepa Jain serves as Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for financial oversight at Reliant Medical Group. Purnima joined the organization as an analyst in 2002. She became the Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis in 2010, where she was responsible for organizing, coordinating and successfully completing the annual operating and capital budgets. In this position, she also performed other financial planning activities including preparing and maintaining short/long-range financial forecast models.

Purnima stepped into the Director of Finance and Business Support role in 2013 during an era when Reliant’s risk portfolio – and the complexity of healthcare finance – was growing rapidly. In this role, Purnima supported the financial due diligence and related efforts pertaining to mergers and acquisitions at Reliant, including the merger of Reliant and Southboro Medical Groups, and Optum’s acquisition of Reliant Medical Group. She became the Executive Director of Financial Planning and Healthcare Analytics in 2018 and joined Reliant’s executive team in 2019. She was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 2021.

Purnima’s extensive experience in financial planning and managed care finance has greatly benefited the organization. A graduate of Brunel University in London, England, Purnima received her Bachelor of Science with Honors (Economics and Business Finance) in 1998, and completed her Master of Science in Finance in 2002 at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She also completed a Corporate Leadership Program for Reliant Medical Group at the Harvard School of Public Health, in 2014.


Linda M. Coccola
Chief Communications & Administrative Officer

As Chief Communications & Administrative Officer, Linda oversees the planning and execution of all external marketing and corporate communications activities. In addition, she oversees the Patient Experience department and various Clinic Support departments. In her role as Chief Administrator, Linda works in partnership with the CEO and the Executive team on planning and implementing strategic initiatives.

Prior to arriving at Reliant in 2007, Linda spent 18 years in healthcare marketing leadership roles, including over 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 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. Linda also spent two years as 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.


steve_knoxStephen Knox
Chief Operating Officer

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 Team (ET). First serving as Vice President of Ancillary Services on ET, he was named Acting Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2015 and took on the role permanently in 2016. In this role, Stephen oversees all Clinical Operations (primary care, specialty care and ancillary care), Information Technology Services, Real Estate/Facility Operations as well as all business development efforts. In addition, Stephen is leading Reliant’s Care Transformation strategy, which seeks to transform our system of care in terms of patient care delivery, efficient operations, and physical facilities.

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 and 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_ricciardiJoseph Ricciardi
Chief Human Resources Officer

Joseph Ricciardi serves as Reliant Medical Group’s Chief Human Resources Officer. Joe joined Reliant Medical Group in 2010 with over ten years of experience in Human Resources. He has built strong relationships at all levels in order to enable the success of Reliant through the implementation and oversight of HR policies and programs in key areas including talent acquisition, employee relations, learning and organizational development, compensation, benefits administration and HRIS reporting.

Joe considers the needs of all employees a priority in order to provide exceptional care to the community in which we serve.

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 completed the Harvard School of Public Health Executive Leadership Program for Reliant Medical Group. He is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management and a Board Member of the Human Resources Management Association of Central Massachusetts.