Texas Heart Institute Announces Trio of New Hires Amid Growth

HOUSTON, TX – The Texas Heart Institute has announced three new hires to strengthen its operations across a variety of different internal areas as it continues to grow in a number of ways, most notably following the launch of its burgeoning Texas Heart Medical Group clinical practice in October of last year. Gary Lawera joins THI as Chief Operating Officer of the aforementioned Medical Group; Darin Maxwell joins THI as Controller; and Phuong Nguyen joins THI as Compliance Officer.


An accomplished physician network and integrated health system executive, Lawera steps into the role of THMG COO following nearly 30 years of diverse strategic, operations, and financial leadership experience in large faculty practice organizations, community, and academic medical centers, and with a national faith-based health system. He possesses significant expertise in managing complex physician organizations, stakeholder relationships, practice acquisitions, and post-merger integration; more broadly, Lawera prides himself upon executing transformative change for his clients via knowledge gained from a deep range of industry and management consulting environments. Lawera comes to THI from ECG Management Consultants in Arlington, VA, where he acted as Associate Principal of Performance Improvement – leading operational and financial improvement, as well as management system standardization initiatives. In the role, Lawera oversaw a 200-provider physician network, reporting directly to the system’s CEO, and additionally led the acquisition and operational integration of a cardiovascular group for a prominent system in the Southwest.


A veteran of the CHI St. Luke’s (formerly St. Luke’s) health system since 1996, Darin Maxwell transitions to the Texas Heart Institute, where he will serve as Controller. Maxwell boasts considerable accounting, analytical, and budgeting acumen, having served in a number of different financial roles at CHI St. Luke’s. Most recently, Maxwell served as its Lead Analyst, a role in which he oversaw $900 million annual budget efforts in conjunction with the hospital’s CFO. He also helped facilitate the financial transformation of the hospital by working to improve its EBIDA (earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization) performance over 25% via a combination of supply management, productivity improvements, and revenue enhancement, which simultaneously bolstered the organization’s capital budget utilization.


Phuong Nguyen, JD, CHC, is a trusted health care lawyer and compliance collaborator who steps into the role of Compliance Officer at the Texas Heart Institute following recent roles at Baylor Scott and White Health in Dallas, TX, including serving as its Director of Regional Compliance. As Director of Regional Compliance for the largest non-profit health care system in Texas, Nguyen oversaw a complex corporate compliance program for 15 different hospitals and associated hospital-based clinics. In totality, Nguyen boasts nearly 15 years of experience working as a skilled expert in the areas of health care laws, regulations, and compliance. Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC), Nguyen received his Law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 2006 and his Bachelor of Arts from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.


“The Texas Heart Institute remains resolute in its commitment to sustainable growth in key areas, including the Texas Heart Medical Group; these three new hires are indicative of THI’s relentless pursuit of the best talent in the health care sphere, and we are confident that each of them will bring a dynamic presence to their respective roles within the Institute’s larger operational structure,” emphasized Howard Schramm, THI’s CAO, CFO & President of the Texas Heart Medical Group. He added, “It is always an exciting time when we are able to bring on new professional leaders, who will no doubt collectively contribute new ways of thinking, innovative solutions, and high-level strategic insight to the Texas Heart Institute.”



The Texas Heart Institute, founded by world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education, and improved patient care. THI’s scientists and physicians conduct fundamental biomedical, translational, and clinical research in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, molecular-based medicine, stem cell and gene therapy, and regenerative medicine both independently and in collaboration with organizations worldwide. As global leaders of patient care for nearly six decades, Texas Heart Institute has been ranked among the top cardiovascular centers in the United States by U.S. News & World Report for the past 30 years. THI is dedicated to spreading awareness and sharing updates on ways to prevent, treat and defeat cardiovascular disease. With over 10 million visitors coming to its website from around the world every year, www.texasheart.org is just one of the ways THI is helping to educate people on the importance of heart health. For more information, please visit https://www.texasheart.org.



Texas Heart Medical Group is a multicultural clinical practice specializing in comprehensive cardiovascular care with a mission to promote wellness and longevity while providing the highest-quality medical care in a sophisticated and welcoming patient-oriented atmosphere. THMG physicians are internationally known for their expertise in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases who practice patient-centered care utilizing state-of-the-art approaches, including non-invasive and invasive procedures. For more information, please visit https://www.texasheartmedical.org.