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Northside Hospital
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mins

Senior Leadership

Dia Nichols, FACHE

Dia Nichols, FACHE

Chief Executive Officer

Dia Nichols, FACHE, has led Northside Hospital as the Chief Executive Officer since June of 2013. Dia has held multiple executive level positions in HCA since joining the company in 2001. His tenure includes serving as CEO of John Randolph Medical Center (Hopewell, VA); Chief Operating Officer of CJW Medical Center (Richmond, VA); Chief Operating Officer of John Randolph Medical Center (Hopewell, VA), and as Associate Administrator of West Florida Hospital (Pensacola, FL).

Dia received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from South Carolina State University, and his Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the National Association of Health Services Executives. In 2012, he was named an “Up and Comer” by Modern Healthcare Magazine. He was also named as one of the Richmond, Virginia area’s Top 40 Under 40, as well as one of Richmond Magazine’s Top Healthcare Leaders Under 40.

Dia is active in the community, serving as a Board Member of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, as well as serving on the Executive Cabinet for the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.


Peter Kennedy, MHA, FACHE

Peter Kennedy, MHA, FACHE

Chief Operating Officer

Peter joined Northside Hospital from Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, TN, where he served as the Associate Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining the Centennial team, he worked with HCA Virginia at Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospitals (CJW) in Richmond, VA. He joined HCA in June of 2013 from Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems (VCUHS) MCV Physicians, where he held the position of Associate Administrator of Business Development, focusing on community alignment and physician engagement.

Born in Salt Lake City, Kennedy received his bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix and his Masters of Health Administration from VCU Medical College of Virginia campus.


Gary Searls

Gary Searls

Chief Financial Officer

Gary Searls is currently the Chief Financial Officer at Northside Hospital and has been in hospital accounting and finance with HCA since 1994, holding various positions providing leadership to Supply Chain, Utilization Management, Health Information Management, IT&S, Patient Access, and Finance.

While at Northside, Gary has improved Length of Stay by implementation of a staffing model, oversight of key indicators and action plans, implementation of Hospitalist and guiding MEC for action. He also improved the Medical Record department functions including: delinquent charts, timelines of dictations, improved assemble and much more.

Gary earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business Administration at the University of Central Florida and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Phoenix in Tampa, FL. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and an active member of Healthcare Financial Management Association and Rotary.

Gary is an active cyclist and has run many half marathons and marathons.


Ira Siegman, MD

Ira Siegman, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Ira Siegman, MD, has served as Chief Medical Officer at Northside Hospital since November of 2013. Dr. Siegman has over 10 years of medical administrative experience, and in his previous job, served as Vice President of Medical Affairs at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital. Prior to a career in medical administration, Dr. Siegman practiced cardiothoracic surgery for 12 years in the Tampa Bay Area at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, Brandon Regional Hospital, and Tampa General Hospital.


Joe Schlagheck

Joe Schlagheck

Vice President, Business Development

With 25 years in hospital senior leadership experience in the Tampa Bay area holding various administrative positions at Palms of Pasadena Hospital and the last 12 years with Northside Hospital. Joe's current position is Vice President of Business Development and provides support for Facility recruitment, physician contracting and oversight of the Graduate Medical Education program.



Tammy Rodriguez

Tammy Rodriguez

Vice President of Human Resources

Tammy came to Northside Hospital from Henrico Doctor's Hospital in Virginia, where she was the Director of Human Resources for almost six years. She has over 10 years with HCA in Human Resources and has served in a variety of roles throughout the organization. Tammy received her Bachelor's Degree in Management and Human Resources from the University of Phoenix and her MBA in Healthcare Administration from Western Governor's University.



Courtney Stephenson

Courtney Stephenson

Chief Nursing Officer

Courtney joined Northside Hospital as the CNO in August 2015. Courtney has been with HCA for almost 11 years, starting her career as a Registered nurse at Medical City Fort Worth in 1996. In addition, Courtney has served as a Director of Risk Management and Patient Safety, Vice President of Clinical Services and Interim Chief Nursing Officer during her time in HCA. In 2014, Courtney entered the Executive Development Program and then promoted to Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Medical Center of McKinney where she provided executive leadership support for Nursing Services, Behavioral Health, Education and Specialty Services.

Courtney received her Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Texas Christian University and a Master’s of Science in Nursing Administration at the University of Texas at Arlington. Courtney and her husband, Eric, have two children, Joey and Madison.



Molly Arau

Molly Arau

Assistant Chief Nursing Officer

Molly’s career in healthcare has spanned more than 28 years in positions from bedside nursing to administrative. She specialized in Critical Care for over 22 years and has worked for HCA for the past 17 years. In 2014, Molly entered the Executive Development Program and was promoted to Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Largo Medical Center where she provided executive leadership support for BHU, Rehab, Operating Room and Cath lab. Prior to coming to Northside, Molly was the Chief Nursing Officer at Palms of Pasadena. Her healthcare journey brought her to Pinellas County from other hospitals in Maine and New Hampshire.

Molly’s focus is on individualizing patient care and delivering it in a safe and compassionate way. She is passionate about inspiring and developing new leaders. Molly has been involved with charitable and community organizations including United Way, the American Heart Association and the Diabetes Foundation.



Candace Eden

Candace Eden

Vice President of Quality and Safety

Candace Eden is new to HCA but has worked in Quality, Risk and Safety for the last 19 years, in the State of Florida. Candace joined Northside from Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, where she served in Clinical Research and as the Director of Risk Management. In her 30 year nursing career, she has served in operations for new program development of a cardiac observation and post cath unit, as the Risk and Quality Director for Kaiser Permanente, as the Risk Manager for Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Services at Orlando Health and in various leadership roles for cardiac and emergency care. She received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Central Florida and is a board certified nurse executive and licensed healthcare risk manager. She currently sits on the University of Central Florida nursing alumni board and the Florida Society Healthcare Risk Management & Patient Safety board.