Senior Management Team

Michael S. McDonald, Jr. – Chief Executive OfficerMichael S. McDonald Jr.

Michael S. McDonald Jr., began his healthcare career at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia where he worked for eight years with roles in the clinical departments and as the facility COO. His first role with Friends Hospital was a Mental Health Technician, and his experience in direct patient care continues to shape his patient centered leadership philosophy today. In 2009, Michael moved from Friends Hospital to CEO roles in the southern United States, before coming back to Friends as CEO in 2016. Through his own history at Friends Hospital, Michael knows that the Friends name has been one of quality and tradition. His work as CEO is to continue to enrich and grow the excellence in clinical behavioral health care provided to the Philadelphia community.

Autumn DeShields, Interim Chief Nursing Officer

Peter M. Vernig, Ph.D. – Chief Clinical and Innovation Officer

Peter M. Vernig, PhD, Interim Director of Clinical ServicesDr. Vernig received his doctorate in clinical psychology from Suffolk University in Boston, where he focused his studies on substance misuse, behavior change, and acceptance-based behavioral interventions. He is a graduate of the clinical psychology internship program at Friends Hospital, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Anxiety Treatment Center of Austin. Dr. Vernig is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, and is a Registered Health Service Psychologist. He has worked in a wide range of clinical settings, including community mental health, homeless services, residential programs, therapeutic camps, inpatients facilities, and the VA. He is a member of the clinical faculty at Drexel University’s College of Medicine and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In his role at Friends Hospital, Dr. Vernig is responsible for supervising the clinical services departments, including social work, psychology, expressive art therapy, peer support services and spiritual care. He works with the staff and students of these departments, alongside the medical and nursing departments, to implement interventions which are individualized, evidence-based, and recovery-focused. Dr. Vernig also oversees research and quality-improvement projects involving healthcare innovation in collaboration with Friends Hospital’s academic partners.

Tyler Sturgeon, MBA, CPA – Chief Financial OfficerTyler Sturgeon

As the CFO of Friends Hospital, Tyler is responsible for the financial operations of the organization and serves as a strategic partner and advisor to the CEO. He joined Friends Hospital in June of 2015, and was previously the Controller for Tulane Medical Center, an HCA affiliated hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. Prior to that he spent several years with HCA’s Internal Audit department in Nashville, Tennessee. He received both his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and MBA at the University of Tennessee, and is additionally a licensed CPA.

Vance Barto – Regional Plant Operations DirectorBarto

Vance assumed a regional role at Friends Hospital in November 2010. In this role, he oversees numerous departments including facility maintenance, housekeeping and landscaping of the facility’s 100 acre campus. Additionally, Vance manages and serves as the liaison between architects, engineers and general contractors on all construction projects ensuring that Friends Hospital meets all necessary codes and requirements. Vance also serves as the Hospital Safety Officer. Prior to adding Friends Hospital to his regional responsibilities, Vance was employed by ServiceMaster Management Services where he was awarded the ServiceMaster PRT Award in recognition of outstanding operational achievement. Vance’s engineering background stems from his training in the U.S. Navy as a machinist mate aboard a nuclear submarine. In this capacity he acquired several Naval Engineering Certificates and four Letters of Commendation.

Kevin Williams – Regional Director of Support ServicesWilliams

Kevin has held various leadership positions with hospitals in the region since 1985 including serving as the Director of Human Resources and the Director of Support Services for the KeyStone Center. He was promoted to the Regional Director position in 2011.

At Friends Hospital, he provides oversight for the Food Services Department, including supervision of dietary staff and registered dieticians. Kevin focuses on delivering high quality and nutritious meals with a focus on patient satisfaction.

Dana Bachman, RN – Director of Utilization Management & Special ProjectsDanaBachman

Dana came to Friends Hospital in 2013 after several years at Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital where she was Director of Assessment, Referral, and Utilization Review. Dana is a senior leader with combined administrative and clinical skills maintaining a patient-centered focus in her work with a unique perspective to these multifaceted leadership roles. Her main goal is to help facilitate a smooth transition for patients throughout the care continuum —from admission to discharge. Dana’s experience includes psychiatric inpatient nursing and oversight of the entire level-of-care assessment process from evaluation to utilization — including interface with external reviewers and payors.