Get to Know Our Leadership
Kevin McGee, R.N., MHA
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. McGee has an extensive 40-year career working in the behavioral health field, predominantly in large hospital systems. He has held numerous positions and roles in the behavioral health industry, including Nursing, Risk Management, Performance Improvement and Leadership. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of South Florida.
Mr. McGee has extensive experience in program and system development, staff/resource allocation and development and state/federal regulatory and accreditation standards. Mr. McGee joined Universal Health Services, Inc. 6 years ago to share his leadership skills and mentor leaders in UHS facilities. Prior to joining Universal Health Services, Mr. McGee with the Director of Behavioral Health for a multi-campus facility in Tampa Bay, FL and Chief Nursing Officer in a forensic state hospital in South Florida
Throughout his career, Mr. McGee has had the privilege to provide leadership, and impact quality care by supporting families and patients in mental health services.
Chief Nursing Officer
Maryfrances Watchous brings over 30 years’ experience as a psychiatric nurse to her role as Chief Nursing Officer.
Prior to joining Friends Hospital she worked primarily in inpatient settings in PA, MA, KY and TN. A native of southeastern Pennsylvania most recently worked as a manager within a behavioral health network working both in both the Bethlehem and Quakertown campuses for the past 22 years.
She is known for her commitment to quality and compliance and transformational leadership style motivating nursing staff to use evidence based practices to help patients have excellent outcomes. She has extensive knowledge of quality measures and performance improvement initiatives in the behavioral health nursing.
In her current role Maryfrances oversees the entire nursing staff, infection control the lab and educator.
She graduated from St Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing and received her BSN and MSN in Nursing Administration from Moravian College.
Elizabeth W. Uffner
Director of Business Development
Elizabeth (Liz) Uffner started her career at Friends Hospital in 2001. She has held many positions at Friends from Mental Health Technician to Court Coordinator to Director of the Crisis Response Center, all contributing to her wealth of behavioral health knowledge and awareness of resources.
In her role as Director of Business Development, Liz leads the coordination and implementation of Friends Hospital’s strategic marketing plan. She drives the execution of a comprehensive organic growth strategy. As a senior leader, she is responsible for increased revenue through census development, identifying potential clients, cultivating relationships, and expanding existing customer opportunities. Liz serves as the primary contact or spokesperson for the hospital related to media and public relations, and community outreach. She has a proven track record of maintaining effective partnerships with internal and external stakeholders. Liz manages of team of individuals who work closely with other providers ensuring proper and efficient access to care and education of serves offered.
Dr. Peter Vernig
Director of Clinical Services
Dr. 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.
Director of Human Resources
Danielle Jervis joined Friends Hospital as the Assistant Director of Human Resources in April 2016 and was promoted to Director of Human Resources in 2018. Prior to joining Friends, Danielle spent seven years in progressively responsible HR roles at The Horsham Clinic. Danielle holds a B.A. from Arcadia University and an M.S. in Human Resource Development from Villanova University.
Emily Kawski-Allard, MSS
Performance Improvement Director
Emily Kawski is a seasoned healthcare executive who has held leadership positions in multiple organizations serving behavioral health consumers and providers. She served in multiple roles at the Livengrin Foundation including the Director of Quality Assurance and the Vice President of Patient Experience. In this capacity, she oversaw strategic quality and compliance initiatives for a large, multisite system which provides residential and outpatient care to people living with substance use throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. While working at FSSolutions, Ms. Kawski worked with providers across the United States to implement high-fidelity monitoring of state-sponsored impaired professional programs. At Friends Hospital, she collaborates closely with the CEO and the other members of the senior leadership team to ensure compliance with state, Joint Commission, CMS, and payer standards while managing the ongoing performance monitoring and improvement activities for all departments. Outside of Friends Hospital, Ms. Kawski serves on the Advisory Committee at La Salle University, where she holds a faculty appointment. She holds a bachelor’s degree from La Salle University, and a Master of Social Service from Bryn Mawr College.
Director of Plant Operations
Vance has been employed at Friends Hospital since January 2017. Prior to Friends, he served as the Director of Plant Operations at Fairmount Behavioral Health System from 1997-2011. In 2011, Vance was promoted and served as the Regional Director of Plant Operations, overseeing the physical plant and construction operations at both Friends Hospital and Fairmount Behavioral Health System. Vance also served as the hospital safety officer at both facilities to ensure the safety of all patients and employees. He has completed 10 successful JCAHO inspections.
Throughout his tenure, he has overseen the departments of maintenance, housekeeping, dietary, security, grounds, communications and transportation.
During all major and minor construction projects, Vance manages and serves as the liaison between architects, civil engineers, mechanical engineers and general contractors on all projects assuring buildings meet codes (AIA, NFPA, etc.) and company guidelines/regulations. Vance has been a member of the NFPA for over 20 years.
Prior to Fairmount, 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 for his tireless dedication while onboard the USS Sunfish.
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Medical Officer