Our Team

Executive Leadership

  • Allan Schwartz, MD

    Chief, Division of Cardiology

  • Craig R. Smith Jr., MD

    Chair, Department of Surgery

  • Michael Argenziano, MD, FACS

    Chief, Adult Cardiac Surgery Section

    Michael Argenziano, MD, FACS
  • Emile Bacha, MD

    Chief, Division of Cardiac, Thoracic, & Vascular Surgery

  • Lawrence Beilis, MHA

    Executive Director, HeartSource; Chief Financial Officer, Department of Surgery

    Mr. Beilis is the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for the Department of Surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and the Executive Director of Columbia HeartSource. Mr. Beilis has over 15 years of executive management and expansive expertise in operations management, business economics, and hospital information systems.  He has worked with the HeartSource team for over 10 years. 

    As the Executive Director of HeartSource, Mr. Beilis applies his expertise in developing faculty practice strategies, program management in academic institutions, community hospitals, and private practices.  He has extensive experience in program development, operations, quality management, service line expansion, physician practice management, database architecture and implementation.

    Lawrence Beilis, MHA
  • Frederick A. Ehlert, MD

    Director of Physician Development, Columbia HeartSource

  • Julie A. Fisher, MPH

    Executive Administrator, Division of Cardiology

    Ms. Fisher is the Chief Administrative Officer for the Division of Cardiology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.  She receieved her MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and has over 30 years of experience in academic medicine and hospital administration.  Her areas of expertise and leadership include planning and project management, organization of complex situations, business development, practice acquisition and integration, physician practice management, and information system implementation.

    Ms. Fisher has been involved with Columbia HeartSource for over 7 years.  Her areas of responsibilities with HeartSource include program and services development and management oversight. 

    Julie A. Fisher, MPH
  • Shunichi Homma, MD, MHCDS

    Deputy Chief, Division of Cardiology

  • Paul Kurlansky, MD

    Director of Research, Recruitment and Continuous Quality Improvement

    Paul A. Kurlansky, MD received his baccalaureate degree (cum laude) from Harvard University and received his medical degree from Tufts University Medical School.  He completed his post-graduate training at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York. Dr. Kurlansky is boarded in Surgery, Thoracic surgery and with the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review.

    Dr. Kurlansky is the former Director of Research at the Florida Heart Research Institute in Miami, Florida.  In 2003, he joined the Columbia HeartSource team as the Director of Research, Recruitment and Continuous Quality Improvement.  An Associate Professor of Surgery at Columbia, Dr. Kurlansky is the Associate Director for the Center of Innovation and Outcomes Research.  He serves on the Quality Measure Task Force of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons as well as on the editorial board of several peer review journals, and has published extensively on cardiac surgery and quality outcomes.

    Paul Kurlansky, MD
  • Kevin Lotsis

    Director of Business Development

    Kevin Lotsis is the Director of Business Development of Columbia HeartSource, a cardiovascular healthcare consulting group at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, New York.  As the relationship development professional for the group, Mr. Lotsis applies his sales and marketing expertise to support business and program development throughout the network of Columbia HeartSource affiliate hospitals.

    Mr. Lotsis’ industry experience includes pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and medical devices.  He is an accomplished and highly respected marketing professional supporting a broad spectrum of business strategic planning and business development offerings with an emphasis on exceptional customer service.

    In his role with Columbia HeartSource, Mr. Lotsis is responsible for business development for existing and potential HeartSource opportunities. The Columbia HeartSource project represents the services of a management team that includes senior cardiac surgeons, clinical staff, business managers and administrators, all from the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center (NYPH/CUIMC).

    Kevin Lotsis
  • Susan Schnell, MSN, ACNP-BC

    Director of Operations

    Ms. Schnell earned her Baccalaureate degree in Nursing from University of Delaware and her Master’s degree from New York University where she was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International, as well as honored with the Distinguished Scholar Award.  She has also received national certification as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from the American Academy of Association of Critical Care Nurses.

    With more than 25 years in healthcare, her clinical experience includes cardiac care unit (CCU), cardiothoracic step-down unit and both inpatient and outpatient heart transplant care.  Ms. Schnell is one of few clinicians that have experience with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) from research to commercialization, and was a pivotal member in the development of The Heart Valve Center at Columbia University.  She has been an invited speaker at TVT, TCT, TCT @ ACC-i2 and ACC scientific sessions.  She has also served as a faculty member and consultant for TAVR staff and commercial program development.  As the nurse administrator for the group, Ms. Schnell applies her expertise in cardiovascular program development to support the daily operations of HeartSource.  

    Susan Schnell, MSN, ACNP-BC

Program Development Team

  • Tanya Baskins, RN

    Cardiac QM Specialist

    Tanya has more than 19 years of nursing experience, many of which were involved in the high acuity areas of Interventional Cardiac Catheterization laboratory, Electrophysiology Laboratory, and Cardiovascular Step-Down.  Additionally, she has been actively involved with various performance/quality improvement projects.   

    Tanya is highly experienced and considered an expert in the Cath/PCI and ACTION Registries, as well as highly proficient in multiple database applications and electronic records systems.  She is dedicated to the mission and vision of Columbia HeartSource.

    Tanya Baskins, RN
  • Perla Bernardez

    Data Analyst

    Perla Bernardez received her B.S. in Biology from Stony Brook University and has a background in health care and research. Her passion for Quality Improvement in health care moved her to begin her career with Montefiore Medical Group developing QI tools and analytic reports that tracked the effectiveness of clinical and process improvement changes. She currently serves HeartSource as a Data Analyst delivering reports and insights on affiliates’ growing datasets and databases. 

    Perla Bernardez
  • Emily Guderian, BSN, RN

    Cardiac Quality Manager

    Ms. Guderian has been a registered nurse for 17 years.  Her clinical experience includes: emergency medicine, cardiovascular intensive care, cardiovascular step-down care, cardiac and intensive care, as well as telemetry. Emily has nearly 7 years of data management experience and her expertise includes the nuances of the Adult Cardiac Surgery registry for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.  Additionally, she has experience with the NCDR’s American College of Cardiology registries.  Her role with Columbia HeartSource as Cardiac Quality Management Specialist allows her to support data abstraction, reporting, and analysis, facilitating quality improvement initiatives for our affiliates.

    Emily Guderian, BSN, RN
  • Cindy Kiphuth

    Program Development Coordinator

  • Rachel Logan, ASN

    Cardiac Quality Management Specialist

    Rachel has more than 10 years of nursing experience in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.  Her clinical experience includes Cardiovascular and Cardiothoracic Step-Down Units.  She has also served as a Cardiac Quality Improvement Coordinator managing the NCDR’s Cath/PCI and ACTION Registries, as well as, the Society of Thoracic Surgeon’s Adult Cardiac Surgery Database.  Additionally, she has experience with the ICD Registry.  As a Quality Management Specialist for Columbia HeartSource, Rachel supports affiliates with data abstraction and reporting.

    Rachel Logan, ASN
  • Samantha Nemeth, MA, MPH

    Senior Analyst

    Ms. Nemeth received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from William and Mary and her MPH and Masters in Statistics from Columbia University. With a background in health care management and biostatistics, she enjoys using data to effect meaningful change within hospital processes and clinical care pathways.

    Since 2011, she has worked at Columbia HeartSource and now serves a dual role in both HeartSource and the Center for Innovation and Outcomes Research (CIOR). As the Senior Analyst for HeartSource, Ms. Nemeth applies her expertise in the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS), and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) registry data to developing reports and ensuring data quality. As a biostatistician for CIOR, her extensive experience with these datasets (both structure and definitions) allow for a collaborative utilization of these resources for research purposes.

    Samantha Nemeth, MA, MPH
  • Cindy Smith, RN, Perfusionist

    Cardiac Surgery Quality Management Specialist

    Ms. Smith has been a nurse for almost 30 years and a Perfusionist for 20 of those years. Her Clinical experience is in Cardiac ICU, General ICU, and CTOR. Additionally, she has almost 20 years’ experience in data collection and reporting to the New York State Department of Health and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Her primary focus for HeartSource is training and assisting our affiliates to collect and maintain accurate cardiac surgery data for internal reporting as well as reporting to agencies such as the New York State Department of Health and the Society for Thoracic Surgeons.

    Cindy Smith, RN, Perfusionist