Meet the leadership team behind Gulf Coast Health Care.
People are the key to Gulf Coast Health Care’s excellent care and reputation for dedication, elevated life and heartfelt compassion. Meet the caring, committed professionals who lead our teams and help us deliver a uniformly positive, rewarding experience for everyone in our care. These are true hands-on caregivers with long tenure in caring for seniors.
Brett W. Barnett
Brett Barnett brings more than 23 years of experience with skilled nursing centers/rehabilitation centers. He has held various positions within the profession throughout his career, including administrator for 11 years and director of operations for 10 years. Employed with GCHC since 1999, Mr. Barnett served as vice president of operations since September 2015 and was promoted to President in 2019.
Mr. Barnett worked in retail and mortgage banking prior to health care. He served on the Florida Board of Nursing Home Administrators as chairman and vice chairman for more than 8 years. Mr. Barnett also provided oversight of many of the board’s committees, including the Administrator-in-Training program. He has also owned several businesses.
Mr. Barnett currently holds both a State and Federal Nursing Home Administrator license. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Financial Management and Marketing from the University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) and a Master of Business Administration degree from Samford University. Mr. Barnett also attended the Commercial Credit and Lending Program at Regions Bank.
Chief Financial Officer
Sheryl Wolf brings more than 25 years of experience to her position as Chief Financial Officer of Gulf Coast Health Care. Prior to joining the GCHC team, from 2013 to May 2015, she served as AdCare Health Systems, Inc.’s vice president, controller and chief accounting officer and later as senior vice president and principal financial and accounting officer. From 2011 to 2013, Ms. Wolf served as consulting director of The Intersect Group Finance Transformation Practice. From 2009 to 2011, she served as vice president of finance of Fresenius Medical Care. From 2005 to 2008, she served as senior vice president and chief accounting officer of Feldman Mall Properties, Inc. From 1991 to 2005, Ms. Wolf served as vice president and controller of Brookdale Living Communities, Inc.
Ms. Wolf has a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Aurora University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Northern Illinois University.
Director of Operations – Pensacola Region
Matt has 19 years of experience in the health care industry holding various operating roles. Viewed as a forward-thinking leader, Matt is best known for his passion, energy and embodiment of GCHC’s culture. Matt inspires his team to think differently, believe and deliver beyond what others think is possible.
He has both a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Auburn University at Montgomery where he played baseball for three years. He is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in both Florida and Georgia.
Matt lives in Gulf Breeze, Florida with his wife Angela and their three children. Away from work, he enjoys outdoor activities and is involved in the community as a youth football, basketball and baseball Coach.
Director of Operations – Eastern Region
Alex Terentev brings 16 years of experience with skilled nursing centers. During his 13-year career with Gulf Coast Health Care he worked as an administrator at various centers throughout the state of Florida until he was promoted to Director of Operations in 2013.
Alex served as treasurer prior to his current role as president of the Florida Health Care Association. He is known to be a voice in many key networks in long-term care and has been a speaker at the American Health Care Association’s National Convention in 2006, 2008, and 2010. Looking toward the future, Alex is actively working to improve the hiring process for future leaders as a member of the advisory board for the Long-Term Care Administration Program at the University of South Florida and as an examiner for Florida’s NHA Board Exam. Having received the AHCA National Quality Award three times, Alex is also a Master (Gold) Examiner for the award with the American Health Care Association. He holds a Master degree in health care administration.
Director of Operations – Western Region
Kathleen Wesolowski began her health care career in 1982 as a dishwasher in a 240-bed nursing home. Within 6 months, she was promoted to night cook, and then a year later she was promoted to day cook. She went to night school to get her Dietary Manager’s certification and became a CDM in 1985. Ms. Wesolowski received a degree in Health Services Administration in 1991 and became a licensed nursing home administrator the following year. She worked as an administrator for 14 years, including 2 years at Margate Health and Rehabilitation Center, a Gulf Coast Health Care center. During her career as an administrator, Ms. Wesolowski had the pleasure to serve as a preceptor for five students pursuing their NHA license. In 2006, she was promoted to Director of Operations for the Western Region.
Director of Operations – Mississippi Region
Kris Drake is a regional post-acute care operator who works collaboratively with facility teams, regional teams and executive teams to provide exceptional quality care for our residents while meeting and exceeding company goals. He has 18 years of experience in long-term care and has spent the past four years as a regional vice president of 13 Mississippi facilities. As a result, Kris knows what it takes to lead the facilities to excellent clinical outcomes, improved survey results and financial success.
Kris leads his teams by building relationships with their members and providing the support, direction and guidance that enables them to achieve success. He holds a BS in Health Administration and an MBA from The University of Southern Mississippi and is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Mississippi and Florida.
Regional Director of Business Development – Western Region
Regional Director of Business Development – Eastern Region
Laurie Surprise is a regional director of business development at Gulf Coast Health Care. Ms. Surprise’s career spans 33 years in center-based, regional and VP roles in sales, marketing and business development in the senior living and commercial/industrial real estate sectors. Her solution-based passion and focus in the senior living industry center on educating clients and their families of the various levels of skilled and rehabilitation services and the extended lifestyle options available in the market today.
Having navigated through the healthcare and senior living options with her own parents for many years, Laurie knows firsthand the challenges, fears, and questions our seniors and their families experience during these times. Her passion allows her to approach each scenario on a personal level, allowing her to assist patients, residents and families in aligning individual needs with resources available within the community.
“Being able to connect an individual’s needs and lifestyle preferences with accommodations and services they find appropriate, and in line with their ideal desires for years to come, is the most rewarding part of my role. So much so, that it is my pleasure to serve you.”
Regional Director of Business Development – Mississippi Region
Gulf Coast Health Care’s director of business development for Mississippi, Leslie Bucklar is an industry veteran who’s held several different positions and risen through the ranks to her current leadership role. Ms. Bucklar began her career as a receptionist, going on to serve as business office manager, director of marketing and admissions, director of community relations and director of community development.
Ms. Bucklar remains highly active in the community, from membership in the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and American Heart Association to serving on committees for may different organizations and progrtams. She’s also active in her local senior centers and in her church and its activities. She is grandmother to two, a boy and a girl.
Angela Cooper, RN, BSN, RAC-CT
Director of Clinical Services
Angela Cooper is the Director of Clinical Services for Gulf Coast Health Care and has worked with the company for almost 17 years. She is licensed as a registered nurse in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Mrs. Cooper comes to us with more than 22 years of experience in long-term care. She has served as director of nursing, nurse consultant, and director of clinical support services for PointClickCare for Gulf Coast Health Care prior to becoming director of clinical services. Mrs. Cooper works with the nurse consultants, clinical educators, and the corporate clinical from GCHC to handle policy and procedures, oversee electronic medical records, provide survey management and trending/tracking of survey data as well as support any clinical initiatives that are being rolled out to include reducing hospital readmissions.
Mrs. Cooper has her MDS certification (RAC-CT) through the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordinators (AANAC). She received her Associate of Arts in nursing degree from Northwest Mississippi Community College in 1995 and her Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from Delta State University in 1998. She sat on the Mississippi LTC Nursing Coalition and is a current member of the MHCA/Licensure & Certification Committee. Mrs. Cooper currently serves on the Nurse Executive Council, a group of nurse executives advocating for best practices regarding long-term care from across the nation.
Director of Community Integration
Originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Brooke Hicks has called the Gulf Coast of Florida home since moving there in 1996. With more than 15 years in the senior housing industry, she currently holds the role of Director of Community Integration for Gulf Coast Health Care, where she oversees census and strategic development across the organization. She began her career as an admissions assistant at Bay Breeze, later becoming admissions director, before taking a role with Blake Management. In December 2013, she rejoined Gulf Coast Health Care. Ms. Hicks carries an Assisted Living Administrator License with experience in start-up developments. Her level of enthusiasm and professionalism is evident in her work and in every volunteer and community activity she supports.
Finding joy in her faith, family and friends, and in making a difference in her community, Ms. Hicks volunteers with many community organizations—Baptist Women’s Board, MANNA, Pensacola Symphony & Orchestra Guild and Covenant Hospice—just to name a few. She has served on the board for Covenant Alzheimer’s Services and Baptist Women’s Board. Ms. Hicks is also a graduate of Leadership Pensacola (2011), was recognized as one of Pensacola’s “Rising Stars” in 2010, and was awarded the pristine Baptist Hollinger Award.
Director of Clinical Strategic Initiatives
Cheryl Kelsch brings more than 30 years of experience to her position as Director of Clinical Strategic Initiatives. Ms. Kelsch began with Delta Health Group as a rehab consultant, assumed the position as director of PPS in 1996, and the role of Director of Clinical Strategic Initiatives in 2012. Ms. Kelsch has a BS degree in physical therapy from Medical University of South Carolina and has experience in short-term and long-term rehab, sports medicine, home health, education, and management. She has been with Gulf Coast Health Care for more than two decades.
Ms. Kelsch is currently responsible for all resources, education, and overall management for Medicare, managed care, and rehospitalization as well as overseeing contract therapy services. She is integral to the ongoing development of the culture of care at Gulf Coast Health Care, and she derives enjoyment from helping to maximize our centers’ life-enrichment programs and the satisfaction of both patients and associates. Ms. Kelsch emphasizes the development of patients toward their goals through the highest-quality clinical care. She is also tendered as an expert witness in rehab in the state of Florida.
Tommy Hulsey, RN
Director of Risk Management
Tom Hulsey brings more than 27 years of clinical experience to his position as Director of Risk Management for Gulf Coast Health Care. He directs all aspects of risk management for the company. In addition, he serves on the Technology Committee, which directs the use and deployment of technology for the company and assists with all clinical functions for Gulf Coast Health Care.
With over 27 years of clinical experience in acute and long-term care, Mr. Hulsey provides a sound clinical and risk foundation for Gulf Coast Health Care.
Mr. Hulsey is very active with all governing agencies and has an ADN and RN in nursing from Jones College in Ellisville, Mississippi.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Gary Creller, Gulf Coast Health Care’s director of strategic partnerships, is an accomplished business development executive with decades of experience in health care and senior care. Mr. Creller has a BA degree from Depaul University in Chicago and a BS in psychology from LaSalle College in Philadelphia.
A Michigan native, Mr. Creller’s extensive work experience in health care extends across Kansas, Kentucky and Florida, where he has earned several different certifications and acquired and developed a multitude of skill sets that are beneficial to Gulf Coast’s operations and care.
Regional Director of Finance
Ron Davidson is Gulf Coast Health Care’s regional director of finance. He has an MBA from the University of West Georgia, and he earned his undergraduate degree in finance from the University of Alabama. A licensed SNF (skilled nursing facility) and ALF (assisted-living facility) administrator since age 22, Ron has spent his entire career in senior health care. He has also raised capital and partnered with Apple, Lyft, Google and others to bring technology to senior health care centers around North America.
Ron and his wife, Bri, have two children. In addition to his passion for leveraging innovative technology and business models to improve resident care, Ron is a man of faith, and loves golf, hunting and fishing.
To contact Gulf Coast Health Care, visit our Locations page to find the number for a specific center near you.