Alexandria Lueth, CPA
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Alexandria Lueth, CPA, began her career at CentraCare in 2012 as the Chief Financial Officer and was subsequently selected by the Board of Directors to become the Chief Executive Officer of the organization in 2015, a role in which she continues to serve with distinction. During her time with CentraCare, Alexandria has been pivotal in the organization’s ability to successfully deliver exceptional, coordinated care for frail elderly adults in an otherwise complicated healthcare system.
Educationally, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Hope College in 2005 and is working toward a Master of Health Services Administration Degree from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan with an anticipated completion date in 2018. She also obtained her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation in 2006.
Prior to coming to CentraCare, Alexandria had a successful career as a financial auditor with Plante Moran. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo, The Friends of Portage Senior Center, and the PACE Association of Michigan, functioning as the Treasurer for the latter two organizations. Additionally, she has been a speaker at National PACE Association Conferences on multiple occasions.
Chief Strategy Officer & Director of Marketing/Enrollment
Laura Ferrara, CHC, CHPC, began working with CentraCare on a contractual basis in 2009 and joined the CentraCare Executive Team in 2015 on a full time basis where she currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer and Director of Marketing and Enrollment. In this role Laura works closely with the CEO to articulate and implement the strategic plan of the organization, build new partnerships, and give oversight to all functions related to strategy, business development, marketing and communications. With an extensive background in acute and post-acute health care settings for over twenty-five years, she is a leading expert in the areas of health care corporate compliance, quality improvement, and operations. Laura’s background in consulting and working with a variety of healthcare providers to evaluate the effectiveness of their compliance and performance improvement standards as well as achieving operational efficiencies makes her an extremely valuable asset to the work at CentraCare.
She earned an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from New York University and a Bachelor of Health Care Science Degree from the University of Phoenix. Additionally, she is certified in Healthcare Compliance as well as Healthcare Privacy Compliance through the Health Care Compliance Association.
She also currently coordinates a collective marketing initiative for four PACE programs regionally, serves as the Chair of the National PACE Association (NPA) Regulatory Compliance Subcommittee, is a member of the NPA Quality Improvement Committee, and is a member of the NPA Public Policy Committee. Laura is also a frequent speaker at various conferences including the National PACE Association Annual Conference and the National PACE Association Spring Quality Symposium.
Debra Beard, MD
Primary Care Physician
Debra Beard, MD, serves as a clinic Physician at CentraCare in Battle Creek. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in 1983 and her medical degree at Wayne State School of Medicine in 1988. Upon completion of her residency in Internal Medicine at Loyola Medical Center in Chicago in 1991, Dr. Beard entered private practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan until 1997. Originally from Battle Creek, Dr. Beard returned to her home town in 1997 and worked in private practice until 2012 at which time she joined the CentraCare team as a clinical physician.
In addition to her clinical responsibilities, she also is involved in onsite training of medical students from the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine through CentraCare’s Longitudinal Clinical Experience program. Dr. Beard is a member of the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, and has been board certified in Internal Medicine since 1991.
Mehmet Ismailoglu, MD
Mehment B. Ismailoglu, MD, serves as the Medical Director for the CentraCare locations in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek. A graduate of Albion College, “Dr. I” earned his medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean school of Medicine in Plymouth, Montserrrat. Upon completion of his residency at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan in 1993, he served in private practice until 2014 when he became the Department of Medicine Section Vice Chief at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital. While in private practice Dr. I also served as the Medical Director for the Calhoun County Correctional Facility, Medical Director for the Calhoun County Department of Public Health, Medical Director of the Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Center, Chief Medical Examiner for Calhoun County, and as a hospitalist at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Battle Creek.
Dr. I joined the CentraCare team in 2016 as a clinical physician and in 2017 accepted the position of Medical Director for CentraCare. In addition to his current responsibilities he is also very involved in onsite training of medical students from the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine through CentraCare’s Longitudinal Clinical Experience program.
Wendell Diggs, PA
Wendell L. Diggs, PA-C, joined the clinical team in 2008 and serves as a Physician Assistant at CentraCare in Battle Creek. Earning his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University in Medicine, Wendell went on to become certified as a Physician Assistant (PA-C) through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Receiving further training in the science of acupuncture, he, in addition to his PA-C responsibilities, is the resident acupuncturist for CentraCare participants both in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.
Wendell is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants as well as the Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants. He also has a longstanding relationship with the Western Michigan University Physician Assistant program serving as a Clinical Preceptor since 1997. Additionally, Wendell is involved in onsite training of first and second year medical students from the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine through the Longitudinal Clinical Experience program as well as training the Internal Medicine, Med-Peds, and Family Practice residents doing their geriatric rotations at CentraCare.
James E. Kursch, MD
Primary Care Physician
James E. Kursch, MD, is a clinical physician at CentraCare in Battle Creek. His education has been expansive and includes studies at Valparaiso University, University of Freiburg, Germany, Concordia Sr. College, Indiana University Northwest and Cambridge University, Cambridge, England. After serving in the U.S. Army, he earned his medical degree from Indiana University in 1977. Dr. Kursch completed his residency at St. Vincent Health Center in Erie, Pennsylvania and went on to complete the Geriatric Fellowship and the Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
He began his medical practice as a private practice partner in Muskegon, Michigan, followed by serving as the Medical Director at University Park Care Center in Muskegon, Michigan and St. Lawrence Dimondale Nursing Center in Dimondale, Michigan. He then went on to become a Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Family Medicine at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine while also serving as a Geriatrician at Sparrow Senior Health Center in Lansing, Michigan.
Over the years Dr. Kursch has held various medical positions in the field of senior health care and has been a presenter at numerous medical conferences and symposiums related to geriatric healthcare. He is a long standing member of the American Academy of Family Practice and joined the clinical team at CentraCare in 2016.
Christina M. Worgess, DNP, MSN, RN FNP-BC, NP-C
Christina M. Worgess, DNP, MSN, RN FNP-BC, NP-C, earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from the University of Detroit Mercy and her Masters of Science in Nursing degree from Michigan State University. She is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center as well as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Additionally, she is affiliated with the Michigan Council of Nurse Practitioners, the American College of Nurse Practitioners, Doctors of Nursing Practice, LLC, Doctors of Nursing Practice Professional Development, Inc, and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
For the past two decades Christina has been involved in direct patient care and is committed to practicing medicine using a holistic approach with an emphasis on continuous patient education. Joining CentraCare’s clinical team in 2016, she is a strong advocate for the frail elderly. Christina is also actively involved in onsite training of medical students from the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine through CentraCare’s Longitudinal Clinical Experience program.
Nicole Roy, RN-BSN
Director of IDT Operations
Nicole Roy, RN-BSN, joined the CentraCare team in 2014 and currently serves as the Director of IDT Operations. Nicole brings to the Executive Team over twenty-five years of nursing and management experience in health care settings and is a Dementia Care Specialist.
A graduate of Spring Arbor University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, she is responsible for directing the overall operations of the Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) which consists of all the medically related professional disciplines within the organization. It is through the IDT that the coordination of care is established and the delivery of exceptional care is delivered for each participant in the local PACE program.
In addition to her technical knowledge and expertise in nursing, throughout her career Nicole has also served as an experienced preceptor, mentor, as well as educator, and she continues to function in these capacities while providing outstanding leadership in her current role.
Director of Finance & Administration
Molly Petersen serves as the Director of Finance and Administration and brings to CentraCare a long history of non-profit work as well as extensive corporate finance experience.
She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a concentration in Finance from Western Michigan University and a Masters of Management Degree with a concentration in Marketing from Aquinas College. She is also a 2004 graduate of Leadership Kalamazoo. In previous private sector roles Molly experienced tremendous success in the financial services industry. While in banking she was a recipient of the distinguished “Award of Excellence.”
Molly turned her experience in finance toward the non-profit sector serving as the Associate Director of Housing Resource Center where annually thousands of individuals were provided services enabling them to acquire and sustain suitable affordable housing. Joining CentraCare in 2017, she currently provides oversight to the areas of Accounting, Quality, Human Resources, Health Data Management, and Technology for the organization. Giving back to the community, Molly is a current board member of the Lakeview Foundation, Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo and MRC Industries.