• About Gastro Health

    Gastro Health is a medical group made up of the finest physicians and allied health professionals in Florida and Alabama.

    Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Joseph Garcia

Chief Executive Officer

Joseph Garcia is the Chief Executive Officer for Gastro Health. Joseph joined the team in February of 2018 and has a broad range of healthcare experience. Over his career, Joseph has led teams at high growth provider-based healthcare companies.

Previously, Joseph was the Chief Executive Officer at Sage Dental. While at Sage, Joseph oversaw the rapid expansion of the group from twenty to over sixty practices in Florida and Georgia. Prior to Sage, Joseph was the Chief Operating Officer at 21st Century Oncology, which he helped to grow into the largest provider of Radiation Oncology in the United States and Latin America. Prior to Joining 21st Century Oncology, Joseph was a Division Vice President at DaVita. At DaVita, Joseph honed his multi-site experience and recognized the power of culture. Prior to DaVita, Joseph was a Vice President of Operations at Sterling Healthcare, iHealth Technologies and Vivra Specialty Partners.

Joseph has a BSBA and M.B.A from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Leadership Team

Lawrence G. Freni, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Larry is the Chief Financial Officer of Gastro Health, joining the Company in January 2017.  With over twenty-five years’ experience in healthcare, Larry has a proven track record of helping companies grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions.  Previously, Larry was the CFO of AxelaCare Health Solutions, a home infusion company in Kansas that grew to be the 4th largest home infusion company in the country until being sold to United Health Group.  Prior to joining AxelaCare, Larry was the CFO at Jefferson Radiology in Hartford, Connecticut.  Larry started his career at Deloitte & Touche in Boston.

Larry is a CPA and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).  He earned a Master’s in Accounting (MSA) and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University and a B.A. from Middlebury College in Vermont.

Leadership Team

James Leavitt, MD, FACG

President and Chief Clinical Officer

James Leavitt, MD, FACG, a Board-certified gastroenterologist, is the President and Chief Clinical Officer for Gastro Health. Dr. Leavitt graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College. He earned his medical degree from State University of New York–Brooklyn and completed an Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology Fellowship at the University of Miami. He has been in private practice in Miami since 1980. As a founding physician of Gastro Health, Dr. Leavitt has been instrumental in growing the organization from the original four physician practice to the current multistate gastrointestinal platform.

Dr. Leavitt has been the past president of the Florida Gastroenterology Society, has served on the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) practice management committees, as well as serving as two-term South Florida Governor for the ACG. He has twice been named by Becker’s ASC Review to their “Top 100 Gastroenterologists” list.

Leadership Team

Eugenio J. Hernandez, MD

Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Florida

Eugenio Hernandez, MD, is the clinical leader for Florida working closely with the Division Vice President providing strategic and operational support to all its providers and care centers. In addition, he provides physician leadership in clinical governance, compliance, credentialing, business development, and across all ancillary divisions.

Dr. Hernandez began private practice in South Florida in 1998 and is a founding member of Gastro Health. He has served on the executive team as well as on the Board of Directors for Gastro Health for many years. His previous experience also includes the development of clinical service lines and ambulatory surgical centers.

He earned both his BA and MD from Duke University where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine. He completed fellowships in Gastroenterology and Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. He is Board-certified in Gastroenterology and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the FIU Herbert Wertheim School of Medicine.

Leadership Team

Chris Weinstein

Division Vice President, Florida

Chris Weinstein, Division Vice President, Florida is the principal leader for Florida, providing strategic and operational support. She has over 20 years of healthcare leadership and physician practice management experience. Prior to Joining Gastro Health, Weinstein served as Senior Vice President of Operations and COO for a joint venture partnership with Envision Physician Services (Formerly Sheridan Healthcare). Previously, she held progressive management roles for Health Management Associates and U.S. Healthworks. She earned her MBA from Regis University, her BA from the University of Colorado, and is board certified by the Medical Group Management Association as a Medical Practice Executive.

Leadership Team

Frank Manes, CPA

Vice President of Business Development

Frank Manes is the Vice President of Business Development for Gastro Health. He joined Gastro Health in 2016 and is responsible for the company’s growth strategy via mergers and acquisitions, organic growth and new business line development. He obtained his Bachelors and Masters of Accounting from the University of Florida and began his career in KPMG’s audit practice. Frank subsequently was part of the business development team at Mednax, a national medical group, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions of anesthesia practices and pediatric sub-specialty practices. Frank was also a part of Alvarez and Marsal’s Transaction Advisory Group where he advised private equity clients.

Leadership Team

Brad Garlock

Senior Director of Information Technology

Brad Garlock is the Senior Director of Information Technology and Security Officer for Gastro Health.  His academic credentials include a BAS in Business Management and Supervision, a Master’s Degree in Business Management from Nova University, and multiple certifications including Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Certified HIPAA Professional. Prior to joining Gastro Health, Mr. Garlock worked in the Hospitality IT industry for almost 20 years. His career began at the Biltmore Hotel, and he was later promoted to the Director of IT for Seaway Hotels.  At that point in his career, he managed the IT needs for multiple hotels, golf courses and restaurants on a national level. The Gastro Health IT team is dedicated to enhancing the patient experience by providing reliable, secure and sustainable technology allowing the company to continue growth and provide outstanding medical care.

Leadership Team

Pedro Marzocca

Director of Revenue Cycle Management

Pedro Marzocca is the Director of Revenue Cycle Management at Gastro Health. Pedro joined the company in February 2017 and is responsible for overseeing all areas of Gastro Health’s revenue cycle operations, from charge capture, coding, billing, revenue integrity and compliance, to accounts receivable and patient accounting. He is also responsible for developing strategies around operating activities to optimize revenue as well as developing key service and support metrics.

Pedro has over 17 years of experience in healthcare management, including operations, finance, revenue cycle, population management and health information management. Prior to joining Gastro Health, he held leadership positions in companies and health systems such as Humana, Concentra, Methodist Health System and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.

Pedro earned a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and studied Industrial Engineering in Venezuela.

Leadership Team

Mariela Lago

Director of Managed Care and Payer Relations

Mariela Lago is the Director of Managed Care and Payer Relations at Gastro Health. Mariela joined Gastro Health in 2011 and is responsible for the strategy and execution of contracting with insurance companies, networks and payers. In addition, she is also responsible for marketing, branding and corporate communications. Mariela has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and has over twenty five years of experience in the healthcare industry. She started her managed care career in South Florida in 1988 and held various management positions in companies such as: PCA, United HealthCare, WebMD, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and AvMed Health Plans.

Leadership Team

Ana Pardino

Director of Human Resources

Ana Pardino is the Director of Human Resources at Gastro Health. Ana joined Gastro Health in 2011 and is responsible for all recruitment, hiring, employee relations and training & development. She has over 25 years of experience in Human Resources, with a primary focus in professional development of employees, employee relations and policy development and implementation. Ana has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and has experience in various industries, such as healthcare, banking, construction, and professional management. Ana also has advanced certifications in presentation skills, developing policies and procedures and behavioral interviewing.

Leadership Team

Kenneth Duarte, CPA


Kenneth Duarte is the Controller of Gastro Health. Kenneth joined the company in July 2017 and is responsible for the accounting and financial reporting operations as well as the company’s control environment. He began his career at the global public accounting firm Ernst & Young and provided financial due diligence, advisory and external auditing services to clients ranging from large public companies to privately held companies across a variety of industries. Subsequent to his time in public accounting, Kenneth also led multiple accounting and finance functions at a multi-national transportation company with operations across the Americas and the Caribbean.

Kenneth is a licensed CPA in the state of North Carolina. He earned a Master’s degree in Accounting (MSA) from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Florida International University.

Leadership Team

Eric G. Mendez, BSc, HT (ASCP)

Director of Pathology

Eric G. Mendez joined Gastro Health, LLC as the Laboratory Director in 2010 bringing with him experience in laboratory design, construction and management within the healthcare industry. Mr. Mendez’s responsibilities encompass overseeing all of Gastro Health’s pathology laboratory operations, safety and quality control programs to maintain the company’s high standards of laboratory excellence on a local, state and national level.

Prior to joining Gastro Health, Mendez served as a Lead Technologist at Aurora Diagnostics: Mark and Kambour, LLC. In his career in academia, Mendez has worked as part of research teams at Georgia’s Institute of Technology, University of Miami’s Neurosurgery Department and the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia. Mendez graduated Cum Laude from Barry University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a specialization in Histotechnology.

Leadership Team

Jorge Rodriguez

Director of Pharmacy Services

Jorge Rodriguez brings a wealth of pharmaceutical experience in domestic and global marketing, marketing research, sales and trade distribution to the Gastro Health Specialty Pharmacy. As Director of Pharmacy Services, he is responsible for managing the business side of the pharmacy, including the management of all pharmaceutical and distribution contracts. His therapeutic expertise covers a wide range of disease states.

Most recently, Mr. Rodriguez was president of J & R PharmaResources, Inc., a pharmaceutical consulting firm that specializes in sales, marketing, commercial development, managed care access programs and acquisitions. Prior to that position, Mr. Rodriguez served as Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of PediatRx Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on pediatrics and oncology.

Mr. Rodriguez was also Director of Business Development for Oncology Therapeutics Network/Onmark where he managed contracting and marketing services for Amgen, Genentech/Roche and Celgene. He has also served as Senior Director of Marketing and Regional Sales Director for First Horizon Pharmaceutical Corporation, now Shionogi, Inc. In the latter position, he led the turnaround of the cardiovascular business unit increasing sales over $150M.

Jorge began his career with Pfizer/Pharmacia Corporation and during his eight year tenure held a variety of positions in sales and marketing with increasing responsibilities. He is bilingual in English and Spanish and has a BA in Economics from Florida International University.

Leadership Team

Zulma Guillot

Director of Anesthesia

Zulma Guillot joined Gastro Health as Director of Anesthesia in January 2018. Prior to joining, Guillot owned, operated and grew an anesthesia company with over 25 anesthesiologists and 42 CRNAs. After successfully selling that business, she now looks forward to working with Gastro Health and Galloway Anesthesia to build our anesthesia business and platform. She is well connected in South Florida’s anesthesia community and is an excellent asset to our team. Guillot also has operations experience within medical groups and ASCs. She began her career as an orthopedic nurse in Cuba. Zulma holds a BA in Business Administration/Healthcare from American Intercontinental University and a BS in Nursing/Orthopedics from Latin American School of Medicine.