Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare

C. David Huffstutler

Chief executive officer

In February 2011, C. David Huffstutler was named CEO of Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, the leading healthcare provider for El Paso and the surrounding region. Mr. Huffstutler also serves as president of Hospital Corporation of America’s (HCA) Central and West Texas Division and as president and CEO of St. David’s HealthCare, a seven-hospital healthcare system in Central Texas.

Prior to this, Mr. Huffstutler served as CEO of St. David’s Medical Center, which comprises four of the seven member hospitals of St. David's HealthCare, including St. David's Hospital, St. David's Rehabilitation Hospital, St. David's Georgetown Hospital and Heart Hospital of Austin. Before joining St. David's HealthCare in 2007, Mr. Huffstutler served for three years as CEO of Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital in Houston, and prior to that, for seven years in various hospital operations leadership roles in the Houston market for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Before joining HCA, he spent nearly fifteen years in management positions for The Methodist Health Care System in Houston.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Mr. Huffstutler holds an undergraduate degree in healthcare management from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in healthcare from the University of Houston at Clear Lake.

Professionally, Mr. Huffstutler is immediate past chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Texas Hospital Association (THA), the state’s hospital industry group, and also serves on the executive committee. Prior to serving on the THA board, he served as a director of the association’s political action committee, HOSPAC. He is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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Joe M. Hernandez Jr.

Market chief financial officer

Joe Hernandez joined Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare in 2023 as the market chief financial officer bringing close to 30 years of financial, operational, and business management experience to the El Paso market. In his role, he will focus on driving service line growth, strategic planning execution, ACO/MCO alignment, and physician engagement while strategically capturing market share. Before joining Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, Hernandez served as chief financial offer at Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen, Texas, and was the chief financial officer at Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, Texas. 

Hernandez began his career in healthcare in 1994 and has served in various financial roles, including general staff accountant and decision support. He has extensive experience implementing cost accounting, budgeting, financial forecasting, revenue cycle, productivity and dashboard reporting, and other control systems to ensure optimal organizational financial health.

Hernandez earned a bachelor of business administration degree with a concentration in accounting from the University of Texas–Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, in 1990 and a master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix in 2010. Additionally, Hernandez is also Six Sigma Black Belt certified.

He and his wife, Lucy, enjoy spending time with their family and friends.

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Las Palmas Medical Center

Don Karl

Chief executive officer

Don Karl was named chief executive officer of Las Palmas Medical Center in February of 2016.

For nearly two decades, Karl served as chief operating officer (COO) of Las Palmas Medical Center, where he oversaw day-to-day operations and managed many of the hospital’s expansions—including the emergency department and the intensive care unit.

He also spearheaded the opening of the interventional neurosurgery suite, which is dedicated to advanced procedures and he was instrumental in the conceptualization and implementation of new hospital programs, including bariatric surgery and da Vinci robotic surgery. Karl has also helped recruit new physicians to the hospital to advance the hospital’s care capabilities in various fields. Prior to his role at Las Palmas Medical Center, he previously served as CEO of Healthcare Diagnostic Center in El Paso.

Karl began his career in healthcare more than 30 years ago after earning a bachelor of business administration degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He went on to earn his master of business administration from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.

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Christine Walker

Chief nursing officer

Christine Walker was named chief nursing officer (CNO) at Las Palmas Medical Center in January of 2022. Walker brings more than 20 years of healthcare experience in various service lines, including Women's Services, Emergency, and critical care. She previously served as Associate Chief Nursing Officer at St. David's South Austin Medical Center in Austin, Texas.

Walker has also served as the senior director of the Transformation Office at Texas Health Resources in Arlington, Texas. She led system integration, reliable care blueprinting, and patient journey initiatives for the most extensive faith-based, non-profit healthcare delivery system in North Texas.

Walker received a doctor of nursing practice degree from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, in 2016. She also holds a master of science in nursing/master of business administration and a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Phoenix.

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Sharleen Betancourt

Assistant chief nursing officer

Sharleen Betancourt was named assistant chief nursing officer (ACNO) at Las Palmas Medical Center in October 2022. Betancourt brings more than 15 years of healthcare experience in emergency medicine and emergency department management. She previously served as the Director of Emergency Services at a sister facility, St. David's South Austin Medical Center, where she served for 17 years.

Betancourt started her career in healthcare in 2005 as a patient care technician (PCT) at the Emergency Department at St. David's South Austin Medical Center. In 2006, Betancourt received a bachelor of science in nursing at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and continued working as a registered nurse at St. David's South Austin Emergency Department.

She completed her master of business administration in 2018 at her alma mater and was named director of Emergency Services at St. David's South Austin in 2019.

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Del Sol Medical Center

Art Garza

Chief executive officer

Art Garza was named chief executive officer (CEO) at Del Sol Medical Center in January of 2022. Before he arrived in El Paso, Garza served as the CEO of Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, Texas, of which he is a native. His career in healthcare spans almost 30 years with the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and his military service. As an early careerist, Art was a multimodality radiography technologist.

As of 2010, Art has served as a chief operations officer (COO) at three hospitals. His journey as a hospital administrator has led him to North Suburban Medical Center in Thornton, Colorado, East Houston Regional Medical Center in Houston, Texas, and Valley Regional Medical Center in Brownsville, Texas.

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Annie Garcia

Chief nursing officer

Annie Garcia, RN, was named chief nursing officer (CNO) of Del Sol Medical Center in June 2017. Before returning to Del Sol Medical Center, Garcia served as CNO of Methodist Texsan Hospital in San Antonio for the past three years.

In Garcia’s role at Methodist Texsan Hospital, she oversaw the nursing operations of the hospital and was instrumental in the hospital’s efforts to improve nursing engagement, patient experience and quality outcomes, which resulted in a number of recognitions. During her time there, nurse turnover and vacancy rates decreased, while physician satisfaction with nursing care significantly increased.

Garcia began her career in El Paso at Del Sol Medical Center, serving for more than 10 years in several nursing roles with increasing levels of responsibility at the hospital, including administrative director of critical care services, director of telemetry, nursing supervisor and critical care nurse. Garcia has in-depth knowledge of the hospital and is well-known to the nursing team at Del Sol Medical Center.

Garcia earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from New Mexico State University. She went on to earn a Master of Nursing Systems Management from The University of Texas at El Paso.

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