Central Health to hold meet-and-greets with two CEO finalists


One finalist, Vanetta Abdellatif, oversees integrated clinical services for Portland-area health department.

Another finalist, Mike Geeslin, is executive director of the Texas Dental Association in Austin.

Central Health oversees health care services for low-income and uninsured Travis County residents.

The Central Health Board of Managers has narrowed the pool of candidates to fill its president and CEO position to two.

With the help of executive recruitment firm B.E. Smith, the board selected Valetta Abdellatif of Portland, Oregon, and Mike Geeslin of Austin as finalists to run Central Health, the taxpayer-funded hospital district that oversees health care services to low-income and uninsured Travis County residents.

They are vying to replace Central Health’s founding president and CEO Patricia Young Brown, who retired at the end of last year after a tenure of more than a decade. Larry Wallace, the public health organization’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, is serving in the position for the interim.

Central Health will hold meet-and-greets open to the public on Monday for Geeslin and Thursday for Abdellatif. Both events are from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Central Health board room, 1111 E. Cesar Chavez St.

The Central Health CEO will oversee the organization’s partnership with the University of Texas’ newly created Dell Medical School, funded in part by Travis County taxpayers, and lead efforts to redevelop the University Medical Center Brackenridge hospital campus in downtown Austin, among other initiatives.

Young Brown’s salary was $308,692 annually, and her total compensation package including health benefits and contributions to a retirement account was $354,585.86, according to spokesman Ted Burton.

Geeslin is the executive director for the Texas Dental Association in Austin. The association serves members of the dental profession and provides administrative services for its affiliated for-profit and charity subsidiaries.

Previously, Geeslin served as the Commissioner of Insurance for the Texas Department of Insurance for six years.

Geeslin has a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from Texas A&M University, has been trained as a mediator, completed public policy dispute resolution programs and is currently pursuing certification in association leadership.

Abdellatif is the executive director for integrated clinical services with the Multnomah County Health Department in Portland, Oregon. The department contains the state’s largest federally qualified health center, which provides care regardless of ability to pay or health insurance status.

Abdellatif has a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s of public health in health services administration from San Diego State University.

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