Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Oklahoma City Lines Up Leadership

October 3, 2012

Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Leaders

(L to R) Controller Debbie Bynum,

CEO Sharon Smeltzer,

Medical Director Dr. A.J. Bisson,

Director of Nursing Wanda Meler-Poteet,

and Director of Human Resources Vicky Scaggs

OKLAHOMA CITY – The 50-bed, $22 million rehab facility opening this month in north Oklahoma City will be led by CEO Sharon Smeltzer, who joined Mercy earlier this year, and a team of leaders with vast experience from diverse backgrounds.

Dr. A.J. Bisson has been named Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital medical director. He will oversee therapy programs and clinical care of patients. Bisson has more than twenty years of experience, having completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He’s certified by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Bisson earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and his medical degree from The University of Oklahoma.

Debbie Bynum has been named controller. She will direct the financial activities for the hospital, including guiding economic objectives and policies, and forecasting income, expenses and overall budgets. Bynum, a certified public accountant, comes to Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital after serving as controller for True Energy Services in Ada, Okla., where she managed accounting and payroll for nine companies. She received her bachelor’s in accounting from The University of Oklahoma.

Vicky Scaggs will serve as human resources manager, focusing on personnel and staffing for the hospital. She has 16 years experience in human resources, including her most recent role as human resources manager for U.S. Foods, where she managed HR for 250 employees. Scaggs earned a bachelor’s in human resources management from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Zach Schmidt has been named director of business development focusing on patient admission processes and physician referrals. Schmidt has eight years experience in health care operations and sales, including serving as business operations manager at Baylor Surgicare in Mansfield, Texas. He graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in business.

Wanda Meler-Poteet, registered nurse, has been named director of nursing. She will oversee the clinical operations of the rehabilitation staff, including customer service standards, safety and quality. Meler-Poteet has 20 years of experience in nursing, most recently serving as interim director of nursing at INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing and her Master of Science in nursing from The University of Oklahoma.

Paula Saxon, who has served as Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City’s rehab therapy manager and occupational therapist for the past 10 years, will serve as therapy manager. Saxon will develop programs at advanced skill levels to treat stroke, and spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. She will also supervise operational functions such as staffing, setting and achieving patient safety goals, providing opportunities for continuing education for co-workers as well as ensuring Mercy service standards, mission and values are met and upheld. Saxon has 33 years of experience as an occupational therapist, specializing in stroke rehabilitation. She most recently served as rehab therapy manager at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City. Saxon earned her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy at The University of Oklahoma. She is NDT-certified by the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association, and is a member of the Oklahoma and American Occupational Therapy Associations.

Carrie Tracy has been named director of continuous quality and process improvement. She will work closely with clinical co-workers to prevent adverse events at the hospital, such as falls and infections. She will oversee the processes and models of care being followed at the hospital, review outcomes and make necessary adjustments to ensure the best possible patient care. She will also direct health information management efforts, infection control and ongoing clinical education for co-workers. Tracy has ten years experience in rehabilitation health care, having served most recently as a nurse manager in Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City’s 32-bed rehabilitation center, which is moving to the new hospital. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Arts in organizational dynamics from The University of Oklahoma.

The hospital, designed for private, individualized rehabilitative patient care, will open under a partnership between Mercy and Centerre Healthcare, a national provider of inpatient acute rehabilitation services.

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 300 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,700 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

Centerre Healthcare Corporation is a national provider of inpatient acute rehabilitation services, dedicated solely to partnering with medical centers to complement their healthcare continuum through joint development and operation of acute rehabilitation hospitals and units. In 2011, Inc. Magazine placed Centerre in the top 15% of its annual ranking of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America. In 2009, 50 percent of Centerre Healthcare facilities ranked in the top 10 percent of 805 inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) that qualified to be ranked in the IRF database of Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR); a ranking which provides a measure of the company’s quality clinical outcomes. For more about Centerre, visit


Story Covered By

Media Contacts