Leadership & Staff

Al Lawson

Al Lawson

Chief Executive Officer

Al brings more than 15 years of healthcare management expertise to HealthSouth Western Hills and holds a master’s degree in management-healthcare administration. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and on the board of the West Virginia Hospital Association. Al holds a juris doctor degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Rao

Kalapala Rao, M.D.

Medical Director

Dr. Rao joined HealthSouth Western Hills in 1993. He is board certified in both physical medicine and rehabilitation and internal medicine. Dr. Rao is a 1976 graduate of Rangaraya Medical College, Vijayawada University Health Science, in Kakinada, AP, India.

Kalapala Rao, M.D. is an independent private practice physician whose office is located at the hospital.

Lynn Bessett

Lynn Bessette, RN

PPS Coordinator

Lynn Bessette has been an employee of HealthSouth Western Hills for seven years. In that time she has served in the roles of staff RN, Charge Nurse, Nurse Supervisor, Interim Nurse Manager, and recently transferred into the PPS Coordinator position. Lynn holds an Associates’ Degree of Nursing from West Virginia University at Parkersburg and has over 22 years experience as a Registered Nurse.

Jessica Walkup

Jessica D. Gum, CPA

Area Controller

Jessica joined HealthSouth Western Hills in December 2011. She has more than 10 years experience in accounting. She graduated from West Virginia University of Parkersburg with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. She successfully passed her certified public accountant exam in 2008 and is licensed to practice in West Virginia. She is a member of the West Virginia Society of CPAs and a member of the American Institute of CPAs.

Tonda Hockenberry

Tonda Hockenberry

Chief Nursing Officer

Tonda joined HealthSouth Western Hills in April 2010. She has served as a nurse, interim nurse supervisor and case manager. Tonda accepted the nurse manager position at Western Hills in July 2013 and was promoted to chief nursing officer five months later. Prior to HealthSouth, her previous work experiences were in long-term care and sub-acute care where she had many roles that included unit manager of the vent unit, staff development, ADON and DON. Tonda began her nursing career as a CNA in 1986 and obtained an associate’s degree in nursing in 1999. She also received a bachelor’s degree in organizational development in July 2013. Tonda currently holds a certification in Six Sigma and is certified to perform midline catheter placements and to teach State Tested Nursing Assistant classes in Ohio and West Virginia.

Rene Ingraham

René Ingraham

Patient Assess Standards Coordinator

Rene’ brings more than 26 years of nursing experience to her role at HealthSouth Western Hills. She has been employed by HealthSouth Western Hills since 2011 serving in nursing supervisor and nurse manager roles. She moved into the patientassessment coordinator position in January 2018. Rene graduated from Hocking College with an associate degree in nursing.

Michelle Lowers

Michelle Lowers, MS, LSW

Director of Care Management

Michelle has been employed at HealthSouth Western Hills since 2006. She has worked in the field of social services for 17 years. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in social work and a certificate in women’s studies from West Virginia University she began her career as a licensed social worker. Michelle also holds a master’s degree in strategic leadership from Mountain State University.

Anna Matheny

Anna Matheny, MSN, BSN, RN

Business Development Director

Anna has worked at HealthSouth for 11 years. With more than 23 years of success in the healthcare industry, Anna has been a leader with a combined skill set consisting of strong business acumen and first-hand knowledge and understanding of how patient care is delivered and translates into results oriented strategies that impact the bottom line. She is a highly organized, effectual team player who empowers her staff and encourages innovative approaches and out of the box thinking that fosters both camaraderie and growth. Anna has proven experience as a leader of change in a very fast paced matrix environment. She is a hands-on leader with a proactive approach that focuses on execution.

Becky Olbers

Becky Olbers, B.A., M. Ed.

Director of Quality and Risk Manager

Becky has been employed at HealthSouth Western Hills since July 2002. Becky worked 17 years in the mental health field as a case manager, mental health therapist, quality and risk manager and was a director of an adolescent and adult crisis stabilization program. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Ohio University and completed her master’s degree in education, specializing in community and agency counseling from Ohio University.

Cami Smith

Cami Smith, PT

Director of Therapy Operations

Cami joined HealthSouth Western Hills in September 2017 as director of therapy, previously serving as a staff physical therapist at the hospital from 2006-2013. She has management experience in long term skilled setting as well as treating physical therapy experience in home health and outpatient therapy. Cami graduated from University of Kentucky in 2006 with a master’s degree in physical therapy and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. In addition, she has extensive dementia care training, receiving PAC certification in 2017.