Meet the Staff

James West

President & CEO

Mr. West is providing the leadership, direction, and vision for Health First Network, Inc. 

He is a healthcare entrepreneur who has experience starting and building healthcare companies in the areas of diagnostic services, genetics, DME, and care management.  He works to stay in front of innovation and healthcare reform.  Like many other thought leaders, he sees great opportunity for providers in the structural changes that will occur in 2017 and beyond.  He is committed to bringing clear solutions to complicated problems that will enable the provider to flourish regardless of change.


Chuck Trinchitella

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Trinchitella has served as HFNI's Chief Operating Officer since May 2015. He, in collaboration with the CEO and CFO, develops and oversees the long term business strategies of the company.

Prior to that, he served as Sr. Vice President, Business Development for Universal American's ACO Division, Collaborative Health Systems. He also held the following positions within that organization, Sr. Vice President, Business Development, National Region Operations, Medicare Advantage Division; Vice President Regional Sales Manager; and Vice President Sales & Marketing.

Mr. Trinchitella holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of West Florida.


E.L. Roché, Jr.

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Roche is HFNI’s Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for the financial management of day to day operations of the company. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has broad financial experience in healthcare and public accounting.

He proudly holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Accounting from the University of West Florida.


Dr. William Whibbs

Medical Director

Committed to providing quality health care that is truly local, Dr. Whibbs serves as HFNI’s Medical Director. In this role, he is surrounded by a team of professional clinicians all dedicated to assuring health plan members receive first rate care. Working together, they coordinate with network physicians and their staffs to facilitate patient access to the most appropriate resources, identify high risk patients, and implement disease management programs where appropriate.

He is a Board Certified Family Practice physician with over 30 years of practice experience and is also a founding member of the company.


Deborah M. Gant, RN, BSN, MSN

Director of Health Services

Ms. Gant is HFNI's Director of Health Services. She has 24 years of clinical experience consisting of Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Operating Room and Medical/Surgical Nursing.

Her responsibilities consist of directing the daily activities of the Health Services and Medical Management Department, including review, concurrent review, discharge planning, care coordination, quality improvement, case management, population management, and disease management.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in Health Science/Biology, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Florida State University and a Master degree in Nursing Administration from the University of South Alabama.


Jackie Murph

Director, Network Development/Provider Relations/Credentialing

Ms. Murph is HFNI’s Director of Network Development, Provider Relations and Credentialing. She has 25 years of experience in our local health care community. Her knowledge of the healthcare field began at the early age of 18. She grew to become a leader in all areas including insurance billing, provider office management and EMR technology.

She is responsible for recruiting healthcare providers to participate in a health insurance organization’s network of preferred providers. She provides resources, support and direction to providers and their office staff. She ensures optimal provider recruitment, education, and service, completion of plan initiatives, and the establishment of an adequate panel of providers for medical care that meets member geographic needs with cost effective contracts.


Stephanie Allen

Provider Relations Representative

Ms. Allen joined the Health First Network, Inc. team in June 2013. She brings 25 years of outpatient billing, claims and supervisory experience with her. Stephanie’s knowledge of medical office procedures, billing and claims processing enhances the benefit she adds as she works with our Provider Offices under all contracted lines of business in her role as a Provider Relations Representative.


Sharon George

Operations Project Coordinator/Human Resources

Ms. George joined the Health First Network, Inc. team in June 2014. She brings 30 years of experience in business including accounting, operations management and human resources.

Her responsibilities as the Operations Project Coordinator consist of directing and organizing special projects; serving as the main point of contact for guest and vendors and coordinating building maintenance activities. In her Human Resources role, she administers payroll, processes new employees and maintains employee files.


Shelby Villar

Credentialing Coordinator

Ms. Villar joined Health First Network, Inc. in 2007.

She works to ensure that all Health First Network physicians are up to date on their credentials, insurances, Florida licenses, DEA's, and so forth.

Her dedication and attention to detail benefit not only Health First Network, Inc. but also its physicians and the community at large.


Michelle Hamilton

Online Data Specialist

Ms. Hamilton has been with Health First Network, Inc. since July 1999.

Her primary responsibilities consist of managing the company’s online presence - from marketing, website content management, social media publications, monthly email newsletter creation and distribution to web and data analytics. She also provides administrative support to the President & CEO as well as serving as the primary contact for HFNI Shareholders, The Board of Directors and committee members.