Management Team

Wesley Durkalski
President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Durkalski became CEO of Sendero Health Plans in September of 2014, after serving as COO since March of 2014. He originally joined Sendero as CFO in February 2012, and helped lead the company through the 2012 launch of its Texas STAR & CHIP products. Later he led the successful implementation of its Federal Marketplace IdealCare products. As COO, Mr. Durkalski repositioned Sendero’s presence in the community, supporting closer working relationships with providers, community partners, and area residents.

Sendero is a non-profit health plan started by Central Health, the Travis County Healthcare District, to coordinate healthcare coverage for those with need in the local community.

Prior to joining Sendero Health Plans, Mr. Durkalski was the Chief Financial Officer for Amerigroup in Austin and San Antonio. During his tenure, he delivered the best performance in the state against budgets and assisted in the turnaround of the lowest performing market in the company. Earlier at Amerigroup, he developed and implemented the company's first successful company-wide provider profiling program, which utilized quality, acuity, and financial data to improve evidence-based care delivery.
Tierra Thomas, MHA
Chief Operations Officer

Tierra Thomas joined Central Health in February 2010 as an Administrative Assistant after relocating from Kansas City, Missouri to Austin, Texas. When Central Health created Sendero Health Plans, Inc., a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Tierra decided to join the new company as a Provider Network Representative. After her assistance with building a Provider Network for the Medicaid and CHIP programs, Tierra moved on to Member Services where she helped build a team to help resolve member and provider concerns. In 2014, she transitioned to Vendor Relations, and gained expertise to obtain the Senior Director of Operations position.

Tierra has a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Administration from Missouri Western, and a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix.

In 2019, Tierra was named Sendero’s Chief Operating Officer. Her performance in all roles have been key in navigating Sendero through the years.

John LaCouture
Chief Compliance Officer

John is an experienced health care lawyer and compliance officer serving the legal, compliance and regulatory needs of health care systems, health plans, academic medical centers, specialty hospitals, life sciences and research institutions and non-profit, mission based entities. John promotes a pragmatic and innovative approach to problem solving by striking the proper balance between operational compliance and mission driven business imperatives.

He served as Chief Legal Officer for Children’s Hospital Colorado, a large multi-campus pediatric specialty system, Vice President of Legal Services at Centura Health, a regional faith based integrated health system, the University of Colorado Hospital and the University of Texas System in addition to private practice and consultancy. In these roles, John worked to refine compliance methodologies, innovative contract and vendor management, and simplify critical legal/risk processes across complex organizations.

John has in-depth and broad based experience with complex health care transactions, provider relations, acquisitions, divestitures, regulated activities, enterprise risk management, litigation, privacy, information security, mergers, contracts and contracts management, procurement, audit, compliance, privacy, data protection, and governmental investigations.

A native of Texas, John spent much of his education and career raising his family in Colorado. His depth and breadth of experience brings considerable practical knowledge and insight to navigate our challenging health care environment.

Highly collaborative and versatile, John thrives supporting those dedicated to improving the quality of and access to reliable health care resources, using innovative strategies like accountable care organizations, value based care models, population health, remote patient monitoring and aligning incentives that focus on healthy communities.

John joined Sendero Health Plans as Chief Compliance Officer in June 2019.
Dr. Robert Allison
Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Allison earned his M.D. from the Florida State University College of Medicine, an M.P.H. in infectious disease epidemiology from the University of South Florida College Of Public Health and a B.S. in chemistry from The College of New Jersey. He received residency training in internal medicine at the Naval Medical Center San Diego and in preventive medicine & public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was a Clinical Research Training Program fellow (2004-5) and a post-doctoral clinical research fellow (2006-8) in the NIH Clinical Center under Dr. Harvey Alter (2000 Lasker Award). Dr. Allison’s fellowship was focused on the epidemiology, natural history and pathogenesis of the hepatitis C virus.

He serves as Associate Faculty in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Teaching Faculty in the preventive medicine residency program and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Translational Medicine. His contributions to and expertise in public health were recognized by election as a Fellow in the American College of Preventive Medicine (FACPM).

Dr. Allison has been actively involved in surveillance and prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the U.S. and globally for much of his career. As an active duty U.S. Navy medical officer, he served as the head of clinical quality for the Naval Medical Center San Diego and its regional healthcare system responsible for 250,000 patients. He was the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) focal point for hepatitis B virus (HBV) control for the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) based in Cairo, Egypt and he studied viral hepatitis-related cancers as a medical epidemiologist in the CDC Division of Viral Hepatitis.

During the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa (2014-15) he served on the CDC Ebola Vaccine Task Force and implemented the Ebola vaccine clinical trial on the ground in Sierra Leone – the fastest vaccine roll-out in history. Prior to joining CDC, he was based in New Delhi, India as a physician-consultant to the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO) for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and measles/rubella elimination programs.

Dr. Allison enjoys running and biking the Lady Bird Lake Trail, paddle boarding Lake Travis, swimming in Barton Springs and SCUBA diving just about anywhere.

Dr. Allison joined Sendero Health Plans as Chief Medical Officer in March 2019.
Elizabeth Barreneche
Chief Financial Officer