Executive Team

Donna Hefner, RN, MSHS, BSN

President and Chief Executive Officer

donna hefner, blonde woman

Mrs. Hefner joined Sierra View Local Health Care District over 30 years ago and began her healthcare career as a unit clerk/nursing assistant. She was appointed as the President/CEO in 2013, and her previous roles have included: Senior Leadership oversight of Laboratory, Pharmacy, Respiratory Services, Executive Director of Risk Management and Employee Safety, Interim Vice President of Patient Care Services, Director of Surgical Services/Ambulatory Surgery, staff Registered Nurse in Critical Care, Operating Room, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, and Medical/Surgical. She is a native of Tulare County and has resided in the Central Valley of California for most of her life. She earned her Registered Nurse and Associate of Science Degree from College of the Sequoias and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from California State University, Dominquez Hills. Mrs. Hefner received her Master of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from TUI University. She is a member of American College of Healthcare Executives, Vice Chairperson of District Hospital Leadership Forum, Chairperson of BETA Council, Past Vice Chairperson and Secretary of BETA Council, member of Rotary International, Past Tulare/Kings Section Chair of Hospital Council of Northern and Central California.


Ron Wheaton

Vice President, Physician Recruitment & Professional Services

Ron wheaton, man with grey mustache

Mr. Ron Wheaton has over 30 years of healthcare experience, with 17 of those years as a member of Senior Leadership at Sierra View. Since taking over physician recruiting 10 years ago, he has successfully recruited over 30 physicians to the community. He provides expertise in: physician practice start up and management, physician alignment strategies, Ancillary Department oversight and business development opportunities. While at SVMC, Mr. Wheaton is credited for starting the 35-bed Subacute Unit. He is also credited for bringing attention to the Board of Directors for the community need to start an acute and chronic hemodialysis program, a wound care department and also an outpatient urology clinic which is co-managed and operated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California which thrive today. In addition, Ron is responsible for the commencement of the adult and pediatric hospitalist programs, and, most recently, the Sierra View Medical Center Cardiovascular Catheterization Lab.


Dr. Jeff Hudson-Covolo DNP, RN, NEA-BC

Vice President Patient Care Services & Chief Nurse Executive
Founding GME Designated Institutional Official & Chief Academic Officer
Jeff Covolo, man with purple bowtie and glasses

Dr. Hudson has been with the District since January 2014. He is a member of the senior leadership team and is accountable for the delivery of patient-centered care across the District. His focus is on patient and staff safety, quality outcomes, and the patient care experience. He is a member of key international- national, state, and regional professional nursing and leadership organizations, such as Sigma Theta Tau International, American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), American Assembly for Men in Nursing, Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL), and the Nursing Leadership Coalition of the San Joaquin Central Valley.

Dr. Hudson's education includes Associate, Bachelor, Masters, and Doctoral degrees in Nursing. His doctoral focus is translating research to practice on the patient care experience. He is an international and national speaker, and a published scholarly author. He has been a Visiting Professor at Chamberlain College of Nursing since 2009, and a Lecturer at California State University-Fresno since 2019. Dr. Hudson is committed to the local community by serving on the Tulare County Work Force Investment Board Healthcare Advisory since 2014 and as the chair since 2017. He has served and chaired the Lindsay High School Health Pathways Program Advisory since 2017.

He is the founding Designated Institutional Official for the Graduate Medical Education program. The journey to hosting a GME program began in 2017 under Dr. Hudson's oversight. July 2021, was the inaugural class of Internal Medicine and Transitional Year residents. The initial class of 16 residents will build to 40 residents in the program by July 2023.


Tracy Canales, PHR, SHRM-CP

Vice President, Human Resources and Marketing

tracy canales, woman with medium length brown hair

Mrs. Canales has been employed with Sierra View Medical Center since 2009 and has more than 15 years of experience in Human Resources. As the Vice President of Human Resources and Marketing, her division of oversight includes Human Resources, Marketing, Public Relations, Foundation, Volunteer Services and Chaplaincy Services; she provides services to all departments and supports the district's mission and vision through the management of Human Resources. She has obtained a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Strategic Management from Bellevue University. Tracy holds national certifications as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from Human Resources Certification Institute (HCRI) and a Management-Certified Professional from Society of Human Resources (SHRM). She has been in the Central Valley for 20 years and has raised her family in Porterville. Currently, Tracy volunteers for numerous non-profit organizations to fulfill her desire to serve the community. She is also the Executive Sponsor for the SVMC EPPEC Team and Tree of Angels Project to improve the employee experience at Sierra View Medical Center.


Doug Dickson, CPA

Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

doug dickson, man with glasses and burgundy tie

Mr. Doug Dickson is a lifelong resident of the San Joaquin Valley. He graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has over 20 years of experience as a healthcare Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Dickson is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and California Society of Certified Public Accountants.


Dr. Melissa Fuentes, DHA, LCSW, CCM, CPHQ

Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Melissa Fuentes has been with Sierra View Medical Center for 7 years and has decades of health care experience. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work, Dr. Fuentes became well acquainted with acute care in the hospital setting while completing her residential studies and never looked back. In her role as Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Dr. Fuentes leads the Patient Safety, Patient Experience, Employee Health, Social Services, Care Management, Population Health, Quality and Risk Management teams. She is also the executive sponsor for SVMC’s Wellness Committee, a house wide initiative to find creative ways to empower health care workers to lead healthy lives.

Dr. Fuentes holds a Doctorate in Health Administration with an emphasis on Healthcare Quality and Analytics from Capella University. Her previous roles at Sierra View included Director of Social Services, Director of Care Management and Administrative Director of Quality and Care Management. She grew up in Lemoore, California and now lives in Tulare County. Dr. Fuentes is committed to increasing access to health care for residents of the South Valley and finding innovative ways to improve access to mental health services and community wellness from the emergency room to the organization’s outpatient clinics.