The Trust Team

Rebecca W. West, J.D.

Trustee and Chief Executive Officer

Rebecca was responsible for the startup of the Trust in 1989. Since that time, she has served as the Chief Executive Officer, as well as one of two Trustees for the Trust. She is responsible for all aspects of the Trust mission. Rebecca has specialized in health care and corporate law since graduating from law school. She continues to provide advice and counsel to insureds. Her priorities are appropriate Trust funding, sound investment of the Trust portfolio and wise stewardship of Trust claims.

Bruce D. Gehle, J.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Bruce came to the Trust in 2007 after eleven years of private practice defending physicians in Kentucky and Virginia. His expertise in defending medical malpractice claims was well recognized in private practice and is the backbone of the Trust’s management. As Chief Operating Officer, Bruce is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Trust, including claims and risk management, as well as financial and underwriting management. Bruce continues to provide advice and counsel to Trust insureds and directs Trust educational programming for insureds.

Skip White, J.D.

General Counsel

Skip joined the Trust in 2020. Prior to assuming his role as Associate General Counsel and then General Counsel of the Trust, Skip served as Assistant and Associate General Counsel to the physician practice plan for UVA Health where he was recognized as being a central support to the clinical departments and their clinicians. As a member of the Trust’s management team, Skip supports overall operational, financial, claims, educational and legal operations of the Trust. He is integrally involved in providing advice and counsel to insureds to manage risks. Skip also represents Trust insureds in Department of Health Professions investigations and regularly serves as legal counsel on behalf of providers in litigation matters.

 

 

Lance Frasier

Chief of Financial Operations

Lance came to the Trust in 2005 as an IT specialist, initially working part-time as he attended college, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Business in 2011. Over the years, Lance has expanded his responsibilities with the Trust; in 2022, he became the Chief of Financial Operations. His financial responsibilities include accounting, financial reporting, budgeting and overseeing the Trust’s outside financial audit and tax filings. Lance is also in charge of the Trust’s Information Technology services. He is currently working on completing his CPA.

Judy L. Fortineux, A.R.M.

Chief of Staff & Risk Manager

Judy has been the Risk Manager for the Trust since 1989, assisting insureds in managing risks, providing day-to-day advice and counsel. She also is responsible for maintaining risk management data, providing insight and recommendations for change in medical practice. Judy also serves as Chief of Staff, overseeing Trust administrative staff and overseeing human resources and benefits. In addition, she oversees the underwriting process for Trust insureds and risk exposures.

Andrew G. H. Miller, J.D.

Trust Claims Counsel

Andrew came to the Trust in 2015 and has been part of the Trust management of claims since that time. His responsibilities have grown over time such that he is now responsible for the day-to-day oversight of claims, most of which are assigned to one of four outside law firms approved as defense counsel. He works with the Trust Claims Committee, a subcommittee of the Trust Board of Directors and comprised of insureds, to resolve claims, protecting the best interests of the insureds and the Trust. Andrew also participates in Trust educational activities for insureds.

 

 

Kirin Johnstone

Legal and Operations Coordinator

Kirin came to the Trust in 2020 as a part-time Litigation Assistant while she was finishing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Virginia. When she graduated, she began full-time expanded responsibilities with the Trust and has continued to grow in her responsibilities. She came with prior paralegal experience, which provided a good base for her to expand upon. She is presently responsible for the initial investigation of all claims and presents these findings to the Claims Committee. In preparation, she works with insureds and outside medical experts to access the Trust’s exposure. Kirin is responsible for ongoing monitoring of all claims, as well as maintenance of the supporting database.

 

Tammy Tuthill

Educational Coordinator & Administrative Assistant

Tammy is responsible for matters related to Covered Person applications, rate classifications, and other Trust educational events and credits.  Tammy also provides administrative and technical support to the Trust.

 

Byron J. Mitchell, JD

Outside General Counsel

Byron is the founding partner of the Mitchell Law Group in Alexandria, Virginia. Since 1994, he has devoted his practice of law to defending physicians in medical malpractice claims, including physicians at the University of Virginia covered by Piedmont Liability Trust. In 2022, Byron was designated Outside General Counsel to the Trust, serving as lead defense counsel for insureds in Trust claims. H also provides legal guidance to Trust management, the Claims Committee as well as the Trust Board of Directors, in addition to acting as defense counsel on Trust claims, along with attorneys from his law firm, as well as four other law firms.