About Us | Board of Directors

Richard B. Welch, President & CEO

Richard Welch

Mr. Welch is a founder of Best Practices Medical Partners LLC (BPMP), Best Practices Insurance Services, LLC (BPIS) and Applied Medico-Legal Solutions Risk Retention Group, Inc. (AMS). He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of both AMS and BPIS. Since 2003, AMS has been providing medical professional liability insurance to physicians throughout the country across a broad range of specialties, and is now one of the nation's premier physician risk retention groups with over 2,500 insureds. Mr. Welch is also an owner and President of Global Stage Limited, a member of Lloyd's of London. Additionally, he invests in health sector innovation and participates in a healthcare business incubator.

As a leader in the healthcare industry, Mr. Welch served in executive positions throughout his career. Prior to his current positions, Mr. Welch was a founder, President and CEO of Applied Medical Solutions, Inc., a hospitalist company located in South Florida. Mr. Welch merged AMS into one of the nation's leading hospitalist companies and served as Vice President, Operations and Business Development for the Southeast Region. Prior to founding AMS, Mr. Welch served as the Vice President, Operations for the North Broward Hospital District, a multi-hospital system located in South Florida.

Mr. Welch received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the Florida State University and his Master of Health Administration from Duke University. Mr. Welch has served on numerous charitable boards as well as several professional healthcare organizations. Currently he serves on the Broward Center for the Performing Arts Foundation Board as Treasurer, Duke Fuqua School of Business Healthcare Alumni Advisory Board and a is member of the Broward Workshop. Mr. Welch is a member of YPO Palm Beach Chapter.


Steven M. Shapiro, M.D., Secretary
Steven Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro is a practicing pulmonologist and intensivist and is an experienced leader in the medical community. Prior to serving in his current capacity, he was Chief of Staff at North Broward Medical Center; Chairman of the Joint Conference Committee for the North Broward Hospital District; Medical Director of Quality Management; Past Chief, Department of Medicine; Director of Respiratory Care Services and Medical Director at Boca Raton Community Hospital. He has served in numerous other medical leadership positions. Dr. Shapiro was a founder and Chief Medical Officer for Applied Medical Solutions, Inc. (AMS) a Hospitalist company located in South Florida. In that capacity, Dr. Shapiro was responsible for the medical management of over 90 physicians throughout the South Florida region. Following the AMS merger with one of the nation's leading hospitalist companies, Dr. Shapiro continued as the Regional Medical Director.

Dr. Shapiro received his B.S. degree from SUNY at Buffalo and his Doctor of Medicine at SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse. He completed his Pulmonary and Critical Care training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at New York. Dr. Shapiro holds five Board certifications in the following specialties: Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Quality Assurance and Utilization Review.


Clay M. Heighten, M.D. 

ClayDr. Heighten is a founding member of Green Park and Golf Ventures. After completion of residency training at the Southwestern Medical School affiliated Parkland Hospital program in Dallas, Texas he practiced Emergency Medicine for 13 years. In the early 1990’s Dr. Heighten was one of five physicians founding Metroplex Emergency Physicians Associates, P.A. “MEPA”. MEPA employed and managed emergency medicine providers contracting with 23 hospitals at its peak in Texas and surrounding states. MEPA was sold in 1998 to EMCARE a publically traded emergency services provider.

In 1994, Dr. Heighten founded the physician organization that ultimately became known as Medical Edge Healthcare Group, P.A. “MEHG”. MEHG at the time of its acquisition in 2010 by Texas Health Resources, “THR”, employed over 400 doctors and mid-level providers and owned facilities providing a comprehensive range of ancillary and laboratory services that in aggregate accounted for over 1.5 million patient encounters per year. Dr. Heighten has continued his involvement in the integration of MEHG into the Texas Health Physician Group as an employee of THR with particular emphasis on pay for performance initiatives.  Dr. Heighten was also a founder and board member of Physerve Physician Services, “Physerve”. Physerve provided comprehensive management support to multiple physician groups across the USA and was also sold to THR.  Dr. Heighten is also a founding member of Caddis Partners, a real estate development and management company specializing in healthcare properties. Caddis has consistently ranked as a top developer by number of square feet developed in North Texas.

Along the way Dr. Heighten has served on the boards of hospitals, insurance entities and technology companies. He is married to Dr. Debra Caudy, a medical oncologist and has four children. His philanthropic interests are devoted to the understanding, prevention and treatment of autistic spectrum disorders.

Stephanie Lefkowski

Stephanie LefkowskiStephanie Lefkowski is an Arizona resident and has worked as a senior accountant for Aon Insurance Managers in Phoenix, AZ since April 2015. Prior to joining Aon she spent 8 years with the State of Arizona Department of Insurance where she regulated Medicaid insurance companies for 3 years, and captives and RRGs domiciled in Arizona for 5 years.  Stephanie started her insurance career at the Hartford Insurance Company where she spent 16 years working in the areas of reinsurance and reserving.  During this time she earned her CPCU and AU. Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Science, and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration.


Gregory E. McGowan

Greg Mcgowan

Gregory E. McGowan is executive vice president, director and general counsel of Templeton International, Inc., the organization responsible for the development and operation of Franklin Templeton businesses outside of North America, and for Templeton Worldwide, Inc., the holding company of all the Templeton subsidiaries. Mr. McGowan joined the Franklin Templeton organization in 1986, and also serves as executive vice president of Templeton Investment Counsel, LLC, a U.S. corporation, and executive vice president, secretary, and director of Templeton Global Advisors Limited, a Bahamian corporation.

Mr. McGowan serves on various Franklin Templeton boards of directors, including, among others: Franklin Templeton Management Luxembourg S.A., a Luxembourg corporation; Franklin Templeton Investments (Asia) Limited, a Hong Kong corporation; Templeton Asses Management Ltd., a Singapore corporation; Franklin Templeton Holding Limited, a Mauritius corporation; Franklin Templeton Services Limited, an Irish corporation; and Franklin Templeton Sealand Fund Management Co., Ltd., a U.S./China Joint Venture, as Shareholder Representative on behalf of Franklin Resources, Inc.

Prior to joining Franklin Templeton Investments, Mr. McGowan was a senior attorney for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. McGowan earned his B.A. in economics and international affairs from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from the University of Paris and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.