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Ballad Health announces organizational changes

Staff report • Updated Aug 1, 2019 at 3:05 PM

JOHNSON CITY — Ballad Health announced on Thursday several organizational changes.

Nine physicians with more than 100 years of combined experience in the region have been named to key leadership roles within Ballad Health.

Heading up Ballad Health’s physician leadership structure will be Chief Physician Executive Dr. Clay Runnels. He will have oversight of all clinical services, quality, service lines, Ballad Health Medical Associates, health research and graduate medical education. Runnels is a licensed emergency physician and has served in various leadership positions in the health system since 2000. Runnels has helped spearhead several award-winning projects and participated in the development of regional stroke care protocols as well as a teleneurology program.

Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Amit Vashist will focus on clinical quality, value-based initiatives to improve quality while reducing cost of care, performance improvement, oversight of the clinical delivery of care and will be the liaison to the Ballad Health Clinical Council. Vashist, one of the 2018 Becker’s Hospital Review 112 Physician Leaders to Know in America, is a dual board-certified internist and psychiatrist.

Chief Academic Officer Dr. Matthew Loos will oversee academic programs and partnerships as well as graduate medical education programs. Loos has served as chief medical officer of Ballad Health’s Washington County (Tenn.) market since 2016 and will also continue in that role on an interim basis while a search is conducted for his replacement. He is board-certified in general surgery.

Dr. Chris Metzger will serve as system chair of Clinical Research, overseeing the advancement of clinical research activities within Ballad Health hospitals and clinics, including clinical trials. Metzger is a practicing interventional cardiologist who serves as director of Holston Valley Medical Center’s diagnostic catheterization and interventional labs. Metzger has helped Holston Valley earn national and international acclaim in cardiology, and his work has led to significant growth in cardiac clinical trials and research.

Dr. Mark Patterson will serve as president of Ballad Health Medical Associates, overseeing operation of more than 800 physicians, advanced practice providers and urgent care services. Patterson has served as a general surgeon in Greeneville since 1995, when he joined Greeneville Surgical Associates. In 2012, he joined Laughlin Medical Group, where he held both clinical and leadership roles, including chief medical officer. Patterson received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Medicine in Memphis, and he completed his internship and residency at East Tennessee State University. He is board-certified by the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Mark Wilkinson will serve as vice president of Medical Staff Services and Hospital Based Programs, overseeing all aspects of physician credentialing, medical staff governance, peer review and hospital-based programs and services. An emergency medicine physician, Wilkinson holds board certification from the American Board of Family Medicine. Wilkinson graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s Medical School, and he completed his general surgery internship and family medicine residency at ETSU.

Dr. Herb Ladley has been named chief medical officer for Ballad Health’s Northwest Division. Ladley has a long tenure as a physician leader at Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport. As a cardiologist, he has served in various leadership roles for cardiovascular services in Kingsport as a senior physician, and he was system vice president for cardiovascular services for Wellmont Health System for eight years.

Dr. Daniel Lewis has been named chief medical officer for both campuses of Greeneville Community Hospital. Lewis is a board-certified family medicine physician with an additional certificate of added qualification in sports medicine. He received his medical degree from ETSU’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine with a curriculum focus on rural health.

Dr. Shari Rajoo has been named chief medical officer for Population Health Services. Rajoo is a primary care physician who has worked with Ballad Health for 10 years, most recently serving as assistant vice president and medical director of Population Health for Ballad Health Medical Associates. She has served as medical director of quality improvement for Ballad Health’s Medical Group, focusing on quality improvement and helping optimize performance on value-based contracts.

Other Key Leadership Moves

Eric Deaton has been named Ballad Health’s chief operating officer, with oversight of Ballad Health’s systemwide operations, including the newly created Behavioral Services Division. Deaton has served in leadership roles in Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina for about two decades.

Marvin Eichorn will serve as Ballad Health’s chief administrative officer with oversight of corporate operations and services, and Ballad Health’s value-based services administrative organization. Eichorn has held senior leadership roles within the health system since 1998, including chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

Taylor Hamilton has been named Ballad Health’s chief consumer officer, a new role being created to develop new and innovative interactions with patients and families, listening to the needs of consumers and physicians and using those insights to develop an improved patient experience. Hamilton will continue to oversee marketing and communications in addition to the implementation of a new “virtual front door” to Ballad Health.

Ballad Behavioral Health Services

Ballad Health is creating the Ballad Behavioral Health Services Division. In anticipation of millions of dollars of investment into serving this critical need for services in collaboration with other community partners, Ballad Health has tapped a seasoned health care expert to oversee the implementation of this division and the services provided. Trish Baise will serve as CEO of Ballad Health’s Behavioral Health Services, with oversight of all inpatient and outpatient services including Overmountain Recovery, and 186 behavioral health beds throughout the system, including those at Woodridge Hospital and Ridgeview Pavilion. She will oversee service line relationships with all mental health and addiction services provided by Ballad Health as well as administer Ballad Health’s $85 million, 10-year behavioral health plan.

The Ballad Health Innovation Center

The Innovation Center will serve as the hub for development of partnerships and collaborations that can bring to market life-saving initiatives and other technologies and services that can improve the human condition. Interfacing with Ballad Health research programs, and developing partnerships with vendors that add value, the Innovation Center will create opportunities to capitalize on new programs that have potential in the marketplace. Ballad Health will begin a search to name a CEO for the Innovation Center, who will report to Anthony Keck, executive vice president of System Innovation and chief population health officer.

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