As published in Nashville Post, March 2, 2018
For the ninth straight year, the Post team — with help from our friends at the Scene and Nfocus — has compiled In Charge, a compendium of Middle Tennessee’s top business, political and civic leaders. The health care sector has long been one of the biggest contributors to our lists — which numbers more than 500 women and men this year — and this year’s includes the usual mix of well-known company builders and up-and-coming innovators.
Tim Adams — CEO, Saint Thomas Health: Former Ascension executive who returned from Texas network leadership role with Tenet Healthcare to succeed Karen Springer, who has moved into performance excellence/project management role.
Hal Andrews — CEO, Trilliant Health: Waller attorney turned serial entrepreneur who has in the past decade helped lead Digital Reasoning, Shareable and nTelagent, among others. Assumed current position after helping orchestrate last year’s merger of Aegis Health and Clariture.
Cindy Baier — CEO, Brookdale Senior Living: Former CFO tapped in February to replace Andy Smith when board’s strategic review ended without a sale. Joined company she must now turn around in late 2015 after stints at Navigant Consulting and Central Parking.
Jeff Balser — President and CEO, Vanderbilt University Medical Center: Led hospital complex’s 2016 separation from Vanderbilt. Further growing Vanderbilt Affiliated Health Network and last year recruited North Highland exec Lance Fletcher to lead new unit launching and incubating auxiliary businesses.
John Bass — CEO, Hashed Health: Globetrotting evangelist for potential of blockchain technologies in health care. Leads small Germantown-based team that has secured $2 million to help build consortium, develop use cases. Health IT veteran also built InVivoLink and empactHealth.com.
Craig Becker — President, Tennessee Hospital Association: Moved here from Maine in 1993 to be trade group leader and has been consistent advocate for Medicaid expansion that will especially help state’s small and rural hospitals.
Bill Carpenter — Chairman and CEO, LifePoint Health: Former Waller lawyer has led hospital chain since 2006. Formed joint venture with Duke University Health System and has grown annual revenues to more than $6 billion. Focused on improving performance of several recently acquired hospitals.
Michael Cartwright — Chairman and CEO, AAC Holdings: Built and took public addiction treatment services company with presence in eight states. Last year struck deal to build up New England footprint through $85M deal for AdCare and recently recruited HCA exec Michael Nanko to be No. 2.
Devin Carty — COO, Martin Ventures: Former Vanguard CMO and Cancer Treatment Centers of America strategy and talent chief who formally joined Charlie Martin’s investment firm in late 2015. Key player in formation of Trilliant Health and board member of promising startups Hashed Health and Lucro Marketplace.
Stu Clark — CEO, Premise Health: Former CHD Meridian exec who oversaw 2014 worksite health care merger that created Premise and has since set up West Coast office. Last year acquired a Texas-based health screenings venture to bolt onto service offerings focused on large employers around the country.
Dick Cowart — Shareholder, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz: Board member and health and public policy group leader of firm that now is among nation’s 50 largest. Past president of American Health Lawyers Association and advisor to for-profit and nonprofit providers on policy and governance issues.
Bob Crants — Chief Investment Officer, Pharos Capital Group: Helps lead firm with $690 million in private equity assets that has in recent years invested in mental health, dermatology and PT ventures. Helped launch Goldman Sachs’ special investments group before co-founding Pharos.
Duncan Dashiff — Managing Director and Head of Health Care Services, Canaccord Genuity: Joined investment bank in early 2017 after working as COO of MedCare Investment Funds run by Harry Jacobson. Before that co-founded Epiphany Health Ventures and led Morgan Keegan’s local office.
Neil de Crescenzo — CEO, Change Healthcare: Ex-Oracle exec who has taken revenue cycle-centered Emdeon into new markets via acquisitions, highlighted by deal with McKesson unit that created $3B+ enterprise. Last year renewed big Donelson HQ lease and launched promising blockchain platform.
Brandon Edwards — CEO, ReviveHealth: Founded marketing agency now part of Weber Shandwick after working at national firm and Tenet. Moved HQ to Nashville from California and has grown team to 70. Firm’s client list includes HCA, VUMC and Envision Healthcare.
Dan Elrod — Attorney, Butler Snow: Member of firm’s health care regulatory and transactions group. Certificate-of-need and licensing expert who has handled hundreds of applications for Tennessee providers.
Steve Flatt — CEO, National HealthCare Corp.: Assumed top spot of senior care provider (as first from outside founding Adams family) after more than decade with company overseeing development work and strategic partnerships. Former president of Lipscomb University and Ezell-Harding.
Bill Frist — Chairman, Cressey & Company: Former U.S. Senate majority leader who also co-founded Aspire Health — which has received backing from Alphabet’s VC arm — and is among leaders of Health Care Council’s Fellows program. In 2015 founded local population health nonprofit NashvilleHealth.
Bobby Frist — Chairman, President and CEO, HealthStream: Co-founder of health care workforce development company in past year committed to new downtown HQ lease and oversaw rollout of credentialing and privileging brand as well as nurse residency product. Company has grown subscriber base to more than 4.6 million.
Vic Gatto — CEO, Jumpstart Foundry; CEO, Solidus: Leads ex-incubator turned seed-stage fund that invests in health care startups and now has offices in Nashville, Atlanta, Chicago and Bentonville. Took over at Green Hills-based VC firm Solidus after investors broke with founder Townes Duncan on strategy.
David Guth — CEO, Centerstone: Co-founded nonprofit behavioral health provider in 1997 after running treatment facility. Has steadily grown footprint via acquisitions to more than 170,000 patients in five states. Pending deal with Louisville residential services provider is expected to close this spring.
Bobby Guy — Shareholder, Polsinelli: Moved from Frost Brown Todd in 2015 to launch local office for one of country’s largest firms. Deal specialist who last year worked on Kindred’s $700 million sale of skilled nursing portfolio. Each spring chairs national Healthcare Dealmaker’s Conference in Dallas.
Brian Haile — CEO, Neighborhood Health: Former TennCare deputy COO and Jackson Hewitt exec who last summer was recruited to replace primary care organization’s longtime leader Mary Bufwack. Oversaw insurance exchange planning initiative for state prior to Jackson Hewitt stint.
Jay Hardcastle — Partner, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings: One of city’s top health care advisors who helped arrange Baptist Hospital sale to Saint Thomas and works with providers of all sorts on M&A, joint ventures, Medicare/Medicaid issues, whistleblower defenses and more.
Sam Hazen — President and COO, HCA Holdings: Was named president in late 2016 and appears to be first in line to succeed CEO Milton Johnson. Started with hospital giant in early 1980s before overseeing Western Group and being named COO in ’15.
Tim Hingtgen — President and COO, Community Health Systems: Was promoted twice in 2016 into top operations role to oversee work on improving performance of former HMA hospitals. Has in past year seen several division presidents depart for other companies.
Chris Holden — President and CEO, Envision Healthcare: CEO of former AmSurg since 2007, led company’s push into physician services through acquisitions of Sheridan and Colorado-based Envision. Under pressure to improve results amid reported interest from private equity buyers.
Rusty Holman — Chief Medical Officer, LifePoint Health: Former Cogent HMG exec joined hospital operator in early 2013 and has led development of ambitious quality improvement program alongside partners at Duke University Health System. Focus on transparency, patient engagement yielding consistent results.
Angela Humphreys — Chair, Healthcare Practice Group, Bass Berry & Sims: Leads high-profile group home to more than 180 attorneys in four cities. Health Care Council board member and former chair of ABA’s health care M&A committee who has led billions of dollars worth of deals.
Joey Jacobs — Chairman and CEO, Acadia Healthcare: Co-founder and former CEO of Psychiatric Solutions who has led Acadia since 2011 and has tripled revenues to about $3 billion. Purchase of Priory Group in U.K. in 2016 causing some heartburn but U.S. business growing strongly.
Harry Jacobson — Co-founder, TriStar Technology Ventures: Former VUMC CEO has founded more than 10 companies and mentored countless others. Works with multiple investment funds, including Epiphany Health Ventures, MedCare Investment Funds and Iroquois Capital.
David Jarrard — President and CEO, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock: Founding partner of 12-year-old health care communications firm that has worked with more than 400 health care organizations. With Chicago contingent, team now numbers more than 40.
Milton Johnson — Chairman and CEO, HCA Holdings: Took over at hospital giant in 2014 and has overseen steady growth of company’s market share to 25 percent. Last year picked up several Texas hospitals from struggling competitors and moved into Savannah market with $710 million deal.
Don Lazas — Managing Partner, NueCura Partners: Gastroenterologist and former U.S. Army Medical Corps major who has built NueCura into prominent angel investor group. Portfolio companies include Concert Genetics, EvidenceCare and Satchel Health.
Charlie Martin — Chairman, Martin Ventures: Former Vanguard Health CEO in 2013 returned full-time to investment firm he founded. Focused on technology investments that aim to disrupt established methods and has emerged as prominent backer of blockchain in health care.
Tom Miller — CEO, Quorum Health Corp.: Former CHS division president tapped in 2016 to lead spinout company. Has divested nearly a quarter of the 38 hospitals he inherited while efforts to improve operations at retained facilities are beginning to show results.
Frank Morgan — Managing Director, RBC Capital: Former Jeffries analyst has led health care services equity research at RBC since late 2008. Authority on hospital industry, senior living, behavioral and other operators.
Anna-Gene O’Neal — President and CEO, Alive Hospice: Formerly top quality exec at Cogent and Essent. Picked in 2012 to lead Middle Tennessee nonprofit hospice provider, which runs inpatient units in Midtown, Madison and Murfreesboro that serve 12-county area.
Jonathan Perlin — Chief Medical Officer, President of Clinical Services, HCA Holdings:Joined hospital titan more than decade ago after working as top doc in federal government as Department of Veteran Affairs CEO. Oversees clinical operations, particularly care advancement through massive clinical data warehouse.
Clay Phillips — VP of Network Innovation, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee: Former Miller & Martin attorney joined state’s largest insurer in 2006 to direct government relations. Took on current role in 2013 and oversees Patient-Centered Medical Home and alternative payment programs.
C. Wright Pinson — Deputy Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and CEO, Vanderbilt Health System: Clinical and operational leader who also serves as chief of staff at Vanderbilt University Hospital and develops partnerships with regional providers.
Marty Rash — President and CEO, RCCH HealthCare Partners: One of region’s most veteran hospital execs who built and sold Province Healthcare before starting over with RegionalCare. In 2016 took over leadership of Apollo Global-backed company following combination with Capella.
Clay Richards — CEO, naviHealth: Former Healthways VP helped launch Brentwood-based post-acute care manager in 2012 and grew it enough to attract 2015 buyout from Cardinal Health that valued company at $408 million. Hosts big fall gathering that draws national post-acute audience.
Heather Rohan — President, TriStar Division: Former nurse who began HCA career more than 30 years ago and moved into leadership role at 16-hospital group in late 2016 after leading flagship Centennial Medical facility for four years.
Dawn Rudolph — Chief Experience Officer, Saint Thomas Health: Moved here in 2010 from Indiana hospital to be president and CEO of Saint Thomas West. Took on system-wide role in 2013 and now oversees patient satisfaction and experience initiatives. (Update: Ascension execs in March said they've tapped Rudolph to take over their St. Vincent's system in Connecticut.)
Saurabh Sinha — CEO, emids Technologies: Co-founded health IT systems company in 1999 and has steadily grown it to more than 1,500 employees. Last year opened London office and acquired QuintilesIMS division that added about 200 people and opened doors with providers.
Wayne Smith — Chairman and CEO, Community Health Systems: Veteran CEO last year faced investor call to leave as team still struggling to get handle on HMA hospitals bought in 2013. Sold facilities with $3.4 billion in revenue and targeting 2018 divestitures of properties with another $2 billion in revenue.
Robin Steaban — Chief Nursing Officer, Vanderbilt University Hospital and Clinics: Veteran nurse and hospital leader oversees the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. Joined VUMC in 1990 as nurse coordinator and was appointed to system-wide role in 2014 as part of leadership reorganization.
Fahad Tahir — CEO, Saint Thomas Midtown and West hospitals: Tapped late last year to lead local Ascension network’s flagship facilities after running Saint Thomas Medical Partners for three and a half years.
Donato Tramuto — CEO and President, Tivity Health: Took over in 2015 after being recruited a year earlier to board of what was then Healthways. Has posted solid growth and renewed key contracts since overseeing 2016 sale of big divisions and subsequent rebranding.
Brent Turner — President, Acadia Healthcare: Joined Acadia in 2011 after serving at Psychiatric Solutions and as treasurer for what is now CoreCivic. Key lieutenant to Joey Jacobs as Acadia has quickly grown revenues to annual pace of $3 billion.
David Vandewater — President and CEO, Ardent Health Services: Former Columbia/HCA president who has led Ardent since 2001. Has stepped up acquisition pace in recent years, buying LHP Hospital Group, taking over nine-hospital Texas network and getting into joint venture in Kansas.
Melissa Waddey — President of Ambulatory and Operations Services, LifePoint Health:Named to newly created role in early 2017 to oversee physician services alongside several HQ departments. Ex-Leadership Health Care chair who joined LifePoint in 2010 and was previously operations strategy and integration SVP.
Paul Wallace — Managing Director, Heritage Healthcare Innovative Fund: Former Healthways sales leader with two decades of VC and PE experience. In 2016 closed $220 million second fund and has amassed portfolio of nearly 20 health IT ventures.
Don Webb — CEO, Williamson Medical Center: WMC veteran since 1985 was appointed to top role in 2012. Has overseen partnership with VUMC on big children’s hospital wing and last year saw off proposal to sell county-owned hospital as part of school funding plan.
Joseph Webb — CEO, Nashville General Hospital: Former Methodist LeBonheur exec and TSU alum still working to get a handle on operations at Metro-owned hospital. Facing uncertain future in face of Mayor Barry’s proposal to end inpatient care.
Phil Wenk — President and CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee: Joined insurer in 1997 and was picked to lead it in early 2000. In 2014 launched foundation to support dental schools, children’s hospitals and clinics. Active in community as director of Nashville Zoo, Music City Bowl, other groups.
Marcus Whitney — CEO, Health:Further: Serial entrepreneur looking to put Health:Further as venue for global conversation on health and innovation. Founded Jumpstart Foundry in 2010 and The Unlikely Co. in 2015 and was key player in building of soccer club Nashville SC.
Steve Wilson — CEO, United Healthcare of Tennessee: Has been with giant insurer for more than a decade. Early this year inked deal to partner with Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network on accountable care organization covering 35,000 plan members across the state.
Karey Witty — COO, Envision Healthcare: Former Corizon CEO and HealthSpring CFO joined surgery center and physician services company in newly created role last fall. Also has held senior posts at naviHealth, Optum and Centene.