Ballad announces executive team changes with emphasis on physican leadership, innovation


Left to right: Eric Deaton, Marvin Eichorn, Taylor Hamilton, Dr. Matthew Loos, Dr. Clay Runnels and Dr. Amit Vashist

Three Ballad Health executives are taking on new titles and responsibilities in the C-suite.

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. Previously, Deaton was Wellmont Health System’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Marvin Eichorn has been named 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 Mountain States Health Alliance and Ballad Health 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.

In addition, Ballad is turning to its physicians to help guide its efforts to adjust to the changing healthcare landscape. Ballad announced new titles for nine physicians who will be taking on additional administrative and leadership responsibilities. “We believe the only way we will sustain success is to create more opportunities for collaboration with physicians,” said Alan Levine, Ballad Chairman executive chairman, president and CEO. “Our trusted clinical experts will help lead the way forward as we seek closer partnerships with the federal government, state Medicaid programs and our payer partners who all want closer value-based relationships.”

Heading up Ballad Health’s physician leadership structure will be Dr. Clay Runnels, who will serve as chief physician executive. In this role, he will have oversight of all clinical services, quality, service lines, Ballad Health Medical Associates, health research and graduate medical education.

Dr. Amit Vashist will serve as chief clinical officer, focusing 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.

Dr. Matthew Loos will serve as chief academic officer, overseeing 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.

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.

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. In 2012, he joined Laughlin Medical Group, where he held both clinical and leadership roles, including chief medical officer.

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.

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. As a cardiologist, he has served in various leadership roles for cardiovascular services 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.

Dr. Shari Rajoo has been named chief medical officer for population health services. Rajoo is a primary care physician, most recently serving as assistant vice president and medical director of population health for Ballad Health Medical Associates.

Ballad Health also announced the creation of The Innovation Center. “There is so much innovation going on within the walls of our hospitals and clinics,” Levine said. “When we see these opportunities to help bring ideas to market, or to partner with other organizations that have made investments in improving the human condition, Ballad Health wants to be able to facilitate and help capitalize on those.”

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