THA Headlines and Resources

Statement from THA President and CEO Craig Becker on Supreme Court Ruling in King v. Burwell

“The King v. Burwell case has been one closely watched by hospitals across the country, but especially here in Tennessee. As we continue to provide services to more than 400,000 uninsured Tennesseans, maintaining coverage for the roughly 156,000 people in our state who have insurance through the federal Exchange with subsidized premiums is increasingly important.


“With today’s ruling from the Supreme Court, the future of federal subsidies for this coverage is secured and thousands of Tennesseans will rest easier knowing they can continue to afford their monthly premiums.


“Our state’s hospitals are committed to caring for all people in our state, regardless of coverage status. However, in an era of significant reimbursement cuts and financial challenges, widespread insurance coverage is a critical issue for hospitals. As a result, the Supreme Court’s ruling is especially good news for our industry.


“THA and its members are grateful for today’s decision and its implication for the future of insurance coverage in our state and across the nation.”


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Tongate Receives THA Small and Rural Leadership Award

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Scott Tongate, chief financial officer at Rural Community Hospitals of America, recently received the Tennessee Hospital Association’s (THA) 2015 Small and Rural Leadership Award in recognition of his service to rural healthcare in Tennessee.

The award was presented during the recent THA Small and Rural Hospital Conference.

“Scott is an outstanding rural healthcare representative and strong advocate on behalf of rural and critical access hospitals,” said Craig A. Becker, THA president and CEO.

“He has been a great champion of THA’s rural health efforts across the state and the communities in which he has worked. He also has been a major supporter of THA throughout his career.”

Bill Jolley, THA vice president for small and rural services, stated, “Scott is a great leader for the small and rural constituency and understands the difficult issues rural hospitals face every day.”

Tongate currently serves as the chair of the THA Small and Rural Constituency and represents these hospitals on the THA board of directors. He also is a member of the Tennessee Rural Partnership board of directors and previously served on the Rural Health Association of Tennessee’s board of directors.

Previously, Tongate was CEO at Lauderdale Community Hospital in Ripley, Tenn., assistant administrator at Riverview Regional Medical Center in Carthage, Tenn., and administrator at Carthage General Hospital.

The Tennessee Hospital Association was founded in 1938 to serve as an advocate for hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations across the state. The initiatives of THA support the work of Tennessee’s hospitals to ensure efficient, high quality care for the patients and communities they serve.

Statement from THA President and CEO Craig Becker on Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015

“The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) supports H.R. 2, the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan package known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, to permanently repeal the Medicare physician Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). We are especially relieved by this solution because the 17 short-term SGR fixes over the past few years have nearly all included cuts to hospitals and other providers. These fixes typically were less than a year each and this bill draws these short-term solutions to an end.

“Of special note for Tennessee’s hospitals is the H.R. 2 provision to provide 10 years of funding for our state’s Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, which is critically needed and somewhat levels the playing field in comparison to the Medicaid DSH resources our neighboring states receive. We also are happy to see funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers are both included in the package. 

“Obviously, we would prefer hospitals to not be part of the offsets to help pay for the package. At the same time, we realize that if this deal falls through and Congress must consider another one-year SGR delay, then cuts to providers still will be in play to pay for a useless additional one-year delay.

“THA strongly prefers a permanent SGR fix and appreciates this unique moment in time for Tennessee’s DSH payment. Therefore, we give our full support to this bill. Most important, we are grateful for efforts to bring equity to hospital payments for Tennessee. I applaud the commitment and hard work of Tennessee’s congressional delegation on this issue.”

Official Statement on Defeat of Insure Tennessee Resolution

Tennessee Hospital Association President and CEO Craig Becker has made the following statement about today’s Insure Tennessee decision:

“THA and its members are extremely disappointed by the action today of the Senate Health Committee. For more than two years, hospitals in this state have advocated and worked hard to find a way to provide healthcare coverage for the uninsured of Tennessee.

“I commend Governor Haslam for bringing forward this proposal. It offered a practical, commonsense solution that worked for our state. THA is also grateful to Sen. Doug Overbey and Rep. Gerald McCormick for their support in carrying this proposal.

“Hospitals, along with community and business partners, have fought tirelessly in recent months to urge support for Insure Tennessee by state lawmakers and I am proud of our efforts.

“Unfortunately, seven members of the Senate Health Committee decided that this plan did not benefit the public health of our state. This decision was made after two days of compelling testimony that reinforced how Insure Tennessee would improve the lives of hardworking Tennesseans and how the plan would strengthen communities, support hospitals and make Tennessee a better place to live. Ultimately, seven legislators made a decision that prevented the full General Assembly from having the opportunity to debate this extremely important issue.

“We are hopeful that members of the General Assembly will continue to consider ways for Tennessee to provide coverage to the hundreds of thousands of uninsured in our state who have no option for coverage. Hospitals believe this is right for our state and will continue to work with the Haslam administration and General Assembly to find coverage solutions for Tennessee’s uninsured.”

State of Tennessee Launching Breastfeeding Campaign

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC) and the THA Tennessee Center for Patient Safety are working together on a breastfeeding public relations campaign, which will be launched with a news release today. The campaign includes print ads in the regional Parents Magazinepublications, posters for providers and social media. Breastfeeding posters will be distributed to all Tennessee birthing hospitals, obstetricians, pediatricians and other entities in an effort to increase the rate and duration of breastfeeding statewide. 

The breastfeeding campaign is part of a larger five-year initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve breastfeeding rates and increase  Tennessee’s score on the CDC Survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC), which assesses infant feeding care processes, policies and staffing expectations in maternity care settings. While Tennessee’s mPINC score for 2013 improved to 67 of a possible 100 points, the state ranks 49th in the country. THA, with the coalition partners, will address opportunities identified from the survey through collaborative provider education, lactation training for staff, hospital mentoring and consumer-focused education. 

In the past, Tennessee hospitals have worked very hard with THA and TDH to improve the viability of Tennessee’s babies. Working together, there have been some remarkable successes, such as significantly reducing early elective deliveries and providing materials to new mothers about the safe sleep project. 

Hospitals are encouraged to increase the number of mothers who are willing to breastfeed their babies by participating in this campaign. Collaborating with the state on this project hopefully will yield similar success for all of Tennessee’s newborns. 

The campaign’s website,, will provide additional information. 

Hospitals that have questions should contact Chris Clarke at THA, 615-256-4803,

Statement from Craig Becker on Governor Haslam’s Insure Tennessee Plan

“Today’s announcement from Governor Haslam regarding his Insure Tennessee plan is welcomed news for Tennessee’s hospitals. For the past two years, THA’s number one priority has been securing Medicaid expansion in our state and today marks the beginning of this goal becoming a reality. I applaud the governor’s thoughtful approach to this vitally important issue and am grateful for his hard work with the Department of Health and Human Services in recent months.

“Insure Tennessee represents a meaningful alternative to traditional Medicaid expansion. It is a plan that makes sense for Tennessee and its people. The working uninsured in our state currently find themselves in a coverage gap that results in limited access to healthcare. Insure Tennessee can close this gap and help our neighbors and loved ones find quality coverage and access to care. These individuals are hard-working Tennesseans who sometimes hold down multiple jobs and many who have even served our country in the armed forces.

“I also believe Insure Tennessee helps provide a solution to the financial challenges hospitals across Tennessee have faced for the last several years as a result of extreme cuts in healthcare reimbursement. Extending healthcare coverage in Tennessee will lead to lower amounts of charity and unreimbursed care, which helps keep hospitals financially healthy and providing high quality care.

“The health of our communities can only improve when more people have health insurance and the sustainability of hospitals is secure. THA and its members stand ready to support Governor Haslam in the months and years ahead to make Insure Tennessee a reality for our state.”

THA Members Elect Mark Medley as Chairman, Keith Goodwin will Serve as Chair-Elect

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The membership of the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) has elected its board of directors for 2015. Election and installation of the new board took place at the Association’s Annual Meeting, held today at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.

Mark Medley, senior vice president and president, operations, Capella Healthcare, Franklin, was installed as chairman, with Keith Goodwin, president and chief executive officer, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Knoxville, serving as chairman-elect of the board. Goodwin will become chairman during the 2015 Annual Meeting in Nashville.

Reginald Coopwood, M.D., president and CEO, Regional One Health, Memphis, completed his term as board chair and now becomes immediate past chairman. He also will serve as speaker of the House of Delegates in 2015.

Medley is responsible for the operations of 14 acute care and affiliated entities throughout the United States. Prior to joining Capella in 2008, he served as a hospital CEO and division CFO at LifePoint Hospitals, Inc., Franklin. Medley began his career at HCA.

Medley previously served as chairman of the THA Council on Government Affairs and received the THA Small or Rural Hospital Leadership Award in 2013 in recognition of his service. In addition, he has served on boards of directors for THA Solutions Group and the Tennessee Rural Partnership.

A fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Medley has served on the advisory council to Tennessee’s ACHE regent. In addition, he previously served on the board of directors for Ridley Barron, Inc., an organization nationally known for its efforts to improve patient safety and inspire positive change.

Medley is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville.

Goodwin has been president and CEO at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital since 2007. Prior to this position, he spent more than 28 years at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, serving in various positions. He also served as CEO at the Children’s Hospital of Austin in Texas for three years and president of the Doctors Hospital in Columbus.

In addition to being a member of the boards of THA, Children’s Hospital Alliance of Tennessee and Hospital Alliance of Tennessee, he serves on the boards of the East Tennessee Foundation, Metropolitan Drug Commission and Knox County Imagination Library. He also has held adjunct faculty positions in hospital administration at Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota.

Goodwin received a bachelor’s degree in health education at Ohio State University and a master’s degree in business administration at Capital University in Columbus.

Other members of the THA board of directors for 2015 include:

  • David Archer, CEO, Memphis market, Saint Francis Hospital, Memphis
  • Bobby Arnold, president and CEO, West Tennessee Healthcare, Jackson
  • Scott Bowman, administrator, Sweetwater Hospital Association
  • Christine Bradley, assistant vice chancellor, government relations, Vanderbilt University Hospitals, Nashville
  • Stephen Corbeil, president, HCA TriStar Health System, Brentwood
  • Marvin Eichorn, executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO), Mountain States Health Alliance, Johnson City
  • Thomas Gee, CEO, Henry County Medical Center, Paris
  • Robert Gordon, retired executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, Memphis
  • Don Heinemann, CEO, Blount Memorial Hospital, Maryville
  • James Hobson, president and CEO, CHI Memorial, Chattanooga
  • Bart Hove, interim president and CEO, Wellmont Health System, Kingsport
  • Charles Howorth, executive director, Tennessee Business Roundtable, Nashville
  • Paul Korth, CEO and CFO, Cookeville Regional Medical Center
  • Joseph Landsman, president and CEO, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville
  • Jason Little, president and CEO, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, Memphis
  • Thomas Ozburn, CEO, TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, Nashville
  • David Posch, CEO, Vanderbilt University Hospitals, Nashville
  • Scott Raplee, president, Central Group, LifePoint Hospitals, Inc., Brentwood
  • Mike Schatzlein, M.D., president and CEO, Saint Thomas Health, Nashville
  • Morris Seligman, M.D., executive vice president and CMO, Mountain States Health Alliance, Johnson City
  • Anthony Spezia, president and CEO, Covenant Health, Knoxville
  • Kevin Spiegel, president and CEO, Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga
  • Ted Stubblefield, board member, NorthCrest Medical Center, Springfield
  • Scott Tongate, CEO, Lauderdale Community Hospital, Ripley
  • Alan Watson, CEO, Maury Regional Healthcare System, Columbia
  • Donald Webb, CEO, Williamson Medical Center, Franklin
  • Chuck Whitfield, president and CEO, Laughlin Memorial Hospital, Greeneville
  • Jeffrey Woodside, M.D., board member, Hardin Medical Center, Savannah

THA President and CEO Craig Becker also serves as secretary and an ex-officio member of the board of directors.

The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) was founded in 1938 and serves as an advocate for hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations across the state. The initiatives of THA support the efforts of Tennessee’s hospitals to ensure high quality care for the patients and communities they serve.

THA Honors 21 Award Recipients at Annual Meeting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 10, 2014) –The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) honored 21 individuals during its 76th annual meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center last week.

A complete listing of award categories, recipients and biographical information is available here.

Distinguished Service Award

John Marshall, chief executive officer, TriStar Horizon Medical Center, Dickson, was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by THA. The award recognizes leadership and service by an individual member to THA throughout his or her career, in addition to achievements and contributions to the healthcare industry.

Marshall was recognized for his leadership and commitment to his hospital and community and participation in THA. He has dedicated more than 40 years of service to the healthcare industry.

Healthcare Hero

The Healthcare Hero Award recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Mia Sharp, registered nurse, pediatric emergency department and pediatric ground transport team, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, was honored for her efforts to provide emergency care to victims of a mass shooting in Aurora, Co., while she was on vacation.      

Meritorious Service Awards

Meritorious service awards recognize leadership and service by individuals in support of their hospitals and health systems.

Chief Executive Officer

Stephen Reynolds, president emeritus and senior consultant, Baptist Memorial Health Care, Memphis, was honored for his 43-year career in health care at the national, regional and local levels. While he retired earlier this year, Reynolds spent his entire career in leadership positions at Baptist Memorial Health Care and served the last two decades as president and CEO. He oversaw a far-reaching healthcare system that includes 14 hospitals in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, as well as minor medical centers, home care and hospice programs, behavioral health centers, clinics and a number of other entities.

Senior Executive

Brennan Francois, chief executive officer, Parkridge Valley Hospital, Chattanooga, was recognized for several initiatives that are making a difference in the lives of individuals with substance abuse and mental health issues in the Chattanooga area. He has invested significant time and effort in helping create two major initiatives that increase access to behavioral health treatment for those with mental illness and give law enforcement the intervention skills they need to assist individuals with behavioral health issues.

Board Members

Arthur “Buddy” Scott, board chairman, Wellmont Health System, Kingsport, was honored for his 32 years of service on the Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center board of directors and 14 years on the Wellmont Health System board of directors.

Curtis Mansfield, board member, West Tennessee Healthcare, Jackson, was honored for his contributions while serving on the West Tennessee Healthcare board of trustees for the past 17 years.

Medical Staff

William Schaffner, M.D., professor of preventative medicine and medicine (infectious diseases), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, was honored for his dedication to education and research of infectious diseases and public health.

Peter Grubb, M.D., medical director, Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care, and associate professor of pediatrics, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospitals at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, was recognized for his efforts to improve healthcare delivery in Tennessee through his work with the Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC).


Dorothy Sowell, volunteer, Maury Regional Medical Center, Columbia, a charter member of the auxiliary at Maury Regional Medical Center in 1953 who continues to serve today at the age of 91, was honored for her lifelong volunteer activities at the hospital.

Robert Woodruff, Ph.D., volunteer cuddler, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Knoxville, was honored for his exemplary volunteer service focusing on the needs of at-risk babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).    

Diversity Champion Award

This award recognizes leaders who have made outstanding contributions in fostering leadership, workplace diversity and inclusion, and demonstrated his or her commitment to a diverse workforce.

Arie Nettles, Ph.D., associate professor, clinical pediatrics, and director of the Office of Inclusion and Health Equity, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, was honored for her leadership and the formation of the Office of Inclusion and Health Equity (OIHE) at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Cynthia Allen, system community involvement manager, Baptist Memorial Health Care, Memphis, was recognized for her efforts to increase the diversity of the workforce at Baptist Memorial Health Care and reach across the organization to recruit volunteers and resources to help implement community activities.

Patient Safety Leadership Award

This award recognizes an individual who has taken extraordinary and innovative steps to make patient safety and quality a top priority in their organization.

George Testerman, M.D., trauma surgeon, Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center, Kingsport, was honored for his contributions to traumatic injury prevention and treatment at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center.

Nurse of Distinction Awards

The Nurse of Distinction Awards recognize outstanding contributions to nursing by registered nurses employed at a THA member hospital or health system.

Executive Nurse of Distinction Awards

Robin Steaban, chief nursing officer, Vanderbilt University Hospitals and Clinics, Nashville, was honored for being an organization leader, an ambassador for the profession of nursing and a change agent for the future of health care.

Phyllis Dossett, director of clinical services, Hancock County Hospital,

Sneedville, was recognized for her leadership and dedication to improving the health care in her community.

Clinical Nurse of Distinction Awards

Jill Kinch, advanced pediatric nurse team manager, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, was honored for her exemplary work as an advanced practice nurse.

Bonnie Miller, perinatal patient safety nurse coordinator, Regional One Health, Memphis, was recognized for her consistency and compassion while serving as the perinatal patient safety nurse coordinator.

American College of Healthcare Executives Awards

Senior Level Awards

Dennis Wolford, administrator, Macon County General Hospital, Lafayette, is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, has served on the THA board of directors and currently serves on the Tennessee Rural Partnership board of directors.

Joe Winick, senior vice president, planning and business development, Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga, is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on the East Tennessee Health Care Executives board.

Early Careerist Awards

Nicole Jones, business manager, Le Bonheur Pediatrics, Memphis, serves as the membership and advancement chair for the Mid-South American College of Healthcare Executives, and is the scholarship and awards co-chair for the National Association of Health Services Executives.

Michael Hatmaker, vice president of support services, LeConte Medical Center, Sevierville, and administrator, Fort Sanders Sevier Nursing Home, Sevierville, currently serves as president-elect for the East Tennessee Healthcare Executives affiliation.