As is our annual tradition, the Post team presents In Charge, a compendium of Middle Tennessee’s top business, political and civic leaders. The 450-plus women and men on our list — our fifth annual — make a positive impact not just on their individual sectors, but on the city in general. These folks are the best of the best — and always “in charge.”
1. Bill Anderson — Chairman and CEO, Medhost: Former CEO of Universal Tax Systems, Bankrate and Block Financial who has led parent company of HMS, Medhost and Patient Logic brands since late 2009. Franklin-based holding company has revenues of more than $100 million.
2. Jeff Balser —Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs, Vanderbilt University Medical Center: Faces bounce-back year after brutal 2013 in which more than 1,000 VUMC employees were laid off or sent into early retirement as federal funding and market pressures forced big cost cuts. Also has to contend with lawsuit from docs alleging Medicare billing deception.
3. Craig Becker — President, Tennessee Hospital Association: Longtime leader of state’s hospital association who has consistently rung alarm bell about future for smaller facilities. Key player in figuring out market impact of reform’s full rollout, which figures to bring both benefits and surprises.
4. Bill Carpenter — Chairman and CEO, LifePoint Hospitals: Former Waller lawyer who has led hospital chain since 2006 and been steady acquirer of rural facilities. Launched partnership with Duke in 2011 that has since bought majority stakes in handful of health systems in North Carolina, Michigan and elsewhere.
5. Stephen Corbeil — President, TriStar Health System: Picked in fall of 2011 to oversee TriStar’s 18 hospitals and 10 surgery centers. In early 2012 signed clinical affiliation between TriStar and CVS’ MinuteClinic chain and later that year allied with CareSpot to open urgent care centers. Previously ran HCA’s Midwest division.
6. Dick Cowart — Shareholder, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz: Member of the firm’s board of directors and also leads its Health and Public Policy Section. Well-known authority on the legal, regulatory and business issues related to the myriad aspects of health care services.
7. Duncan Dashiff — Managing Director, Epiphany Health Ventures: Co-founder of investment firm who spent 17 years in investment banking and was involved in more than $11 billion worth of deals. Was previously a managing director at Morgan Keegan’s health care investment banking group and co-leader of the health care group at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
8. Neil de Crescenzo — CEO, Emdeon: 52-year-old tech industry veteran recruited last summer by Emdeon owner Blackstone to take over from George Lazenby. Worked at Oracle and IBM after starting career in health care operations at BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts, Lahey Clinic and University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
9. Cherrie Epps — President, Meharry Medical College: Member of Meharry’s leadership team for more than 15 years who first filled in as president in 2007 and was tapped again last year after Wayne Riley stepped aside — first for a sabbatical, then permanently. Was previously senior advisor to Riley as well as dean emerita in Meharry’s med school.
10. Bobby Frist — Chairman, President and CEO, HealthStream: Has patiently built company he co-founded two decades ago into leader in health care education that now employs more than 600 people and leases more than a sixth of downtown’s Cummins Station. Last year expanded into post-acute care and bought leadership development consulting firm.
11. Herb Fritch — Chairman and CEO, Cigna-HealthSpring: Remains leader of organization he sold to Cigna in 2011 for $3.8 billion. Met or exceeded all performance goals during 2012 integration and last year acquired medical home venture with 10-state footprint. Helped run North American Medical Management and PhyCor prior to founding HealthSpring predecessor NewQuest.
12. Doug Ghertner — President and CEO, Change Healthcare: Has led cost transparency venture, which he joined in mid-2011, since September 2012. Spent eight years with CVS Caremark in various positions including as senior VP of client solutions. Company last summer raised $15 million from investor group led by Boston and Atlanta firms.
13. Luke Gregory — CEO, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt: Took over top spot at regional leader in January 2012 after working as Vanderbilt’s assistant vice chancellor for health affairs and chief business development officer. Despite troubles at parent organization VUMC, multi-year expansion strategy on track with year-end news of four-story tower addition.
14. David Guth — CEO, Centerstone of America: Co-founded nonprofit mental health and addiction services provider in 1997. Investing in IT projects to improve care and in late 2013 signed LOI to hook up with Illinois organization in move that would create $160 million organization.
15. Christopher Holden — President and CEO, AmSurg: CEO since 2007. Founded Triad Healthcare Corp. in 1999. The 20-plus-year executive was for a time president of HCA’s West Texas Division, also in the 1990s. Instrumental in AmSurg’s planned relocation to Burton Hills in early 2015.
16. Joe Hutts — Founder and CEO, BreatheAmerica: Industry veteran who founded BreatheAmerica in 2007 after forming and helping lead Equicor. Also co-founded Phycor, where he served as CEO before cofounding and leading Surgis as its CEO. Raised $5 million in late 2012 after bringing in $22 million the year before.
17. Joey Jacobs — Chairman and CEO, Acadia Healthcare: Co-founder and former CEO of Psychiatric Solutions who took over Acadia in early 2011. Has since used Psych Solutions approach to buy and improve facilities around the country, growing market cap to $2.6 billion. Most recent deals took company into Washington and California.
18. Harry Jacobson — Principal, Tri-Star Technology Ventures: Former VUMC leader who has since built wide-ranging investment portfolio to go with entrepreneurial track record that includes founding or co-founding 10 companies. Also helps run Epiphany Health Ventures and MedCare Investment Funds.
19. David Jarrard — President and CEO, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock: One of the founding partners of the well-connected Brentwood-based health care public relations firm Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock. Firm has grown steadily to more than 20 people and now has a Chicago office.
20. R. Milton Johnson — CEO, HCA: Took over as top dog on Jan. 1 after stint as president and CFO. Joined HCA in 1982 as tax manager and worked his way up to CFO in 2004. Was named to hospital sector leader’s board in 2009 and took on the title of president in February 2011.
21. David Klements — President and CEO, Qualifacts Systems: Joined web-based electronic health records provider for behavioral health and human services market in early 2006. Company had 2012 revenues of almost $14 million and last year acquired behavioral health line of business of Georgia-based Mitchell & McCormick.
22. Kevin Lavender — Senior Vice President of Corporate Healthcare Lending, Fifth Third Bank: Former commissioner of the Department of Financial Institutions. Now is the bank’s “go to” person for all things health care lending related on a national scale. Co-founder and former EVP for MediSphere Health Partners, a specialty health care facilities company.
23. Ben Leedle — CEO, Healthways: Ten-year CEO who is still struggling to get wellness services company on footing that will produce consistent growth. Last year inked deals to add Ornish lifestyle management and Dave Ramsey financial counseling programs to lineup but now faces calls to be replaced from hedge fund that owns 11 percent of company.
24. Charlie Martin — Principal, The Martin Companies: Former Vanguard Health Services chairman and CEO who in 2013 declined Tenet board seat after $4.3 billion sale. Serial entrepreneur has also helped launch, fund or build HealthStream, Symbion and e+healthcare, among others. Investment firm’s portfolio includes Moontoast and Shareable Ink.
25. J. Michael Mauldin — Chairman and CEO, SpecialtyCare: Took over in mid-2012 after death of company founder Gary Brukardt. Veteran has both public and private outpatient experience, including as CFO of Saint Thomas Hospital and dialysis play DSI. Last year signed preferred-provider deal with Adventist Health System.
26. David Miller — President and COO, Community Health Systems: Named to new company post in January to oversee company’s six operating divisions and lead integration of Health Management Associates’ more than 70 hospitals. Former president of CHS operations in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.
27: Woodrow Myers — CEO, Corizon: Succeeded Rich Hallworth in fall of 2013, two years after being named member of board of Corizon parent Valitas. Stanford MBA grad was previously chief medical officer at WellPoint as well as health commissioner for the city of New York and the state of Indiana.
28. Anna-Gene O’Neal — President and CEO, Alive Hospice: Former senior vice president at hospitalist company Cogent who was tapped in the spring of 2012 to fill post long held by Janet Jones. Leads team that runs three inpatient facilities as well as at homes and at a number of area hospitals and long-term care facilities.
29. Jonathan Perlin — Chief Medical Officer and President of Clinical Services, HCA Holdings: Responsible for clinical strategy and performance across HCA’s hospital and outpatient center network. Has led several initiatives in technology and patient safety. Before joining HCA in 2006, was under secretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
30. C. Wright Pinson — Deputy Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and CEO, Vanderbilt Health System: Oversees all VUMC clinical operations. Architect of clinical campus development in One Hundred Oaks and planned Cool Springs development that is now on hold. Clinical interests focused on disorders of liver, bile ducts and pancreas.
31. Clay Richards — President and CEO, naviHealth: Former Bass Berry & Sims attorney and Healthways GC who helped launch post-acute care provider two years ago. naviHealth now manages about $500 million in medical spending for about 1.5 million people in 16 states.
32. Dawn Rudolph — Chief Experience Officer, Saint Thomas Hospital: Tapped to lead what is now Saint Thomas West in the fall of 2010 after serving as CEO of Indiana-based St. Joseph Hospital. Moved to new role in 2013 as hospital system seeks to spread best practices and new initiatives across five area hospitals.
33. Bill Rutherford — CFO, HCA Holdings: Tapped last fall to fill shoes of newly named CEO Milton Johnson. On second stint at HCA. Worked nine years as CFO of company’s 90-hospital Eastern Group, then left to start training and education venture and was COO of Psychiatric Solutions for 18 months before rejoining HCA in late 2008.
34. Mike Schatzlein — President and CEO, Saint Thomas Health Services: Named president and CEO for Saint Thomas Health Services in June 2010. Previously served as CEO for Lutheran Health Network in Indiana. In 2013 took very public role in leading support for planned Amp bus rapid transit system.
35. Bernie Sherry — President and CEO of Nashville Inpatient Operations, Saint Thomas Health Services: Former president and CEO of Baptist Hospital/Saint Thomas Midtown now overseeing that hospital and Saint Thomas West, focused on service lines rationalization and capital allocation. Joined health system in 2000 as VP of managed care.
36. Andy Smith— CEO, Brookdale Senior Living: Former health care group chair at Bass Berry & Sims who joined Brookdale as GC in fall of 2006 after company acquired American Retirement Corp. After being tapped in early 2013 to succeed Bill Sheriff, launched national TV campaign and hooked up with HealthStream.
37. Wayne Smith — Chairman and CEO, Community Health Systems: Joined company in 2001 from Humana, where he rose to president and COO. Completion of $7.6 billion HMA buyout made CHS the country’s largest hospital chain by number of facilities. Last year hooked up with Cleveland Clinic to begin sharing data and improve quality.
38. Chris Taylor — CFO and Interim CEO, Parallon Business Solutions: Picked last November to fill in after departure of former UnitedHealth exec Mike O’Boyle after less than two years. Had been CFO of HCA’s TriStar division until moved over to Parallon in fall of 2012.
39. Brent Turner — President, Acadia Healthcare: Key player in team that built Psychiatric Solutions and regrouped three years ago to take over at Acadia, which has since grown to 50-plus facilities home to 4,200 beds. Was treasurer at Corrections Corp. of America before joining Psych Solutions in 2003.
40. David Vandewater — President and CEO, Ardent Health Services: Part of the HCA family tree of hospital execs. Helped steer Columbia-HCA as president and COO and resurfaced to transform Ardent into an acute-care player that today owns more than a dozen facilities in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
41. Paul Wallace — Managing Director, Heritage Healthcare Innovation Fund: Nashville native and former Healthways sales and development exec who helps run Heritage’s $167 million health tech-focused fund, which is backed by industry players that include CHS and LifePoint. Former general partner at Petra Capital and venture partner at SV Life Sciences.
42. Donald Webb — CEO, Williamson Medical Center: Former CFO who replaced Dennis Miller in mid-2012 after a unanimous vote by the facility’s board of directors. Has been at the 185-bed WMC since 1985. Broke ground last November on $67 million children’s hospital addition in partnership with Vanderbilt.
43. W. Carl Whitmer — President and CEO, Iasis Healthcare: Succeeded long-time Iasis leader David White in 2010. Focused on growing with proceeds from busy 2013 that featured sale of Florida hospitals to HCA, $280 million sale-leaseback and $115 million dividend to investor owners.
44. Michael Wiechart — President and CEO, Capella Healthcare: LifePoint and Province veteran who joined Franklin-based owner of more than a dozen hospitals in 2009 and succeeded co-founder Dan Slipkovich at beginning of 2014. Looking to grow Capella, which was said to be up for sale last year, in existing markets.