Finance & Administration Commissioner Stuart McWhorter Tuesday announced the formation of a Health Care Modernization Task Force, which he will co-chair with Bill Carpenter, former chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health. The Task Force will host public discussions with the goal of providing options for consideration to address some the state’s major healthcare issues.
“Working together, with patients, providers and payers, we can establish Tennessee as a world-class health care market for our people,” Governor Bill Lee said. “I would like to thank Commissioner McWhorter and Bill Carpenter for agreeing to lead this effort that will help move Tennessee toward better health outcomes and toward being a leader in the nation on health care.”
Discussions of the group will help drive the state’s consideration of ideas to improve the lives of Tennesseans who lack access to quality healthcare they can afford through innovation, uniting market forces and addressing community-specific characteristics that contribute to health issues.
“Based on discussions with Tennesseans, the largest healthcare issue across the state is access – and that takes many forms, from a lack of healthcare providers to lack of transportation,” Commissioner McWhorter said. “Our hope is that Tennesseans will come together around the Task Force to discuss potential solutions to immediate problems as well as long-term issues.”
“It is an honor to support Governor Lee and Commissioner McWhorter in this effort to improve the lives of Tennesseans,” Mr. Carpenter said. “This is a great opportunity to leverage our state’s deep bench of health care expertise and bring people together to share knowledge and ideas, and bring innovative solutions to our state’s health care delivery system.”
Members of the Governor’s Health Care Modernization Task Force are:
Co-Chairman Commissioner Stuart McWhorter, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration
Co-Chairman Bill Carpenter, Former Chairman and CEO, LifePoint Health
Speaker Pro Tempore Ferrell Haile Chairman Pat Marsh
Chairman Bo Watson Chairman Robin Smith
Chairman Paul Bailey Chairman Ron Travis
Senator Raumesh Akbari Representative John DeBerry Jr.
Dr. Mike Carrigan, MD, Chief Administrator, Premier Medical Group
Dr. James Bailey, MD, MPH, FACP, Professor and Director, Center for Health System Improvement, Robert S. Pearce Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
Dr. Brian DeBusk, PhD, MBA, First Vice-Chairman, Board of Trustees, Lincoln Memorial University
Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, PhD, MD, President, Meharry Medical College
Melanie Keller, RN, BSN, MHA, CEO Meritan, Inc.
Mary Kiger, MPP, Executive Director of TN Charitable Care Network'
Kathie Krause, MSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
Shantelle Leatherwood, MHA, CMPE, CEO, Christ Community Health Services
Alan Levine, MBA, MHS, Executive Chairman, President and CEO of Ballad Health
Dr. Jim King, MD, Family Physician
Kim Parker, MSSW, Director of Inpatient and Crisis Services, Pathways Behavioral Health Services
Jeff Tibbals, Scott County Mayor
Dr. Michael Ugwueke, DHA, MPH, FACHE, President and CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Dr. Andrea Willis, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tennessee
Dr. Randy Wykoff, MD, MPH & TM, Dean and Professor, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University
Over the summer, Commissioner McWhorter and eight cabinet-level officials heard from healthcare leaders and participants from across the state in a series of listening sessions in each of the three grand divisions.
A summary of the summer listening tour findings and a full report are available here.