Tennessee Hospital Association Honors 24 Award Recipients at Annual Meeting

Nov 10, 2016 at 04:53 pm by Staff

The Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) recognized 24 individuals with Awards of Excellence during its 78th Annual Meeting at the Omni Nashville Hotel this week.

Awards were presented in 14 categories, recognizing contributions of everyone from hospital volunteers and frontline staff to trustees and executives. The complete list of awards and winners is as follows:

Distinguished Service Awards

Anthony Spezia, CEO emeritus, Covenant Health, Knoxville, received 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.

Spezia was honored for his 25 years of healthcare leadership and more than 15 years as Covenant Health's president and CEO. He has served on the THA Board of Directors for 12 years and received the THA Meritorious Service Award for a CEO in 2008.

Dennis Wolford, CEO, Macon County General Hospital, Lafayette, also received the Distinguished Service Award. Wolford was recognized for his 32 years of serve as CEO at Macon County General Hospital. He has served on the THA Board of Directors and THA Council on Clinical and Professional Practices.

President's Award

Reginald Coopwood, M.D., president and CEO, Regional One Health, Memphis, was honored for his leadership, focus on patient safety and support of THA programs and services. He is a former chairman of the THA board of directors.

Meritorious Service Awards

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

Chief Executive Officer

Mike Belbeck, executive vice president of operations, Covenant Health, Knoxville, was recognized for his impact on the culture, quality and financial performance of Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge and Covenant Health.

Senior Executive

Debbie Thompson, chief financial officer, Sweetwater Hospital Association, was recognized for her 38 years of service at the hospital and ensuring the financial growth and stability of the hospital.

Department Head

Cindy Albright, quality management director, Blount Memorial Hospital, Maryville, was honored for her efforts to drive process improvement changes at the hospital, along with survey and accreditation readiness.

Dwight Owens, director of pharmacy services, Bristol Regional Medical Center, was recognized for his work as chairman of Wellmont Health System's Performance Improvement Council.

Board Member

Douglas Warren, chairman, board of directors, Sweetwater Hospital Association, was honored for his leadership and service to the hospital board for the past 26 years.

Medical Staff

Albert Petty, M.D., radiation oncologist and Cancer Center medical director, Blount Memorial Hospital, Maryville, was recognized for his efforts to increase and improve the cancer care services at the hospital.


Lynn Ferguson, volunteer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, was honored for influencing the transformation of the medical center from one of provider-centered care to one of active patient and family engagement.

Brenda Baer, volunteer, Bristol Regional Medical Center, was recognized for volunteering more than 9,000 hours since 2000 and service in almost every role on the hospital's volunteer auxiliary board.

Blanche Smithers, volunteer, Mended Hearts, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, was recognized for her lasting impact on the Mended Hearts program.

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.

Elizabeth Appling, chief diversity officer, Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga, was recognized as the best of the best in championing diversity and inclusion at the hospital and in the Chattanooga community.

Patient Safety Leadership Awards

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

Jeanann Pardue, M.D., chief quality officer, East Tennessee Children's Hospital, Knoxville, was honored for her efforts to improve quality and patient safety at the hospital.

Melissa Roden, vice president, quality, CHI Memorial, Chattanooga, was recognized for her tireless leadership and efforts in preventing adverse health events and raising awareness of patient safety issues throughout the health system.

Marilyn (Buffy) Key, vice president of quality management and process improvement, Cookeville Regional Medical Center, was recognized for her leadership in the areas of quality, performance improvement and patient safety.

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 Award

Janice Keys, senior vice president and chief nurse officer, Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga, was honored for being a driving force in transforming the nursing culture at the hospital.

Clinical Nurse of Distinction Award

Albert Menard, III, registered nurse, Parkridge Medical Center, Chattanooga, was recognized for his skill in managing emergency room situations and being a mentor to other nurses.

American College of Healthcare Executives Awards

Senior Level Awards

Stephen Corbeil, president, HCA TriStar Health System, Brentwood, was honored for exemplifying the values of leadership, integrity, lifelong learning and diversity of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Lisa Piercey, M.D., vice president, physician services, West Tennessee Healthcare, Jackson, was recognized for her enthusiasm, initiative and passion for ACHE.

Regional Healthcare Executive of the Year Award

Wright Pinson, M.D., deputy CEO and chief health system officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, was recognized for his efforts to develop and organize the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, a 57-hospital affiliated system throughout Tennessee.

Rural Hospital Healthcare Executive of the Year Award

Stephanie Boynton, administrator, Erlanger Bledsoe, and administrator, Bledsoe County Nursing Home, Pikeville, was recognized for her active participation in ACHE.

Early Careerist Awards

Matthew Stuart, senior manager, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, Knoxville, was recognized for his membership engagement as president of the East Tennessee Healthcare Executives Affiliation chapter.

Tanner Goodrich, vice president of operations, Erlanger Health System, Chattanooga, was recognized for insight on market growth and bottom line performance and participation in ACHE.

Sections: Grand Rounds