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Uncharted territory: A story of independence, innovation and teamwork within Ballad Health

This article was submitted by Ballad Health’s Spiritual Health Services department, describing a project the department spearheaded to enable chaplain Matt Hallam, who is blind, to carry out his full duties, including charting in the electronic medical record system and keeping a log of daily activities. Thanks to a team effort involving people from different departments across the system, a process was developed and a successful solution was created!   As a department leading Ballad Health in spiritual and cultural dimensions of health and well-being, we were faced with one of our greatest challenges. One of our team members/chaplains is blind. That chaplain was able to carry out most all of his duties independently, except for charting in the electronic medical records and maintaining an account of daily activities in a personal care log. This was a gap in our service at one of our facilities and we knew it needed to be addressed. Breaking…

Whited named CNO, associate administrator at Johnston Memorial; Johnson selected as JCMC assistant CNO

Melissa Whited has been selected to serve as the new associate administrator and chief nursing officer (CNO) for Johnston Memorial Hospital, bringing years of experience in nursing leadership and clinical staffing support to Ballad Health’s Northeast Market. Johnson City Medical Center also made a leadership announcement, naming Alison Johnson as assistant chief nursing officer. Melissa Whited at JMH Whited has served in the interim associate administrator and CNO role at Johnston Memorial since early February. In her previous role, she served as corporate director of clinical staffing support for Ballad Health’s system float pool, leading that department since 2019. She began her nursing career as a frontline registered nurse at Johnston Memorial in 2014 and later held nursing leadership roles within the hospital.  “Melissa has demonstrated great leadership and success in nursing throughout our organization,” said John Jeter, vice president and chief executive officer of Johnston Memorial Hospital, “and we are so excited to have…

A big thank-you to the staff at our CVCs for their efforts in the fight against COVID-19

Pictured above, some of the team at our Community Vaccination Center, which closed last Friday; overall, Ballad Health’s CVCs administered more than 59,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Our Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at The Mall at Johnson City closed on March 11, marking the last of our Ballad Health CVCs to cease operation. Several others were operational at different locations last year but had already been shut down, while the site at the Johnson City mall continued to offer COVID-19 vaccinations until its final day on Friday. The role of the Ballad Health vaccination centers was crucial in our fight against COVID-19, as our CVCs administered more than 59,000 doses of the vaccine to community members as well as team members. Their efforts no doubt saved many lives and kept thousands of people from being hospitalized. To recognize the amazing, lifesaving work of the people at the CVCs, Ballad Health…

Last-minute opportunity: Know a great nurse? Nominate them for Bristol Herald Courier recognition

Do you know an extraordinary nurse in our area who has gone above and beyond to deliver compassionate care? If so, you can nominate them for special recognition in a special section of the Bristol Herald Courier called “Nurses – the heart of health care.” Nominations are open to the public through Wednesday, March 15, at 12:59 a.m. “In unprecedented times and with the added strain of COVID-19, this year we celebrate nurses who put others first and have made a significant impact in their community and on their patients,” the Herald Courier stated. All you have to do is give the nurse’s name, upload a photo and answer the simple question: “How has this nurse made an impact in the life of a loved one or your own?” Click here to nominate a nurse. Ten honorees will be featured in a special section and online in honor of National Nurses Week on Sunday, May 8….

Russell County Hospital’s Greta Morrison, Dr. Norman Rexrode receive statewide Governor’s EMS Awards

LEBANON, Va. – Two Russell County Hospital team members received 2021 statewide recognition from the Virginia Department of Health’s Governor’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Awards: Greta Morrison, the hospital’s assistant vice president, administrator and chief nursing officer, received the award for Nurse with Outstanding Contributions to EMS. Norman Rexrode, MD, an emergency physician at Russell County Hospital with more than 40 years of experience, was recognized for Outstanding Contributions to EMS by a Physician. They received the awards at the Governor’s EMS Awards Dinner in Norfolk. Both Morrison and Dr. Rexrode were also honored with the same awards on the regional level by the Southwest Virginia Emergency Medical Services Council, which led to their nomination for the statewide Governor’s Awards. “This is a tremendous honor for both Greta and Dr. Rexrode, and a very deserving one,” said Dr. Chad Couch, president of Ballad Health’s Northeast Market, which includes Russell County Hospital. “They are incredibly dedicated…

“Hope Rising” campaign raises record $514,000 in 10th annual Niswonger Children’s Hospital radiothon

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.— The 10th Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon concluded with more than a half million dollars raised over the two-day fundraiser. The new record of $514,000 surpasses the previous record of donations set in 2021 by about $69,000, kicking off a successful capital campaign focused on expanding the children’s hospital and its services. The two-day event began Thursday and concluded Friday evening after 36 hours of nonstop fundraising, bringing to a close another successful year of fundraising for the region’s only children’s hospital. “We know the community stands beside us, but the generosity still blows us away every year,” said Ballad Health Foundation President Jack Simpson. “In 10 years, our community has banded together to put almost $4 million toward the future of healthcare in the Appalachian Highlands. That’s absolutely incredible.” This year’s radiothon marked several other records, including 30 teams, 240 volunteers and a record 1,400 donations. Over the past decade, the radiothon has helped…

Use our ACTS of Service to recognize team members who deserve thanks for a job well done!

Did you know Ballad Health has a way for you to recognize fellow team members who do great work? It’s called ACTS of Service recognition, available on the Ballad Health intranet through our Human Resources and Organizational Development departments. It only takes a few minutes and you can send someone an eCard to show your appreciation for their dedication and hard work. If you’re a leader, you can nominate a team member for an award. Here’s how to use ACTS of Service: Go to the Ballad Health intranet. (NOTE: You must be on a Ballad Health network device to access the intranet.) Visit “Quick Links” on the left side. Click on “ACTS of Service Appreciation,” which will be the first link listed. Use your team member number as your username (no need to include the “u” as part of the number). If this is your first time using ACTS of Service, or if you’ve forgotten…

BHMA announces shifts in leadership duties for Gulson, Gordon, Halsey

Ballad Health Medical Associates (BHMA) has announced several leadership changes, shifting some of the roles and duties among its current leaders. KJ Gulson, MBA, has been promoted to the role of vice president, value-based strategy and innovation for Ballad Health Medical Associates, and Christy Gordon, MBA, has been promoted to assistant vice president, BHMA operations. Jessica Halsey, MBA, assistant vice president for BHMA operations, has added responsibilities as leader of the Ballad Health Neurosciences Service Line while maintaining her current duties. All three leaders assumed their new duties in January. KJ Gulson Gulson has served as assistant vice president for BHMA operations since the formation of Ballad Health in 2018. In her new role, she will oversee strategic initiatives optimizing quality patient care as it relates to value-based agreements. She will work across all service lines, collaborating with various Ballad Health leaders to make sure the continuum of care is maintained, and effective standards of work…

Dr. Karen Shelton honored as Bristolian of the Year for her work against COVID-19

  Dr. Karen Shelton is chief medical officer at Bristol Regional Medical Center and Smyth County Community Hospital. (Photo courtesy Bristol Herald Courier)   Dr. Karen Shelton, vice president/chief medical officer for Bristol Regional Medical Center and Smyth County Community Hospital, was named 2021 Bristolian of the Year by the Bristol Herald Courier newspaper for her efforts during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Dr. Shelton is the former director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Mount Rogers health district, and led the department through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, overseeing testing, contact tracing, quarantine measures and developing mitigation strategies — all while advising cities, counties, school districts and individuals on best practices, then marshaling mass efforts to get people vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. She was honored by the Herald Courier for her leadership creating and directing efforts to guard the health of tens of thousands of Southwest Virginians against the global pandemic…

Hawkins County Memorial Hospital: 60 years of service to the community … and counting!

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. – On Dec. 16, Ballad Health celebrated a huge milestone in the history of Hawkins County Memorial Hospital – the facility’s 60th anniversary! In 1961, the hospital first opened its doors to the Rogersville community. For six decades, Hawkins County Memorial hospital has provided our friends, neighbors and families with high-quality care. The team members at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital give their all to ensure our patients receive the care they deserve. They take pride in their work by committing each day to providing safe, compassionate and consistent quality care. This is evidenced by the many recognitions the hospital has received. For three consecutive years, Hawkins County Memorial earned national recognition as an IBM Watson Health Top 100 Hospital and as a top 100 rural hospital by the Chartis Center for Rural Health, signifying that the care given at Hawkins County is some of the best in the nation. The hospital has also…

Share a Story: IT’s Kyle Smith captures Angler of the Year

Who knew fishing (the kind with a rod and reel) is now a high-tech sport? Kyle Smith, from Ballad Health’s IT department, uses his tech expertise to take his favorite outdoor sport to new levels and reel in sponsors, trophies, cash prizes and, recently, recognition as Angler of the Year. “I grew up fishing for anything that would bite,” said Kyle Smith, IT senior director of applications for Ballad Health. Now a seriously competitive angler, he fishes only for bass in competitions that have taken him to lakes around the United States, earned him some hefty prize money and attracted a handful of sponsors. Recently, Kyle’s success in five tournaments with the local Volunteer Division, which is part of a national organization, Major League Fishing’s Phoenix Bass Fishing League, propelled him to recognition as the league’s 2021 Angler of the Year. To earn this title, Kyle won first place (and a $13,000 prize) in the…

Ballad Health taps experienced local leaders for key leadership roles

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Ballad Health has announced the promotion of two experienced leaders in its Southern Market, a market composed of eight hospitals spanning Greeneville to Mountain City to Unicoi County. The market includes the region’s state-designated safety net and teaching hospital, Johnson City Medical Center, Niswonger Children’s Hospital and a myriad of outpatient services serving hundreds of thousands of patients annually. Lisa Carter, who currently serves as chief executive officer (CEO) of Niswonger Children’s Hospital and the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network, has been named president of the Southern Market, and will oversee all operations of the market. Kenny Shafer, currently serving as interim CEO of Johnson City Medical Center, has been named chief executive officer of Johnson City Medical Center. These appointments come after a search process which generated numerous exceptional candidates from around the nation. A search committee composed of regional leaders, physicians and Ballad Health leadership participated in the process…