Dr. Debbie Byrd




Debbie C. Byrd, PharmD, MBA, BCPS is Dean and Professor of the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University.  A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, Dr. Byrd completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis followed by a Primary Care Specialty Residency at the National Institutes of Health. In addition, Dr. Byrd holds a BS in Chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University and an MBA from Tennessee Tech University.  She also is a graduate of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education Management Development Program and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Academic Leadership Fellows Program.  Previous positions include 10 years on faculty at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, where she served as Associate Dean for Professional Affairs, responsible for college-wide communications and marketing, along with student affairs and experiential education for their Knoxville campus. Dr. Byrd began her career a decade before at Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy. Dr. Byrd’s practice experience includes development of new patient care services for underserved Family Medicine patients at sites including a private community hospital, rural mobile health clinic, rural private practice, and a large academic medical center. Administrative leadership experience includes service as Director of Experiential Learning, and as Director for Primary Care and Rural Primary Care Residency Programs. Honored as a Preceptor of Excellence, Dr. Byrd’s leadership in education includes curricular redesign, faculty orientation and mentoring programs, formal resident teaching and learning program activities, and an academia and leadership APPE. Dr. Byrd serves as faculty for the American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Leadership and Management Academy. She and her husband of almost 30 years, Robert, are proud parents of two teenage boys, Noah and Nathan.  

Debbie Dover

Debbie Dover serves as chief human resources officer and senior vice president for talent engagement at Ballad Health, which operates 21 hospitals in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The health system was formed in 2018 through the merger of Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance, with a mission of improving the health of the people in the region. 

Debbie has more than 30 years’ experience in healthcare human resources, including 7 years as corporate director of HR for Mountain States Health Alliance. 

Debbie has helped lead Ballad Health’s integration of two health systems into one, involving a workforce of nearly 15,000. She is known as an effective communicator and a developer of relationships and strategic partnerships, which has been instrumental in bringing two cultures together to build an organization centered around listening to its patients and the workforce. 

She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University, and later earned her master’s degree in business administration from East Tennessee State University. 

CJ Floros

CJ Floros has spent more than a decade focused on operationalizing the delivery of solutions that result in long-term, sustainable outcomes in healthcare. Currently, CJ is COO of Laudio, a platform designed for CNO’s and frontline managers in health systems to dramatically improve employee engagement, increase retention, and reduce burnout. Prior to Laudio CJ was Chief Development Officer at APS, a platform used by more than 30% of healthcare executives to identify potential clinical risk. 

CJ Floros is a senior executive with over 20 years in leadership roles covering business /corporate development and finance. He is recognized as a visionary, who has successfully provided leadership to early stage and middle market companies resulting in building top and bottom-line growth from inception to exit. His previous roles include as Chief Development Officer at APS where he successfully developed an enterprise sales strategy which lead to hyper growth of 70% reoccurring revenue upon sale; Chief Development officer of ConnectEDU where he established new revenues streams that contributed over $7M in recurring revenues; CEO of Perrone Group; and CEO and Founder of APLUS. He started his career as an Audit and Assurance Accountant at Deloitte. CJ has a BS in Accounting and Finance from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. 

Wendy Long

Wendy Long is the President and CEO of the Tennessee Hospital Association. THA is the premier organization in Tennessee that represents the interests of all hospitals and health systems in delivering accessible, cost-effective, quality care. THA supports its member hospitals through advocacy, education, information & technology, products & services, and workforce development, with special emphasis on efforts to improve patient safety and support rural hospitals.

Prior to joining THA, Dr. Long was the Director of Tennessee’s Medicaid program, TennCare, a $12 billion health care enterprise that provided health care services to over 1.4 million Tennesseans. Before becoming Director, Dr. Long held key executive management positions within TennCare including Deputy Director and Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Long is a Nashville Health Care Council Fellow (class of 2015) and is a past president of the Tennessee Public Health Association. At the national level, she has been involved in health policy through the efforts of several organizations including serving as a member of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Standards Committee and on the Health Advisory Panel of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Dr. Long received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the Ohio State University and completed a Preventive Medicine residency and the Master of Public Health program at the University of South Carolina.

Angela Humphreys

As chair of Bass Berry & Sims’ Healthcare Practice Group and co-chair of the Healthcare Private Equity Team, Angela Humphreys leads the firm’s national healthcare practice. With more than 20 years of experience, she has counseled national healthcare organizations on hundreds of transactions in the healthcare industry, including hospitals and health systems, health plans, surgery centers, physician practice management companies, laboratories and healthcare information technology companies, among others. She also leads interdisciplinary teams to provide clients with creative solutions to the operational and regulatory issues they face while working within an ever-changing, complex regulatory environment. Angela is known for providing business-minded, proactive advice and guidance to her clients, which include private equity firms and their portfolio companies, publicly traded companies and nonprofit institutions.  

Angela is active in national healthcare organizations. She is a Fellow of the Nashville Health Care Council and is a past director of Leadership Health Care. She currently serves as chair of the Health Law and Life Sciences Committee of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. She is past chair of the Health Care Industries Practice Group of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading organization of independent law firms. Angela currently serves on the board of directors for the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and the American Heart Association. 

Elisa Arespacochaga

Elisa Arespacochaga is vice president, clinical affairs and workforce at the American Hospital Association. In her role, Elisa supports the workforce strategy efforts of the association, focused on strengthening the current health care workforce and planning for the workforce needed for the future. As part of this work, she also leads the AHA Physician Alliance, a strategic initiative that advances physician leadership through the educational offerings, professional development opportunities and greater inclusion within hospital and health system administration and policy activities.