December 13, 2018

Nashville Health Care Council Announces 2019 Fellows Class

National initiative co-chaired by U.S. Sen. Bill Frist to convene seventh annual class of executives to explore innovative solutions for health care’s greatest challenges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, officials with the Nashville Health Care Council, including former U.S. Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, M.D., and health care economist Larry Van Horn, announced the 2019 class of the Nashville Health Care Council Fellows. The class includes 28 senior executives from across the country representing a diverse array of sectors within health care who will discuss and address the challenges facing the industry.

“The Fellows initiative brings together a remarkable collection of health care’s brightest minds each year for a unique opportunity to positively transform our nation’s health care system,” said SenatorFrist. “The health care industry is constantly having to evolve and think of what’s next, and I’m excited to welcome this new group of leaders who are going to move the industry forward in the years to come.”

The 2019 application pool was especially competitive, with the highest number of applications in the history of the program.

This is the seventh class to be named for the annual initiative. The members of the 2019 Fellows class are:

  • Derek Anderson, Vice President, Business Improvement, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Marc Barclay, Vice President, Provider Networks and Contracting, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
  • Tony Briningstool, M.D.,Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, American Physician Partners
  • Richard Clark, Western Group President, Acadia Healthcare
  • Tim Corvino, M.D., Chief Operating Officer, Covenant Surgical Partners
  • Michael Davidoff, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, Phreesia
  • Sarath Degala, Principal Healthcare Practice, BIP Capital
  • Cherae Farmer-Dixon, DDS, Dean, Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry
  • Audrey Gregory,Market Chief Executive Officer, Saint Francis Healthcare
  • Bryan Gregory, Division Vice President, DaVita, Inc.
  • Adam Holland, Chief Financial Officer, Tivity Health, Inc.
  • Gillian Hooker, Vice President of Clinical Development, Concert Genetics
  • John D. Johnston, Senior Vice President, Optum Advisory Services
  • Erik Larsen, Vice President – Special Assets Group, HCA Healthcare
  • Parth Mehrotra, Chief Operating Officer, Privia Health
  • Stephen Pennington, Vice President of Operations Division III, Community Health Systems
  • Stephen A. Rector, CEO, Corizon Health
  • Monica Rivera, M.D., Vice President, Business Development, Circulation, Inc.
  • Jason Ross, Senior Vice President, Revenue and Network Management, LifePoint Health
  • Grant Rutledge, Chief Development Officer, HCA, TriStar Division
  • J. Stimson, M.D., Senior Adviser to the Chief Health System Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Fahad Tahir, President and CEO, Saint Thomas Midtown and West Hospitals
  • Maia Thiagarajan, Managing Senior Counsel, Change Healthcare
  • Mike Ussery, President and Chief Operating Officer, National HealthCare Corporation
  • Kimberly Weakley-Johnson, Regional Vice President, Provider Solutions, Amerigroup TN
  • Pamela Weir, President and CEO, Precera Bioscience
  • Marcus Whitney, CEO, Health:Further
  • Victor Wu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, TennCare

The Fellows Initiative

Launched by the Council amid unprecedented industry change in 2013, Council Fellows is aimed at improving the way health care executives meet their most critical challenges.

The initiative kicks off with a two-day orientation retreat, followed by seven full-day sessions over four months, where class members investigate and evaluate new ideas to address the hurdles facing the U.S. health care system. The experience is capped off by a two-day closing retreat.

“As the global center for health care delivery and collaboration, Nashville is the only place where this one-of-a-kind leadership experience can take place,” said Hayley Hovious, Council president. “The Fellows program allows the Council to continue its commitment to cultivating collaboration and developing leadership among executives from top health care organizations across the country, of all sizes and sectors.”

Led by a faculty of internationally known experts and thought leaders, the program’s curriculum will address topics such as new care delivery models, the ongoing evolution of reimbursement models and value-based care, disruptive innovation, data analytics, and globalization. The class will also participate in intensive immersion exercises to broaden their understanding and deepen connections.

“Through the Fellows program, we are able to challenge these executives to think differently about how they as leaders approach decisions in health care,” said Van Horn, a leading expert in health care management and economics, and professor at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. “Ultimately, we are arming them with the knowledge to transform the way they operate and, in turn, the way that health care is delivered.”

Fellows has an enduring impact on its graduates, and the alumni program ensures that members continue collaboration long after their graduation. Each graduating class joins a distinguished group of alumni already applying their Fellows experience in the field.

The Council Fellows program is presented in partnership with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Change HealthcareCommunity Health SystemsHCALifePoint HealthTivity Health and Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.

Visit for more information.

About the Nashville Health Care Council

The Nashville Health Care Council is an association of health care industry leaders working together to inspire global collaboration to improve health care by serving as a catalyst for leadership and innovation. Since 1995, the Council has served as the most trusted source for information on trends and innovations influencing the nation’s health care capital. Through regular programs, ranging from large ballroom events to small group gatherings, the Council provides members with truly unparalleled access to national and international policymakers, industry innovators and thought leaders.

Nashville is a center of health care expertise. Worldwide, Nashville’s health care industry generates more than $92 billion in annual revenues and 570,000 jobs. It is Middle Tennessee’s largest and fastest-growing employer. For more information on the Council, please visit

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