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Dr. Clay Runnels

Chief Physician Executive

Dr. Runnels portrait

Clay Runnels, MD, heads up Ballad Health’s physician leadership structure as Chief Physician Executive. In this role, he has oversight of all clinical services, quality, service lines, Ballad Health Medical Associates, health research and graduate medical education.

Dr. Runnels is a licensed emergency physician and has served in various leadership positions in the health system since 2000.

He has helped spearhead several award-winning projects, including initiatives to reduce time to treatment for oncology patients and to streamline the physician credentialing process. Dr. Runnels also participated in the development of regional stroke care protocols, as well as a teleneurology program.

Dr. Runnels is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American College of Emergency Physicians and a member of the Tennessee College of Emergency Physicians and the American Association of Physician Leadership.