After six years serving as the Chief Executive Officer for Niswonger Children's Hospital, Lisa Carter stepped into her role as president of Ballad Health's Southern Region in December 2021, where she oversees operations at Johnson City Medical Center, Niswonger Children's Hospital, Woodridge Hospital, Franklin Woods Hospital, Unicoi County Community Hospital, Sycamore Shoals Hospital, Johnson County Community Hospital and Greeneville Community Hospital.
After earning a bachelor's degree in nursing from Tennessee Tech University, Carter began her healthcare career in North Carolina but returned home to the Appalachian Highlands in 1998. She joined the children's hospital team in 2001, following a high-risk pregnancy and birth of a premature baby boy who needed around-the-clock care in a neonatal intensive care unit and follow-up appointments with pediatric subspecialists.
Carter earned her master's degree in nursing from East Tennessee State University in 2008, and became the vice president and chief nursing officer at Niswonger Children's Hospital and Johnson City Medical Center. Under Carter's leadership, the hospital's Family Birth Center achieved the 99th percentile in patient satisfaction, and the Level 1 trauma center earned successful state redesignation with commendations.
In 2015, Ballad Health named Carter as CEO of Niswonger Children's Hospital, the only children's hospital in the Appalachian Highlands.
During her tenure there, Carter spearheaded new programs to address pressing children's healthcare issues such as neonatal abstinence syndrome, trauma-informed care and other social determinants of health. Her leadership also led to the development of a special care unit at Niswonger Children's Hospital, and she helped bring to fruition initiatives that extend telemedicine options into the rural regions of Niswonger Children's Hospital's 29-county service area, extending access to specialized pediatric care to remote and disadvantaged communities.
When Ballad Health announced plans to extend children's care even farther beyond hospital walls, it announced Carter as the CEO for the Ballad Health Niswonger Children's Network. Carter was instrumental in the development of the network, and she remains involved in its continued growth and development.
In addition to her role as president of the Southern Region, Lisa also serves on several boards, including past board chair of the Children's Hospital Alliance of Tennessee, Make-A-Wish of East Tennessee, and the Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House. She has been recognized by the YWCA as a leader in Empowerment and the Meritorious Service Award from the Tricities Business Journal in 2018. As regional president, Carter will continue to promote quality healthcare for the Appalachian Highlands.