Lisa Carter

Lisa Carter portrait updated

A native of Northeast Tennessee and graduate of Happy Valley High School, Lisa Carter began her healthcare career as a bedside nurse. In December of 2021, after six years serving as the Chief Executive Officer for Niswonger Children's Hospital, Lisa stepped into her role as president of Ballad Health's Southern Region, where she oversees operations at ten Ballad Health facilities.

She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Tennessee Tech University, where she was a four-year member of the women’s golf team. While there she was a four-time academic all-American and winner of the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in 1995. 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 her own high-risk pregnancy and the birth of a premature baby boy.

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 was recognized for achievements 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 further beyond hospital walls, Carter was named the CEO for the Ballad Health Niswonger Children's Network. She 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. She has been recognized by the YWCA as a leader in Empowerment and received the Meritorious Service Award from the Tri-Cities Business Journal in 2018. In 2023, Becker’s Healthcare recognized Lisa among their women presidents and CEOs to know. As regional president, Carter continues to focus on quality healthcare for the most rural areas of the Appalachian Highlands.