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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Ballad Health appoints Dr. Amy Doran to lead childcare and early childhood education efforts

Dr. Amy Doran portraitAs Ballad Health continues working towards strong starts in life for children across the Appalachian Highlands, the health system is excited to announce Amy Doran, EdD, as the new corporate director of early childhood care and education.

Dr. Doran will lead Ballad Health’s current childcare centers and their planned expansion across the region over the next three years. These childcare centers will provide more Ballad Health team members with high-quality, accessible and affordable childcare options.

The expansion will provide additional childcare capacity to the community, as well. Independent research by Tennesseans for Quality Early Education has reported that 98% of parents of children under the age of 5 in the Tri-Cities have said inadequate childcare has hurt their work productivity and career opportunities. Similar problems exist elsewhere throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, with an estimated shortage of 12,000 childcare spaces in Ballad Health’s service area.

With nearly 40 years of experience in elementary and early childhood education, Dr. Doran is no stranger to the Appalachian Highlands. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Appalachian State University, a master’s degree in education from Tusculum University and a doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from East Tennessee State University.

Most recently, she was the district supervisor of early childhood for Kingsport City Schools and led more than 20 educational sites while also developing curricula for children in the school system.

“Dr. Doran brings the knowledge and skills Ballad Health needs to drive our vision of high-quality early childhood care and education in the Appalachian Highlands,” said Todd Norris, Ballad’s senior vice president of community health and system advancement. “She has been hands-on inside the classroom, she understands administration and she has been actively involved with larger plans and policy efforts to help children in the region.”

Dr. Doran will also serve a pivotal role in Ballad Health’s Strong Starts program, helping families in the region on the path to kindergarten readiness for their children. She will work closely with the STRONG Accountable Care Community (STRONG ACC) team and community partners to develop initiatives that will enhance the well-being of children in the community. Her work will aim to accelerate early learning outcomes and close achievement and opportunity gaps for children at birth through third grade.

“The board’s approval of our childcare expansion is another example of our commitment to our workforce and our community,” said Alan Levine, Chairman and CEO of Ballad Health. “Even before this major new investment, we’ve increased base wages for nurses and frontline caregivers by more than $120 million to better compete with hospitals in large urban areas. By providing access to high-quality childcare, we believe the Appalachian Highlands will become an even better place to raise a family, and Ballad Health will become an even more attractive place to work.”

Dr. Doran begins her new role on Wednesday, June 1.

More information about Ballad Health’s new childcare centers and continued work in early childhood development will be announced as it is available.