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Ballad Health appoints Paula Masters as vice president of health programs
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Ballad Health announced today the organization has named local public health expert Paula Masters as the new vice president of health programs.
Health improvement is at the core of Ballad Health’s mission and vison. As part of the merger agreement which formed Ballad Health, the health system made enforceable commitments with the State of Tennessee and the Commonwealth of Virginia to improve population health, expand access to pediatrics, behavioral and rural health services, and support local health research and medical education. Masters’ new role was created with those commitments in mind.
“I’m excited about the potential Ballad Health has to improve the health of our region,” said Masters. “I grew up in rural Appalachia where my father was the only doctor in town. Watching him work with his patients I knew early on I wanted to help people. Public health became my passion.”
Masters will join Ballad Health’s newly created office of population health. She will lead the department of health programs responsible for implementing health improvement programming throughout the Ballad Health service area. The department will administer Ballad Health’s $75 million investment in population health agreed to under the Certificate of Public Advantage and Cooperative Agreement with the State of Tennessee and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“Our agreements with the Tennessee and Virginia departments of health spell out the health metrics we need to improve as Ballad Health. We can’t do it alone,” said Masters. “We are going to work alongside community organizations to identify solutions that are locally-driven.”
“The health programs department is vital to Ballad Health’s goal of improving our region’s overall health, and with Paula’s extensive expertise in public health and education, this new department will be off to a great start,” said Anthony Keck, executive vice president for system transformation and Ballad Health’s chief population health officer. “We are very excited for Paula to join our team, and I have no doubt her leadership will help make a huge impact on this region.”
Masters comes to Ballad Health from East Tennessee State University, where she served as assistant dean of student services at the College of Public Health. She rose through the ranks at ETSU, beginning her career there as director of LIFEPATH (the Tennessee Public Health Training Center) before being promoted to assistant dean for student services. Masters has extensive academic training in public health and has also spent several years working for local and regional health departments.
“Paula has been a tremendous asset to ETSU’s College of Public Health, and she is remarkably qualified for this important new position that will serve the region,” said Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean of public health for ETSU. “While we will miss Paula on our team, we look forward to working with her closely in her new position as Ballad Health and ETSU continue to collaborate to improve the health of people in our communities.”
Masters received her bachelor’s degree from ETSU in public health and health services administration, and later earned her master’s degree in health services administration and a health care management certificate. Masters is working on her doctorate degree in community health at ETSU and is expected to earn that degree in May.
Masters is the former president of the Tennessee Public Health Association and a recipient of the association’s Doris Spain Award for Distinguished Service.
She will begin her new role at Ballad Health in April.