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Ballad Health clinical leader tapped for national post

Monday, April 1, 2019

Ballad Health clinical leader tapped for national post

Dr. Jerry Blackwell to serve as president of MedAxiom, will continue service with Ballad Health

photo: Dr. Blackwell portrait

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MedAxiom announced today that it has selected Dr. Jerry Blackwell to serve as its president. The nation’s leading community of cardiovascular providers, thought leaders and innovators, MedAxiom is a subsidiary of the American College of Cardiology.

Blackwell, who has practiced cardiology in Kingsport since 1995, and previously served as chief executive officer of the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, has been serving as chief clinical officer of Ballad Health since February 1, 2018. In his role as chief clinical officer, Blackwell oversaw the integration of the system’s quality and clinical functions, and led the creation of the Physician Clinical Council, which has overseen efforts to improve quality and the value of services provided by Ballad Health facilities. Under his leadership, in only one year, 14 of 17 key quality indicators have improved. At a national level, he currently serves as chair of the influential Health Affairs Committee for the American College of Cardiology.

Ballad Health announced that, in addition to his new role with MedAxiom, Blackwell will continue to serve on the Ballad Health team as senior clinical advisor to the chairman and chief executive officer. In his new role, he will advise leadership of Ballad Health on healthcare transformation and the increasingly important role of physician participation in a value-based health care environment.

Below are statements from Blackwell and Ballad Health Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Levine.

Statement from Dr. Jerry Blackwell:
“I had the privilege of being the only practicing physician serving on the Strategic Options Committee for Wellmont Health System for four years. As a result of that process, I concluded that the creation of Ballad Health was one of the most important things that could happen for this region. Today, I am even more enthusiastic about the potential for Ballad Health. When I accepted the role as chief clinical officer, I shared that I wanted to help ensure a smooth integration between the legacy organizations, but also that my experience in, and national involvement with, the cardiology profession may ultimately take me in a direction where I could make a national impact on transformation in healthcare. After having worked with my colleagues and Alan Levine over the past year, it became clear to me that I wanted to continue to work with them as we make Ballad Health a nationally-recognized system. I’m pleased that I can continue to do so even while helping other organizations and professions achieve excellence in the healthcare transformation. Working with MedAxiom will be a great opportunity professionally, but I’m deeply committed to continuing the great work happening here. I may be serving in a different capacity, but I will remain steadfast in helping Ballad Health achieve its goals.”

Statement from Alan Levine:
“What a great opportunity for Dr. Blackwell, and what a statement about the kind of people we have at Ballad Health. When leading national organizations look for talent, it should be no surprise they come here. Dr. Blackwell has made us all very proud. He kept his word in helping us with the transition, and now he has this tremendous opportunity to take what he’s put into practice here over the years and share it all over the world. I’m grateful he is so committed to Ballad Health that he’s chosen to stay on as an advisor on the transitions in healthcare, and I look forward to continuing to work with him. Jerry has become way more than a colleague. He is a friend, and I couldn’t be more excited for him.”