Dr. Keith Young
2023 Servant's Heart Award Winner
Dr. Young is a pulmonologist and critical care physician with Ballad Health Medical Associates – Critical Care, serving at Johnson City Medical Center. He has shown amazing dedication to his patients, their families and his fellow team members for nearly four decades.
His work was especially impactful during the COVID-19 pandemic, working on the front lines when the virus was new and relatively little was known about it. Staffing became a serious problem in hospitals nationwide, but Dr. Young served as a steady leader.
He is a firm believer in following evidence-based practices, staying up-to-date on current guidelines – especially challenging during the pandemic as new evidence came to light and guidelines evolved on a regular basis.
Dr. Young provides compassionate care not only to his patients but also their families, taking extra time to answer all their questions and provide a kind word or expression of encouragement.
"His wisdom, experience and expertise are irreplaceable."
One case involved a young patient whose family was going through the difficult process of deciding to pursue comfort care only, as nothing more could be done for the patient in the treatment process. Dr. Young spent extra time comforting the family during this heartbreaking time, and after the patient passed away, Dr. Young personally sent the family a sympathy card and made a generous donation in their son’s honor to a memorial fund.
His care for fellow team members is also unsurpassed. Dr. Young makes sure his entire team is taken care of – including the ICU nurses and the respiratory therapy, housekeeping and maintenance teams. He ensures the ICU staff will have meals provided on all major holidays, often coming in to deliver the meals on his day off. At Thanksgiving, Dr. Young and his wife provided a whole turkey and side dishes to both day-shift and night-shift critical care units; at Christmas, they brought homemade lasagna!
He routinely covers shifts for physician colleagues when they are out sick, serves as a mentor to the mid-level providers on the critical care team, and tries to do whatever he can to keep up staff morale, always going the extra mile to make everyone feel loved and appreciated.
A Ballad Health team member described Dr. Young “an inspiration to our team and to the ICU staff. His wisdom, experience and expertise are irreplaceable.” Other team members referred to him as being “a friend to all,” and having “a heart of gold,” and they say any team is better when Dr. Young is a part of it.