MED MOVES: Nemours Children’s names first chief health equity officer, and more

In other executive news, Mass Brigham General names its first chief medical officer, and Baptist Memorial names a new chief nursing executive.

Rachel Thronton is joining Nemours Children’s Health as vice president and enterprise chief health equity officer, a new role for the system.

Thornton will take the post starting March 1. She will lead the system’s health equity strategy and oversee Nemours Office of Health Equity and Inclusion.

Dr. Thornton serves as chair of membership, diversity and inclusion for the Academic Pediatric Association (APA). She has played a key role in the work of the APA Anti-Racism Task Force. She served as health policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2011-2013.

“As healthcare organizations, we have a responsibility to deliver equitable healthcare to the patients we serve, and we have tremendous potential to act as a force-multiplier for health equity in the community,” Thornton said in a statement.

“Truly moving the needle on outcomes requires a strong organizational commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as well. I am excited and humbled to be joining an organization with such a strong vision and commitment.”

Kara Odom Walker, Nemours Children’s Health executive vice president and chief population health officer, said the system is committed to improving health equity.

“Dr. Thornton is exactly the kind of nationally recognized leader who can set the course for Nemours Children’s to be a model for child health equity, diversity and inclusion for the entire country,” she said in a statement.

Mass General Brigham names first CMO

Thomas D. Sequist has been named the first chief medical officer at Mass General Brigham.

Sequist has been with the health system since beginning his residency in 1999 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he practices medicine as a primary care physician. Most recently, Sequist has served as chief patient experience and equity officer at Mass General Brigham.

Anne Klibanski, president and CEO of Mass General Brigham, hailed Sequist’s “vast and demonstrable experience in enhancing our health system’s patient experience and quality outcomes to his expanded role as chief medical officer.”

“I have no doubt that under his leadership, we will accelerate our progress toward providing incomparable care to patients locally and across the globe,” she said in a statement.

A member of the Taos Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, Dr. Sequist has conducted health policy research to expand understanding of healthcare for indigenous Americans, the system said in its news release.

“I am excited and humbled by this unique opportunity to guide Mass General Brigham in its mission to provide exceptional and equitable care to patients across New England and beyond who enter our clinics and hospitals,” Sequist said in a statement.

“We will work together with leaders at our renowned member hospitals to foster collaboration and innovation to achieve our mission of enhancing patient care and serving the community.”

Baptist Memorial names chief nurse executive

Mary Ellen Sumrall has been named chief nursing executive for the Baptist Memorial Health Care system and chief nursing officer for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.

Sumrall has worked for Baptist for 34 years and previously served as interim chief nursing executive for Baptist and chief nursing officer at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle. Susan Ferguson, the previous chief nursing executive, retired in May 2021.

Jason Little, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, said he is pleased to see Sumrall in the role.

“She has consistently done an outstanding job as the nurse leader for Baptist Golden Triangle, which has received national recognition for its quality care,” Little said in a statement. “Her commitment to excellence and delivering high-quality, safe care makes her the best candidate to lead our nursing team now and into the future.”

Sumrall has worked in management of 20 different areas of the hospital, including peri-operative services, women’s services, and the emergency department, among others.

CHRISTUS Health names VP of cancer services

Andrea Teague has been named the first vice president of cancer services at CHRISTUS Health.

Teague will be based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The system said she will play a key role in the development of the cancer program and facilities at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She will also work to ensure high quality cancer care throughout the system.

Sam Bagchi, CHRISTUS Health’s executive vice president and chief clinical officer, hailed Teague’s “visionary thinking” as a key asset.

“We’re thrilled to have Dr. Teague join us,” Bagchi said in a statement. “We are setting out into a strong strategic direction as an organization and doing so will mean we can save more lives and celebrate life with our patients and their families.”

Teague said she is looking forward to the work ahead.

“I am honored to have the opportunity as part of my work to lead an incredible team of oncology providers, nurses and support staff at St. Vincent," Teague said in a statement.

“The hospital’s cancer patients will receive the highest quality care delivered in a compassionate setting with state-of-the-art technology. I also look forward to collaborating with other CHRISTUS Health clinical and administrative leaders on the development of cancer services models like St. Vincent’s throughout the CHRISTUS system.”

CHRISTUS St. Vincent recently announced plans for a new $80 million cancer center that will represent a new level of integrated cancer care delivery in North Central New Mexico.

Missouri system names interim CEO

Mike Poore will serve as interim chief executive officer of Mosaic Life Care in St. Joseph, Mo.

He will take the position beginning March 14, 2022.

“I look forward to meeting Mosaic caregivers and the leadership team,” Poore said in a news release. “They have demonstrated a strong commitment to the communities they serve. My goal, even though I am here temporarily, is to listen, assess and provide a strong path forward for the next CEO.”

Poore is the interim chief executive officer for Faquier Health in Virginia. He has served as interim CEO for health systems through the LifePoint Health network. LifePoint’s network includes more than 65 community hospital campuses and more than 30 rehabilitation and behavioral health hospitals.

Poore has more than 20 years of experience as a CEO and more than 30 years of experience in health care.

Mosaic is going to conduct a nationwide search for Mosaic’s next CEO, and the search is expected to take about six months.

Pardee UNC names first VP of workforce development

John Bryant has been named the first vice president of workforce development at Pardee UNC Health Care.

In the newly created role, Bryant will be responsible for recruiting a qualified workforce, including the development of partnerships with education to create additional pathways for a career in healthcare. 

Bryant will join Pardee in this new role on July 1.

He serves as the Superintendent for Henderson County Public Schools and has more than two decades of experience holding leadership and administrative roles within the system.

“Understanding how the education system can create pathways to support a more robust healthcare system is something I feel strongly about and have a unique perspective from which to work,” Bryant said in a statement.