Benton to serve as interim CEO of Washington County hospitals for Mountain States Health Alliance


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Tony Benton has been selected to serve as interim CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance’s Washington County facilities, Mountain States officials announced Wednesday. Benton will fill the role while a search team identifies a permanent candidate to replace David Nicely, who announced in March that he would pursue a new professional opportunity near Nashville.

Benton’s role as interim CEO of Washington County facilities will include the CEO role at Johnson City Medical Center (JCMC), along with oversight for the operations of Franklin Woods Community Hospital and Woodridge Hospital. When a permanent candidate is selected, Benton will become the Chief Operations Officer for Washington County facilities.

“We are grateful that Tony has agreed to accept this set of responsibilities,” said Alan Levine, president and CEO of Mountain States. “We have some exciting plans to enhance JCMC’s role in the community as a teaching hospital and as a center for research and innovation, and as such, we will be looking to bring in expertise and experience from other major academic medical centers across the nation.”

Benton most recently served as CEO of Franklin Woods Community Hospital, a role he assumed in February 2012. Under Benton’s leadership, Franklin Woods has maintained patient satisfaction scores that rank among the top 10 percent of all hospitals nationwide. The hospital was recently listed by Becker’s Hospital Review as having the 22nd highest patient satisfaction score in the country. In 2013, Franklin Woods became one of four hospitals in the nation to be honored by the American Hospital Association for leadership and innovation in quality improvement and patient safety.

Benton joined Mountain States in 2002 as vice president of strategic planning. In that role, he oversaw a number of capital improvement and growth projects as Mountain States brought five new hospitals into the system and helped to develop Johnson City’s Med Tech Corridor with the construction of Franklin Woods Community Hospital. As head of strategic planning, Benton also oversaw the facility and construction activities during the construction of Niswonger Children’s Hospital, Johnston Memorial Hospital and Smyth County Community Hospital.  He has also held leadership and administrative oversight roles for Mountain States’ Marketing and Communications Department and the Wellness Center.

Prior to joining Mountain States, Benton served as finance manager and decision support analyst for Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Ky. Benton received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky, Lexington. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at East Tennessee State University and has served as a senior examiner on the Malcolm Baldrige National Board of Examiners. He also serves on the boards of directors for the United Way of Washington County, Tenn.; Appalachian Mountain Project Access; the Hands On! Regional Museum and the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence.

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