Mountain States Health Alliance CEO named to TN governor’s task force


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Dennis Vonderfecht, president and CEO of Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) has been named to Gov. Bill Haslam's Health and Wellness Task Force, a group charged with developing an initiative to improve Tennessee's health status by leveraging private and public resources.

Vonderfecht is one of 16 health care industry leaders in the state chosen to lead efforts to improve Tennessee's overall health status. In the most recent America's Health Rankings report from the United Health Foundation, Tennessee ranked 42nd out of the 50 states in overall health.

"This group's mission is to chart a course to promote and support healthy lifestyles for Tennesseans with the ultimate goal of healthier citizens, reducing the burden of chronic disease on our state," said Haslam. "The task force will focus on meaningful ways to promote healthy choices and personal responsibility to decrease rates of illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes."

The task force has been asked to:
  • Focus on the top preventable causes of chronic disease and disability in the state;
  • Develop metrics to measure success;
  • Identify promising strategies;
  • Serve as advocates for change; and
  • Form partnerships and garner resources necessary to reach established goals.

The members are: Healthcare Corporation of America CEO Richard Bracken;Regional Medical Center CEO Reggie Coopwood, MD; DeRoyal Industries CEO Pete DeBusk; Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH; Zycron CEO Darrell Freeman; Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee CMO Inga Himelright, MD; Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman; Methodist Hospital Vice President Cato Johnson; TC Thompson Children's Hospital Medical Director Alan Kohrt, MD; TennCare CMO Wendy Long, MD, MPH; Tennessee Medical Association Michael Munch, MD; Pershing Yoakley & Associates Pres. Ed Pershing; Healthways, Inc. Senior VP Vickie Shepard; Mental Health Commissioner Doug Varney; and Mountain States Health System CEO Dennis Vonderfecht.

About Mountain States Health Alliance

Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children's hospital, a behavioral health hospital, home care and hospice services as well as a comprehensive medical management corporation. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care. For more information, visit
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