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Ballad Health's Deaton named to Leadership Tennessee class

From staff reports • Jul 3, 2019 at 7:00 PM

Ballad Health executive Eric Deaton has been named to the 2019-2020 class of Leadership Tennessee, a program that brings leaders from across the state together to engage in collaborative, nonpartisan dialogue on issues of statewide importance.

For the past two decades, Deaton has held leadership roles in Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina. He currently serves as Ballad Health’s senior vice president of market operations.

Deaton is one of 46 leaders from rural and urban communities across Tennessee to be selected for this year’s Leadership Tennessee class.

“For me, it’s a real honor to be a part of this year’s class. Growing up in this area, I feel very fortunate to represent our region in Leadership Tennessee,” said Deaton, a native of Carter County. “I see it as a learning opportunity for me, not only to learn more about other parts of the state, but to better understand how we can make improvements across our region and implement initiatives here that are working across Tennessee.”

Now in its seventh year, Leadership Tennessee selects an annual class to participate in a statewide study course that involves visiting all three Grand Divisions of Tennessee, learning best practices and analyzing important issues faced by Tennesseans.

An initiative of the Lipscomb University College of Leadership and Public Service, Leadership Tennessee has built a network of 246 leaders across the state, including Ballad Health Executive Chairman and CEO Alan Levine, a member of last year’s Leadership Tennessee class.

In August, Deaton and the rest of his Leadership Tennessee class will begin the 10-month, five-session course of study that will allow them to brainstorm critical state issues, learn from state and national experts and experience the cultural diversity of our region.

“Tennessee has a lot of momentum right now, but Tennesseans continue to face significant challenges that require new and innovative partnerships to overcome them. Each class brings its own unique perspective and insight to the conversation, and we’re excited about Class VII joining the Leadership Tennessee network,” said Cathy Cate, executive director of Leadership Tennessee.

“Each class comes together during the course of the year, having difficult conversations that challenge their points of view on issues in their communities, and we’re looking forward to Class VII and developing our seventh cohort around their chosen focus areas.”

A graduate of Happy Valley High School, Deaton earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Milligan College. He also holds two master’s degrees: one in business administration from Bristol College and one in health care administration from the University of Cincinnati.

Previously, Deaton served as legacy Wellmont Health System’s executive vice president and chief operation officer.

He has also held the title of market president for LifePoint Hospitals, where he directed the collective operations of Danville Regional Medical Center and Memorial Hospital of Martinsville, both located in Virginia.

Between 2010 and 2013, Deaton served as president and chief executive officer of Danville Regional. Under his leadership, the hospital opened seven new clinics, recruited 50 physicians to the community and increased primary care opportunities, which reduced non-acute emergency department visits.

Earlier in his career, Deaton was market chief executive officer for North Side Hospital, Johnson City Specialty Hospital and Northeast Tennessee Rehabilitation Hospital, which is now Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital.

Deaton has served on the boards of directors for the Virginia Board of Health, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association and Federation of American Hospitals.

To learn more about Leadership Tennessee, visit www.leadershiptennessee.org. To learn more about Ballad Health, visit www.balladhealth.org.

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