Haslam announces 16-member Health and Wellness Task Force

Monday, October 24, 2011 at 5:03pm
Staff reports

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam Monday announced the 16 members of his Health and Wellness Task Force, a group charged with developing an initiative to improve Tennessee’s health status by leveraging private and public resources.

University of Tennessee Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lacey III is chair of the 16-member task force, which met Monday for the first time.

The members, listed alphabetically, are as follows:

Healthcare Corporation of America Chief Executive Officer (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 Minch, 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.

Tennessee currently ranks 42nd nationwide in overall health, according to America’s Health Rankings. Though an improvement from previous rankings, health care costs in the private and public sectors continue to hinder potential job growth in the state while also threatening budgets, Haslam said in a release.

“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,” Haslam said. “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.”

2 Comments on this post:

By: lusksavage on 10/24/11 at 4:29

Einstein 62,
So Haslam is finally paying off his contributors by appointing family members and other unqualified individuals to make decisions on other peoples healthcare! I wonder what kind of health insurance he and his cronies have! I bet it's a whole lot better than the state employees receive!

By: Veteran Wilson on 10/26/11 at 9:49

I'm guessing Einstein is a state employee. Listen bub, my son has to pay for his own healthcare out of his own pocket, which cost a helluva lot more than your state healthcare. So please, learn about the price the non-state employees pay before you complain about your "cost" which is mostly covered by tax-paying, hard working, Tennesseans that are not still suckling the teat of Mother Tennessee Government.