Dr. Chad Couch has been named president of the Ballad Health System’s northeast market and CEO of Bristol Regional Medical Center.
Couch, who has filled this role on an interim basis since the fall, will have operational and strategic oversight of all services and operations of BRMC, Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, Russell County Hospital and Smyth County Community Hospital, as well as all other services within the communities served by these hospitals, according to a written statement.
“Ballad Health believes in the value that is created when we have a collaborative environment between our physician partners and the health system,” said Ballad Health Chairman and CEO Alan Levine. “Dr. Couch is an exceptional leader, and that he happens to also be a long-practicing physician is consistent with our goal of ensuring physician leadership is infused throughout our health delivery system.”
An experienced, board-certified urologic surgeon, his appointment adds to the complement of physician leaders Ballad Health has tapped into since its creation in 2018 and marks the first time a physician has ascended to a market and hospital leadership role, the release states.
“Throughout his career in the region, Dr. Couch has consistently demonstrated the integrity and compassion for patients and team members we hope to see in our leaders,” said Eric Deaton, Ballad Health’s chief operating officer.
In this role, Couch will report directly to Deaton.
Couch previously served as the northeast market’s chief medical officer and as chief medical officer of BRMC. During his tenure, the hospital gained accolades for a variety of services and programs, including being recognized as one of the best facilities in the nation for orthopedic surgery, and it earned consistently top rankings for cardiovascular and overall care.
“Ballad Health leadership has made clear that becoming a top-decile performing health system in the nation is within reach and is a priority,” Couch said. “I could not agree with this objective more passionately, and this objective will be a major priority for all of us in the northeast market. Our patients should always have a safe, compassionate environment surrounded by experienced and dedicated staff committed to excellence in everything we do.”
“I am humbled and honored to have been selected for this role, and I look forward to working with my colleagues throughout Ballad Health as we work together to serve our region.”
His selection concludes a national search that drew dozens of qualified candidates, according to the statement.
Couch also served on the hospital’s past board of directors, as chairman of Bristol Regional’s surgery department and as a member of the medical executive committee and physician clinical council.
He also serves on the boards of directors for Overmountain Recovery; State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company; the Bristol Chamber of Commerce; and the advisory board of Bristol Regional Medical Center. He is also a member of the Healing Hands Health Center Clinical Oversight Committee, past president of the Sullivan County Medical Society and a past delegate of the Tennessee Medical Association.