James Russell Huffman
Administrator and Chief Executive Officer
James Russell Huffman is the administrator and chief executive officer for Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto. He comes to the hospital from Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County in New Albany, Miss., where he served as administrator and CEO for more than five years. Before going to Baptist Union County, he served as chief financial officer at Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle, a position he held since 2002. At Baptist Golden Triangle, he oversaw finance, materials management, internal audit, business office, admissions/outpatient registration, the hospitalist program, case management and health information management. His accomplishments include managing and directing computer selections and installations and working with major construction project development and completion at the hospital. Huffman has also helped develop a joint venture surgery center, residential retirement facility and health and wellness center.
Huffman has a bachelor's degree in health care management from Appalachian State University and a master's degree in finance and a certificate in health care finance from the University of South Carolina.
Keon Falkner joined Baptist DeSoto's leadership team in 2008 as an assistant administrator.
Falkner began his career at Baptist Memorial Health Care in 2002 as a recipient of the Frank S. Groner Administrative Fellowship, a yearlong program designed for postgraduate students interested in pursuing a career in health care administration. The fellowship is named for the former CEO and administrator of Baptist Memorial Health Care, and only a select few are chosen from across the nation. The recipients experience all facets of hospital life and get a broad perspective on how hospitals are run. After completing his fellowship in January 2003, Falkner joined Baptist Union City as assistant administrator. He was named administrator and CEO at Baptist Lauderdale in 2004, where he served until accepting his position at Baptist DeSoto.
A native of Olive Branch, Miss., Falkner earned a master's in health administration from Washington University School of Medicine and received a bachelor's degree in business administration in business management from The University of Memphis.
Jerry Pope is an assistant administrator Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto. He supervises the hospital's cardiopulmonary, laboratory, pharmacy, radiation therapy and radiology departments. Before coming to Baptist DeSoto, Pope served as administrator and CEO at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Forrest City in Arkansas. Under his leadership, the hospital opened a Women's Center with private labor/delivery/recovery suites equipped with advanced technology, evaluation-triage areas and a level II nursery. Pope held the assistant administrator position at Baptist Rehabilitation-Germantown before going to Baptist Forrest City in 2004. He began his career with Baptist Memorial Health Care in 1976 as a staff pharmacist.
A native of Martin, Tenn., Pope earned bachelor's of science degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
JoAnn Phillips Wood
Chief Medical Officer
Chief Medical Officer Dr. JoAnn Philips Wood is the physician administrator at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, providing guidance, leadership and oversight for physicians. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry, graduating magna cum laude from Western Kentucky University; earned her medical degree from the University of Louisville. She completed fellowship training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also earned her Master of Science in education at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Calif., and her Master of Health Administration from the University of Minnesota. With more than 10 years of experience, Wood holds license to practice in the states of Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Chief Nursing Officer
Mary Townsend-Gervis is the chief nursing officer at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto. Townsend-Gervis most recently was the administrator of Baptist Restorative Care Hospital (located within Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis) and the chief nursing officer of Baptist Rehabilitation-Germantown. At Baptist DeSoto, she is responsible for developing and implementing all nursing and related patient care activities and working with hospital leadership and the Baptist Memorial Health Care system nursing team to support various organizational initiatives and strategies. A Baptist employee since 1986, Townsend-Gervis began her Baptist career working in a lab office and moved up to become a staff nurse, charge nurse, education coordinator, manager of cardiac rehabilitation and director of disease management for Baptist's metro-Memphis market.
She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and a master's degree from Central Michigan University.
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Financial Officer Joe McWherter has been part of the Baptist family for 16 years. He began his career as the director of accounting at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City where he quickly was promoted to the role of CFO. Next, he became the CFO for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle as well as interim CFO for multiple Baptist facilities including NEA Baptist, Baptist Germantown and Baptist Booneville. He started working at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in 2005. McWherter earned a Bachelor of Arts and Masters in accounting from the University of Tennessee. He has served as an integral part of the finance team system-wide for Baptist Memorial Health Care.