Published on December 11, 2013

Baptist Memorial president and CEO announces retirement

Organization's COO to succeed Reynolds

Current CEO Stephen Reynolds and future CEO Jason Little

Stephen Reynolds, our president and CEO, announced today that he’s retiring next May after 42 years of service to Baptist. He’s been our president and CEO since 1994. Jason Little, our executive vice president and chief operating officer, will become our fifth leader when Mr. Reynolds retires.

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 11, 2013 – Stephen Reynolds, Baptist Memorial Health Care's fourth president and CEO and a 42-year Baptist colleague, announced today he will retire next May. Jason Little, Baptist's executive vice president and chief operating officer, will be the organization's next president and CEO.

Reynolds began his Baptist career as an administrative resident in 1971 after serving as an officer in the United States Army. After holding a number of leadership positions for 23 years, he was promoted to Baptist's president and CEO in 1994.

Under his leadership, Baptist opened two metro-Memphis hospitals – Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and Baptist Memorial Hospital-Collierville – as well as the area's first residential hospice facility and the Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief. Reynolds also oversaw the construction of the NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro, Ark., and the creation of the Baptist Medical Group, one of the Mid-South's largest physician management organizations. Today, Stern Cardiovascular, Family Physicians Group, Memphis Internal Medicine, the Light Clinic and the Boston Baskin Cancer Foundation are among the groups that are part of BMG.

A number of national and local organizations, including U.S. News and World Report, HealthGrades and the Joint Commission, have recognized Baptist hospitals for delivering high-quality care.

"I have had the distinct pleasure of serving on Baptist boards for the past 16 years, and during that time, I have observed how much Steve's leadership has benefited Baptist," said Jim Glasgow, chair of Baptist's corporate board of directors. "Baptist's growth and accomplishments during his tenure as president and CEO have been extraordinary."

Reynolds has held a number of leadership positions in regional and national health care organizations, including the Tennessee Hospital Association, CEOs Against Cancer, the American College of Health Care Executives, the Healthcare Institute, the National Quality Forum's National Patient Safety Task Force, and the National Committee for Quality Health Care. Locally, Reynolds is a past chairman of the board of the Memphis-area Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Memphis chapter of the American Heart Association, Dixon Gallery and Gardens and Memphis Tomorrow. Currently, he is board secretary of Ducks Unlimited Inc., and serves on the University of Memphis Board of Visitors and the boards of Trezevant Manor, Memphis Tomorrow and Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

The Tennessee Hospital Association, the American College of Health Care Executives, Washington University School of Medicine, B'nai B'rith, Arkansas State University, the Arkansas State University School of Business, Arkansas State University's chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Rotary International and the Boy Scouts of America have recognized Reynolds for his leadership in the health care industry. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from Union University.

Little has been with Baptist since 2002. Before being promoted to his current position, he served as vice president and metro market leader, overseeing Baptist's seven metro-Memphis hospitals and NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital. Before that, he served as administrator and CEO of three Baptist Memorial hospitals. Little received his bachelor's degree in health administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he was elected student body president, and his master's degree in business administration and health care administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic and then joined the team as an operations administrator for its Scottsdale, Ariz., location before coming to Baptist. Little serves on the boards of the Tennessee Hospital Association, Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Church Health Center and the American Heart Association. He also is a member of The University of Tennessee Alumni Board and is the incoming chairman of the New Memphis Institute board.

One of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the United States, Baptist Memorial Health Care offers a full continuum of care to communities throughout the Mid-South. In 2012, Baptist was ranked No. 2 among large employers and No. 23 overall nationally in Modern Healthcare magazine's top 100 "Best Places to Work in Healthcare." The Baptist system, which consistently ranks among the top integrated health care networks in the nation, has 14,000 employees and comprises 14 affiliate hospitals in West Tennessee, North Mississippi and East Arkansas; more than 4,000 affiliated physicians; Baptist Medical Group, a multispecialty physician group with about 500 doctors; home, hospice and psychiatric care; minor medical centers and clinics; a network of surgery, rehabilitation and other outpatient centers; and an education system highlighted by the Baptist College of Health Sciences.