Our Leaders at Baptist

Jason Little

President and Chief Executive Officer

Jason Little In June 2014, Jason Little became only the fifth person since 1912 to serve as Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation's president and CEO. Since joining Baptist in 2002, Little has held a number of leadership positions, including administrator and CEO of three Baptist Memorial hospitals, vice president and head of metro-Memphis operations and executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Little received his bachelor's degree in health administration from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and master's degrees in business administration and health care administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Little was an operations administrator for the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, before joining Baptist.

A recipient of the Early Career Healthcare Executive Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives, Little serves on the boards of the Tennessee Hospital Association, Memphis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Memphis Tomorrow, the New Memphis Institute and the Industry Council for the Federal Reserve Branch at St. Louis.

Chris Anderson

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Chris Anderson, Executive Vice President And Chief Operating Officer Chris Anderson was named chief operating officer for Baptist Memorial Health Care in 2023. Anderson has led operations for nine of Baptist Memorial hospitals in North and Central Mississippi since 2017 when he joined Baptist following the signing of a shared mission agreement between Baptist and Mississippi Baptist Health Systems. He was promoted to vice president of operations for Baptist’s metro market in April 2023. Prior to that, Anderson served as president/CEO of Mississippi Baptist Health Systems from 2014 to 2017. In total, he has served as a health system CEO for 19 years and worked in health care for more than 35 years.

Zach Chandler

Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

Zach Chandler, Executive Vice President And Chief Strategy Officer Zach Chandler serves as Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation's executive vice president and chief strategy officer. After completing his Frank Groner administrative fellowship at Baptist, Chandler held several leadership roles within the organization, including serving as CEO and administrator at four Baptist Memorial hospitals. Before being promoted to his current role, he served as vice president and head of metro-Memphis operations, and, prior to that, vice president and head of regional operations. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Baylor University and a master's degree in health administration from Washington University. In addition to his leadership roles at Baptist, he spent two years as president of Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas. The American College of Healthcare Executives has honored Chandler with its Early Career Healthcare Executive Award.

Gregory M. Duckett

Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer

Since 1992, Greg Duckett has served as senior vice president and chief legal officer for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, providing executive leadership, direction, guidance and assistance on legal and strategic matters related to Baptist and its subsidiaries and educating Baptist leadership on changes in the law. He is the secretary for the organization. He also oversees risk management, corporate compliance, privacy and security and government regulatory matters for Baptist. Duckett is deeply involved in the Memphis community, serving on the boards of the National Civil Rights Museum, the Tennessee Election Commission, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Festival Association, and the Memphis River Parks Partnership. He recently was acknowledged by Becker’s Hospitals Review as one of the “50 African American Leaders in Healthcare to Know.” In addition to serving as a board member on the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis for six years, he also served on the board of directors for the American Health Lawyers Association from 2003 to 2009.

Kimberly Young

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Kimberly Young, Executive Vice President And Chief Financial Officer Kimberly Young has served in a financial role for Baptist Memorial Health Care for more than 33 years. She joined Baptist as an analyst before being promoted to director and then CFO of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Tipton, Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Collierville, Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and Baptist Medical Group. She was promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2023. Young has served on the boards of the LG&W Federal Credit Union and the American Red Cross. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Memphis.

Nancy Averwater

Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Nancy AverwaterAs Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Nancy Averwater oversees Baptist Memorial Health Care’s human resources function, which includes recruiting, onboarding and retaining team members; establishing and maintaining a culture that revolves around empathy; and providing professional development. She also leads the Baptist Center for Career Development, which helps people accomplish their professional and career goals through career counseling, career pathing and upskilling so they may thrive and achieve their highest calling. Nancy began her Baptist career in 1993 as a PRN nurse working in the ICU. Since then, she has served as the administrator and CEO of several Baptist entities, including Baptist System Home Care & Hospice, Baptist Home Medical Equipment, Medical Alternatives Home Infusion Pharmacy, Baptist Minor Medical Centers and the CONCERN Employee Assistance Program. Among her many accomplishments was establishing the Memphis area’s first residential hospice and grief center while serving as Baptist Home Care & Hospice’s CEO and administrator. She also earned the Memphis Business Journal’s (MBJ) Health Care Heroes Award for Administrative Excellence and the MBJ Super Women in Business award, and she was named among the University of Memphis Loewenberg College of Nursing’s 50 leaders in 50 years for innovation in health care.

Dr. William (Bill) Cloud

Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Saju Joy, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Physician Executive Dr. Bill Cloud was appointed vice president and chief medical officer of Baptist Memorial Health Care in 2024. He provides oversight of Baptist’s efforts to maximize patient safety, the system’s overall operational quality and medical staff affairs. Dr. Cloud has previously served as the chief medical and academic officer for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. He also served as the hospital’s chief quality and safety officer. At Baptist Memphis, Dr. Cloud led numerous initiatives to improve clinical outcomes and performance, the establishment of the anticoagulation stewardship committee, restructuring of the Quality and Risk Management departments, and leadership of the National Quality Scorecard Optimization work.

A general surgeon who worked in private practice for many years, Dr. Cloud attended medical school at the University of Virginia, completed an internship at the University of Mississippi and finished a general surgery residency–including serving as chief resident–at the University of Virginia. He also holds a Master of Academic Medicine from the Keck Medial School at the University of Southern California.

Ayoka Pond

Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Ayoka Pond, Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Ayoka Pond serves as the vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Baptist Memorial Health Care, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health care systems. She supervises and supports a team of communications professionals who provide internal communications, public relations, marketing, digital, social media and creative services to Baptist's 24 hospitals and dozens of entities and services. She also performs a number of executive communications functions.

Ayoka began her career at Baptist as an intern and was hired as a public relations specialist in May 1999. During her tenure, she and the marketing and communications team won three national Public Relations Society of America awards. She also earned Ragan Communications’ Top Women in Communications Award, the Memphis Advertising Federation Ad Woman of the Year and Public Relations Director of the Year awards, Memphis Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 award, and several other local and national public relations awards.

Ron Wachsman

Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer

Ron Wachsman, Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Ron Wachsman joined Baptist Memorial Health Care in May 2018, bringing decades of experience in managed care operations, government reimbursement and revenue cycle activities at not-for-profit health care systems. During his time at Baptist, he has transformed revenue cycle operations and implemented improvements managing state and federal reimbursement programs. Wachsman earned his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration from the University of Toledo in Ohio.

Keith Norman

Vice President and Chief Government Affairs and Community Relations Officer

Rev. Keith Norman, Vice President of Government Affairs and Chief Community Relations Officer As vice president of government affairs for Baptist Memorial Health Care, Keith Norman's primary responsibilities include establishing and maintaining relationships with government officials and strengthening Baptist's community outreach partnerships. He also is pastor of First Baptist Church—Broad, sits on the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission board of directors, serves on Christian Brothers University’s board of trustees and is a former commissioner of the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance. Norman is the immediate past president of Memphis’ NAACP chapter and serves on NAACP’s national board of trustees. A graduate of Morehouse College, Norman earned a doctorate degree from Memphis Theological Seminary in 2016 and published his dissertation, which outlines strategies for urban community development in Memphis, Tennessee. Norman is now pursuing a certification in diversity and inclusion management from the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity and Health Equity and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Mary Ellen Sumrall, MSN, RN, NEA-BC

VP and Chief Nursing Executive

Mary Ellen Sumrall, Chief Nursing Officer at Baptist Golden Triangle Mary Ellen Sumrall is the chief nursing executive for Baptist Memorial Health Care. In January 2022, after an accomplished 30-plus-year career with Baptist, she was appointed to the dual role of chief nursing executive and chief nursing officer for the health care system’s flagship hospital, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis where she served until November 2023. Sumrall joined Baptist in 1993 as an emergency department charge nurse at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus, Mississippi, where she would eventually become director of emergency services and chief nursing officer. Sumrall was instrumental in a number of successful initiatives and accomplishments, including the establishment of the hospital’s first nurse residency program, numerous Hospital of the Year awards, and consecutive Leapfrog Patient Safety “A” ratings for Baptist Golden Triangle since 2012. Sumrall earned her nursing degree from the University of Mississippi and a master’s degree in nursing administration from Union University. She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Senior Leadership Team

Our senior leadership team represents years of experience from many different fields and disciplines, both clinical and non-clinical. Whether coming from academia, a hospital or community leadership roles, all have spent decades in the health care arena, many with lifelong careers at Baptist.

Tom Barnett
Tom Barnett
Vice President/Chief Information
and Digital Officer

Paul Cade
Paul Cade
Vice President,
Market Operations-Metro and CEO/Administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital Memphis

David Garrison
David Garrison
Vice President
Corporate Finance

James Grantham, Vice President Mississippi Operations
James Grantham
Vice President
Market Operations-Mississippi

Hampton Hawkins
Hampton Hopkins, EdD
Baptist Health Sciences University

Robbie Johnson , Vice President and Chief Development Officer
Robbie Johnson
Vice President and Chief Development Officer

Terry Macalady
Terry Macalady
Vice President
Human Resources Talent and Workforce

Brad Parsons
Brad Parsons
Vice President Market Operations-DeSoto, West Tennessee and Arkansas

Cyndi Pittman
Cyndi Pittman
Vice President
Financial Operations

Stephen Reynolds
Stephen C. Reynolds
President Emeritus/
Senior Consultant

Justin Rhodes
Justin Rhodes
Vice President
Post Acute and Connected Care

Skip Steward
Skip Steward
Vice President/
Chief Improvement Officer

Mark Swanson
Mark Swanson, MD
Vice President/Baptist Physician Enterprise President/CEO Baptist Medical Group

Derick Zeigler
Derick Ziegler
Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer