Ballad Health Medical Associates welcomes dynamic healthcare executive as Chief Operating Officer
Ballad Health Medical Associates has named Meridith OKeefe, a seasoned healthcare executive, as its new chief operating officer.
OKeefe, who joined Ballad Health in September, brings more than 20 years of experience to her new role. As chief operating officer for Ballad Health Medical Associates, she will continue growing the medical group while optimizing its performance by meeting the needs of patients where they are. She will also play a pivotal role in carrying out Ballad Health’s mission to make high-quality healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone in the Appalachian Highlands.
“As a professional, I’m very passionate about the sustainable delivery of regional healthcare – it’s important to me that everyone has access to the high-quality care they need and deserve, through traditional doctors’ appointments or through telemedicine,” OKeefe said. “On a personal level, I enjoy the culture of kindness in the Appalachian Highlands and am looking forward to plugging into this community.”
OKeefe began her career in healthcare administration with McKesson (formerly Medaphis Physician Services). She transitioned to consulting with Deloitte, followed by leadership roles with large academic medical centers, including the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. At Emory, she served as executive administrator of clinical operations and revenue cycle. In her decade there, she managed clinical operations and revenue cycle for a 1,200-practitioner academic medical group, implementing standardized processes across specialties to optimize patient access and leading initiatives to enhance population health.
She continued honing her skills in operations management, strategic planning and budget management in her most recent role as senior vice president of service lines and medical group at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga. There, she represented team members and clinicians across a tri-state region, overseeing provider documentation and revenue integrity, executing and managing provider contracts and leading performance improvement for health networks.
“We are thrilled to welcome Meridith to Ballad Health Medical Associates, as her professional goals align perfectly with our mission to expand and sustain access to high-quality healthcare for people in our region,” said Mark Patterson, MD, president of Ballad Health Medical Associates. “Meridith’s track record of operational success in large health systems, coupled with her passion for population health, makes for a very exciting future for our medical group.”
In addition to her experience as a healthcare executive and administrator, OKeefe is also a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, the National Association of Healthcare Quality, the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Medical Group Management Association. She holds bachelor degrees in economics and political science, in addition to a Master of Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.
“Meridith’s experience proves she will be a dynamic force for Ballad Health Medical Associates moving forward, and we greatly look forward to how her expertise will shape our medical group for years to come,” Dr. Patterson said. “Throughout her career, Meridith has proven she’s dedicated to continuous operational improvement and sustainable financial performance. We couldn’t be more pleased that she’s joining our team.”