RN, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
As 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.
Rev. Anthony Burdick
System Director, Pastoral Care
Rev. Burdick joined the Department of Pastoral Care at the Baptist Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee in June of 1994 as a staff chaplain. While serving as staff chaplain he also worked with Baptist Trinity Hospice as bereavement coordinator. He began serving as director of Hospice Pastoral Care for BMHCC in 1996. In July 1997, Rev. Burdick became director of Metro Pastoral Care. He became the System Director, Pastoral Care in February of 2006. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1987. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis in 1983. He and his wife, Libby, have a son (Ian) and a daughter (Peyton). They are active members of Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tennessee.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care
Jason Little is Baptist Memorial Health Care’s president and CEO. He is the fifth president in Baptist’s history, and under his leadership Baptist has grown from a 14-hospital system to a 22-hospital, $3.1 billion integrated health care system. Little received his bachelor’s degree in health administration from the University of Tennessee, where he received the prestigious Whittle Scholarship and was elected student body president. He earned master’s degrees in business administration and health care administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He came to Baptist in 2002 after serving as an operations administrator at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2011, Little received the American College of Healthcare Executives’ Early Career Healthcare Executive Award. He serves on boards of the Greater Memphis Chamber, the New Memphis Institute, the Tennessee Hospital Association, the University of Memphis Foundation, Briarcrest Christian School, the Tennessee Business Roundtable, the Mississippi Hospital Association, the Senior Protection Coalition and the Healthcare Institute.
Paul DePriest, MD
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care
Dr. Paul DePriest is the first physician to serve as Baptist Memorial Health Care's executive vice president and chief operating officer. After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Eastern Kentucky University, he received a medical degree from the University of Kentucky College Of Medicine. He subsequently completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology and a fellowship in gynecological oncology at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Dr. DePriest earned a master’s degree in healthcare management from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Baptist Memorial Health Care
Bill Griffin received his Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of Mississippi in 1982. He then began his career in public accounting, working 11 years with top accounting firms Arthur Andersen and KPMG Peat Marwick. In 1993, he joined Baptist Memorial Health Care and has served as the chief financial officer for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, chief financial officer for Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis and corporate system director of finance. In 2000, Griffin was promoted to vice president of corporate finance and also served as corporate privacy and security officer. He was promoted to EVP/CFO in December 2015. He is a certified public accountant, a chartered global management accountant, a fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and an HFMA-certified healthcare financial professional.
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.
CEO & Administrator, BMH-Tipton
Parker Harris is from Jackson, TN. He graduated from the University of Memphis with an undergraduate degree in accounting and later with a Masters of Health Administration. Upon graduation, Harris joined the Baptist Memorial Healthcare System and completed the Groner fellowship-training program. Post fellowship training he served in an administrative role leading the organization in mergers, acquisitions and integration. In 2019, Parker assumed the role of CEO and Administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital- Tipton and the Baptist Cancer Center locations in the State of Tennessee. Parker currently serves as the President for the American College of Healthcare Executives-Mid-South Chapter. He is also the President of the Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce. In his free time, he enjoys boating and fishing with his wife and two small children.
Vice President of the West Tennessee Market and Hospitals and Affiliate Integration, Baptist Memorial Health Care
As vice president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care’s West Tennessee market, Derick Ziegler oversees all Baptist hospital operations in West Tennessee. As VP for hospital and affiliate integration, Ziegler oversees all hospital and/or affiliate merger and acquisition activities. He also serves as the executive sponsor for Baptist’s telehealth program, which includes the Enterprise Placement Center, Centralized Patient Transport and Dispatch Center, TeleGuardian e-ICU and the TeleConsult hub. Prior to taking on this role, Ziegler spent three years as the VP and CEO of Baptist’s regional market and four years and two years respectively, as CEO and administrator of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis and Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City. Before working with Baptist, Ziegler spent 23 years in the army as a health care administrator, where he retired as a colonel. Ziegler is a past president of Mid-South Health Care Executives.
Rob Douglass joined Press Ganey in 2016. Rob previously was with the FirstEnergy Corporation where he held various roles in the FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) and Generating Fleet. Rob led the team that initially brought high reliability to FirstEnergy's fossil fuel generating fleet. His leadership and improved use of human performance and safety techniques led to millions of dollars in cost reduction and achieving the best safety performance in company history in 2015.
Prior to FirstEnergy, Rob served in the United States Navy. His career culminated in command of the fast attack nuclear submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN-7o6). The Albuquerque received multiple awards for tactical and nuclear excellence and recognition of highly successful execution of global operations during two deployments. It was selected as "Best Submarine in the Atlantic Fleet" in 2006.
Rob bolds Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Rob is certified by Naval Reactors as Individual Responsible for a Naval Nuclear Power Plant and holds Senior Reactor Operator (SRO) Certification for the Perry Nuclear Power Plant at FirstEnergy.
Saju Joy, MD
MD, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer & Chief Physician Executive
As Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Physician Executive, Dr. Saju Joy leads the medical staff functions for Baptist, as well as has responsibility for Baptist Medical Group, and provides oversight of regulatory compliance, infection prevention, operational quality and quality analytics, clinical research and graduate medical education. Dr. Joy was most recently the vice president and chief medical officer for the central division of Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Joy received his Bachelor of Science in computer engineering and a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. He received his Medical Degree from the University of North Carolina. He recently completed his Executive MBA from Duke University – rounding out the Triangle Trifecta! His medical training included an OB/GYN residency at the University of Florida and fellowship at the Ohio State University Medical Center, specializing in maternal and fetal medicine. Dr. Joy is Board Certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology for General OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Joy also has multiple publications and Poster Presentations for the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist and Authored Chapter in the Handbook of Obstetric and Gynecologic Emergencies. Dr. Joy currently lives in Memphis with his wife and 2 teenage sons. When he is not working, he enjoys traveling with his family, watching/attending spectator sports and hiking
H.F. Mason, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto
H.F. Mason, MD is currently Chief Medical Officer at Baptist Memorial Hospital DeSoto. He is a native of New Albany, MS, where he practiced General Surgery for 23 years at Baptist Memorial Hospital Union County. He has a BA in Biology from Ole Miss, attended medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and completed his General Surgery residency at Vanderbilt University.
H.F. and his wife, Laura have been married 30 years and have 5 children, Ashley, Jack, BB, Robert, and Gracie Jane. When not working, he enjoys cycling, spending time outdoors, and studying Spanish.
Regional Director for Performance Improvement
Katie Parker serves at the regional director in performance improvement at Baptist Memorial Healthcare. She helps to teach, motivate, and promote the Baptist Management System, the improvement system, throughout all entities. Katie graduated from Mississippi State University with her bachelor’s and master’s in Industrial Engineering. She is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Tennessee. Prior to starting at Baptist in 2019, she worked in various roles in transportation and supply chain.
System Director of Environmental Safety, Compliance & Facilities
Nick Lewis currently is the System Director of Environmental Safety, Compliance and Facilities at Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation in Memphis, Tennessee. Nick has worked in the health care market since 1997 in various leadership roles. In 2001 he joined the Baptist Memorial Health Care team and has served his organization and community in many areas to include Director of Environmental Services, Director of Facility Services, Director of Safety & Facility Services, and in April of 2012 transitioned to his current role as the system leader with oversight over the environment of care and it’s six areas of focus as well as emergency management. In February of 2017 Nick earned certification as a Certified Emergency and Disaster Professional (CEDP) from the International Board for Certification of Safety Managers.
Nick is married to his wife, Melissa, and has three sons, Brodie, Camden, and Addler. He is active in his community and currently is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Memphis and serves as President of the Collierville Soccer Association’s Competitive Board and is an active member of their Executive Board.
RN, System Director-Employee Health
Lesley Heckaman currently serves as the System Director of Employee Health at Baptist Memorial Health Care. In her role, Lesley provides the strategic direction for employee health and safety programs that ensures continuity, standardization and best practice for a safe environment for all employees. Lesley has worked in the health care industry since 1998, when she worked as a greeter in the Emergency Room while she attended college. Lesley obtained her nursing degree from Bethel College and took her first role as an emergency room nurse for Beacon Health System in Northern Indiana. Since that time, Lesley has worked in various leadership roles. Lesley won leader of the year for her work related to wellness and employee health at Beacon Health System.
Lesley has two children, Liam and Maddy. She is an avid runner and lover of life.
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 22 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.