Tennessee Hospital Association (THA) announced that Wendy Long, M.D., M.P.H., has been selected as the association’s next president and CEO. Dr. Long will replace THA’s current leader, Craig A. Becker, who is retiring after 26 years of service. The announcement comes after a seven-month national search to identify a successor for Becker.
“Dr. Long has a long history of serving the people of Tennessee in multiple capacities and we look forward to her continued service through her leadership of THA,” said Wright Pinson, M.D., who currently serves as THA board chairman and also led the search committee. “We’re confident that Dr. Long will continue THA’s strong working relationship with the Governor’s Office and General Assembly, along with our congressional delegation and a host of state and federal agencies. Her existing relationships with THA members will also serve her well as she takes the reins of the association.”
Dr. Long most recently served as the director of the Metro Public Health Department for Nashville/Davidson County. She previously held the position of deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration (F&A), serving as director for the TennCare program.
“I look forward to working with Dr. Long to make the transition period as smooth as possible,” said Becker. “I have had a great working relationship with her over the years and I know our staff looks forward to supporting her through the onboarding process. Dr. Long is the best possible candidate given her knowledge and experience in Tennessee. THA has grown significantly in the last 26 years and I know Dr. Long will take THA to the next level of service for our members and the communities and patients our hospitals serve.”
Dr. Pinson noted that Dr. Long unanimously was selected by the search committee and THA board, saying, “In the end, there was no question that Dr. Long was the best candidate to take THA forward into the future.”
In addition to her senior executive role at TennCare, Dr. Long held the positions of deputy director and chief medical officer with the agency. She previously was an assistant commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health, where she oversaw core public health programs administered by the department, as well as the operation of regional and county health departments.
Dr. Long earned her undergraduate and medical degrees at The Ohio State University and completed a preventive medicine residency and master of public health program at the University of South Carolina. She was recognized in 2015 as a Nashville Health Care Council Fellow and is a past president of the Tennessee Public Health Association.
At the national level, she has been involved in health policy through the efforts of several organizations, including serving as a member of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Standards Committee and Health Advisory Panel of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Members of the search committee included Tim Adams, Reginald Coopwood, M.D., Marvin Eichorn, Keith Goodwin, Audrey Gregory, Ph.D., Joe Landsman, Scott Peterson, Heather Rohan, James Ross, Cherie Sibley and Kevin Spiegel.