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Quality Council Members

James Ross

President & Chief Executive Officer


James (JR) Ross from Henderson, TN, joined West Tennessee Healthcare in 1985 as a registered nurse in the surgical intensive care unit. Positions held during his career are Critical Care Coordinator, Cardiac Services Manager, Director of CCU, Administrator of the West Tennessee Surgery Center, Executive Director of Physician Services and Director of Case Management/Social Services as well as Vice President of Hospital Services. He has an AAS from Jackson State Community College, AS in Nursing and BSN from Union University, MSHA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is credentialed as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator, Licensed Emergency Medical Technician and a Licensed Registered Nurse. He is married to Cindy, a nurse practitioner, and they have two daughters Ashley and Kelsey.

Jeff Blankenship

Executive Vice President
Chief Financial Officer


Jeff is the Chief Financial Officer for West Tennessee Healthcare with responsibility for Finance and Accounting, Strategic and Business Development, the Revenue Cycle and the Supply Chain. Jeff is originally from Trenton, Tennessee and holds a BSBA from Union University and an MBA from the University of Memphis. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. In his free time, Jeff enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and two young children.

Community Development & Planning
Decision Support
Employer Services
Financial Planning & Analysis
Internal Audit
Managed Care
Materials Management/Supply Chain
Revenue Cycle
Strategic Development

Tina Prescott

Executive Vice President,
Chief Nursing & Operating Officer


Tina Prescott is originally from Middleton, Tennessee and came to West Tennessee Healthcare in 1996 as a Registered Nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Since then, she has held the position of Clinical Manager and Director of SICU and Administrator of Camden General Hospital. In 2007, she was named the Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer of Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Tina is a graduate of Union University in Jackson where she received her BSN and MBA. She is board certified as an Advanced Nurse Executive with the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a member of the American Nurses Association and American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She has three children Lilly, Lane and Leah.

Jackson Madison County General Hospital, Administration & Nursing
Bolivar General Hospital, Administration & Nursing
Camden General Hospital, Administration & Nursing
Dyersburg Hospital, Administration & Nursing
Volunteer Hospital, Administration & Nursing
Milan Hospital, Administration & Nursing

Jackie Taylor, MD

Executive Vice President
Chief Physician Executive

Jackie Taylor, MD has served patients in West Tennessee since 1990.  In 2003, he joined the Emergency Medicine team at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.  Dr. Taylor has served in many different leadership roles, including ER Medical Director, Assistant CMO and CMO of JMCGH, and now as the Chief Physician Executive for West Tennessee Healthcare.

Dr. Taylor attended medical school at University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences and holds a board certification in family medicine.  He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

WTH Medical Staff
Quality Outcomes
Quality Plus
Care Management
Case Management
System Accreditation
Documentation Improvement
Learning Center/Continuing Medical Education
Disease/Health Management
Patient Safety (Infection Control, The Joint Commission)

Tim Adams

System Vice President
Support Services


Tim Adams serves as Vice President of Hospital Services at West Tennessee Healthcare. Originally from Rome, Georgia, Tim Adams moved to Jackson, Tennessee in 1970 and joined West Tennessee Healthcare in 1987 as a Safety Engineer with the Safety Department. Throughout his time with the health system he has held various leadership positions including, Director of Safety, Security and Telecommunications and Director of Outpatient Services. In 2009, Adams was named Executive Director of West Tennessee Neurosciences and Spine and West Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. Adams has also been active with numerous community and civic organizations. He is a Past President of the Jackson Chapter for the American Society of Safety Engineers, Past Board Chairman for Leaders Credit Union and a 2006 graduate of Leadership Jackson. In 2005, Adams was honored with the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital Humanitarian/Community Service Award and in 2011 he was the recipient of the West Tennessee Healthcare President’s Award. He has a Bachelor of Science, Chemistry and a Master of Business Administration. Tim and his wife Mary Lou have three children, Jason, Daniel and Madeline Adams.

Acute Care Therapy
Emergency Medical Services
Employee Transport
Environmental Services
Facilities Management
Food & Nutrition Services
Safety & Security
Sleep Disorders

Amy Garner

System Vice President
Chief Compliance and Communications Officer
EJD, CHC, CCE, Fellow – Health Ethics Trust


Amy Garner was raised in Milan, Tennessee. She attended and graduated from Milan High School and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration from Union University. She also has her Executive Juris Doctor Degree with an emphasis in Health Law from Concord University School of Law. Amy began her career at WTH as the controller for Camden General Hospital in 1998, and in 2002, became the administrator of the hospital. In 2003, she became the Corporate Compliance Officer for West Tennessee Healthcare, in which her primary responsibility is promoting an environment where there is honest, ethical behavior in the day-to-day operations of the organization. Amy lives in Jackson with her husband, Keith, and has two daughters, Hannah and Madeline. In her spare time, she enjoys serving on several boards and committees in the community and loves to read, go fishing, and entertain guests.

Communications, Public Relations & Marketing
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Media Services
Safety Engineer

Currie Higgs

System Vice President
Chief General Counsel


Currie Higgs is Vice President/Chief Legal Officer for Jackson-Madison County General Hospital District. Currie received her B.A. from Northwestern University and her J.D. from the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law. She is licensed in both Virginia and Tennessee. She has two dogs and two cats, one of unusual size. Her husband is a very patient man.

Legal Services
Risk Management

Darrell King

System Vice President 
Physician & Ambulatory Services


Darrell King serves as Vice President for West Tennessee Medical Group. His responsibilities include West Tennessee Medical Group, as well as Sports Plus Rehab Centers, Kirkland Cancer Center, infusion clinic, acute wound care management and infectious disease. Darrell is a Jackson native and began his healthcare career in medical group management in 1990. He received the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the Master of Business Administration from Union University. King holds membership in the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). In 2003, he received the Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) designation from the American College of Medical Practice Executives. He recently returned home to Jackson from Jonesboro, Arkansas, where he was the Chief Executive Officer of NEA Baptist Clinic. Darrell is married to Tracey and they have two kids, Kathryn and Will. He enjoys following the Vols and the Cardinals, waterfowl and upland bird hunting, politics and especially spending quality time with his family.

Physician Administration
Infusion Clinic
Kirkland Cancer Center
LIFT Wellness, Therapy & Health Clinic
Palliative Care
Sports Plus Rehab Centers, including Work Plus and Aquatherapies
West Tennessee Medical Group
Wound Management

Scott Krodel

System Vice President
Chief Information Officer


Scott Krodel was recently named chief information officer for West Tennessee Healthcare.  Scott has over 30 years of experience within healthcare IT, 20 years being at the executive leadership level.   Areas of responsibility are Information Systems and Communications.  Scott feels privileged to be part of an industry that offers healing to those who are sick.  He holds a Master’s in health administration and enjoys fishing and sports.  Most of his personal time is dedicated towards his 8 children and wife of 30 years this October.

Information Systems and Communications



Teresa Freeman

Vice President and Chief Clinical Informatics Officer
Chief Nursing Officer of Jackson Madison County General Hospital



Teresa Freeman has been a nurse for over 30 years. She achieved her Associate degree in Nursing in 1987 and went to work as a staff nurse in the Cardiac Intensive Unit. She achieved a BSN in 1993 and an MBA in 1999 both from Union University. She also completed a Masters degree in Nursing from the University of Memphis in 2016 with an emphasis in Executive Leadership. Previously held positions in the organization are Director of CCU/MICU, Director, Clinical Informatics & Process Management, Executive Director of Clinical Development & Staffing, Assistant Chief Nursing Officer & Chief Clinical Informatics Officer. She is also a part-time nursing faculty for the University of Memphis.

Ayers Children’s Medical Center and Therapy & Learning Center
Emergency Department
Inpatient Nursing Units & ICUs
Patient Care Standards & Clinical Development
Patient Transport
West Tennessee Women’s Center

Deann Thelen

Vice President & CEO of Jackson Madison County General Hospital


Deann is originally from the state of Iowa and grew up on a farm near Iowa City. She attended the University of Iowa for her education obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1991. She worked as a registered nurse in critical care and cardiac procedural units for several years before moving into administration. She obtained her MBA in 2003 while still at the University of Iowa. Deann has worked in healthcare both clinically and administratively for nearly 30 years and still is focused on hospital operations. She relocated to Jackson, Tennessee in May of 2012 to become a Vice President for Hospital Services with West Tennessee Healthcare. In her current role, she has administrative and operational oversight for several key clinical areas. Deann is married to Randy and has two children, Christopher and Madison.

Jackson-Madison County General Hospital

Dr. Vinay Pallekonda

Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Jackson Madison County General Hospital

Dr. Vinay Pallekonda joined the team, effective September 14, as the Chief Medical Officer for Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. In this role, Dr. Pallekonda will work closely with the medical staff, officers and clinical department chairs to coordinate clinical staff administrative activities. He will also be responsible for oversight of hospital quality initiatives. Dr. Pallekonda has more than 20 years of clinical, operational and clinical healthcare experience, and is Board Certified in Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. He and his family are relocating to Jackson, TN following his service as Chief Medical Officer for DMC Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.

Vanessa Patrick

Vice-President of Business Development


Vanessa Patrick was recently named Vice-President of Business Development for West Tennessee Healthcare. Vanessa Joined the West Tennessee Healthcare organization in 1999.  Areas of responsibilities include provider recruiting, physician liaison program, corporate health and wellness, and strategic development including acquisitions.  She has been married to Chad Patrick for 23 years and they have two daughters, Cameron and Langston, starting at UT Martin in the fall.  Vanessa enjoys traveling with her family and watching her children compete on the golf course.

Provider Recruiting
Physician Liaison Program
Corporate Health and Wellness
Strategic Development



West Tennessee Healthcare (WTH) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, Limited English Proficiency or sex, including discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping or pregnancy in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out by WTH directly or through a contractor or any other entity with which WTH arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

For further information about this policy, contact Amy Garner (731) 541-9914.