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West Tennessee Healthcare Executive Retires After 44-year Career in Healthcare

Jackson, Tennessee (February 15, 2021) – West Tennessee Healthcare Chief Patient Experience Officer, Karen Utley, announces her retirement effective March 12, 2021, after a 44-year career in healthcare.

Utley began her career working as a Nursing Assistant while attending school to become a Registered Nurse. Karen is a graduate of Union University where she received her Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Nursing. She continued her education at the University of Memphis graduating with a Master of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in healthcare. She is also credentialed as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator. Utley has served in many roles with West Tennessee Healthcare, such as the Director of Nursing at Humboldt Hospital, the Administrator of Humboldt Hospital, the Executive Director of Community Hospitals, Executive Director of Pathways, and as a Vice President of System Services. In 2015, Utley was named the VP/Chief Patient Experience Officer where she has responsibility for patient and physician satisfaction.

According to James Ross, President, and CEO, “Karen’s impact on the organization and the community is far-reaching. She has been a strong advocate for our patients, and she has been recognized for her work with the Tennessee Hospital Association and other healthcare-related organizations. I am very proud of all that she has accomplished.”

Utley stated that her job has been “truly a dream come true,” and that she is very grateful to have had the opportunity to do what she loves to do and to work in the “best health care system in the country.”