Dr. Whitney joins Memorial primary care unit in Cleveland and more Chattanooga-area career moves

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Anthony Whitney

Dr. Whitney joins Memorial primary care unit in Cleveland

Anthony Whitney, a family medicine physician, has joined CHI Memorial Primary Care Associates – Cleveland.

Whitney earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. He completed a basic surgery internship at San Diego Naval Hospital and U.S. flight surgeon training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, Florida. Whitney then completed residency training in family medicine at Phoenix Baptist Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Whitney joins Lynn Grotefendt, FNP and a clinical staff of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and medical assistants at the Cleveland office.


BlueCross names Khan chief information officer

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has selected health insurance industry veteran Nasir Khan as senior vice president and chief information officer.

In this role, Khan will lead the employee teams responsible for securing and protecting the integrity and performance of BlueCross technical support functions including cybersecurity, application development, and infrastructure and operations.

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Nasir Khan

Khan comes to the Chattanooga-based BlueCross after serving as senior vice president and chief information officer at Consortium Health Plans in Maryland. His prior experience also includes more than 15 years in tech roles at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, where he ultimately rose to the position of vice president and chief technology officer.

“Information services and technology are more critical than ever for BlueCross and our customers,” said Scott Pierce, executive vice president of BlueCross. “Nasir is a proven leader whose experience with Consortium and the Association gives him unique insight into the technology needs of our members and business partners.”

Khan earned an executive master of business administration degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Karachi and Quaid-I-Azam University, respectively, in Pakistan.


Bridge Public Affairs among top performing lobby firms

Bridge Public Affairs in Chattanooga has been named a 2020 top-performing lobbying firm by Bloomberg Government, showing sustained growth after being recognized as the fifth most successful new firm in the nation in 2019.

The Bloomberg Government report is based on Lobbying Disclosure Act reports filed during 2020 and does not include non-lobbying revenue.

“Despite the global challenges that so many struggled through in 2020, we are grateful to have been able to continue serving our clients in meaningful ways as they have engaged with government at the federal, state, and local levels,” said Todd Womack, president and CEO of Bridge Public Affairs. “Like so many, our team has had to adapt as the world changed around us, but through it all, we are thankful to have been able to partner with a diverse and impactful client base and honored to have been named one of the country’s top- performing firms again this year.”

From multinational corporations to local community nonprofits and startups, Bridge offers a wide range of public affairs services to its clients, including government relations, lobbying, strategic communications, public relations, business development and general strategic consulting.


Cowley named to head A Step Ahead Chattanooga

Mandy Cowley has been named executive director of the contraceptive education and access program A Step Ahead Chattanooga.

Cowley was selected following a national search for a new leader to replace Susan Vandergriff, who announced earlier this year that she would be leaving the nonprofit sector to pursue professional entrepreneurial goals.

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Mandy Cowley

Cowley previously served as an associate executive director with the IRIS Domestic Violence Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, overseeing operations of one of the oldest and largest domestic violence agencies in the state of Louisiana, serving a seven-parish region. Most recently, she has worked as an administrator for the Unitarian Universalist Church in Chattanooga.

“I fundamentally believe that every person should be able to decide if and when it’s the right time for them to become pregnant,” said Cowley. “I am so honored to come alongside the staff, board, volunteers and supporters of A Step Ahead Chattanooga who are doing incredible work to ensure that everyone in our region has access to resources like education, information and birth control that make that possible.”

A Step Ahead Chattanooga provides education, information and access to free birth control in 18 counties in southeast Tennessee, north Georgia and north Alabama. This summer, ASAC will reach the milestone of connecting 5,000 area women with birth control since its founding in 2014.

Cowley earned a master’s degree in sociology from Louisiana State University and a bachelor’s in psychology at Centenary College of Louisiana.


Kotte to head sales at InfoSystems

The Chattanooga-based IT infrastructure and cybersecurity firm InfoSystems has promoted Chris Kotte to senior vice president of sales. In his new role, Kotte will work with Chris Gilbert, vice president of sales, and Kelly Nuckolls, vice president of marketing and alliances, to direct sales, operations and marketing efforts.

“Chris has done an outstanding job of leading our enterprise sales team over the past seven-plus years, growing wallet share, revenue and profits consistently during his tenure here at InfoSystems,” said Scott Davis, CEO at InfoSystems. “Chris’s extensive sales, sales management and consulting experience uniquely qualify him for this role.”

Kotte is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s IBM executive management program, and he brings more than a quarter-century of IT experience to the InfoSystems executive team. Prior to joining InfoSystems in 2014, Kotte’s professional endeavors include leading sales efforts for IBM’s retail and distribution team, managing Insight’s Ohio Valley division, and time spent as a consultant assisting with the launch of a Chicago area IT startup.

“The past year has expedited an incredible amount of change in the information technology and cybersecurity arenas, and our entire team has really stepped up to meet spiking demand,” Kotte said.


Oliver, Thomas and Herra join Erlanger practices

Erlanger Medical Group welcomes Drs. Matthew Oliver, Laura Thomas and Jenifer Herra to its growing list of providers.

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Matthew Oliver

Matthew Oliver is a board certified, fellowship trained gynecologic oncologist at Erlanger Women’s Oncology. Oliver attended medical school at East Tennessee State University, and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. Following a gynecologic oncology fellowship at Brown University, Women and Infants Hospital in Rhode Island, Oliver joined the faculty there. It was during this time that he was selected as the Women’s Reproductive Health Research Scholar through the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In addition to clinical work, Oliver plans to use his research experience to expand clinical trials available through Erlanger to women with gynecologic malignancies.

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Laura Thomas

Laura Thomas is a pediatric neurologist with Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. Before pursuing a career in medicine, Thomas worked as a high school science teacher. She attended the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, S.C., and completed two residencies — one in pediatrics at Memorial Health in Savannah, Georgia, and the other in pediatric neurology at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she served as chief resident.

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Jennifer Herra

Jenifer Herra is a board certified internal medicine and obesity medicine physician at Erlanger Primary Care in Cleveland. After attending Southern Adventist University for her undergraduate education, she decided to return to the Chattanooga area following medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine in the West Indies. She completed residency training in internal medicine at Erlanger, affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga. Herra’s special areas of interest include lifestyle medicine and obesity medicine, in which she has earned board certification.


Memorial wins awards for safety, patient care

CHI Memorial Hospital is the only health system in the Chattanooga region to receive a five- star rating (five out of five stars) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The most common overall hospital quality star rating is three, and only 13% of the 4,586 hospitals included in the survey received a five-star rating. This is the fifth time CHI Memorial has received a rating of four stars or higher.

The overall star rating shows how well an individual hospital is performing compared to other hospitals in the U.S., on average. The rating summarizes a variety of measures across five areas of quality: mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, and time and effective care. This rating is designed to help individuals, family members and caregivers compare hospitals and easily understand complex quality information.

“Our employees never cease to amaze me,” said Matthew Kodsi, vice president of medical affairs at CHI Memorial. “They are making a difference every day with the high quality, compassionate care they provide our patients.”

CHI Memorial Hospital Chattanooga and Hospital Hixson received “A” ratings in the spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, a national distinction recognizing CHI Memorial’s achievements protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” or “F” grade to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months. It is the only hospital rating program based exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors and other harms to patients in their care. Only 33% of hospitals in the country received an “A”.

“This is a huge testament to the quality of care that our physicians, clinicians and employees provide here,” said Janelle Reilly, market CEO at CHI Memorial.

— Compiled by Brandi Dixon

Information about new hires, promotions and business awards should be sent to [email protected]

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