Leadership

Clark Baker Clark Baker
Chairman, Board of Directors
 
Clark Baker assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors in July 2014. Baker is currently the CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Houston area, a 127-year old institution that serves one million people annually in a range of programs from refugee resettlement to providing 300 child care locations in the area. Baker began his career with the YMCA in 1970 as a program director in the Washington, Indiana Y and was named CEO there in 1973. In 1976, he moved to the Central Florida region for the Y as senior vice president and chief operations officer, as well as serving as the director of development. In 1982, he was named president and CEO of the YMCA of Metro Chattanooga and, beginning in 1987, served in the same executive capacity for the Nashville YMCA. Baker is married to Dr. Carolyn Baker, a 30-year educator. They have two grown daughters, Christin and Caroline.


Dr. Mike Schatzlein Dr. Mike Schatzlein
Chief Executive Officer
 
Mike Schatzlein, MD, was named president and chief executive officer for Saint Thomas Health in June of 2010. Dr. Schatzlein also serves as the Ascension Health Ministry Market Leader for Indiana and Tennessee. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer for Lutheran Health Network in Fort Wayne, a unit of Community Health Systems, where he was a Division VP for all of Indiana operations.
 
Schatzlein, 63, has 40 years of healthcare experience as a physician and administrator. He received his Bachelor of Science and MD degrees from Indiana University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University. He trained in surgery at the Indiana University Medical Center and in thoracic surgery at the University of Michigan.
 
Schatzlein practiced cardiothoracic and vascular surgery in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 1980 to 1994. He led the team that developed Lutheran Hospital's heart transplant program, and performed northern Indiana's first heart transplant in 1985. At one point, nine of the world's 22 longest-living heart transplant patients had received their transplants under Schatzlein's direction.
 
Beginning in 1994, Schatzlein served in various executive roles building and leading Lutheran Health, which became northern Indiana's largest health system, with eight hospitals and 43,000 annual admissions.
 
Schatzlein is active in community affairs, serving on the boards of the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Health Care Council and the Tennessee Hospital Association. He is a nationally-recognized leader in the field of population health management, one of the most promising mechanisms for reform of the U.S. healthcare system.
 
In November, 2014, Dr. Schatzlein was named by Beckers Hospital Review to the Top 100 Physician Leaders of Hospitals and Health Care Systems.
 
Schatzlein and his wife Liz, a broadcast journalist, live in Nashville. Their son, Derek, a graduate of Denison University, is pursuing a doctorate in computer science at Purdue University. Another son, Michael, is an attorney and director of information technology at an Indianapolis law firm, while daughter Tricia practices law in Boston. Schatzlein is very proud of his six grandchildren.

 
Karen Springer Karen Springer
President, Chief Operating Officer
 
Chief Operating Officer since 2011, Springer is responsible for the operational success and effectiveness of Saint Thomas Health hospital facilities, physician practices and  numerous joint ventures.  Saint Thomas Health inpatient facilities include four acute care facilities ranging from 30 to 500 beds, a critical access hospital, long-term care facility and a joint venture specialty hospital complemented by joint-venture acute care hospitals and a robust network of community health clinics, medical practices, imaging centers and outpatient rehabilitation services. 
 
Springer joined Saint Thomas Health after serving as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at Lutheran Hospital of Indiana for four years.  While there, she was administratively responsible for the operations of a 400-bed acute care hospital, providing key leadership of 16 division directors and more than 2,000 associates.  Springer began her healthcare leadership career in the Lutheran Hospital System in Fort Wayne, Indiana, serving first as Director for cardiovascular and medical/surgical ICUs.  From 1997 to 2000, she was Chief Nursing Officer for the Rehabilitation Hospital in Fort Wayne with direct responsibility for hospital operations and for multiple patient care departments in a setting focused on restoration of abilities.  For Dupont Hospital, she held increasingly responsible positions and was responsible for construction of a new $52 million facility, serving as both Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer. 
 
Springer received her Associate of Science degree in Nursing from Germanna College in Virginia and her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.  She completed her Master of Science degree in Administration at Ball State University. 
 
Springer is active in the Middle Tennessee community, serving on the Boards of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, the Regional Workforce Alliance and the Tennessee Hospital Association Solutions Group. She also serves on the Boards of River Park Hospital, DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Community Hospital.  She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing.
 
Springer resides in Nashville with her husband of 35 years, Brad.  They have one amazing son who practices law in New Mexico and is married to a beautiful woman with whom he as two very busy boys.


Craig Polkow Craig Polkow
Chief Financial Officer
 
Craig Polkow is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Saint Thomas Health. Polkow, who previously held both CFO and Chief Operating Officer Positions at Saint Thomas West Hospital, has more than twenty years of progressive management experience with broad expertise in both operations and finance. As CFO, Polkow directs the fiscal operations for all of Saint Thomas Health, including inpatient facilities and the network of ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers and medical practices, as well as other subsidiaries and affiliate relationships.  He provides executive oversight of general accounting, patient financial services, payor relations and financial and statistical reporting
 
Prior to coming to Nashville and Saint Thomas West Hospital, Polkow was Chief Financial Officer for Dupont Hospital and served as Interim Chief Executive Officer. While at Dupont, he developed and nurtured partnerships with physicians, as well as oversaw all financial services for the hospital and many for the parent system. His leadership at Dupont resulted in increasing earnings each year, reductions in employee turnover and superior Core Measures results.
 
Polkow also held the Chief Financial Officer roles at DeKalb Memorial Hospital, Auburn, Indiana, and Madison Center in South Bend.
 
Polkow received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Indiana University at South Bend and his Master of Business Administration with Highest Distinction from the same university. He received his public accounting certification in 1990. Polkow has served in adjunct faculty positions for Indiana University at South Bend, Tri-State University, Concordia University and the University of Phoenix. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association’s Nashville Heart Walk.


John Pirolo, MD
Chief Medical Officer
 
John Pirolo, MD has been with Saint Thomas Health for more than 20 years, beginning as a surgeon providing cardiovascular services at Saint Thomas West Hospital (formerly Saint Thomas Hospital). As Chief Medical Officer, Pirolo leads the clinical informatics initiatives and is responsible for the overall clinical quality improvement efforts of Saint Thomas Health. In 2014, he was recognized as one of the 100 Hospital and Health System CMOs to Know by Becker’s Hospital Review.

 

Margaret Dolan
Margaret DolanEVP, Institutional Advancement
CEO, Saint Thomas Health Foundations

Margaret Dolan joined Saint Thomas Health as Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement and CEO of the Saint Thomas Health Foundations in July 2014.  She oversees philanthropic efforts in support of the Saint Thomas Health Ministry and expansion of the Mission.  These efforts are supported and complemented by her work in institutional advancement allowing Saint Thomas Health to more fully collaborate with other institutions and engage with the community to achieve the optimum benefit for the communities served.

Dolan began her career at KPMG before joining the Ingram Industries, Inc. Tax Department in 1985.  She left Ingram in 1989 to devote time to her children and her community.  She rejoined Ingram in 1995 and served in a series of roles with increasing responsibility before being named vice president, community relations in April 2009.  In this role, she had primary responsibility for corporate and family philanthropy in addition to other duties.

Dolan is currently on the boards of Alignment Nashville, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Business Coalition and is a past chair and current director for the Nashville Public Education Foundation. She is also on the board of the Tennessee Business Roundtable and is a past chair and current Trustee for the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville.

Dolan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, with honors, from The University of Tennessee and her Master of Business Administration from the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. During her graduate studies, she was given the Dean Martin S. Geisel Leadership Award. She is a Certified Public Accountant and member of both the American Institute and Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants. 


Michael Mover Michael Mover
Chief Information Officer
 
Michael Mover is Chief Information Officer for Saint Thomas Health, having served previously as Senior Director and Vice President of Information Services for Ascension Information Services (AIS) and Saint Thomas Health. Prior to his arrival at Ascension, Mover  served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Riverview Health, headquartered in Noblesville, Indiana for 8 years. Before joining Riverview, Mover served in various roles with national and international consulting firms such as Deloitte, Whittman-Hart and Haverstick where he was primarily engaged in strategy and implementation work for more 10 years.  Mover has more than 20 years of experience in technology services, outsourcing and large-scale contract administration related to customer experience, IT strategy and relationship management. During his two years at Saint Thomas and AIS, he has led a matrixed organization of more than 130 IT professionals. Mover is a member of the Tennessee State University Technology Advisory Council for the BIS Department.  He holds a BS degree in Business Administration from Indiana Institute of Technology and an MBA with a healthcare concentration from Indiana Wesleyan University.


Bernie Sherry Bernie Sherry
Executive Vice President System Integration, Saint Thomas Health
President and CEO, Saint Thomas Midtown and West Hospitals

Bernie Sherry is currently the Executive Vice President System Integration, Saint Thomas Health and the President and CEO of Saint Thomas Midtown and West Hospitals.  Previously, he served as President and CEO of Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital (formerly Baptist Hospital), where he was appointed in June 2003. There he was responsible for leading the largest not-for-profit community hospital in Middle Tennessee.

Sherry joined Saint Thomas Health in 2000 serving as vice president of managed care. Prior to joining Saint Thomas Health, Sherry worked at the Greenville Health System, a 1,100 bed multi-hospital system, in Greenville, S.C.

Sherry earned his Bachelor's degree from Gannon University in Erie, Pa., and his Master's degree in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C. He is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and a graduate of Ascension Health's Leadership Formation for Healthcare Ministry, a two-year program focusing on ministry within a health care setting. Sherry also is a graduate of the Ascension Leadership Academy, a curriculum focused on innovation and virtuous leadership.

Sherry is active in the Nashville community and serves on the board of the National Organization for Workforce Diversity, the March of Dimes Music City Division and has served as the chair of the March of Dimes 2010 and 2011 Nashville March for Babies. Some of his other leadership roles in the community involved tournament chair for the American Junior Golf Association Franklin Junior Classic, Nashville Sports Council Board member, and Hospital Hospitality House Board of Directors and West End/Broadway Corridor Steering Committee member. He was honored in June 2010 as a Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association/Father’s Day Council and as a Health Care Hero by the Nashville Business Journal in August 2011.



Gordon B. Ferguson, FACHE Gordon Ferguson
Chief Executive Officer
Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital

Gordon B. Ferguson has served as president and chief executive officer since 2006. Ferguson has more than 20 years of health care experience. He began his career as director of planning at Baptist Medical Center Princeton in Birmingham, Ala. In 1998, Ferguson joined Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital as senior vice president of support services and subsequently served as senior vice president of operations. In 2004, he was named chief operating officer. He has overseen the construction of a $26 million outpatient service facility, facilitated the establishment of joint ventures and completed a master facility plan as part of the hospital's overall strategic plan. Most recently, he oversaw the $267 million project for Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital's replacement facility.

Ferguson received a bachelor's degree in business administration with honors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned a master's degree in hospital and health administration from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. In 2007, Ferguson became a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. Ferguson serves on the board of directors for United Way of Rutherford County; he serves on the Business Education Partnership board of directors and is a member of noon Rotary in Murfreesboro.


Greg Pope Greg Pope
Chief Mission Officer

Greg Pope serves as Chief Mission Officer. He joined Saint Thomas Health in 1996 and oversaw the work the Saint Thomas Health Foundations for more than 15 years.

A Fellow in the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), he is a past Board Chair for the Association and directed AHP’s Madison Institute on Healthcare Philanthropy University of Wisconsin School of Business. He also served as President for the Ascension Health Council on Philanthropy, a consortium of Catholic health related foundations sponsored by Ascension.

Pope holds a BS in Economics form the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an MBA from Templeton Institute and Theological College, where he was named a Sir John Templeton Fellow in Church Administration. A frequent writer and conference speaker, he has published two books and numerous articles related to ministry and stewardship.

Presently he serves as a board member for Amazima Ministries International, Nashville Clinical Pastoral Education Consortium, and The American Heart Association.


Dawn Rudolph Dawn Rudolph
Chief Experience Officer

Dawn Rudolph began her duties as Chief Experience Officer for Saint Thomas Health on July 15, 2013. Previously, Dawn served as president and CEO of Saint Thomas West Hospital, joining the organization in Nov. 2010. Before moving to Nashville, she served as Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph Hospital in Fort Wayne, Ind.

As Chief Experience Officer, Dawn will focus on operationalizing patient, physician and family experience strategies across all facilities. This will include monitoring patient satisfaction scores, providing tools to address improvement opportunities and creating policies and procedures to insure a consistent, yet distinctive experience for all who enter a Saint Thomas Health facility.

Rudolph began her health care career at St. Joseph Hospital in 1990 advancing from a project coordinator to Administrator of the Dupont Surgery Center.  In 2000, she was named Support Services Team Leader at Dupont Hospital, also a part of the Lutheran Health Network.  Here, she was promoted to Vice President of Operations and then served as the Chief Operating Officer of that facility from 2006 to 2009.  She returned to St. Joseph Hospital as its CEO in 2009 where she successfully expanded the medical staff, improved EMS-hospital relationships and developed a multicultural community roundtable to improve health indicator metrics in Fort Wayne.

Rudolph received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Indiana University – Fort Wayne and her MBA (with healthcare specialization) from Indiana Wesleyan University – Fort Wayne.  Active in various community organizations, Rudolph serves as the 2012 chair for the Nashville chapter of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement to fight heart disease in women, board member of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville and member of Nashville Chamber CEO Champions. She is also a diplomat for the American College of Healthcare Executives and has been recognized as Nashville Post’s Most Powerful Women 2012 and a 2012 Women to Watch Honoree by Nashville Medical News.


Fahad Tahir
Chief Executive Officer, Saint Thomas Medical Partners

Fahad Tahir is Chief Executive Officer of Saint Thomas Medical Partners at Saint Thomas Health (a member of Ascension Health) and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. Fahad is also a Fellow of Washington DC's Health Care Advisory Board. Fahad earned his MBA from Loyola University Chicago and his BBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

Fahad’s responsibilities for Saint Thomas Health include overseeing clinical, operational and financial performance of Saint Thomas Medical Partners, as well as physician network strategy, physician development and recruitment, and service line development.

Fahad has been within Ascension Health since 2003. Prior to joining Saint Thomas Health, Fahad served as Vice President of Physician Enterprise and Community Health Network at Providence, a health system in Washington, D.C. Fahad’s responsibilities at Providence included practice operations, clinical integration strategy and growth plan of the physician enterprise. He oversaw and directed the acquisition of several practices across specialties, patient centered medical home certification, and affiliations with several primary care and community health centers. Additionally, Providence obtained three (3) CMS Innovation awards, totaling more than $18 million. These recognized programs included developing a clinically integrated network, new payment models for diabetes education and a clinically integrated prenatal care network. He was also Executive Sponsor for the implementation of a Health Information Exchange (HIE), an integrated EMR system that brings together the health records of multiple physician group practices, clinics, hospitals and health centers. Prior, held roles physician practice development, acquisitions and practice management at Columbia St. Mary's Health System in Milwaukee, WI.

Fahad is a native of Bombay, India and now lives in Nashville, TN.


Rebecca Climer, SVP, Chief Communications and Marketing OfficerRebecca Climer
SVP, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer

Rebecca holds executive responsibility for all functions within Marketing and Communications including advertising and promotion, public relations, media relations, digital presence and promotion and internal communications.

Rebecca began career at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital (formerly Middle Tennessee Medical Center) in 1980 as Director of Staff Development.  She was named Director of Public Affairs in 1982, and over the next 20 years, worked in increasingly responsible roles that involved marketing, communications, physician relations, patient satisfaction, and strategic planning.  Rebecca held the role of  Vice President, Public Affairs and Planning 1990 until 2002 when she became the Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for the newly formed Saint Thomas Health.

Rebecca is also active with the American Heart Association and the Council on Aging.