Barbara Whitehead Named System Director of Patient Access, Brings 25 Years of Health Care Experience

June 27, 2017 | Kingsport, Tenn.

Barbara Whitehead, a 25-year co-worker and leader at Wellmont Health System, has been promoted to serve as the organization’s director of patient access.

In her new role, Whitehead will plan and direct activities for all patient access and registration services. These include central scheduling; financial counseling; insurance eligibility, verification and authorization; admissions; and advance and point-of-service cash collection. She will also ensure the department develops, measures and achieves key performance indicators for patient access functions.

“Creating an optimal experience for our patients is an essential part of our organization’s structure and requires a leader with a strategic mindset,” said Todd Dougan, Wellmont’s chief financial officer. “Barbara has performed exceptionally during her tenure with us, ensuring we deliver high-quality care to those we are privileged to serve. Now, she will build on our success in patient access by continuing to implement best practices and collaborate with other leaders in the system.”

Whitehead is a Kingsport native who was born at Holston Valley Medical Center. She joined Holston Valley’s staff in 1992 as a registrar in the emergency department and quickly began her progression to positions of increasing responsibility. Within six months, she was promoted to shift supervisor of registration in that department.

In 2005, she was promoted again, this time to serve as Holston Valley’s admissions manager. She remained in that role until 2014, when she advanced to become the hospital’s manager of patient access. Whitehead stayed there for two years before she was named to a systemwide role as operations manager for patient access.

Whitehead has served as a liaison for many projects at Holston Valley, such as the Eastman Hospitality House. She was also a team leader for many Healing Environment initiatives and served on Holston Valley’s hospital operations team.

“It’s been a privilege to serve for 25 years in a hospital and community that have had such a meaningful impact on my life,” Whitehead said. “And for more than 20 years, it has been a wonderful experience to watch Wellmont’s growth as a premier health care organization for our region. I am grateful for this next opportunity for professional development and am excited to enhance our relationship with our patients.”

Whitehead is certified as a health care access manager by the National Association of Healthcare Access Management.