Melony GoodhandMelony Goodhand Named Chief Operating Officer, Vice President Of Finance At Bristol Regional

Melony Goodhand, a distinguished healthcare executive and former physician assistant, has been named chief operating officer and vice president of finance at Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Goodhand brings to the job 33 years of healthcare experience, including the last 20 years in the upper levels of management. She comes to Bristol Regional from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, where she served as vice chancellor of finance and chief financial officer and oversaw a $1.4 billion budget.

During her nine-year tenure there, she was responsible for a hospital, several clinics, six colleges, a 1,000-member faculty practice plan, six specialty institutes and area health education centers. She also managed the finances for $650 million in construction projects and assisted with a $48 million turnaround for the hospital.

From 2002 to 2004, she served as vice president of finance and chief compliance officer for Genesys Health System in Grand Blanc, Mich. Other organizations where she shared her expertise include healthcare consulting and strategic planning firms and a healthcare productivity benchmarking company.

A certified public accountant, Goodhand worked for the Ernst & Young accounting firm.

"Melony is an outstanding leader with an impressive record of service who will help Bristol Regional achieve the next level of excellence," said Bart Hove, the hospital's president. "Like other healthcare providers in the United States, we will face challenges from healthcare reform, but we are pleased to have Melony's financial and operational acumen to help navigate them successfully and build on our sensational care."

In addition to her experience as an executive and an accountant, Goodhand experienced the front lines of patient care early in her career. She was a physician assistant at Methodist Hospitals of Memphis and Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery Associates from 1979-85. Working in 13 hospitals, she cared for patients in the operating room, intensive care unit, cardiac catheterization lab, medical-surgical unit, imaging department and clinics.

Goodhand had ambition to go to medical school, but being just 19 when she graduated from the University of Tennessee with undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry, she was told she was too young. She said she was permitted to attend the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis as the first medical extern who was not a medical student. She performed clinical rotations with medical students, which led to her brief career as a physician assistant.

But it gave her a taste of the medical field and began her diverse path in health care that now has brought her to Wellmont Health System's second-largest hospital with a focus on delivering exceptional patient- and family-centered care.

"Bristol Regional is an innovative hospital with a long record of compassionate service to Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia," Goodhand said. "All our caregivers had a calling to serve patients and their families when they entered their professions, and I want to keep that passion strong by providing the needed systems and processes to support them. I welcome this opportunity to expand my horizons as well and work in an organization dedicated to delivering the best health care anywhere."

Goodhand received her master's degree in healthcare administration and business from Trinity University in San Antonio and a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She also holds an accelerated accounting program certification from Memphis State University.