Virginia Frank To Retire As Holston Valley's President; Wellmont To Engage In National Search For Successor

Virginia Frank, who has led Holston Valley Medical Center to continued national and regional success as president since 2010, will retire after the completion of a national search for her successor.

Wellmont Health System will form a committee to conduct a thorough search for a replacement to oversee its largest hospital.

Frank's tenure at Holston Valley will be the capstone of a notable career in health care.  She will end her tenure on the heels of a strong list of accolades for the hospital, including recent recognition among the top three hospitals in Tennessee by U.S. News & World Report and consistent national recognition as one of the best cardiovascular hospitals in the nation.

"It has been a pleasure to incorporate experiences and knowledge gained over decades in health care at Holston Valley and to work with such dedicated staff members, who prove every day why we are Kingsport's flagship hospital," Frank said.

"I accepted this position knowing I was approaching retirement, and my plan was never to work beyond that point. My husband, David, has been retired for a few years now. So, according to our plan, it is time to turn our attention away from work and toward family, travel, and volunteer roles."

Frank said she has enjoyed working with everyone associated with the hospital and Wellmont to build on Holston Valley's outstanding reputation and leadership in the region. She said Holston Valley is well-positioned for success with a sensational group of physicians, nurses and other caregivers, as well as all the hard-working nonclinical staff who serve with distinction around the clock.

"My primary objectives at Holston Valley were to establish the Healing Environment philosophy to enhance the hospital's patient- and family-centered approach and make key enhancements to patient service and quality," Frank said. "An important part of that emphasis was instituting the direct CEO phone line, which allows patients to access me any time, day or night. These initiatives are enabling us to steadily build the patient care experience."

Those who have served with Frank note her healthcare leadership experience and strong sense of compassionate patient care.

"Virginia's track record has been consistently exemplary, and the patients, physicians and staff of Holston Valley have benefited from her experience and talent," said Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont's president and CEO, who has also worked with Frank at hospitals in Tennessee, Missouri, Minnesota and Florida. "Under Virginia's leadership, Holston Valley has continued to build on its legacy as Kingsport's hospital of choice."

DeNarvaez said Frank has repeatedly shown strengths that have elevated the quality of care wherever the two have worked together.

"She has been tireless in her endeavors, passionate about the care of our patients and dedicated to her co-workers and is one of the finest examples of integrity I have witnessed," DeNarvaez said. "She will be missed by many, but maybe by me the most."

Before coming to Wellmont in 2010, Frank served as administrator of the Heart and Vascular Hospital, a 96-bed facility that is part of St. John's Mercy Medical Center in St. Louis. She was also vice president of operations for St. John's Mercy.

Earlier in her prolific career, Frank was vice president of operations for Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and chief information officer for Florida Medical Center Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

"We are grateful for Virginia's leadership of our hospital for the past three years," said Charlie Floyd, Holston Valley's board chairman. "We are also happy she will continue to serve throughout the search for her replacement and assist with a seamless transition.

"Holston Valley is a great community asset, with a long history of strength as a regional referral center for the highest levels of medical need. The hospital has led our region for almost 80 years now, and we will ensure its next leader will be prepared to carry the torch to the next level of excellence."