F2F Event (1.5 Hours): Tennessee's Rural Healthcare Crisis: An Update on the Rural Hospital Transformation Program

Tennessee's Rural Healthcare Crisis: An Update on the Rural Hospital Transformation Program

Rural hospitals are a valuable hub in their communities and provide much-needed care and support to the vulnerable populations they serve. Due to geographical and socioeconomic challenges that many rural communities face, we often see a higher rate of disparities, such as lack of a viable workforce, physician and other healthcare professional shortages, and a predominantly older, sicker population. Rural residents also tend to be poorer, and as a result, are often underinsured with high rates of chronic illnesses. These issues, teamed with rural hospitals struggle to remain financially viable, perpetuate the struggle of providing quality care and further increase the gap in access to care.

Tennessee has experienced 15 hospital closures, with 12 of those closures occurring in rural areas, since 2010 — the second highest rate in the United States. Of the 95 counties that make up the state, 82 percent are rural. Due to the complex nature of rural communities and the ever evolving nature of healthcare it is important for rural hospitals to explore alternative strategies to help them continue providing care to their communities. This call to action has been accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and Tennessee Hospital Association, along with other national and state healthcare organizations, are focusing on strategies to support rural hospitals in developing solutions to ensure they are financially viable and capable of  providing care.

Please join us for a special panel event on December 10th to learn about Tennessee’s rural health plan and the steps being taken to ensure our rural hospitals are successful.

** Please note registration will close on Tuesday, December 8th, and there is a maximum of 50 attendees for this event welcomed on a first-come first-served basis.

Opening Speaker & Moderator:

Bill Jolley

Senior Vice President, Rural Health Issues

Tennessee Hospital Association

Bill Jolley serves as Senior Vice President for the Tennessee Hospital Association and as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Center for Health Workforce Development (TCWD), a subsidiary of THA. He has over 25 years of professional experience, within the areas of healthcare, public administration, and community development. He previously served as the Director of Tennessee’s Office of Rural Health and Health Access. He received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Bill manages the Small and Rural Hospital Constituency for THA and advocates for its 60+ members. He provides specialized technical assistance and training in initiatives that strengthen rural healthcare delivery systems and has a special interest in network development, health information technology and technical assistance designed to increase provider reimbursement. He supports the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program for Tennessee’s critical access hospitals and manages other programs and initiatives that improve clinical, financial and operational outcomes for the state’s hospitals.

As Executive Director of TCWD, Bill works with hospitals and other organizations to ensure that Tennessee has a sufficient healthcare workforce for its population. He addresses workforce issues with statewide collaboration on strategies and solutions as well as facilitating communication and collaboration among healthcare professionals, educators, students, regulators, and employers. 

Mr. Jolley serves on the board of the Rural Health Association of Tennessee, National Rural Health Resource Center’s Advisory Committee, Delta Region Community Health Systems Advisory Committee, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Rural Hospital Transformation Advisory Committee, Tennessee Nurses Foundation Board of Trust, and Tennessee Action Coalition. 


Sarah Gaskell
Stephanie Boynton, FACHE
Logan McCoy

Associate Director, Healthcare Strategy

Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Special Projects Director


Erlanger Health System Critical Access Hospitals  TN Department of Economic & Community Development

Sarah is a leader in Guidehouse’s Healthcare Strategy and rural health team and is the project director for Guidehouse’s support of the State of Tennessee’s Rural Hospital Transformation Program. Sarah advises leading provider, payer, and government clients in the United States and internationally on market and growth strategy. Sarah focuses on how shifting market dynamics like consumer and population changes, payer mix, managed care, partnerships, risk-arrangements, and market competition impact a provider’s go-forward strategy and assesses market entry and partnership opportunities.

Her rural health work and research has been referenced in major publications including Kaiser Health News, Modern Healthcare, TIME, and other major publications. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Dayton where she focused on health systems research and a Master of Public Health from Brown University where she worked on multiple clinical research studies.

Stephanie Boynton has worked in the medical profession for more than twenty-four years. She holds a MBA in Healthcare Administration. Stephanie currently serves as VP/CEO of the Erlanger Health Systems' Critical Access Hospitals, Erlanger Bledsoe in Pikeville, TN, which also includes Sequatchie Valley Emergency Department in Dunlap, TN and Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital in Murphy, NC.

Her past roles include Administrator and Chief Financial Officer for Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital and Bledsoe County Nursing Home, as well as Interim CEO for Erlanger Murphy Medical Center. 

Stephanie is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is currently serving as Chairman of the THA Small and Rural Constituency. She is also serving on the Board of Directors for Tennessee Hospital Association. Stephanie serves on numerous other boards and committees in her home town.

Logan McCoy graduated from Union University in 2014 with his Bachelors of Science in Political Science and Accounting. He began his professional career working on political campaigns, then transitioned to nonprofit fundraising and now working for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Logan manages many rural initiatives focused on infrastructure, workforce development, entrepreneurship, tourism, and broadband, including the rural hospital transformation program. He also serves as the Program Manager for the State of Tennessee’s Appalachian Regional Commission which receives annual appropriations from Congress to go towards economic development.

In his free time he enjoys traveling with his wife Haley, going to the park with their two rescue dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors.




4:00 PM - 5:30 PM CST

Credits and Type:

Attendees will receive 1.5 hours of ACHE Face-to-Face Educational Credit.



December 10, 2020
4:00 PM CST - 5:30 PM CST
Add to Calendar


ACHE Virtual Meeting
Register below to receive a link via email.



$10.00 Member Registration

$15.00 Non-Member Registration; Please specify your chapter affiliation.

$0.00 Life Fellow Registration

$0.00 Speaker/Sponsor Registration