Baptist Heart Institute announces new leadership


MEMPHIS, Tenn. –Baptist Heart Institute at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis has named Tom Wills chief administrative officer and promoted Renee Hatcher to administrative director of transplant services for the Advanced Heart Failure Program.

Wills will oversee the development of a comprehensive cardiovascular strategy and will focus on growth opportunities, enriching physician relationships and enhancing patient accessibility and experience. Hatcher will be responsible for the overall growth and quality of the heart transplant program.

“We are excited to have Tom and Renee leading our advanced heart programs,” said Brad Parsons, VP and CEO of Baptist Memphis. “We offer the only certified adult heart transplant and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) programs in the Mid-South. Under Tom and Renee’s leadership, we will continue to meet a critical need for patients while advancing heart care in the region.”

Wills has more than 28 years of health care experience, previously serving in various leadership roles with Tenet Healthcare, HCA Healthcare, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Community Health Systems, among others. He retired from the U.S. Army after spending 25 years in the infantry and the U.S. Army Nurse Corp. Wills earned a diploma in nursing from the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Lubbock, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Public and Private Management from Birmingham-Southern College.

Hatcher began her nursing career at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Medical Center in 1988 in the cardiovascular intensive care unit and was later promoted to nurse manager. She has been an integral part of the transplant program since its inception and was critical in the development of the Baptist ventricular assist device and ECMO programs. She received a diploma in nursing from the Baptist Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Union University and a Master of Science in Nursing — Health Care Management from Loyola University New Orleans.

The Baptist Heart Institute offers comprehensive heart services in one location, and includes Baptist’s heart transplant program. The Advanced Heart Failure Program is located within the Baptist Heart Institute and provides comprehensive cardiac care for patients diagnosed with advanced heart failure but who no longer respond to medication and require frequent hospitalizations.

The Baptist Memphis campus includes its 706-bed namesake — Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, which is the flagship hospital of the Baptist Memorial Health Care system. The hospital serves as a major referral center for patients from across the Mid-South and offers many diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services. The hospital has added hundreds of beds since opening with the addition of a new patient tower and the Baptist Heart Institute. U.S. News & World Report has named Baptist Memphis the No. 1 hospital in the Memphis metro area for the past two years. And according to HealthGrades, an independent health care ratings organization, Baptist Memphis’ cardiac surgery, stroke, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and critical care programs were among the top 5% in the nation in 2009, resulting in the facility receiving Specialty Excellence Awards.