UT Health East Texas today announced the appointment of eight of the 10 members of the board of directors that will govern the newly formed 10-hospital health system.


Ardent Health Services and The University of Texas Health Science Center Tyler (UT Health Northeast) completed the purchase of East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System (ETMC) on March 1 and combined it with UT Health Northeast to create 10-hospital UT Health East Texas. Under the partnership agreement, the board of directors will provide governance and strategic oversight for UT Health East Texas while Ardent maintains majority ownership and manages day-to-day operations. 


Kirk Calhoun, M.D., F.A.C.P., president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast), has been named chairman of the UT Health East Texas health system 10-person board of directors. Additional board appointments include: 

• Mike Allen, chairman of the UT Health Northeast development board and shareholder with Allen Lottmann Kimmel PC; 

• Barbara Bass, CPA, former Tyler mayor, community leader and partner with Gollob Morgan Peddy Certified Public Accountants; 

• Moody Chisholm, newly appointed president and CEO of UT Health East Texas; 

• Steven Idell, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of research and graduate studies and dean of the School of Medical Biological Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast); 

• Paul Kappelman, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Ardent Health Services; 

• Brian Walton, senior vice president, financial operations of Ardent Health Services; 

• Joe Woelkers, executive vice president, chief business officer and chief operating officer of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. 


Ardent will appoint two local physicians to the board of directors. 


“We are excited to partner with Ardent Health Services to expand clinical care in East Texas, while at the same time, improving the quality of that care through education and research,” said UT Health Science Center President Dr. Kirk Calhoun. “As chairman of the board of directors for UT Health East Texas, I will work ambitiously with this truly exceptional group of board members to improve healthcare quality, access and affordability, and to strengthen preventive care in our communities. I thank The UT System Board of Regents for their confidence in us.” 


The partnership has committed to invest more than $125 million in the new UT Health East Texas health system over five years to support operations and fund improvements. The UT System will retain ownership of the UT Health North Campus Tyler (UT Health Northeast) facilities, thereby reducing the need for additional capital investment from the partnership. 


“The strength of any board lies in its diversity of experience and commitment to a shared vision,” said Moody Chisholm, president and CEO of UT Health East Texas. “These outstanding leaders bring both a strong understanding of our local communities as well as the broader healthcare landscape, which will be essential to our success as we begin this journey as UT Health East Texas. We are fortunate to have their guidance, and I look forward to working together to accomplish great things for our region.”


UT Health East Texas includes 10 hospitals, more than 50 physician clinics, the Olympic Plaza Tower, 13 regional rehabilitation facilities, two freestanding emergency centers, regional home health services covering 41 counties, an EMS fleet of more than 45 ambulances and four helicopters, and a comprehensive seven-trauma center care network, including a Level 1.