We recently spoke with Dr. Steven Ragle, facility medical director at Southern Tennessee Medical Center, about working with TeamHealth, and the community where he lives and serves in Winchester, Tennessee.
Tell us about the facility where you work?
Dr. Ragle: Southern Tennessee Regional Health System is a 165-bed hospital located in Winchester, Tennessee. We have a 13-bed emergency department with approximately 20,000 yearly patient census.
Our medical staff is professional, approachable and committed to serving the people of this area.
Our administrative team is very involved in the day-to-day operations of the emergency department and the hospital as a whole. They are also very involved in community service and development.
What do you enjoy most about your position as a facility medical director at TeamHealth?
Dr. Ragle: I enjoy my position here as medical director of the emergency department. I am able to work shifts each month while still having the time and opportunity to participate as a leader on committees including projects on sepsis management, chest pain center accreditation, as well as working closely with colleagues in other departments to improve the care provided to our patients. I am fairly new to the TeamHealth community, and I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to learn from some of the TeamHealth leaders that have helped to establish the company over the past 40 years.
Tell us about the community you serve. What do you love most about it?
Dr. Ragle: I feel that Southern Tennessee Regional Health System serves a truly unique small-town community. Our patients come from a very wide variety of social backgrounds and influences. A majority of our patients are from rural, often underserved areas with some challenging limitations to access to medical care. However, our campus is also adjacent to the beautiful Tim’s Ford Lake and near Sewanee, The University of the South. This setting provides a great mix of patients from various cultures and backgrounds. People here enjoy many outdoor activities involving the mountain and the lake, which often makes for very interesting emergency room presentations!
Tell us about your training, educational background and professional interest.
Dr. Ragle: I grew up in a small town in Southern Kentucky. I attended the University of Kentucky Medical School and then stayed at the University of Kentucky for my residency in Emergency Medicine. I served as Chief Resident there before moving to Nashville to start my career. I was part of a small private group of nine emergency medicine doctors for 15 years. I recently left that position to become a medical director at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System and join the TeamHealth community. I have been very pleased with my decision and I have been enjoying many new opportunities to learn and lead. The change has made me excited about my career again, and looking forward to the years to come.
Tell us about your team at Southern Tennessee Medical Center. What’s the team culture and dynamic?
Dr. Ragle: We have a core team of five full-time emergency medicine physicians here. We all enjoy our job and this community for different reasons. Everyone approaches the care provided in our department as a team commitment. Everyone contributes to improving the quality and efficiency of the care provided by our department. Everyone is quick to help with shifts or workload to ensure we all get to be free for the things that are important to each of us.
What kinds of opportunities can a physician on your team expect at Southern Tennessee Medical Center and TeamHealth?
Dr. Ragle: Each physician has the opportunity to serve on committees and any project that they find important or interesting. The administration also encourages all of us to be active members in the community. Whether that be helping and attending fundraisers, helping with the high school mountain bike team, or teaching a handball course at the university! There is something here for those with most any interest!
When you aren’t practicing at Southern Tennessee Medical Center what’s your favorite place or activity in Winchester?
Dr. Ragle: My favorite thing to do when not working include many outdoor activities on the mountain and around the lake. There are mountain bike trails accessible from my driveway. I enjoy hiking and exploring on the 19-mile perimeter trail around the university property. I enjoy finding and exploring local waterfalls with my kids. The Caverns is an amazing underground amphitheater that brings in artists from all different genres. The University of the South also attracts speakers and musicians from all over the world.