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Saint Thomas West and Saint Thomas Midtown Hospitals affected by COO restructuring
Contact: Rebecca Climer,

Saint Thomas Announces Expanded Roles For Chief Operating Officers at Saint Thomas West and Saint Thomas Midtown Hospitals

In a move that will further solidify its goal of “One Healing Community,” Saint Thomas Health announces the restructuring of the chief operating officer positions at Saint Thomas West Hospital (STW) and Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital (STM).

  Don King
Don King
Chief Operating Officer
Saint Thomas West
Renee Kessler
Renee Kessler
Chief Operating Officer
Saint Thomas Midtown

Don King, current chief operating officer at Saint Thomas West Hospital, and Renee Kessler, chief operating officer at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, will remain as onsite administrators for Midtown and West respectively. Their roles will expand to include key service line leadership roles that span both facilities.

King will oversee the cardiovascular service line for Saint Thomas Heart. Kessler will oversee obstetrics (STM) and the women’s health services (STM and STW) across the two Nashville hospitals.

“I want to congratulate Renee and Don on their new roles and their ongoing contributions to further the mission and ministry of Saint Thomas Health,” said Bernie Sherry, president and CEO of Saint Thomas West Hospital and Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital. “The new structure will allow the COOs to focus on key strategic areas and allow us to take advantage of their expertise across the system.”

Don King joined Saint Thomas West Hospital as chief operating officer in December 2011.

King, a licensed physical therapist, previously served as COO of HCA’s Lee’s Summit Medical Center in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Prior to joining Lee’s Summit, King held the positions of vice president of operations at HCA’s Research Medical Center; administrator of urgent and corporate care at Adventist Health System’s Shawnee Mission Medical Center and manager at Health Midwest’s Occupational Medicine Associates.

King received his bachelor’s degree in life science and master’s degree in physical therapy from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and American Physical Therapy Association.

Kessler, who has more than 20 years of experience in hospital administration, joined Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital in February 2007. She previously served as chief operating officer and administrator of Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, N.J.

Prior to Mountainside Hospital, Kessler held various management roles, including executive vice president and chief operating officer, interim president and vice president of operations, during an eight-year tenure at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Md. Previously, Kessler was vice president of operations at Detroit Medical Center's Grace Hospital in Detroit. She has also worked at Harper-Grace Hospitals in Detroit and University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics in Chicago. Kessler earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in health care administration from Ohio State University. She is a graduate of Ascension Health’s Leadership Formation for Healthcare Ministry, a two-year program focusing on ministry within a health care setting. Kessler has served as the March of Dimes Nashville March for Babies revenue co-chair in 2011 and the walk’s co-chairperson for the 2012 event. She’s also on the Easter Seals Tennessee Board of Directors.


Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system united under the common mission of one healing community. With more than 7,000 associates, Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes – Saint Thomas Hospital for Spinal Surgery, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro and Saint Thomas Hickman Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit

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