Tennessee Oncology Appoints Dr. Stephen Schleicher As Chief Medical Officer And Promotes Dr. Natalie Dickson To President And Chief Strategy Officer
Tennessee Oncology, one of the largest providers of oncology care in the country, announced that Stephen Schleicher, MD, MBA has been appointed Chief Medical Officer (CMO) effective January 1, 2022. Natalie Dickson, MD, President and CMO, will remain in her role as president of the company while taking on the newly created role of Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). Ron Horowitz will remain Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
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In their new roles, Dr. Dickson will focus on Tennessee Oncology’s growth and long-term strategy while Dr. Schleicher will oversee clinical programs to promote the high-quality, innovative and patient-centered care Tennessee Oncology is known for delivering throughout Tennessee and North Georgia.
“As Tennessee Oncology continues to grow – with over 190 oncology providers across 33 clinics – Dr. Dickson’s strategic leadership through this transformational period is crucial to our continued success. Furthermore, Dr. Schleicher’s promotion to CMO characterizes our commitment to clinical quality and innovation. Together these two physician leaders will continue to shape Tennessee Oncology into one of the largest and most innovative practices in the country,” says Ron Horowitz, CEO, Tennessee Oncology.
During her time as CMO, Dr. Dickson helped Tennessee Oncology enter Medicare’s Oncology Care Model (OCM), created an internal palliative care program that is now one of the largest of its type in community oncology, grew a dedicated financial counseling team, and launched integrative oncology and genetics counseling programs. “Our vision was for patients in Tennessee to have access to high quality, comprehensive cancer care wherever they live,” says Dr. Dickson. “And Tennessee Oncology has consistently delivered on this vision.”
Dr. Schleicher, who joined Tennessee Oncology three years ago, has already served as Medical Director of Value-Based Care across both Tennessee Oncology and OneOncology, a national platform for independent community oncology practices that now includes over 700 oncology providers across the US. Under his leadership, Tennessee Oncology has saved millions of dollars in the OCM, notched perfect quality scores in the OCM as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s certification program, and formed one of the largest commercial oncology medical home programs in the country through its partnership with Ascension and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. In addition to his medical director roles Dr. Schleicher also serves as President of the Tennessee Oncology Practice Society.
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“Dr. Schleicher brings a unique background to oncology. As a graduate of Harvard Business School and an ex-McKinsey consultant, Dr. Schleicher is always looking for new ways to deliver care to maximize quality and patient experience,” says Dr. Dickson. Dr. Schleicher received his medical training from Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York before returning to his hometown to join Tennessee Oncology.
“Tennessee Oncology is a special place,” says Dr. Schleicher. “We have doctors who trained at the best institutions in the country and strive to bring care one would receive at a top academic center to the communities where patients live. For instance, in my clinic right off the highway in Lebanon, we offer cutting edge clinical trials through our partnership with Sarah Cannon, psychology, palliative care, genetics counseling, imaging, and integrative oncology through telemedicine, all in the comfort of a patient’s community with a unique family-like culture.”
“Tennessee Oncology is on the vanguard of cancer care delivery in the United States,” says Jeff Patton, CEO, OneOncology and Chairman of the Board at Tennessee Oncology. “The leadership of Dr. Dickson and Dr. Schleicher in clinical quality, practice transformation and payment reform will not only position Tennessee Oncology for continued success but will also be immensely valuable for practice partners across the OneOncology platform.” Tennessee Oncology is a founding practice of OneOncology. In addition to her Tennessee Oncology duties, Dr. Dickson is a member of the OneOncology Board of Managers.
“I am excited about this next step and look forward to continued mentorship from Dr. Dickson, Dr. Patton, and Ron Horowitz, who are some of the best oncology leaders in the country,” Schleicher says. “Together along with our amazing physician colleagues, dedicated nursing teams, and clinical and administrative staff who have devoted their careers to cancer care, I have no doubt Tennessee Oncology will continue to grow, innovate, and deliver world-class cancer care throughout Tennessee and the surrounding areas.”
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