Leadership posts filled at Baptist Health’s western Arkansas operation

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,415 views 

Alma native Dr. Shane Jennings has been named chief medical officer for Baptist Health’s operations in western Arkansas, and Christian Gross has been hired as vice president of operations at Baptist Health-Fort Smith and Baptist Health-Van Buren.

The Little Rock-based hospital system made the announcements Tuesday (March 28), and both men will report to Jeffery Carrier, regional president for Baptist Health. Baptist Health in western Arkansas has more than 100 physicians and more than 1,700 employees in Alma, Fort Smith, Greenwood and Van Buren.

Jennings earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Arkansas before earning his medical degree from AUC School of Medicine. He also worked as an EMT/paramedic in Arkansas prior to attending medical school. Jennings completed a residency in emergency medicine at State University of New York (SUNY). He also completed a fellowship in hyperbaric medicine at SUNY.

Dr. Shane Jennings

According to Baptist Health, Jennings has more than a decade of experience in leadership, teaching and most recently was the associate professor of emergency medicine, associate program director for the emergency medicine residency, and fellowship director for the medical education fellowship at the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City. Prior to that he was an associate professor at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW).

Gross is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and earned a bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences and dietetics from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. He is a part of the Executive Healthcare Administration Program at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He most recently was the the director of operations with HCA Healthcare overseeing their urgent care service line in Denver, Colo. Prior to his time at HCA, Gross spent four years in various leadership roles focused on care connectivity and strategic growth with UMC Health System in Lubbock.

Christian Gross

“Both Dr. Jennings and Christian have a proven track record in improving health care in the communities they serve,” Carrier said in a statement. “I am grateful for their future leadership as we continue expanding Baptist Health’s healing ministry in the River Valley.”

Baptist Health is Arkansas has more than 250 points of access that include 11 hospitals, urgent care centers, a senior living community, more than 100 primary and specialty care clinics, a college with studies in nursing and allied health, a graduate residency program, and access to virtual care anytime, anywhere. It is also the largest private not-for-profit health care organization based in Arkansas with 11,000 employees.