2004 Honorary Alumni
During the time Dennis Vonderfecht has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) a partnership has expanded between the organization and East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine. This partnership has resulted in a positive relationship affecting thousands of lives in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia seeking the highest quality in medical care. Several new teaching programs have been created and others have been strengthened including the pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology, as well as the nursing, physical therapy and social work programs.
At the same time, this special relationship resulted in the creation of The Children’s Hospital, Regional Perinatal Center, Regional Transplant Center, and Level I Trauma Center at Johnson City Medical Center. In the area of economic development, MSHA and ETSU have partnered with local government to create the Centre at Millennium Park and the Med Tech Regional Business Park. This relationship has proven to be a winner for both MSHA and ETSU, as well as our region.
Previously, Vonderfecht was the Regional Vice President for Research Health Services System, a large, regional healthcare system based in Kansas City, Missouri, from 1985-1989. He was responsible for the oversight of six acute care hospitals and three nursing homes operations in Kansas and Missouri. Prior to his affiliation with Research Health Services System, he served in various hospital management capacities with an investor-owned hospital company.
Vonderfecht’s undergraduate study was at Colorado State University and the University of Nebraska, where he was awarded a B.S. degree in Business Administration. He obtained two masters degrees from the University of Missouri, one in Business Administration and another in Hospital Administration.
He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Tennessee Hospital Association (THA), the Hospital Alliance of Tennessee, the Valley Corridor Summit, Inc., the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, and the State of Tennessee Perinatal Advisory Council. Vonderfecht has served as President of the Northeast Tennessee Hospital District of THA. He currently holds the positions of Chairman of the Board for Hospital Alliance of Tennessee, Chairman Elect of the Tennessee Hospital Association Board of Directors, and Chairman of the TennCare Task Force of THA.
Locally, he has been involved on the Boards of Directors of the United Way, Johnson City/Jonesborough/Washington County Chamber of Commerce, American Red Cross, Rocky Mount Museum, and Hands On! Regional Museum. He also is a member of the ETSU Foundation and the President’s Executive Council of Milligan College. He is a deacon of the Central Church of Christ.
Additionally, Vonderfecht is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He has been the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award from the Tennessee Hospital Association and was awarded the American College of Healthcare Executives Regent’s Award. He has also been recognized with the Health Care Heroes Award, as well as named a finalist for Executive of the Year for the Greater Tri-Cities Business Awards. Vonderfecht was also presented with a “Leaders in Christian Service” award by Milligan College. He and his wife Peggy have two daughters, Jennifer and Kristen.