GREENVILLE HEALTH SYSTEM EXECUTIVE TEAM
Spence M. Taylor, MD, President, joined Greenville Health System in 1992. He is responsible for leading this highly integrated system, one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare providers in the Southeast with eight medical campuses, over 180 physician practice sites, more than 14,000 employees including over 1,100 physicians and providers, and operating revenues of approximately $2.3 billion. Before taking his current leadership role at GHS, Dr. Taylor served as the system’s Vice President of Physician Engagement and President of the GHS Clinical University. He has also served as GHS’ Vice President of Academics, Executive Director of the University Medical Group, and chairman and program director for the Department of Surgery.
Under his leadership, GHS has experienced unprecedented growth and advancement in academics, including the opening of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, development of a one-of-a-kind education and research model called the GHS Health Sciences Center, and designation as an academic health center. He also led the expansion of the general surgery residency, creating the state’s only vascular surgery residency, and developing a minimal access surgery fellowship and vascular medicine fellowship.
In addition to his roles with GHS, Dr. Taylor serves in a leadership capacity for a number of professional organizations. Currently, he is chair of the American Board of Surgery and a past president and current council member for the Southern Surgical Association.
Dr. Taylor is a practicing surgeon certified by the American Board of Surgery in general surgery, general vascular surgery, and is a registered vascular technologist. He has authored numerous book chapters, abstracts and journal articles. He also holds the academic appointment of professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia and Clemson University.
Dr. Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Clemson University and a medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. He completed his internship and general surgery residency at the Medical University of South Carolina and a residency in peripheral vascular surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Gregory J. Rusnak, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, joined Greenville Health System in 1996. In this role, Rusnak provides system-wide leadership for GHS’ hospitals and ambulatory sites, as well operational oversight for a 1,600+ member employed multi-specialty physician organization and the post-acute continuum. His scope of responsibilities spans across several corporate support departments including financial services, supply chain, human resources and diversity, information services, quality and safety and population health administration. In addition, he sits on numerous healthcare and community-based boards such as the Care Coordination Institute (CCI) and MyHealth First Network (MyHFN).
Prior to joining GHS, Rusnak held senior-level positions with Sutter Health in Northern California and served as a hospital administrator at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Rusnak is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the South Carolina Hospital Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in health services administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
James Ellis, MD, Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Clinical Chief of Staff, joined Greenville Health System in 2008. In this role, Dr. Ellis serves as the chief clinical strategic advisor and counsel to the GHS president and senior leadership regarding internal and external clinical issues, processes, procedures and communications. His focus is on relationship management of GHS’ employed physician group, as well as advance practice providers and clinical staff.
Prior to his current role, Dr. Ellis served as Medical Director of GHS’ employed physician group, which includes more than 1,500 providers. In his early years at GHS, Dr. Ellis helped build GHS’ convenient care network, which now consists of more than 32 physicians practicing at four locations serving approximately 100,000 patients annually. Before coming to GHS, he founded an emergency medicine group in Atlanta that, at the time, was the largest single specialty private group in the state of Georgia with more than 40 emergency physicians.
Dr. Ellis has a professional interest in venue medicine, having worked with the NFL, NCAA, MLB, NASCAR, LPGA, World Cup Soccer, and both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. He has coordinated team medical care for the NFL at the Super Bowl with Medical Sports Group for more than 20 years and worked 13 seasons as an associate team physician for the Atlanta Falcons.
Dr. Ellis received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina. He obtained his medical degree from Louisiana State University and completed an emergency medicine residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans in 1988. He is a GHS assistant professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and faculty with the Steadman Hawkins Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Ellis practices clinically at GHS’ MD360 Convenient Care.
Scott Porter, MD, MBA, FACS, Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, joined Greenville Health System in 2009. In this role, Dr. Porter works to engage employees and the community in the planning and development of programs that grow cultural competence. He also works to build pipeline and leadership programs for students and employees and create health and cultural parities within GHS and the communities it serves.
Dr. Porter is an orthopaedic oncologist. He is also a clinical professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, an adjunct professor in the Department of Bioengineering for the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University and a consulting physician for Shriners Hospitals for Children–Greenville. He serves on the board of the American Orthopaedic Association and is a member of the American College of Surgeons, Aspen Global Leadership Network and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He is past president of the South Carolina Orthopaedic Society and a former residency program director in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at GHS.
Dr. Porter earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and his medical degree at Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in orthopaedic surgery at Carolinas Medical Center and his fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Chicago. He also earned a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Dr. Patrick Springhart, Vice President of Institutional Innovation for Greenville Health System, is a urologist with Regional Urology and former chair of Greenville Health System’s Division of Urology. He is also a clinical assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.
Dr. Springhart received his medical degree from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago for his residency training, during which time Dr. Springhart was nominated for and received the John D. Silber Award for clinical acumen and bedside manner amongst his peers in a nine-state area. Thereafter, he spent two years at Duke University Medical Center for a robotic/laparoscopic and endourologic fellowship, wherein he helped to develop the robotic surgery program.
Brenda J. Thames, EdD, Vice President of Academic and Faculty Affairs, joined Greenville Health System in 2007. In this role, Dr. Thames provides executive leadership for academics at GHS and its shared Academic Health Center. This includes setting strategic direction and facilitation of inter-institutional collaboration among GHS and its academic partners to ensure a vibrant learning environment that supports education and research initiatives. She is also responsible for building public/private partnerships to promote programs and initiatives that link education, research and patient care. She leads strategic academic initiatives that require collaboration among GHS clinical professionals and university faculty to expand healthcare education and research.
Prior to joining GHS, Dr. Thames served as associate dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Health, Education and Human Development at Clemson University.
Dr. Thames serves on numerous boards and committees representing the voice of health care, particularly from education and workforce perspectives. She earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Mississippi State University as well as a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and a doctorate in vocational and technical education from Clemson University.
Jerry R. Youkey, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of Greenville Health System and Dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, joined GHS in 1998. Dr. Youkey is responsible for the operational initiatives and strategic direction of all graduate and professional studies offered at GHS. Prior to joining GHS, Dr. Youkey served as chief of the Department of Surgery and director of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Fellowship Program at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. Before that, he served in the United States Army Medical Corps and was honorably discharged in 1984 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Dr. Youkey is certified by the American Board of Surgery in general vascular surgery. He is a member of several professional societies and has authored numerous books, abstracts and journal articles. He holds the academic appointment of clinical professor and dean at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.
Dr. Youkey earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and a medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He served a rotating internship and general surgery residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, and a fellowship in peripheral vascular surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Paul Johnson, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Central Region, joined Greenville Health System in 2011. Johnson oversees operations of GHS’ Greenville Memorial Medical Campus, North Greenville Medical Campus, Patewood Medical Campus and Simpsonville Medical Campus, as well as 142 practice sites and other health services offered in the Central Region.
Prior to his vice president role at GHS, Johnson served as president of GHS’ Greenville Memorial Medical Campus. Before coming to GHS, he served as interim president and CEO and chief operating officer for Saint Joseph Health System in Atlanta. He also served as executive vice president for operations for WellStar Health System in Marietta, Ga., and as president and CEO for Cobb Hospital and Medical Center in Austell, Ga. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and master’s in health administration from Duke University. He currently serves on the boards of the South Carolina Hospital Association, United Ministries and the Palmetto Region American Red Cross.
C. Wendell James III, MD
Regional Chief Clinical Officer
John Mansure, Chief Operating Officer for the Eastern Region, joined Greenville Health System in 1979. Mansure oversees operations of the Eastern Region, which includes GHS’ Greer Medical Campus, as well as physician practices and outpatient programs and services in Greer and Spartanburg County.
Prior to this role, Mansure served as president of GHS’ Greer Medical Campus. Before that, he served as administrator of facilities development, where he was responsible for the construction of GHS’ Greer and Patewood medical campuses, as well as major renovations at GHS’ flagship hospital, Greenville Memorial.
Outside of GHS, Mansure serves as past chair of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce and vice chair of the GHS Federal Credit Union and Greer Middle College Charter School. He also serves on the boards of Greer Partnership for Tomorrow, Cancer Survivors Park Alliance, Blue Ridge Council–Boy Scouts of America and Eastside YMCA.
Mansure earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in health administration from Duke University. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Jesse Stafford, MD
Regional Chief Clinical Officer
Justin Benfield, Chief Operating Officer for the Southern Region, joined Greenville Health System in 2010. Benfield oversees operations of the Southern Region, which includes GHS’ Laurens County Medical Campus, as well as physician practices and outpatient programs and services in Laurens, Abbeville, Newberry and Greenwood Counties.
Prior to this role, Benfield served as operations director of GHS’ employed physician group. Before that, he served as administrator of Carolina Cardiology Consultants, PA—one of the state’s largest cardiology groups—where he helped the practice expand from 14 to 28 providers serving multiple counties.
Benfield earned his bachelor’s degree in healthcare management from Southern Illinois University–Carbondale and a master’s degree in business administration with a focus in health care from Southern Wesleyan University.
C. David Williams III, MD, Chief Clinical Officer for the Southern Region, joined Greenville Health System in 1985. Dr. Williams is responsible for overseeing the Southern Region, which includes the Laurens County Medical Campus, as well as physician practices and outpatient services in the surrounding area. He is also chair of the department of radiology and a practicing diagnostic radiologist with a specialty focus in women’s breast health.
Prior to his role at GHS, Dr. Williams served as president of Greenville Radiology, PA from 1992 until 2009.
Dr. Williams currently serves on the GHS Medical Staff Executive Committee. He previously chaired the Greenville Health Corporation Board of Directors and has served as both president and vice president of the GHS Medical Staff. He has also chaired a number of GHS committees, including the Medical Advisory Committee, Medical Staff Performance Improvement Committee, Medical Executive Committee and the Credentials Committee.
Dr. Williams holds faculty appointments as clinical assistant professor in Radiology with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and clinical assistant professor with the School of Health Research at Clemson University. He was also a clinical assistant professor in Radiology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia.
Dr. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and graduated magna cum laude from Wofford College. He obtained his medical degree from Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University, where he was selected as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. Dr. Williams completed his residency in diagnostic radiology and nuclear radiology at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, N.C., and is certified by the American Board of Radiology.
Jeanne Ward, Chief Operating Officer for the Western Region, joined Greenville Health System in 2014. Ward oversees operations of the Western Region, which includes GHS’ Oconee Medical Campus and Baptist Easley Hospital, as well as 30 physician practice sites and other health services offered in the Western Region.
Prior to this role, Ward served as president and CEO of Oconee Medical Center and was instrumental in Oconee’s affiliation with GHS in 2014. Prior to that, she served as vice president of Patient Care Services at Oconee Medical Center.
Ward also served on the faculty of The Joint Commission, where she taught seminars on hospital standards, and as a faculty member for the Clemson University School of Nursing.
Ward currently serves on the board of the Oconee Economic Alliance. She is a longstanding member of the American Hospital Association and previously served on the board of the South Carolina Hospital Association.
Ward obtained her nursing degree from Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing in Pennsylvania, her master’s degree in public health in nursing administration from the University of Minnesota and her doctorate in education from Clemson University.
Scott M. Sasser, MD, FACEP, Chief Clinical Officer for the Western Region, joined Greenville Health System in 2014. Dr. Sasser helps oversee the clinical programs and services in the Western Region, which includes GHS’ Oconee Medical Campus and Baptist Easley Hospital, as well as 30 physician practice sites and other health services. He is also chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and a practicing emergency medicine physician.
Before joining GHS, Dr. Sasser spent 12 years at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., where his roles included director of global health programs for the Department of Emergency Medicine, director of the Global Health Fellowship in emergency medicine, and associate medical director of the Emergency Department at Emory University Midtown Hospital.
In addition to his roles with GHS, Dr. Sasser has served with and received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development for his work in emergency medical services, emergency preparedness and response, and global health.
Dr. Sasser has authored multiple journal articles, abstracts and book chapters. He has also been invited to give numerous national and international presentations. He currently holds the academic appointments of professor of emergency medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and clinical professor of emergency medicine in the Clemson University School of Health Research.
Dr. Sasser earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Auburn University and a medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed his emergency medicine residency and emergency medical services fellowship at Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Sasser is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.