Leadership & Staff
Chief Executive Officer
Associated with rehabilitation for more than 25 years, Susan began her career at The Lake Erie Institute of Rehabilitation (LEIR) in Erie, Pennsylvania, as a member of the neuropsychology department following receipt of her master’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Her clinical experience includes a wide variety of settings, and her rehabilitation responsibilities have included clinical treatment, outcomes services and administrative roles. Susan finds her clinical experience beneficial in her operational responsibilities.
James Little, M.D.
Dr. Little has been medical director at HealthSouth in Kingsport since 2001. He has been a medical director of an inpatient rehabilitation facility for nearly 20 years. Previous experiences include academic chair and program director of Tennessee’s only training program in physical medicine and rehabilitation and president of the TAPMR. Dr. Little is board certified by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has additional certifications in electrodiagnostic medicine and independent medical examination.
James Little, M.D. is an independent private practice physician whose office is located at the hospital.
Maggie Blackhurst, LPN, CPHQ, RHIT
Director of Quality and Risk Management
Maggie joined HealthSouth in 2008. She received her LPN in 1974 and has had the opportunity to serve in various healthcare settings, including acute medical-surgical, geriatrics, office/clinic and dialysis. Maggie has worked in healthcare quality for 20 years and received her Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ ) during her nine year service with QSource, the Tennessee Quality Improvement Organization. She holds an associate's degree and RHIT certification in health information management and has worked in that field of healthcare for the last five years. Maggie is a member of AHIMA, THIMA and NAHQ.
Plant Operations Director
Stan joined HealthSouth in 2003 after a 23-year career in industrial construction. In addition to serving as the hospital's safety officer, his responsibilities also include the environment of care and maintenance. Stan is a certified instructor with the International Association of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. He is a registered healthcare safety officer at a senior level with the International Board of Environmental Health and Safety. He also completed the State of Tennessee Food Service Training Program in 2004 and is an active member of the Sullivan County Emergency Management Program.
Joyce Jones, PHR
Director of Human Resources
Joyce has more than 11 years of healthcare experience as a human resources professional. She was born and raised in the Tri-Cities, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from King College in Bristol. She has received her PHR (Professional in Human Resources) Certification and is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management. Joyce is also involved in the local chapter of the Healthcare Human Resource Association.
Director of Case Management
Michelle brings more than 10 years of social work experience to her position as director of case management at HealthSouth. She holds a master’s degree in social work from East Tennessee State University, where she was a member of Phi Alpha Honor Society. She holds an MSW license in the state of Tennessee and obtained her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Louisiana State University. A Louisiana native, Michelle and her family moved to Tennessee in 1995.
Debra Smith, CRRN
Chief Nursing Offier
Debra has served in the healthcare industry for nearly 30 years. She received her nursing degree from Virginia Appalachian Tri-College Nursing Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Virginia Intermont and has been employed with HealthSouth since 1999. Debra is also a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN®).
Chief Financial Officer
Natalie joined HealthSouth in 1999. She has more than 14 years of healthcare finance experience and received her bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1992 from East Tennessee State University.
Director of Therapy Operations
Amy holds a master's degree in physical therapy from East Tennessee State University. She has been with HealthSouth since 2005. Amy first started working in the day treatment program and was promoted to director of physical therapy in 2010. She is a Neuro IFRAH certified therapist and APTA credentialed clinical instructor and says the best thing about physical therapy is meeting all kinds of people and being able to help them regain their lives.