Covenant Health senior leaders recognized

Jay FitzOur Town Health

Two senior leaders at Covenant Health were recently named to Becker’s Healthcare national lists of outstanding leaders.

Mandy Grubb Halford, MD, and chief medical officer, was named a “CMO to Know” and Debbi Honey, RN, and chief nursing officer, was named a Becker’s “CNO to Know.”

“It takes a team,” Dr. Halford said, “It’s not about one person in healthcare, it’s about keeping our patients first with a multidisciplinary team surrounding them. So, it’s very important for us to be supportive of all of our team members who care for patients across East Tennessee.”

Dr. Halford was named chief medical officer (CMO) for Covenant Health earlier this year. She had served as the health system’s senior vice president and chief medical informatics officer (CMIO) for eight years.

As the CMO, she is the primary liaison for Covenant Health’s communication and interactions with more than 1,500 affiliated physicians. Her CMO role includes developing clinical protocols, influencing policy formation, supporting physician recruitment and development, and ensuring patient safety and regulatory compliance.

Prior to joining Covenant Health, Dr. Halford served five years in physician leadership roles at Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, Tennessee, including as CMO of the hospital. She is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds a clinical informatics certification from the American Board of Preventive Medicine. She is a selected member of the Nashville Health Care Council (NHCC) Fellows Alumni group.

Debbi Honey, RN, has served as senior vice president and chief nursing officer of Covenant Health since October 2017. She was named to the Becker’s List of “153 CNOs to Know.”

The publication notes that chief nursing officers included on the list “bring a unique blend of clinical and leadership experience to their roles.”

Honey’s responsibilities as chief nursing officer include overseeing the health system’s quality and safety of nursing operations and working with Covenant Health hospitals to create a patient safety-oriented culture.

She has standardized processes to enhance patient care and operational support activities throughout the health system. She is also a system champion for introducing Covenant Health Advanced Care at Home, a service in partnership with Medically Home Group Inc., that delivers hospital-level care to patients at home.

Honey received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga and earned a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She holds certifications in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and as a Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ), and she is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

To view the full list of winners, visit

We appreciate for spotlighting these honors.

Covenant Health contributed information and quotes for this story.


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