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About Us

Our Leadership Team

Dr. Dennis Freeman, Chief Executive OfficerDr. Dennis Freeman, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Freeman has been the CEO of Cherokee Health Systems since 1978 and has over 40 years of health care administrative experience. He is a licensed psychologist and graduated with a Doctorate from the University of Tennessee in Clinical Psychology in 1970.  He received the first Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee Department of Psychology.

Dr. Freeman lives in Knoxville and is married with three children.  He is an avid University of Tennessee football fan.


Joel Hornberger, Chief Strategy OfficerJoel Hornberger, Chief Strategy Officer

Joel has been the Chief Strategy Officer since 2014, having served as the Chief Operating Officer, the Vice President and the Administrator of Cherokee Health Systems since he joined Cherokee in 1988.  He has over 30 years of health care administration experience and is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a MHS in Health Care Administration and Planning.  Joel has served on the Mental Health America Board of Directors since 1988 and continues on that board today.

Joel is married and has three children.  He is an avid inline skater with the aspiration of skating the Berlin Marathon someday!


Jeffrey Howard, Chief Financial OfficerJeffrey Howard, Chief Financial Officer

Jeff was named Cherokee’s Chief Financial Officer in 1998 and brings over 25 years of accounting experience to his role.  He has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1992 and graduated from Carson Newman College with a B.S. in Accounting in 1987.  Jeff is also a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master’s Degree in Christian Education.  He volunteers frequently at his church in Morristown in a variety ways, including the worship, youth, and children’s ministries.

He is married with two children.  He enjoys tinkering with and driving his home-built Factory Five Roadster, a 1965 Shelby Cobra replica.


Dr. Parinda Khatri, Chief Clinical OfficerDr. Parinda Khatri, Chief Clinical Officer

Dr. Khatri has served as Cherokee’s Chief Clinical Officer since 2014.  Prior to that time, she was the Director of Integrated Care at Cherokee.  Dr. Khatri became the Director of the Psychology Internship Training Program in 2002 and continues in that capacity to this day.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology which she earned in 1996.  Her Postdoctoral Fellowship was served at Duke University Medical Center from 1996 until 1998.

Dr. Khatri is married with two children who are the apples of her eye.  She enjoys reading.


Dr. William Berez, Chief Compliance OfficerDr. William Berez, Chief Compliance Officer

Dr. Berez became the Chief Compliance officer in 1996 and has remained in that role to this date.  He also serves on the Faculty of the Cherokee Health Systems APA Accredited Psychology Internship Program.  Dr. Berez is a graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.  He has over 30 years of clinical practice and mental health administration.

Dr. Berez and his wife are passionate about the performing arts in our community and are patrons of the Clarence Brown Theatre, the Knoxville Opera and the Knoxville Symphony.


Andy Rhea, Chief Information OfficerAndy Rhea, Chief Information Officer

Andy assumed the position of Chief Information Officer in 2014.  Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Information Technology and Central Operations and has held numerous IT leadership roles since joining Cherokee Health Systems in 1999.  He graduated from East Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Information Technology in 2001.  He also earned a M.B.A from King University with an emphasis in Health Care Administration in 2011.

Mr. Rhea enjoys playing golf with his wife and watching sports, particularly football and basketball.  Go Vols!


Deborah Murph, Chief Operating OfficerDeborah Murph, Chief Operating Officer

Deb has been the Chief Operating Officer for Cherokee since 2014.  She has worked in the health care industry since 1983 and has held a variety of positions including Registered Nurse, Quality Assurance Director, and Regional Vice President for Cherokee's Region 1.  She is a graduate of King University with a B.S. in Nursing and an M.B.A and she has also completed the UCLA/Johnson and Johnson Healthcare Executive Program.  Deb is involved with the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business Nursing Leadership Certificate Program and was recently appointed to the National Committee for Quality Assurance Clinical Programs Committee.

Ms. Murph has two adult children and she enjoys reading and swimming.


Dr. Febe Wallace, Director of Primary CareDr. Febe Wallace, Director of Primary Care

Dr. Wallace has been the Director of Primary Care since 2014.  She served as a staff physician from 2006 until the present.  She is a graduate of Duke University Medical School and completed her Residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill in 1985.  She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine as well as Pediatrics.

Dr. Wallace lives in Lexington, KY but continues to commute to East Tennessee in person and via telehealth.  She is married with a step-daughter, three children adopted from Russia and a dog named Roscoe.


Dr. Gregg Perry, Director of Psychiatric ServicesDr. Gregg Perry, Director of Psychiatric Services

Dr. Perry has served in the role of Director of Psychiatric Services at Cherokee since 2001.  He has been a staff psychiatrist from 1997 to the present.  He is a graduate of Vanderbilt School of Medicine, earning his MD in 1991.  He completed his Residency in Psychiatry at Bowman/Gray/North Carolina Baptist Hospital in 1995.

Dr. Perry and his wife, who is also a Cherokee psychiatrist, live in Morristown, TN.  He has participated in regional and college theatrical productions for the past ten years.


Dr. Suzanne Bailey, Director of Integrated CareDr. Suzanne Bailey, Director of Integrated Care

Dr. Bailey has served as the Director of Integrated Care at Cherokee since 2016 and has been a Behavioral Health Consultant at Cherokee since 2007.  She serves as the Associate Training Director for Cherokee’s APA accredited Predoctoral Psychology Internship and Behavioral Medicine Fellowship.  Dr. Bailey is a graduate of Xavier University, earning her PsyD in Clinical Psychology in 2008.  She completed her Internship and Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cherokee. 

Dr. Bailey is married and has two children.  She and her family enjoy the outdoors, spending time at the lake, and football time in Tennessee.