TMA Hires News Lobbyist, Promotes Two on Leadership Team

February 14, 2017

The Tennessee Medical Association has bolstered its government affairs division with a new hire and elevated two other staff members on its executive team.

Ben Simpson, JD has joined TMA as Associate Director of Government Affairs. Simpson will work strategically with TMA’s lead lobbyist to promote better healthcare policies in the Tennessee General Assembly. He previously spent three years as legislative liaison and attorney for the Tennessee Department of Health and also worked as a claims examiner for the Tennessee Department of Treasury.

Simpson earned a degree in political science from the University of Tennessee and a JD from the Nashville School of Law. He is a 2015 graduate of LEAD Tennessee, the state’s leadership development program, a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and a volunteer mentor with the Tennessee Lawyer Assistance Program.

“We are fortunate to have Ben join our staff. He brings a great blend of experience and knowledge to our legislative team. He has hit the ground running in preparation for the upcoming session,” said Russ Miller, CAE, TMA Chief Executive Officer.

Yarnell Beatty, JD, has been promoted to Senior Vice President. Beatty was previously Vice President of Advocacy and has served as general counsel since joining TMA in 2001. He will continue to oversee TMA’s government affairs, legal, insurance and regulatory efforts.

Beatty formerly served as staff counsel to the Tennessee Department of Health, was Executive Director of the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners and Director of Health Related Boards. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a law degree from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta.  

“Yarnell has proven himself time and again to our leadership and the medical community throughout the state. His depth and breadth of medico-legal knowledge and experience is a much valued asset to the members of TMA,” said Miller. “During the past 15 years he has developed an invaluable respect among our physician members and staff as a steady, reliable counselor and leader.”     

Dave Chaney has been promoted to Vice President. Chaney joined TMA in 2014 was most recently Director of Communications. He manages all facets of the organization’s strategic communications, membership recruitment and retention efforts, and events. Prior to joining TMA, Chaney held senior PR and corporate communications roles with Lam-Andrews, a Nashville-based healthcare marketing and PR firm, Passport Health (now Experian Health), a leading national healthcare IT company, and McNeely Pigott & Fox, a Nashville-based communications firm. Chaney earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the American Association of Medical Society Executives Leadership Academy and holds memberships in the Tennessee Society of Association Executives and AAMSE.

“Dave has transformed our communications, sales and marketing efforts in a short period of time, while assembling a great staff team. His efforts for the TMA have led to the largest number of members in more than a decade,” said Miller.