Meet Our CEO
Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, FACHE
President & CEO of Navicent Health
Dr. Saunders currently serves as the President & CEO of Navicent Health, a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate the Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Navicent Health has 830 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s only dedicated pediatric hospital; Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health, a rural critical access hospital; Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health, the region’s oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe Hospice, Navicent Health, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Navicent Health, the area’s first continuing care retirement community; Medcen Community Health Foundation, Navicent Health, the philanthropic arm of Navicent Health; as well as diagnostic and home care services.
An executive cofounder of Stratus Healthcare, a collaborative partnership of hospitals both urban and rural, she remains focused on the “a fee-for-value framework rather than the fee-for-service model” while ensuring right access to the right care at the right time and at the right cost.
Dr. Saunders has more than 40 years of hospital administrative experience and completed her Doctorate in Healthcare Administration at the Medical University of South Carolina. She earned a Master of Business Administration from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., and a Master of Science in Nursing from the Rutgers University in Newark, N.J. She received her Certification as a Black Belt in Six Sigma from the University of Michigan, College of Engineering. She also attended the Healthcare Executive Program at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa., and the International Business Program at the London School of Business in London, England.
Among the 2013 Becker’s Hospital Review “130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know” and honored by the Georgia Diversity Council as one of Georgia’s “Most Powerful & Influential Women” of 2013, Dr. Saunders currently serves as an Executive with the Fierce Healthcare CEO Advisory Board and as a frequent expert for Becker’s Hospital Review and Healthcare Leaders national media roundtables. The vice chair for the American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity, Dr. Saunders serves in leadership roles throughout central Georgia focused on economic development and community engagement and was most recently the 2014 Modern Healthcare's Women Leaders in Healthcare Conference keynote speaker. Most recently, Saunders was named the 2014 CEO of the Year by the Georgia Alliance for Community Hospitals.