Our History Accreditations

Our Leadership

Meet the Executive Team


Candice Saunders, FACHE

President and CEO, WellStar Health System

Candice Saunders

Candice Saunders is President and CEO of WellStar Health System. She joined WellStar as Chief Operating Officer of Kennestone Regional Medical Center in May 2007, then becoming president of the hospital. Due to her experience and strong leadership, she was promoted to Chief Operating Officer for WellStar Health System in 2013. Then in 2014, the WellStar Board of Trustees announced that she would assume the role of President and CEO in 2015. Under Candice’s leadership, WellStar has been recognized as a leader in safety and quality measures. She is currently the chair of the Georgia Hospital Association and was recently named Healthcare Champion by The National Association for Female Executives. Candice is one of only 14 women receive a Women of Excellence award in 2015 and the only woman in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of South Florida and an MBA/MHA from University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Coleman Foss,

President of WellStar West Georgia Medical Center

Coleman Foss

Coleman Foss serves as president of WellStar West Georgia Medical Center and senior vice president of WellStar Health System. He began his service at WellStar West Georgia in January 2019 after the retirement of Jerry Fulks. Foss previously had been the CEO of Tennova Healthcare-Cleveland in Tennessee since 2007.

Foss’s healthcare experience includes nearly 25 years in executive roles. At Tennova, he was responsible for the overall management and operations of a 351-bed acute-care hospital. During his tenure, he boosted hospital star ratings through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems; improved patient, physician and employee satisfaction; and reduced turnover from 37 percent to 9 percent.

Foss also initiated several successful programs, including a 24-hour ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) care program, stroke telemedicine, and safety and lean process enhancements—all while advancing financial performance. New initiatives under his watch have included robotic service line development, an accredited orthopedic program, and interventional cardiology expansion of services.

Prior to Tennova, Foss served as CEO of Dyersburg Regional Medical Center, Methodist Healthcare, Volunteer General Hospital and Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has served on several community boards, including the Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Caring Place, and YMCA, where he recently completed a mission trip to Haiti.

Foss earned a Bachelor of Science degree in healthcare administration in 1986 from Auburn University. He also received a Master of Science degree in health administration in 1989 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Charis Acree, FACHE

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Charis Acree

Charis Acree has served as Vice President/Chief Operating Officer since December 2003. Her areas of responsibility include the cardiovascular and oncology service lines, imaging, Women’s Health Center, laboratory, rehabilitation services, pharmacy, pulmonary medicine, and wound care. She also oversees the organization’s quality efforts, medical staff services, medical records, utilization management and coding.

Prior to her current position, Acree was a Region Vice President for Premier, Inc. She began her career with West Georgia Medical Center and initially served as an assistant administrator, then as the Vice President for Clinical Services. During her tenure, she was responsible for developing Florence Hand Home, West Georgia Hospice and Hospice LaGrange from concept to reality.

Acree received a master’s degree in Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia and bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and received the Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award for Georgia in 2010 and the Georgia Affiliate of the Year Award in 1992. Acree is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator. She has served as Chairman of the Board of United Way of West Georgia, Inc., President of the LaGrange Rotary Club and as a Board Member of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce. She is an alumnus of Leadership Georgia and Leadership Troup.

Tommy Britt, MS

Vice President of Human Resources

Tommy Britt

Tommy Britt became a member of the West Georgia Medical Center executive team in 2013. Britt, who previously served as West Georgia Medical Center's Director of Human Resources since February 2007, holds a bachelor's degree from LaGrange College and a master's degree in human resource management from Troy University.

As Vice President of Human Resources, Britt oversees several operational responsibilities at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center, including the Community Service Clinic, education services, employee health, employee safety and human resources.

A native of Thomaston, Ga., Britt spent about 20 years at Milliken and Co. — two years as a production manager and 18 years in Human Resources.

Throughout his career, he has been a leader in civic involvement. He has served on the board of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, chairing the Existing Industry Committee. He is past president of the West Georgia Society of Human Resource Management, as well as former chairman of the LaGrange Employer Committee. He is currently serving as a board member of the Georgia Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration.

Britt has served on boards for the local American Lung Association, March of Dimes and United Way. He also served as campaign chairman of the United Way drive that raised more than $1.3 million for the community. He currently serves on the LaGrange College Leadership Council and is chairman of the West Georgia Technical College Board of Directors. In the fall of 2011, Britt was selected to LaGrange College’s Wall of Outstanding Alumni.

Liza Fritchley, CPHRM, NHA, FACHE

Vice President of Senior Care Services

Liza Fritchley

Born and raised in LaGrange, Liza Fritchley became a member of the West Georgia Medical Center executive team in 1999, serving as Vice President of Senior Services. Her areas of responsibility include Florence Hand Home, Twin Fountains Home, West Georgia Hospice, West Georgia Home Care, Vernon Woods Retirement Community and Palliative Care. Fritchley also serves as WellStar West Georgia Medical Center's Corporate Compliance Officer, Risk Manager and Lean Performance Improvement senior leader.

Fritchley earned dual masters’ degrees in healthcare administration and business administration from Georgia State University in 1999. She received a bachelor's degree in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1997.

Fritchley is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executive and a certified Healthcare Risk Management Professional.

In 2007, Fritchley was named one of Georgia Trend magazines Top 40 Under 40 business leaders in Georgia. She is a member of Leadership Georgia and the LaGrange College Leadership Council.

Tracy Gynther, RN, BSN, MSN

Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer

Tracy Gynther

Born, raised and educated in the LaGrange area, Gynther came to West Georgia Medical Center as a new nurse in 1990 and began her career of service on the Medical/Surgical/ Orthopedic/Pediatric unit. She was promoted to Nurse Manager of this 40-bed unit in 1997.

After her promotion to Director of Medical/Surgical Services in 2008, Gynther became an integral part of the nursing executive team. She assumed a leadership role in the implementation of the clinical care model including hourly rounding, discharge phone calls, bedside shift report and individualized care.

She became Director of Nursing in 2014, assuming the responsibility for administrative leadership and oversight of all nursing care services at WellStar West Georgia Medical Center, which includes coordinating patient care programs and services. She was named West Georgia Medical Center's Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer in 2015.

Gynther’s direct line of supervision includes Bariatric Services (Center of Excellence), Surgical Services, PACU, Sterile Processing, Endoscopy, inpatient hospital units, Maternal/Infant Services, Intensive Care/Step-Down, Emergency Department, Infection Control, and Clinical Coordinators.

She received the Mary Lynn Faress Award for Distinguished Service in Nursing in 2004. The award honors a West Georgia Medical Center nurse and LaGrange College graduate who exemplifies the ideals of personal and professional integrity demonstrated by long-time Chief Nursing Officer, Mary Lynn Faress.

Gynther earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of West Georgia in 2015.