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Gerald N.  (Jerry)  Fulks, FACHE

President/CEO

Gerald N.  (Jerry)  Fulks

Jerry Fulks has served as West Georgia Health’s President and CEO since August 2001. Under his leadership, West Georgia Health has created the West Georgia Health Foundation and West Georgia Physicians, as well as launching several new service lines including interventional cardiology, bariatric surgery, occupational medicine, a women’s health center and wound care center.  He also created the vision and laid the groundwork for building a new four-story patient tower that houses state-of-the-art facilities for the WGH Heart Clinic, Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit and Labor/Delivery/Recovery suites.

An active member in the community, Fulks has served as president of the LaGrange Rotary Club, chairman of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the West Georgia Technical College Board of Directors. He also has served on boards for United Way of West Georgia, Commercial Bank & Trust of LaGrange, Twin Cedars Family and Children’s Services and the LaGrange-Troup County Development Authority.

He received his Masters of Healthcare Administration from the Medical College of Virginia and a bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

Prior to his arrival at West Georgia Health, Fulks held senior executive positions at hospitals in Gainesville, Ga. He served as CEO of the former Lanier Park Hospital, which merged into Northeast Georgia Health Services. Earlier in his career, Fulks held senior management positions with the Bon Secours organization —St. Mary’s Health Corporation in Richmond, Va. He held a variety of positions with the Hospital Corporation of America, including six years as CEO of Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin, Ga.

Fulks is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and currently serves as a delegate to the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board 4. He has held leadership roles in the Georgia Hospital Association, serving as Chairman in 2000 and a member of the GHA Executive Committee from 1996 through 2001. He is also an alumnus of Leadership Georgia.


Charis Acree, FACHE

Senior Vice President of Operations

Charis Acree

Charis Acree has served as Senior 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 Health 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 her Master’s 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 Health executive team in 2013. Britt, who previously served as West Georgia Health's Director of Human Resources since February 2007, holds a bachelor's from LaGrange College and recently earned a master's in human resource management from Troy University.

As Vice President of Human Resources, Britt oversees several operational responsibilities at West Georgia Health, 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. 

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 chair-elect to the West Georgia Technical College Board of Directors. In the fall of 2011, Britt was selected to LaGrange College’s Wall of Outstanding Alumni.  


Deborah Burton, RN, BSN, MBA

Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer

Deborah Burton

As Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Burton is accountable for nursing practice throughout the health system, as well as holding operational responsibility for several clinical nursing areas at West Georgia Medical Center, including  medical/surgical, operating room and post-anesthesia recovery, critical care, maternal-infant services, pediatrics, orthopedics, infection control, emergency  services, patient education and employee assistance.

Burton earned her associate’s degree from Oxford College at Emory University, her bachelor’s in nursing from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory, and her master’s in business from LaGrange College. Upon graduation, Burton began working as a staff nurse at West Georgia Health.  After working in various medical/surgical areas and serving as nurse manager for 12 years, she was promoted to Director of Nursing in 1987. In 2002, she was named a Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer.

Burton is a charter member of the LaGrange College Nursing Honor Society and a past member of Emory’s Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau National Nursing Honor Society. She is a current member of the Georgia Organization of Nurse Executives and the Georgia Hospital Association and achieved board certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in nursing systems and administration.  She was also a member of Leadership Troup in 2003. She was recently named to the LaGrange College Wall of Outstanding Alumni.  In 2010, she received the Georgia Hospital Association Hospital Hero Award. In 2011, Burton received the Georgia Nurses Association Catherine Pope Memorial Award for nurse advocacy.  An annual award named the Deborah Burton Award for Nursing Service is to be bestowed annually during the LaGrange College Nursing Program’s Pinning Ceremony.

Burton is a member of the LaGrange Lion’s Club for which she served on the Lion’s Board of Directors.  


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 Health 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 West Georgia Health’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 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.


Tripp Penn, MBA, FACHE

Vice President of Support Services

Tripp Penn

Tripp Penn serves as Vice President of Support Services at West Georgia Health. His area of responsibilities include the West Georgia Health Foundation; Occupational Medicine; Facilities, including Engineering, Grounds, Security and Environment of Care; Environmental Services; Laundry, and Volunteer/Community Services.

Penn joined West Georgia Health in 2003. He previously served as founding director of the West Georgia Health Foundation, the charitable organization that exists to support the vision of West Georgia Health. He established the Foundation in 2005. Under his leadership, in 2008, the Foundation was successful in raising more than $5 million during the campaign for West Georgia Health’s new Emergency Department and is currently raising $10 million to support a new Community Cancer Center.  Prior to his time at West Georgia Health, Penn served as Director of Development for Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation.

He earned bachelor's degrees in economics and psychology and a Master of Education degree from the University of Georgia. He obtained a Master of Business Administration from LaGrange College. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

He is a member of the LaGrange Rotary Club, former Chairman of the Church Council at LaGrange First United Methodist Church, former President of the Leadership Council for LaGrange College and served on the board of Leadership Georgia.


Paul R.  Perrotti, CPA

Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer

Paul R.  Perrotti

Paul Perrotti joined the West Georgia Health executive team in March 2004 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. A certified public accountant, Perrotti has 10 years of experience in public accounting. He previously worked for a large, regional not-for-profit hospital and later served as Chief Financial Officer of Charter Behavioral Health Systems in Atlanta.

Through a series of transactions and promotions, he was elevated to the position of a regional financial director and ultimately to a corporate-level role for a national health care provider based in Pennsylvania. He came to West Georgia Health after serving as director of finance and Six Sigma Master Black Belt for a multinational corporation in Greenwich, Conn.

His areas of responsibility include patient accounts, information services, materials management, the physician services organization and all areas of finance and treasury.

Perrotti received a bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., and an executive degree in management from Emory University's Goizueta Business School. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Georgia Chapter HFMA.