Regional Medical Directors

Dennis Deruelle

Dennis Deruelle, MD, FHM

Executive Director, Hospital Medicine
Dennis has more than 15 years of hospital medicine leadership experience, having served as owner and CEO of a private medical practice and also holding executive roles with national hospitalist companies. Recognized as a national expert on the Affordable Care Act, Dennis has been featured on a number of television and radio talk shows, in newspapers and medical journals, and at national healthcare conferences. He also recently published his second book, “Your Healthcare Playbook: Winning the Game of Modern Medicine.” He received his medical degree from Albany Medical College, is board certified in Internal Medicine, and is a fellow of the Society of Hospital Medicine.

Eric Blackwell, MD

Regional Medical Director
Eric presently serves as a Regional Medical Director at American Physician Partners. Prior to joining our team, he served as an Emergency Medicine Physician at Kalamazoo Emergency Associates since 2000. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Wayne State University. He then went on to receive his Doctor of Medicine from Wayne State University School of Medicine. Eric covers Western Michigan.

Bill Cauthen, MD

Regional Medical Director
Bill currently serves as a Regional Medical Director at American Physician Partners. He was previously with Carolinas Hospital System. He received his medical degree from University of South Carolina School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 30 years. Bill oversees the state of South Carolina.

Tressa Gardner, DO

Regional Medical Director
Tressa serves as a Regional Medical Director at American Physician Partners. She was previously Emergency Department Director at McLaren Greater Lansing, Emergency Department Director at Garden City Hospital, Chief of Staff at POH regional Medical Center, President at Oakland Country Osteopathic Association, Chairman at Oakland County Professional Standards Review Organization Review, Vice Chairman at Oakland County Medical Control Authority Board of Directors, Medical Director at Oakland County Children’s Village, Emergency Department Director at St. Joseph Health System, and Medical Director at Palace Sports and Entertainment. She is a graduate of Oakland University and earned her Doctorate of Osteopathy from Michigan State University. Tressa covers the Michigan Region.

Kenji Oyasu, MD

Regional Medical Director
Kenji serves as a Regional Medical Director at American Physician Partners. He was previously Executive Medical Director at ModernMed Recovery, Executive Medical Director at Brightside Clinic, Interim Medical Director and Chair at Norwegian American Hospital, Emergency Medicine Staff Physician at Union Hospital, President Region IV at ApolloMD, and Medical Director at Vista Health System Emergency Department. He studied Psychology at Northwestern University and earned his MD from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Kenji covers the state of Illinois.

Erik Petersen, DO

Regional Medical Director
Eric serves as a Regional Medical Director at American Physician Partners. He was previously the Vice President & CMO at Midwest Institute for Addiction, Clinical Chief at Sheridan Healthcare, Medical Director at Providence Medical Center, Emergency Medicine Physician Medical Director at EmCare, and Medical Director at TeamHealth. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Northwest Missouri State University and his D.O. in Osteopathic Medicine from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Erik covers the Southern Region.

Steve Roberts, MD

Regional Medical Director
Steve is presently a Regional Medical Director at American Physician Partners.  He has previous experience as a provider and Regional Medical Director at EmCare, as well as the Interim Emergency Department Medical Director at Greenview Regional Hospital. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from St. Louis University, his Doctor of Medicine from Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, and Master’s in Health Care Management from Harvard University School of Public Health.  He also spent time volunteering as a Physician at a clinic in Kingston Jamaica.  Steve covers the state of Mississippi.

Joe Thomas, MD

Regional Medical Director
Joe joined American Physician Partners in June 2018. Prior to joining APP, he served as emergency department medical director for several facilities, including Tristar Greenview Regional Hospital, and Tristar Stonecrest Medical Center. Most recently he was at Jennie Stuart Medical Center where he also served on the Medical Executive Committee, the ER/ICU Committee, the Quality/Peer Review Committee and as Emergency Department Operations Committee Chairman. Joe received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He also holds a master’s degree in Theological Studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. Joe is over the state of Kentucky.

Mark Woodard, MD

Regional Medical Director
Mark is currently a Regional Medical Director at American Physician Partners. He was previously a physician at Northeast Tennessee Emergency Physicians. He is a graduate of David Lipscomb University and received his MD from East Tennessee State University. He is ACEP Board Certified. Mark is over East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Regional Vice Presidents

Bryan Braegger

Regional Vice President
Bryan presently services as a Regional Vice President at American Physician Partners. He has previous experience as CEO at Yakima Regional Medical & Cardiac Center, Interim CEO at Toppenish Community Hospital, Assistant CEO at Northwest Medical Center – Willow Creek Women’s Hospital, and Assistant CEO at Northwest Medical Center – Springdale. He is a graduate of the University of Utah where he studied Behavioral Science & Health and went on the attend Trinity University where he earned his MHA in Healthcare Administration. Bryan covers the state of Texas and the Western Region.

Penn Krause

Regional Vice President
Penn has been with American Physician Partners since 2017 as Regional Vice President. Prior to joining our team, he was with Health Monitoring Systems, Forest Devices, Medical Alliance Partners, and Cardinal Health. He is a graduate of Occidental College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics as well as an MHA and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. Penn covers the state of Alabama and the Southern Region.

Steve Lunn

Regional Vice President
Steve serves as a Regional Vice President at American Physician Partners. He has previous experience with Porter Health Care System as CEO, Hospital CEO at Community Health Systems, and Hospital COO at IASIS Healthcare. He is graduate of the University of Tennessee and earned his MBA in Finance from Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee. Steve oversees the Eastern region.

Ben Ross

Regional Vice President
Ben serves as a Regional Vice President at American Physician Partners. He was previously the President of Physician Services at Capella Healthcare, VP of Physician Services at Essent Healthcare, Owner of Medico of South Carolina, and Divisional Director at Providence Hospital. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University where he studied Political Science and earned his MHA in Health Administration from the University of South Carolina-Columbia. Ben covers the state of Illinois and the Michigan Region.

Ben Youree

Regional Vice President
Ben currently serves as a Regional Vice President at American Physician Partners. He was previously CEO at Turkey Creek Medical Center, CEO at Dyersburg Regional Medical Center, and COO at Community Health Systems. He attended Freed-Hardeman University where he earned his BBA in Finance. He is also a graduate of University of Alabama Birmingham where he earned his MBA in Business Administration as well as his MSHA in Healthcare Administration. Ben covers the state of Kentucky and Mississippi.

Corporate Leadership

John Rutledge

President and CEO
John founded American Physician Partners in 2015 and presently serves as the company’s President & CEO. John is responsible for developing and implementing the company’s strategic vision, fostering key organizational and community relationships, and working closely with hospitals and health systems through the business development and client management process.  Mr. Rutledge has spent 35 years in the hospital management field.  He is the former COO and President of RegionalCare Hospital Partners, a non-urban hospital company founded with a $300 commitment from Warburg Pincus, which he grew to $700 million in revenue and $93 million in EBITDA  (2009-2013).  From 1996-2004 he was the COO & President of Province Healthcare.  John is also a proud graduate of Lipscomb University.

David F. (Buddy) Bacon

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Buddy presently serves as SVP and Chief Operating Officer for American Physician Partners where he is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the company, including managing ongoing client relationships, billing and revenue cycle management, provider services, human resources, information technology, and marketing. Buddy has more than 25 years of extensive experience in finance, administration, operations and public accounting. He has previously served as Co-founder and CEO of Meridian Surgical Partners, CEO of TractManager, and SVP Healthcare Group and EVP Business Development for CapStar Bank. He is a graduate of Lipscomb University with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Science.

Tony Briningstool, MD, FACEP

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Tony presently serves as SVP and Chief Medical Officer for American Physician Partners where he oversees all of the company’s clinical initiatives, including champions for sepsis, stroke recognition and opiate prescribing. He is also responsible for developing the APP Leadership Academy and plays an active role in the business development and client management process. Tony served as President & Chief Medical Officer for AlignMD, a predecessor to American Physician Partners, and was the Executive Medical Director for Emergency Medicine Services at Sparrow Health System. He played football while earning his Bachelor of Science in Physiology at Michigan State University then earned his Doctor of Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Tony is board certified in Emergency Medicine.

Bob Newport

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Bob presently serves as SVP and Chief Financial Officer for American Physician Partners where he is responsible for managing the company's finances, including financial planning, management of financial risks, record-keeping, and financial reporting. Bob has significant finance experience in the healthcare industry, specifically with HCIT companies. He was the CFO for Emdeon, 2006-2014. Emdeon’s revenue doubled to $1.3 billion and adjusted EBITDA increased 2.5x to $325 million during Mr. Newport’s time as CFO. Bob was also CFO for Medifax, 2002-2003. He spent 20 years with LBMC, the largest CPA and business consulting firm based in Tennessee. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Carson-Newman College.

Andy McQueen

Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
Andy is SVP and Chief Legal Officer at American Physician Partners. Andy brings significant experience advising companies on mergers and acquisitions, capital formation, corporate governance and other strategic legal matters. Andy has previously served at Ernst & Young, Spheris, and Bass, Berry & Sims. McQueen received his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Lipscomb University. Prior to law school, McQueen was a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young.

Corporate Officers

Sam Clemmons

Vice President of Business Development
Sam is VP of Business Development at American Physician Partners where he is involved in new business growth as we strive to continue to provide excellent care and service to our patients and client facilities. As CEO of Elite Emergency Services, he spent many years as an emergency physician providing care and as an operator providing solutions for emergency departments and hospital inpatient departments. He attended the United States Naval Academy, received a BS in Mathematics from Auburn University, and became a Doctor of Medicine at the University of South Alabama, College of Medicine.

Aaron Kidd

Vice President of Clinical Operations
Aaron is the Vice President of Clinical Operations at American Physician Partners. With nearly 20 years’ experience in healthcare, he started his career as an Aeromedical Physician Assistant with the United States Army. He completed an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant Fellowship at San Antonio Military Medical Center, Texas, and served as the Program Director at Fort Hood, Texas. Prior to APP, he served as Vice President of Clinical Operations at AlignMD. Aaron earned his Masters of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Dan Melson

Vice President of Physician Services
Dan presently serves as the VP of Physician Services for American Physician Partners where he oversees physician staffing and recruiting.  Dan has over 35 years of industry experience.  He is the former VP of Hospitalists at Harris Medical Group and was the VP of Recruiting and Marketing at HealthCare Partners.  He also spent time at Jackson Healthcare as a Strategic Account Director.  He graduated from Lipscomb University with a degree in Public Relations and Public Speaking.

Chad Somerby

Vice President of Operations
Chad is currently the VP Operations at American Physician Partners. He has nearly 25 years of industry experience. He was the Controller at HCA, the Director of Operations at Province Healthcare, the Operations Controller at Capella Healthcare, and the AVP of Financial Operations at RegionalCare Hospital Partners. Chad has a BSBA in Accounting from Tennessee Technological University – College of Business Administration.

Win Winegar II

Vice President
Win presently serves as Vice President for American Physician Partners. He was previously a partner at WHR Properties as well as Deputy Medical Director at Stewart Country EMS. Win is a graduate of Austin Peay State University where he studied Public Management. He also attended Webster University where he received his Master’s Degree in Health Services Management. He then attended University of Nebraska College of Medicine where he earned his Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies.