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Professional History

Chief Strategy Officer, Cherokee Health Systems

Chief Financial Officer, Cherokee Health Systems

Chief Operating Officer, Cherokee Health Systems

Acting CEO, Cherokee Health Systems

National Training and Consulting Director, Cherokee Health Systems

Regional VP, HCA Health Plans/Equicor

Cost Containment, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida



MHS, Administration and Planning, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

BS, Lebanon Valley College


Professional Associations

National Association of Community Health Centers

Tennessee Primary Care Association


Professional Activities

Board Member, Mental Health America (formerly the National Mental Health Association)

Board Member and Founding Member, Surgery on Sunday of East Tennessee, provides free surgeries for indigent patients


Joel Hornberger is the Chief Strategy Officer and National Training and Consulting Director at Cherokee Health Systems, a Federally-Qualified community health center and community mental health center in Tennessee. In these positions, Joel is responsible for developing and executing the strategic and financial direction of Cherokee, including strategic planning, mergers, acquisitions, new business development and training. He also provides practice consulting, focusing on integrated care (primary care and behavioral health), practice transformation, innovation, and alternative/value-based payment strategies. He consults extensively with national clients regarding integrated care operations, execution, integrated care financial sustainability, and value-based contracting. Previously, Joel served as Cherokee’s Chief Operating Officer for 25 years, handling the day-to-day operations of its 45 integrated care practice sites across the State. (

Prior to joining Cherokee Health Systems, Joel worked in managed care at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA Health Plans) and Partners National Health Plan. In these positions, he worked on managed care start-ups, HMO leadership and cost containment strategies.

Joel earned a master’s degree in Health Services Administration and Planning at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomsburg School of Public Health. He completed a 2-year, Kellogg-funded International Health Leadership Fellowship in the International Center for Health Leadership Development at the University of Illinois Chicago. He has taken several EDX courses at Harvard University.

Joel has spoken at numerous conferences regarding integrated care and he and his team have trained over 5,000 CEOs, COOs, CFOs, MDs, PhDs, managed care executives, policy makers and others from all 50 states and 3 foreign countries.

Joel Hornberger, MHS

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