Candice L. Saunders, FACHE, is president/CEO of WellStar Health System, Marietta, Ga. As president/CEO of one of the largest and most integrated health systems in Georgia, she oversees the health and well-being of WellStar’s patients across the state.
Saunders, who began her career as a critical care nurse, joined WellStar as president of Kennestone Hospital in May 2007. As a result of her experience and strong leadership, she was promoted to executive vice president/COO of WellStar Health System in 2013. In 2015, she assumed the role of president/CEO.
Saunders has built her career around improving community access to vital healthcare needs, implementing new care models and programs to address consumer health issues, and integrating health delivery processes to improve operational efficiencies and enhance the patient care experience. From the boardroom to the operating room, and across WellStar Health System, Saunders is a champion for delivering world-class healthcare for every person, every time.
Under Saunders’ leadership, WellStar has been recognized as a leader in safety and quality measures, and as a great place to work. She serves on the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees and as chair of AHA’s Regional Policy Board for Region 4. She has been recognized by numerous organizations for her leadership and has been named to Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Women Leaders, Georgia Trend magazine’s 100 Most Influential Georgians and Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Admired CEOs lists. She has been honored as one of The Atlanta 500 and a Woman of Distinction by Atlanta magazine, a Healthcare Champion by the National Association of Female Executives, and a recipient of the W. Daniel Baker Leadership Award by the Georgia Hospital Association.
Saunders is board certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has master’s degrees in business administration and health services administration from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of South Florida.