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Photo of Dee Anna Smith

Dee Anna Smith

Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Cannon Research Institute

Dee Anna Smith is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), one of the world’s leading oncology research organizations conducting community-based clinical trials.

Under her leadership, SCRI formed a joint venture with US Oncology Research in 2022, bringing together physicians who are actively accruing patients to clinical trials at more than 250 locations in 26 states across the US. Smith is responsible for leading the organization’s overall mission and vision to make a global impact on the next generation of cancer care. 

Smith has devoted the last two decades of her career to transforming oncology research and how it influences care from diagnosis through survivorship. Prior to creating the SCRI joint venture, Smith served as CEO for Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. During her tenure, the company has experienced exponential growth across its care network, and conducted pivotal clinical research that has led to the majority of newly-approved cancer therapies now available to patients.

As an entrepreneur, Smith founded two companies focused on clinical trial services; the first startup, SiteWorks Solutions, was acquired by Oracle and the second, Summit Research Solutions, was acquired by HCA Healthcare to become a part of SCRI. Smith began her career as an auditor and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with KPMG, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Pepperdine University.

Smith has received numerous recognitions for her leadership and community impact on a local and national level. Most recently, she was selected by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) as a member of its 2021 Class of Influential Leaders. In November 2020, she was named as one of Pepperdine University’s Outstanding Alumni in Healthcare. In April 2019, she received Pepperdine University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Smith is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Smith is the chair of the Pepperdine University Board of Regents, and also serves on the board of directors for the Nashville Health Care Council.