Skip to main content
Cancer Questions?

Sarah Cannon Leadership and Physician Experts

Photo of Dee Anna Smith

Dee Anna Smith

Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Cannon

Dee Anna Smith is the chief executive officer of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Appointed as CEO in 2006, Smith is responsible for leading the organization’s overall mission and vision to make a global impact on cancer research and care. Under her leadership, Sarah Cannon has grown its reach in bringing world-class cancer care closer to home for hundreds of thousands of people facing cancer across the United States and United Kingdom. Additionally, the organization has been a key contributor in clinical research that has led to the majority of newly approved cancer therapies over the last decade. 

Joining Sarah Cannon Research Institute in 2005, Smith served as chief information officer and president of Sarah Cannon’s Research Services division. Previously, 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 Sarah Cannon’s research platform. 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 received Pepperdine University’s 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award. In October 2017, Smith was recognized by Nashville-based Operation Andrew as a Rodgers Award recipient for making an impact on lives and communities in Middle Tennessee and beyond. She was named a 2013 Health Care Hero by the Nashville Business Journal in the chief executive officer category and she received Lipscomb University's 2013 Heroes of Business award.

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