NC Healthcare Leadership Diversity Mentoring Program Welcomes Participants

2022 class pairs 16 diverse individuals with eight senior healthcare executive mentors

Cary, NC – February 3, 2022 – The North Carolina Healthcare Foundation (NCHF), the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the North Carolina Healthcare Association, today announced the third class of participants in a mentorship program designed to help cultivate a diverse pipeline of leaders for the healthcare field. The seven-month program pairs 16 women and men from underrepresented communities employed in healthcare with eight executive leaders from health systems and hospitals who will serve as mentors.

As national and North Carolina demographics continue to shift, hospital and health system executives increasingly want to develop and promote diverse future leaders who can contribute different perspectives to issues and help accelerate industry innovation and transformation.

From February through August, participants will meet monthly with their mentors to gain confidence in areas such as financial management, leadership development, staff coaching and negotiating skills. They will separately meet for up to two hours per month with their fellow mentees. The program also provides access to educational and networking opportunities such as the healthcare association’s annual Winter and Summer membership meetings where the class members can interact with senior healthcare executives from across the state.

Mark Gordon, President of Alamance Regional Medical Center and Senior Vice President of Cone Health is a new mentor this year. He said, “Talent is everywhere and equally demonstrated across all demographics. However, access and relationships matter. Our history is one in which access and relationships promoted some but excluded many. Our leadership obligation is to create broader access to allow talent that has always been present to rise. Relationships are intentional. I believe it is the role of healthcare leaders to create diverse intentional relationships to serve our diverse communities.”

Another mentor, North Carolina Healthcare Foundation Board member Greg Gombar, a retired executive from Atrium Health, added, “Having the opportunity to be a chief financial officer at the age of 30 would have been a disaster for me if not for several more experienced executives who mentored me. My way of honoring my mentors is to try to help the young executives selected to be in this program in any way I can.”

2022 Program Mentees:

  • Jasmine Ballard of Charlotte, Administrative Director, Levine Cancer Institute at Atrium Health
  • Ramona Basnight of Wake Forest, Clinical Operations Director at Duke University Hospital
  • Euniqua Bullock of Raleigh, Patient Services Manager III at UNC Health
  • Liening (Earl) Chen of Laurinburg, Strategic Analyst at Scotland Memorial Hospital
  • Marissa Garcia of Charlotte, Strategy Execution Manager at Novant Health
  • Alexa Jones of Charlotte, Project Manager at Atrium Health
  • Swapna Joseph of Raleigh, Hospitalist Physician/PAT Medical Director at Duke Raleigh Hospital
  • Rosalynne Lopez of Greensboro, Manager at Cone Health Nutrition & Diabetes Education Services and the Wesley Long Sleep Disorder Center
  • Colby Marks of Greensboro, Practice Administrator at Cone Health
  • Koai Martin of Greenville, Administrative Fellow at Vidant Health
  • Dennis Mitchell of Raleigh, Analytical Solutions Manager at UNC Health
  • Dana Peebles of Raleigh, Assistant Director-Leadership, Culture and Change Strategy at Duke Raleigh Hospital
  • Antonio Peterkin of Raeford, Clinic Supervisor at Hoke Primary Care at Cape Fear Valley Health
  • Candace Ramirez of Durham, Administrative Director at Duke University Hospital
  • Ylenia Sharif of Rolesville, System Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager at UNC Health
  • Jonathan Young of Pittsboro, Administrative Support Supervisor, Division of Cardiology at UNC School of Medicine

2022 Program Mentors:

  • Katie Galbraith, President, Duke Regional Hospital & North Carolina Healthcare Association Board Member
  • Greg Gombar, Board Member, North Carolina Healthcare Foundation and Retired Executive Vice President, CFO Atrium Health
  • Mark Gordon, President, Alamance Regional Medical Center and Senior Vice President, Cone Health
  • Crystal Hayden, DNP, RN, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer, Nash UNC Health Care
  • Christine Khandelwal, DO, Vice President of Education and Strategic Outreach, Transitions Life Care and Director of Palliative Care Inpatient Service, WakeMed Health & Hospitals
  • Steve Lawler, President & CEO, North Carolina Healthcare Association
  • Alvin C. Powell, MD, former Chief Medical Officer, Annie Penn Hospital and Chief Health Equity Officer, Cone Health
  • Phyllis A. Wingate, Board Chair, North Carolina Healthcare Foundation and Retired Senior Vice President/President Carolinas Health System Northeast

In addition, the North Carolina Healthcare Association and the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation congratulate the following individuals who were the 2021 class and have completed the program:

  • Christopher Bridgeman of Laurinburg, Director of Nutrition at Scotland Memorial Hospital
  • Turkeisha Brown of Chapel Hill, Patient Services Manager III/Nurse Manager at UNC Medical Center
  • Alexandra Collins of Chapel Hill, Strategy Consultant at UNC Health
  • Alvin D’Angelo of Atlanta, Vice President of Operations at Emory Healthcare
  • William English of Durham, Administrative Manager at Duke Health
  • KaSheta Jackson, DNP of Greenville, Nursing Executive Fellow at Vidant Health
  • Sonia Kaul of Durham, Manager of Patient Revenue at Duke University Health System
  • Stephen Logan of Greensboro, Administrative Fellow at Duke Health
  • Jennifer Mack of Durham, Clinical Nurse IV at UNC Health
  • Diane Mitchell of Raleigh, Director of Operations Administration at Duke Raleigh Hospital
  • Nadia Pasha, MD of Raleigh, Associate Medical Director at Duke Raleigh Hospital Medicine
  • Ram Rimal of Chapel Hill, Manager of Data Science Engineering at UNC Health
  • Michael Smith of Charlotte, Senior Manager, Ambulatory Services at Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute in Pineville
  • Deborah Wang of Chapel Hill, System Manager, Strategic Planning at UNC Health

A video available here features members of the first class of the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation’s Diverse Leaders Mentorship Program sharing their appreciation for being part of this initiative in 2019-2020.


About NCHA

Founded in 1918, North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA) is the united voice of the North Carolina healthcare community. Representing more than 130 hospitals, health systems, physician groups and other healthcare organizations, NCHA works with our members to improve the health of North Carolina communities by advocating for sound public policies and collaborative partnerships and by providing insights, services, support and education to expand access to high quality, efficient, affordable and integrated health care for all North Carolinians.

About North Carolina Healthcare Foundation

The North Carolina Healthcare Foundation is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the North Carolina Healthcare Association. Established in 1961, the Foundation supports the Association’s work in quality improvement, rural healthcare and education, including supporting data-driven initiatives to improve healthcare.

Media contact:

Cynthia Charles, North Carolina Healthcare Association

Office: 919-677-4223; Cell: 336-816-4939


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