NCHA’s Newest Mentorship Class Pairs 26 Diverse Professionals with 21 Senior Healthcare Executives

Raleigh, NC – January 8, 2024 – The North Carolina Healthcare Foundation (NCHF), charitable non-profit, innovative and programmatic arm of the North Carolina Healthcare Association, today announced the 2024 class of the Diverse Healthcare Leaders Mentorship Program. The competitive program is designed to help cultivate a diverse pipeline of leaders for the healthcare field and pairs 26 healthcare professionals from underrepresented communities with 21 executive leaders from health systems and hospitals who serve as mentors.

“NCHF is thrilled to welcome its fifth class into the Diverse Healthcare Leaders Mentorship Program. To-date, the program has graduated 59 professionals and includes representation from eight major health systems across the state,” said Dr. LaPonda Edmondson, NCHF vice president. “Many of our past participants credit their program experience for continued career progression and enhanced visibility with their employers – achieving our ultimate goal of positioning these accomplished professionals for success and leadership.”

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

Throughout the duration of the program, participants meet regularly with their mentors to gain confidence in areas such as financial management, leadership development, staff coaching and negotiating skills. Mentees also separately meet with their fellow peers to share their experiences and insights. The mentorship program provides access to educational and networking opportunities such as NCHA’s annual Winter and Summer membership meetings where class members interact with senior healthcare executives from across the state.

Dr. Crystal Hayden, President and CEO of UNC Health Lenoir, has served as a mentor in the program for two years. She describes the importance of mentorship. “Professional growth and development are critical for today’s healthcare leaders. While mentorship is typically viewed as benefiting the mentee, the true benefit is to both parties. When done intentionally and with purpose, mentors and mentees alike learn, grow, and develop new skills. Mentorship is one of the most worthwhile activities leaders can invest time and effort into while recognizing the ability to give back to the leaders of tomorrow.”

2024 Program Mentees:

  • Fatma AbdelSalam, PHCO Program Manager III, Centene
  • Jonathan Barrett, Practice Manager III, UNC Health
  • Britney Brown, Project & Program Coordinator, Advocate Health
  • Rowena Cassim-Sims, Strategic Human Resource Business Partner, Advocate Health
  • NaTonya Daniels, Nurse Manager, Advocate Health
  • Dana Driver, Learning and Education Specialist, Novant Health
  • Charmaine Duckie, Clinical Nurse Manager, Duke Primary Care
  • Kwesi Etsiwa Mensah, Security Manager, North and East Market, Cone Health
  • Marianne Fletcher, Inclusion & Pipeline Programs Sr. Specialist, Novant Health
  • Morgan Gravley, Pharmacist, UNC Health, WakeMed Health
  • Dwan Kelsey, Associate Director of Education, Transitions LifeCare
  • Kaylyn Locklear, Benefits & Wellness Manager, Scotland Health Care System
  • Timmie Locklear, Lead Residency Coordinator, UNC Health Southeastern
  • Lakeshea Love, Pharmacy Manager, UNC Health Southeastern
  • Diandrea McCotter, Inpatient Director of Rehabilitation Services, Duke Health
  • Doug McGhee, Administrative Director of Support Services, Duke University Hospital
  • Sydney Nelson, Director, Supplier Diversity, Advocate Health
  • Shenevia Patterson, Director, System Medical Staff Operations, Novant Health
  • Aravindan Rajasekaran, Engineering Manager, UNC Health Wayne
  • Annanora Short, Divisional Lead Social Worker, Davita
  • Vani Sistla, Manager, Quality & Safety, Duke Children’s Hospital
  • Shaniqua Wade, Enterprise Privacy Manager, Advocate Health
  • Yazmahn Wall, Practice Manager II, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
  • Qua’Tavia White, Community Health Prevention Coordinator, ECU Health
  • Leo Williams, Executive Assistant, HCA: Mission Health

2024 Program Mentors:

  • Kalin Griffin Bostwick, VP, Inclusion and Pipeline Programs, Novant Health
  • Alicia Campbell, Facility Executive, Advocate Health Pineville
  • Greg Gombar, Retired Executive Vice President, CFO, Atrium Health
  • Mark Gordon, President, Alamance Regional Medical Center, and SVP, Cone Health
  • John Green, President & CEO, Iredell Health System
  • Chere Gregory, SVP, Chief Health Equity Officer, Novant Health
  • Steve Lawler, President & CEO, NCHA
  • William Spencer Lilly, Retired Former President, Carolinas Medical Center and Central Division, Atrium Health
  • Brian Middleton, Vice President, Musculoskeletal Institute, Advocate Health
  • Catherine Mohr, Chief Nursing Officer, Dosher Memorial Hospital
  • Chris Munton, CEO, Wilson Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Hospital
  • Jeetu Nanda, Chief Medical Information Officer, SVP, Cone Health Network
  • Jakki Opollo, Vice President, Talent Initiatives; Regional Chief Diversity Officer, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
  • Tameka Peterson, Vice President, Chief Provider Experience Officer, Novant Health
  • Adia Ross, Chief Medical Officer, Duke Regional Hospital
  • Tri Tang, Facility Executive, Atrium Health Lincoln
  • James H. Taylor, Retired CEO, University of Louisville Medical Center
  • Amanze Ugoji, CEO, Washington Regional Medical Center
  • Chuck Wallington, EVP & Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Cone Health
  • Roxie Wells, SVP; Chief Physician Executive and Strategy Officer, Novant Health, Coastal Market
  • Brian Wofford, Vice President, Operations, Atrium Health – North Area

In addition, the North Carolina Healthcare Association and the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation congratulate the following individuals from last year’s cohort who graduated from the program in October 2023.:

  • Irene Bolis, Business Operations Manager, Atrium Health
  • Kevin Briggs, Administrator-Laboratory & Respiratory Care Services, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Health Equity, Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center
  • Carlton Brunson, Assistant Director, Human Resources, Duke University Health System
  • Dolapo Busuyi, Digital Content Specialist/Administrative Fellowship Manager, ECU Health
  • Kimberly Carter, Quality Nurse Specialist III, ECU Health
  • Amanda Eley, Nurse Manager, Operation, Duke Raleigh Cancer Center
  • Candice Faison, Lead, Revenue Cycle Management, Aledade, Inc.
  • Melissa Fennell, Project Manager, Atrium Health
  • Douglas Fisher, Director of Pharmacy, Atrium Health
  • Morgan Jones, Manager, Patient Experience, UNC Health Southeastern
  • Evette Law, Director, Emergency Department, Cone Health MedCenter High Point and Greensboro Drawbridge
  • Bridgett Luckey, Director, Community Hospital Grants and Outreach, ECU Health
  • Kris-Shae McCall, Assistant Director, Enterprise Health Information Management, Novant Health
  • Delores McNair, Spine Division Administrator, Duke University Health System
  • George Monjimbo, Business Operations Program Manager, Novant Health
  • Crystal Redfern, Director of Clinical Improvement, Novant Health
  • Cassiopeia Reid, Director, Talent Insights, Novant Health
  • Stefanie Resillez, Administrative Director – Ambulatory Care Operations, Duke University Health System
  • Derrick Rodgers, Manager Learning Systems and Technology, Novant Health
  • Vernita Kaye Rouse, Health Equity Manager, ECU Health
  • Jennifer Williams, Clinical Nurse Manager Operation, Duke University Hospital
  • Tramaine Young, Head of Pharmacy, NC Department of Corrections


Visit NCHA’s YouTube page to view participants from previous classes of the of the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation’s Diverse Leaders Mentorship Program share their appreciation for being part of this initiative.


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 

Established in 1964, the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation is the charitable non-profit, innovative and programmatic arm of the North Carolina Healthcare Association. The Foundation brings together diverse voices and perspectives to support community-based innovation and develop leading-edge programming to drive lasting change. Its goal is to power system-wide solutions, redefine the healthcare delivery system and improve the health and well-being of people in North Carolina and beyond. The Foundation works in concert with the Association to shape policy, inform the public and drive change.


Media contact:

Jill Armbruster

Senior Director, Communications

North Carolina Healthcare Foundation and CaroNova

Office: 803-479-1109


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