Dr. Roxie Wells – Improving quality of care through servant leadership

For Dr. Roxie Wells, servant leadership is a hallmark of her career. From her years as a family physician to now serving as the Chief Physician Executive and Strategy Officer of Novant Health, the through line in her story is service to others. Her passion for healthcare stems from a passion for people. What draws her to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, her favorite NC vacation spot, is not just the beautiful beaches, but the wonderful people. She and her husband of 35 years prioritize this “heart for humanity” as a family value and have instilled it in their daughter as well.

Dr. Wells is a champion for healthcare quality, which is why she supports the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation (NCHF). As a member of the NCHA Equity Committee and the NCHA Board of Trustees, Dr. Wells has seen the work NCHF accomplishes to distinguish itself as a leader in using data to improve healthcare quality for all. She says the perfect example of this is the North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA) Equity of Care Delivery Resolution, which 90% of NCHA member hospitals have signed. Hospital leaders who sign the resolution pledge to prioritize and establish executive accountability for equity in quality of care in the policies, practices, culture, and data collection of their hospital. For Dr. Wells, measurable improvements in diabetes readmissions, post-partum hemorrhage, patient experience, and other metrics of the Equity of Care dashboard validate and bolster the work of NCHF.  

Over the course of her impressive career, Dr. Wells has witnessed shifts in diversity and inclusion in healthcare. While there are certainly more women of color in healthcare leadership positions now than ever before, change is slow to arrive for Chief roles as well as hospital boards.  

“We’re not yet where we want to be for women of color and women in general, but we continue to work on making sure that voices are present in those spaces,” she shares.  

Through founding the American Hospital Association Black Women CEO Roundtable, Dr. Wells has created a space for Black women to share openly with their peer group while learning and growing together. She acknowledges that increasing diversity in healthcare leadership ultimately improves quality of care for all. The NCHA Diverse Healthcare Leaders Mentorship Program follows this approach by connecting healthcare professionals of color and giving them space to network, grow, and learn.  

Though much of the learning is directed towards mentees in the program, Dr. Wells notices that it’s also an opportunity for mentors to learn from others and about themselves. She invites healthcare leaders to participate in the Mentorship Program and other work of NCHF by being present and giving of their time, money, and expertise.  

“Participating and becoming active in NCHA and NCHF by becoming a mentor or through financial support really undergirds the work that we’re doing. NCHF is doing a phenomenal job building quality and inclusivity,” said Dr. Wells. 

To participate in the Mentorship Program or to become a supporter of the Foundation, visit us at www.ncha.org/give.Senior Director of Operations
North Carolina Healthcare Foundation
dhiggins@ncha.orgProject Manager, Grants and Programs
North Carolina Healthcare Foundation