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:

2024 Program Mentors:

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.:

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.

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