UNC Lenoir Health Care board of directors have named Shirley Harkey, DHA, RN, FACHE, as vice president and chief nursing officer and Jeff Wakefield, FHFMA, CPA, MHA, vice president and chief financial officer. They began their roles earlier this fall, Wakefield after an extensive search process and Harkey after a six month stent as interim CNO.
Dr. Harkey has extensive background in nursing leadership having spent the majority of her nursing career in a variety of leadership roles. Her experience includes 19 years in Eastern North Carolina focusing on patient care quality and safety. Dr. Harkey spent 13 years at UNC Wayne in Goldsboro, a 316 bed community hospital where she served not only as vice president of Patient Care Services and CNO but also filled positions as chief operating officer and senior vice president of operations. In her role at UNC Lenoir, she will focus on all nursing areas, patient experience, surgical services, pharmacy services, quality and safety. “I am excited to have the opportunity to work with the UNC Lenoir team to continue to improve quality and satisfaction. Over the last decade, health care has seen a major shift in emphasis from volume to value. While there have already been significant changes in the model of health care delivery, the status quo in healthcare will continue to be challenged as never before. With this knowledge we understand that we need to learn to work smarter while focusing on every patient and every interaction,” said Dr. Harkey.
Jeff Wakefield has spent the last 17 years of his career in the healthcare setting. He is a certified public accountant and spent 6 years serving in that capacity at the beginning of his career. He comes to UNC Lenoir from Marion General Hospital in Marion, Indiana, but prior to that served at UNC Wayne as director of finance, Holly Hill Hospital as controller, Johnston Health as controller, and WakeMed as a financial specialist. Wakefield was interested in returning to North Carolina when the UNC Lenoir job became available and his knowledge of Eastern North Carolina and the challenge of the rural healthcare environment will be a great asset to our hospital. “Although I am originally from Pennsylvania, I have spent the majority of my life in North Carolina. I am glad to be back and look forward to working with the UNC Lenoir Finance team to ensure a solid financial future for our community hospital,” said Mr. Wakefield. He will be leading the Finance Division of UNC Lenoir which includes registration, materials management, central service, print shop and Down East Medical Supply.
Robert Enders, president and CEO stated, “We are pleased to have the talent on our senior leadership team that Shirley and Jeff bring to UNC Lenoir. Both have extensive backgrounds in their areas and will be instrumental in maintaining the high quality of care UNC Lenoir offers in this community. As we work to improve our services and patient experience, I expect both to offer insights and recommendations that will continue us on our path of continuous improvement. We have a solid leadership team at Lenoir and a strong board of directors in place to guide us to a successful future.”