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Secretary Delia Names Welsh as Chief Executive Officer of Cherry Hospital


North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
News Release - July 11, 2012
Contact: Julie Henry, DHHS Public Affairs, 919-855-4840

RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Al Delia has announced the appointment of J. Luckey Welsh, Jr. as chief executive officer of Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, effective immediately. In addition to his new role, Welsh will continue to serve as interim director of DHHS State Operated Healthcare Facilities through December 31, 2012.

“Luckey has demonstrated tremendous leadership in his three and half years at the helm of our State Operated Healthcare Facilities,” said Delia. “He and his leadership team have put a renewed emphasis on quality and safety for patients and employees, strengthened our workforce with essential training, and improved operational efficiencies at all of our facilities. I am confident that he will bring the stability that Cherry Hospital needs moving forward.”

Welsh will oversee preparations for and relocation of patients and staff to the new $138 million Cherry Hospital, slated to open in early 2013. The move will include adding 373 positions to the Cherry workforce.

“I believe this is a critical time for the hospital as it prepares to open and move into a new and expanded facility,” Welsh said. “I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition and to continuing to provide excellent and safe care to our patients.”

As director of DHHS State Operated Healthcare Facilities, Welsh has been responsible for operations at 14 facilities across the state that include four psychiatric hospitals, three developmental centers, three Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Centers (ADATC), three neuro-medical treatment centers and two residential schools. He has been instrumental in implementing a new financial management system, establishing a comprehensive patient safety and incident reporting system, and introducing the Just Culture initiative to engage employees in a positive, rather than punitive, approach to patient safety.

Welsh is a veteran hospital executive, having served as chief operating officer and then chief executive officer of Southeastern Regional Hospital in Lumberton for more than 30 years. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a former chair of the North Carolina Hospital Association.

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