UNC Health Southeastern Board announces Anderson retirement plans
Lumberton, NC -Wayland Lennon, chairman of the UNC Health Southeastern Board of Trustees, announced today that UNC Health Southeastern President and CEO Joann Anderson plans to retire effective December 31, 2021. Anderson has been associated with the health system for 14 years, joining then named Southeastern Regional Medical Center in May 2007.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve UNC Health Southeastern and this community,” said Anderson. “I hope that, in a small way, I am leaving both in a better position than when I arrived. I was fortunate to become the fourth President and CEO, serving behind my predecessors who ensured a great healthcare system existed. My job was to build on what they started.”
Anderson plans to continue her full duties and responsibilities as leader of the health system until the transition to new leadership is completed. The UNC Health Southeastern Board of Trustees will collaborate with UNC Health to determine a successor. The formerly named Southeastern Health transitioned to a UNC Health managed system under a management services agreement and adopted a new name, UNC Health Southeastern, on January 1, 2021.
“We are saddened by Mrs. Anderson’s decision to retire but also excited for this new and certainly well-deserved chapter in her life,” said Lennon. “Through multiple devastating hurricanes to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joann remained steady and guided the health system skillfully and successfully. She has also been at the helm through numerous positive milestones for the organization, most recently the partnership with UNC Health, and it is for all these and more combined that she has made her mark on this heath system, our community and the region.”
Anderson earned a bachelor of nursing degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky., and a master’s degree in nursing from Bellarmine College in Louisville, Ky. Before joining UNC Health Southeastern, she served as CEO of Pikeville Medical Center in Pikeville, Ky.
Her experience and passion for healthcare delivery in a rural setting have contributed to the growth of UNC Health Southeastern to now include 30 primary and specialty care clinics in a four-county area, a freestanding ambulatory surgery center and clinic facility, and the Southeastern Health Mall, offering outpatient services.
She has built strong relationships in the community through collaboration and partnerships with local government, schools, and the Lumbee Tribe to promote and improve health.
Her leadership during Robeson County’s response and rebuilding following Hurricane Matthew in fall of 2016 demonstrated the essential role hospitals play in a disaster and what it means to be prepared to care. Despite a week-long power outage and historic flooding, the hospital remained open and operational, caring for staff and patients.
Always ready to accept new challenges, Anderson established a partnership with Campbell University’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine to bring a medical residency program to UNC Health Southeastern and its network of clinics. In July 2016, she was recognized by the Southeastern Health Board of Trustees for leadership and diligence in the development of the Medical Education Program. A plaque in Anderson’s honor was permanently hung in the Medical Education Hallway at UNC Health Southeastern.
Anderson has volunteered her time to serve in leadership roles with NCHA and the American Hospital Association. She served with the NC Southeastern Partnership promoting economic development for Robeson County and southeastern North Carolina. She is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and served as a NC Regent for ACHE for three years. She has represented UNC Health Southeastern on the state level as Past Chair of the North Carolina Hospital Association Board of Directors and as Chair of the Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance Board of Directors. Nationally, she has represented Lumberton and UNC Health Southeastern as Past Chair for the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Section for Small or Rural Hospitals Governing Council, AHA Committee for Vulnerable Communities as well as the AHA Regional Policy Board. She served on several local boards including the Campbell University Board of Directors.
In July 2019, Anderson was honored with the North Carolina Healthcare Association’s (NCHA) highest honor, the 2019 Distinguished Service Award.
Anderson is the only the fourth chief executive officer of UNC Health Southeastern since it was opened in 1953.