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Dr. Susan Mims named CEO of Dogwood Health Trust

Following a five-month national search, Dogwood Health Trust has named Dr. Susan Mims as its next CEO. Mims, who has held the role of interim CEO since December 2020, assumed the permanent post immediately.

Dogwood’s Board of Directors appointed a search committee in September 2021 made up of directors Jackie Godlock (Rutherford), Dawna Goode-Ledbetter (McDowell), Bishop Jose McLoughlin (Henderson), and Jackie Simms (Buncombe). Martha Tyner (Yancey) and Casey Cooper (Qualla Boundary) served as co-chairs, and Board Chair Janice Brumit served in an ex officio role.
Dogwood retained WittKieffer, a global executive search firm, to guide and assist with its search process. WittKeiffer identified and researched more than 400 potential prospects before selecting 16 prospects for the search committee to evaluate. After significant due diligence, the committee selected four candidates to advance for final consideration.
“The search committee was impressed by the quantity and quality of candidates interested in leading the organization,” Tyner said. “Our decision comes after carefully considering each candidate’s ability to foster and steer meaningful and effective collaborations with our partners so that Dogwood will continue to grow into its full potential to help everyone in our region live, learn, earn and thrive.”
“Over the past year, Dr. Mims has been an excellent leader for Dogwood and has demonstrated her commitment to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of all people and communities of Western North Carolina,” Cooper added. “We look forward to seeing Dogwood’s continued growth, development and impact under her sound leadership.”
A public health expert and respected leader throughout the region, Mims has over 20 years of experience in clinical and healthcare leadership. Just prior to stepping into the Interim CEO role at Dogwood, she served as chair of the Department of Community and Public Health at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC. Her prior experience included serving as vice president for Children’s Services and Clinical Genetics and Personalized Medicine at Mission Health, Chief of Pediatrics for Mission Children’s Hospital, and Vice Chief of Staff for Mission Hospital. Mims also led Mission Children’s Hospital as chief executive for more than a decade. Arriving in Western North Carolina in 2000, Mims served as the medical director at the Buncombe County Health Department and before coming to WNC worked as a physician in a private practice in Durham.
“I am truly honored to have been selected as Dogwood Health Trust’s next CEO,” Mims said. “Over the past year, I have been inspired by the commitment, creativity and willingness to work together that I’ve seen within Dogwood’s board and staff, and more importantly among a growing number of partners who share our commitment to dramatically improve health and wellbeing of all people and communities of Western North Carolina. I look forward to continuing to work with our community partners and with the strong team we have put in place over the past year, so that together we can ensure a healthier region for generations to come.”
“We simply can’t emphasize enough just how grateful we are to Dr. Mims for stepping in as interim CEO, building a strong internal team, and leading the identification and development of our organization’s strategic priorities and goals,” said Brumit, the board chair. “She has been a tremendous asset to our organization, and we are thrilled that she will continue to lead Dogwood into the future.”