October 21, 2020
Dear Community Partners,
I’m pleased to announce that Dogwood Health Trust has named Susan Mims, MD, MPH Interim Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Mims will join Dogwood Health Trust in December, partnering with the board and staff to ensure continuity in grantmaking and drive forward strategic initiatives.
Our goal was to identify an interim who had a strong knowledge of the region, strong leadership and management experience, and existing relationships with partner organizations, allowing the board to be deliberate in considering its needs for a long-term CEO. Susan Mims meets those needs, offering a unique perspective on the impact of social determinants of health on individuals and communities throughout Western North Carolina. We appreciate her willingness to step away from her current role and tackle this important work.
Dr. Mims is currently employed with the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) where she chairs the newly established Department of Community and Public Health at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC. In that role, she built a team of clinical and public health experts in support of MAHEC initiatives that focus on educating future public health advocates, eliminating health inequities, and addressing social determinants of health in collaboration with regional and state partners. These efforts include coordinating a regional community response to COVID-19 prevention, treatment and recovery with the expansion of community health workers across Western North Carolina.
With more than 20 years of clinical and healthcare leadership experience in North Carolina, Dr. Mims has a deep understanding of the region’s healthcare landscape. Prior to joining MAHEC, Mims served on Mission Hospital’s leadership team working to meet the healthcare needs of the people and families of WNC and to promote health throughout the region. She was the 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. Dr. Mims also served as the chief executive for Mission Children’s Hospital for over a decade where she oversaw growth in specialty care and services for children, improved financial performance, and developed outreach programs to serve the health and dental care needs of children in rural WNC.
Dr. Mims was the medical director at the Buncombe County Health Department, where she was responsible for clinical services in the county’s largest indigent care clinic, school-based health centers, and comprehensive public health. Prior to that, she was in private practice in Durham. Dr. Mims holds a Master of Public Health and MD from UNC.
In choosing someone as experienced as Dr. Mims for this role, we are creating an opportunity for the board to reflect on Dogwood Health Trust’s long-term needs, while ensuring that the organization continues to grow in strength and impact during these formative years. We are confident that she is the right person for this position.
As we move forward, the board will focus its initial efforts on evaluating organization needs, CEO skills, and priorities for the next phase of leadership before setting a timeline for an official search process for a permanent CEO.
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Susan Mims to Dogwood Health Trust!
Janice W. Brumit
Chair, Board of Directors
Dogwood Health Trust