Leadership at Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge
Susan Brown - VP and Chief Nursing Officer

KATHY C. BAILEY was named the President and Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ridge Healthcare System in January 2013. Prior to becoming the CEO, she held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Blue Ridge Healthcare since 2005. Prior to coming here, she was the Inaugural CEO of The Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head, NC for six years. Kathy led the design and building of that hospital, and then ran it until 2005.

From 1990 – 1999 Kathy was the VP of Patient Care at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, NC. While there, she implemented the Shared Governance Model for nursing, the first implementation in NC. She presented her Shared Governance Model at numerous national conferences, including presentations at the Mayo Clinic, St. Joseph’s in Atlanta, and Johns Hopkins University. She was featured in several articles about her Shared Governance success, her accomplishments on building a hospital from the ground up in the Outer Banks, and was the featured guest on the TV show “NC People” in 2002 with Dr. William Friday.

In addition to doctoral studies, Kathy obtained her Bachelor’s in Nursing at UNC-Greensboro, and her Master’s in Health Policy and Administration at UNC-CH.

Kathy also served as the President of the North Carolina Organization of Nurse Executives in 1996. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau and was the 1996 recipient of the NC Great 100 Nurses award. She was named to Becker’s Hospital Review Top Female Healthcare Executives in 2016, and currently serves on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as the Vice Chair of Strategic Planning, the Burke Development Board, and the Catawba Regional Board for American Red Cross. She has maintained Fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives since 1997.

Under her leadership, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge serves as the healthcare provider of choice for Burke County and surrounding communities.

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ROBERT G. FRITTS is Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, responsible for all the functions related to the financial operations of the System. He gathers and analyzes all the financial data and information to make sure the hospital is operating within budget and to determine how to allocate funds to various areas.

Robert is responsible for financial strategy, budgets, long-term forecasts, capital planning and business development. He oversees Access Management; Business Office; Business Development, which includes Community Benefit, Corporate Health and Wellness and Marketing; Information Technology; Investments; Managed Care; Patient Financial Services; and Volunteer Services. He provides assistance to the organization’s CEO, and leadership and guidance to designated departments to ensure the financial stability of the hospital.

Fritts came to Blue Ridge HealthCare in August 2001 from Tenet Health System where he served as Chief Financial Officer for Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, NC. He has 32 years of experience in the health care industry and holds a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Georgia State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant, and an avid golfer.

Thomas Eure

THOMAS (Thom) L. EURE, Is Senior VP of Corporate Services and General Counsel. Upon graduating law school (Campbell University), Thom went to work for an established law firm in Laurinburg in 1991. For the next six years, he had the privilege, as a general practitioner, of working in the district and superior courts, representing clients in a small-town practice. He and his wife Lynn had the first of four children, learning as a young lawyer how to balance a growing law practice with the importance of family time and community involvement. In 1997, having previously represented the local hospital in legal matters, Thom was invited to become their full-time employee. Given the growing regulatory environment in healthcare delivery, he was asked to develop a compliance program. In 2002, he moved to Burke County to become the first general counsel of Blue Ridge HealthCare System, Inc., the then newly formed joint operating company of Valdese General Hospital and Grace Hospital, now with 1800 employees.

Current Experience

  • Provides counsel to the board of directors on all legal matters, attending all committees of the board;
  • Serves as member of the executive management team providing advice to senior management on legal and regulatory issues;
  • Manages legal department and budget for outside counsel, as required;
  • Manages interaction with various regulatory agencies;
  • Provides oversight of the Medical Staff Office and Human Resources Department at Blue Ridge HealthCare Hospitals, Inc.;
  • Incorporated and organized a subsidiary, physicians’ company in 2005, Blue Ridge Healthcare Medical Group, Inc., which has grown to more than 100 employed physicians located in 38 practices;
  • Counsels medical staff leadership;
  • Represents Hospital weekly in involuntary commitment hearings held before a district court judge – Hospital operates a behavioral health unit with 22 psychiatric beds;
  • Was selected as “Best Attorney” in Morganton News Herald’s “Best in Burke County” recognition program – 2013.

Other Interests

  • Presenter: NC Association of Healthcare Risk Management. Topic: “Strategies to Protect the Incident Report in the Aftermath of Cook v. Wake Medical Center.” – 1998;
  • Retained by and submitted amicus curiae brief on behalf of NC Association of Healthcare Risk Management in Anderson v. Assimos, 356 N.C. 415 (2002);
  • Member of Board of Directors – North Carolina Association of Healthcare Risk Management; Chair of Legislative Updates Committee: 2000-2002;
  • Deacon and Sunday School Teacher for adult couples, Burkemont Baptist Church, Morganton, NC;
  • Little league baseball coach, 9-11 year olds, Morganton, NC
  • Board Member, Good Samaritan Clinic, Morganton, NC
  • Board Member, City of Morganton Land Use Adjustments
  • Married to Lynn Eure for 30 years and father of four children

Jon Mercer - Chief Operating Officer

JON MERCER is the senior executive with oversight of system-wide operations, and serves as our Chief Operating Officer. Jon started in a clinical role with Blue Ridge HealthCare in 1998, then transferred into an administrative role after receiving his master’s degree in Business Administration, and master’s degree in Health Administration. Jon has since had various leadership roles, each with progressively increasing responsibilities.

Jon is focused on serving others in our community, in and outside the walls of our healthcare system and lives out the philosophy: we are friends and neighbors taking care of friends and neighbors. He is an active board member of Options, Inc., and Western Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees. He is the President of the Rotary Club of Valdese, and serves on the Burke Partners in Education Council.

In addition to his MHA and MBA, from Pfeiffer University Jon obtained his bachelor’s in Biology from Western Carolina University, and a master’s in Exercise Physiology at Appalachian State University.

Jon and his wife, Kristina, have two sons.

Susan Brown - VP and Chief Nursing Officer

SUSAN BROWN is Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Carolinas HealthCare BlueRidge, employing more than 460 Registered Nurses. Susan provides professional leadership for all nurses in the system with dotted line responsibility for Hospital, Long-Term Care, Ancillary Services, Clinics and other site where nursing care is provided. She sets the agenda for nursing leadership, professional practice, evidence-based practice, performance improvement, innovation, partnership, and accountability.

Susan began her nursing career in Kentucky in 1983 and worked in Medical-Surgical Units, Progressive Care, and Critical Care Units. After moving to Virgina in 1991, she also worked in Case Management, Quality Management, Risk Management and was promoted to Chief Nursing Officer/Ethics and Compliance Officer with an 145 bed facility for the first time in 1998. In the years since that time Susan served in Chief Nursing roles with increasing levels of responsibility in Arkansas and Ohio before moving to Carolinas Healthcare Blue Ridge in 2011.

Susan introduced Shared Governance to the organization and has also worked to integrate the nurses here with those across the Carolinas. Under Susan’s leadership, the organization has raised the percentage of BSN prepared nurses from 19% in 2011 to 49% in 2016. During that same timeframe, Nurse to patient Ratio goals were set at 1:5 for inpatient medical and telemetry units and monitored for effectiveness, holding annual Safe Staffing Council meetings to share data and information related to progress. For the past three years, clinical nurse engagement has outperformed the national average in surveys performed by Press Ganey. During the same timeframe clinical indicators have improved in all areas of nursing, and nurses that work at Carolinas HealthCare BlueRidge are proud to say that they work in the organization.

Susan advocates for nursing and patient care at the board, medical staff and senior leadership levels of the organization.
She earned an undergraduate degree in nursing from Radford University, and a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Pfeiffer University. She holds certification as a Nurse Executive, Advanced through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a Fellow in the College of Healthcare Executives.

Joseph C. Mazzola, DO - Chief Medical Officer

JOSEPH C. MAZZOLA, D.O., CPE, FACOFP, FAAFP is a graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and he completed his residency training in Family Medicine at The Medical Center in Columbus, Georgia. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Osteopathic Family Physicians and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians and American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. In 2016, Dr. Mazzola was awarded the designation of Certified Physician Executive (CPE) by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management.

Prior to joining Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge in 2010, he served as the Chief Medical Information Officer and Osteopathic Director of Medical Education at Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia.

Dr. Mazzola served as the Vice President of Medical Education for Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge and was instrumental in developing the graduate medical education programs for the system. He has been involved in medical education for over 15 years and is an active participant in numerous regional, state and national associations, holding leadership roles in the fields of medical education, physician board certification and academic institution accreditation.

He presently serves as the Senior Vice President and System Chief Medical Officer for Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge in Morganton, NC overseeing system wide quality and clinical integration strategies. He is also responsible for Population Health initiatives implementation and physician leadership development.

Dr. Mazzola and his wife, Debbie have two grown children, Samantha and Jonathan. He presently serves on the Western Piedmont Community College Foundation Board of Directors, the Rutherford College Planning Board, and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Morganton.

Edeard T. Plyler - Chief Medical Officer for Continuing Care

EDWARD T. PLYLER, MD, FAAFP, CMD is Chief Medical Officer for Continuing Care, Medical Director of Long Term Care. Dr. Edward Plyler, a family physician, joined Carolina HealthCare System Blue Ridge in 2013 as the medical director of the long-term care division as well as assisting with transition of care and population health efforts. He is a clinician, managing patients at Grace Heights Health and Rehabilitation Center, College Pines Health and Rehabilitation Center as well as Grace Ridge Health Care Center and participates with quality initiatives in all our senior care facilities. He also assists with population health strategies and represents the system in community health initiatives in Burke County.

Prior to coming to Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, Dr. Plyler was a practicing family physician for 30 years in the community, serving in leadership positions with the medical staff, the medical society, and the hospital board. He has an interest in preventive medicine, geriatrics, diabetes and osteoporosis.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and his medical degree from the UNC School of Medicine. A Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, he is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. With over 30 years of experience in managing patients in long term care, he is a certified medical director by the Post-Acute and Long Term Care Society. He is also certified in bone densitometry since 1996.

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DA-VIDA W. ROSEMAN, MSN, RN, NEA-BC is Vice President of Nursing Operations. Da-Vida holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from UNC-Greensboro in Greensboro, NC and a Master of Science degree in Nursing from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC.

Da-Vida has her ANCC Nurse Executive Advanced Board Certification (NEA-BC). Da-Vida is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer, AONE Nurse Executive Finance certified and holds membership with the American Nurses Association, North Carolinas Nurses Association and American College of Nursing Executives; and is currently an Advisory Board Member for Press Ganey (NDNQI).

In her 18-years of Nursing, Da-Vida’s career has allowed her opportunities to serve patients in several capacities that include: bedside nursing, most of which was in Critical Care; charge nurse; precepting; Director of Nursing Practices / Processes; Director of Patient Safety; and Assistant Vice President of Nursing / Patient Safety Officer – all of which have prepared her to currently serve as our accomplished Vice President of Nursing Operations for Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge.

As the VP of Nursing Operations, Da-Vida is responsible for planning and overseeing all aspects of nursing / patient care. Her leadership specifically expands over our inpatient units and clinical departments that include: Medical / Surgical; Family Center / Special Care Nursery and Float Pool; Critical Care; Telemetry and Cardiac Cath Lab; Clinical Education Nursing Informatics, Infection Prevention, Patient Safety, Wound Ostomy, Dialysis, and Administrative Supervisors.

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DAVID POPE - As Vice President of Clinical Services, David Pope leads the Surgical Services, Specialty Services, Long Term Care, and Organizational Development Divisions. Since joining Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge in 2009, David has served as Assistant Vice President of Administration and Associate Counsel. In addition to responsibility for many clinical areas, David champions the organization’s diversity and inclusion, patient experience, LEAN, and cultural transformation initiatives.

Before joining Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, David served as a Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq with 2d Battalion, 2d Marines.

David has served our community as a member of the J. Iverson Riddle Human Rights Committee and on the governance boards of Burke United Christian Ministry and Morganton Day School. He is a Ruling Elder at Faith Presbyterian Church (PCA).

He holds a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health and a Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. David and his wife, Jeannie, and their children live in Morganton.

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ANDREW THOMAS is the executive with oversight of the entire Blue Ridge Medical Group (BRMG), and serves as our Vice President of BRMG. Drew has had various leadership roles with CHS Blue Ridge since 2012, each with progressively increasing responsibilities.

Drew has a diverse background in the medical field; serving as an EMT from 2003 until 2014, He served in the US Army Reserve’s Medical Service Corp, and worked as a financial services officer in the banking industry before transitioning into an administrative role in the healthcare field. Drew received his master’s degree in Business Administration with a healthcare management concentration from The Ohio University, and a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Appalachian State University. Drew is a Fellow and a Board Certified Healthcare Executive through the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Drew is focused on helping others in our community; inside and outside of the healthcare system. He currently serves as a volunteer firefighter with West End Fire Department. He is also an active member of the Catawba Valley Freemason Lodge 217, the Rotary Club of Morganton, and serves on the Finance Committee of East Valdese Baptist Church.

Drew and his wife, Holly, have a son and a daughter.

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PATRICIA A. MOLL is Vice President of Finance and Controller, responsible for all the accounting and payroll functions of the System. She gathers and analyzes data and information to make sure that internal controls and processes are in place to ensure that financial information provided is timely and accurate.

Patricia is responsible for audits, budgets, and financial reporting. She oversees Volunteer Services and Accounting, which includes Long-term Care Billing, Accounts Payable, and Payroll.  She provides assistance to the organization’s CFO, and leadership and guidance to departments to ensure the financial integrity of the organization.

Moll came to Blue Ridge HealthCare in August 2005 from St. Joseph Healthcare in Bangor, ME where she served as Controller. She has 24 years of experience in the health care industry and holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, from the University of Maine and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.