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Kathy C. Bailey Portrait

KATHY C. BAILEY was named 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 to 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 University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her Master’s in Health Policy and Administration at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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. 

Robert Fritts Portrait

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 Portrait

THOMAS (Thom) L. EURE  is Senior Vice President of Corporate Services and General Counsel. He provides counsel to the board of directors on all legal matters, attending all committees of the board. He serves as a 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; and manages interaction with various regulatory agencies.

Upon graduating law school at 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. In 1997, having previously represented the local hospital in legal matters, Thom was invited to become its 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 1,800 employees.

He was a member of the North Carolina Association of Healthcare Risk Management Board of Directors serving as chair of Legislative Updates Committee, 2000-2002. He also services on the board of the Good Samaritan Clinic, Morganton, NC and he is a Deacon and Sunday School Teacher for adult couples at Burkemont Baptist Church, Morganton, NC.

Thom and his wife, Lynn, have four children. 

Jon Mercer Portrait

JON MERCER  is the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Operations with oversight of system-wide operations. 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.

Lorinnsa Bridges-Kee

LORINNSA BRIDGES-KEE  is Vice President of Human Resources, human resources functions. This includes responsibility over workforce management, teammate relations, total rewards/benefits and teammate health for the System. As the Senior VP of HR she is responsible for a number of job duties related to organizational development, recruitment and staffing, performance management, teammate relations, and compensation and benefits. In addition, she provides management, leadership and direction to the HR staff, and teammate health. Fulfilling the role of senior level advisor to executives and employees regarding human resources trends and employee issues. 

Lorinnsa came to Blue Ridge HealthCare in May 2017 from Baylor Scott and White – White Rock in Dallas, Texas, where she served as Chief Human Resources Officer. She managed two of the four facilities in the Dallas area, the other being Baylor Scott and White – Centennial. She has 19 years of experience in the health care industry and holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an Master’s of Science in Adult Education from North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina. Lorinnsa hold her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification issued by Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). 

Lorinnsa and her husband, Kevin, have a daughter and a son. 

 Anthony Frank MD ANTHONY FRANK, JR., MD, MBA, FACEP, CPE, is Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer. He joined Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge in July 2019.

Dr. Frank previously served as the Regional Emergency Department Medical Director for Vidant Medical Center and East Carolina University, covering six hospitals. 

Dr. Frank received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Computer Science from Washington and Lee University.  He went on to receive his Doctor of Medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School and did his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of South Carolina, Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, where he also served as the Chief Resident in Emergency Medicine. He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine through the American Board of Emergency Medicine and holds a subspecialty board certification in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.  He serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at East Carolina University, and currently serves as the Interim Vice Chair of the Department.

In addition, Dr. Frank holds a Master of Business Administration from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a Certified Physician Executive through the American Association for Physician Leadership.  He is a prolific author of journal articles, abstracts, and book chapters. Dr. Frank has presented a multitude of lectures regionally and nationally. His recognitions and awards include the FBI Service Recognition Award and the AMA Physician Recognition Award.

Dr. Frank and his wife, Karen, have two daughters. 
 Andrew Thomas, FACHE

ANDREW THOMAS FACHE  is Vice President of Physician and Ambulatory Operations. Drew has had various leadership roles with Carolinas HealthCare System 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 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 two daughters. 

 Barry Nelson - CNO - Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge

BARRY NELSON, MSN, RN, CENP,  is Vice President of Nursing/Chief Nurse Executive of Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge. Barry has executive oversight of the system’s nursing practice. Barry joined the Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge team in December of 2017. During his time here, Barry has held nursing leadership roles including Director of Nursing for Critical Care, Telemetry, Cath Lab, Family Center and Special Care Nursery, and Executive Director of Nursing. 

Barry obtained his Paramedic certification in 1998 and actively served until 2003; he remained certified until 2018.  Barry has a diverse background in the field of nursing and emergency services. Barry served as a law enforcement officer from 1995 until 1998. He started his career in nursing as an Emergency Department RN in 2004 and transitioned to a flight RN for MedCenter Air in 2008. Barry received his Master of Nursing Science degree from South University, and a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Winston – Salem State University. Barry has obtained a credential of a Certified Executive in Nursing Practice. 

Barry currently serves on his church’s security and medical mission team. Part of his medical mission team services includes an annual international mission trip to provide medical care to underserved populations. 
Barry and his wife, Kim, have one son.