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Wayne UNC Health Care Continues to Position System to Meet Health Needs of Community

Wayne UNC Health Care is on a journey to better meet the health needs of Wayne County residents. As part of the organization’s plans, the system has re-energized its focus on improving the patient experience, expanding quality services and recruiting providers.

Over the last several months, the hospital has hired 43 experienced nurses as well as 38 new graduate nurses including 18 graduates of Wayne Community College. In order to support ongoing professional development and growing our nursing resources, Wayne UNC has also provided tuition assistance for 19 teammates currently enrolled in BSN and MSN programs at the University of Mount Olive.

In addition, the hospital has welcomed 56 new clinical professionals in the areas of rehabilitation, surgical services, pharmacy, lab, therapy, respiratory and more. The system also filled 58 support services positions in areas such as environmental services, food and nutrition, and facilities.

In support of this effort and the growth, the system also recently welcomed several leaders that will help spearhead growth and development in these key areas.

Melissa Shay joined the health system in July as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. Shay came to Wayne UNC from College Station, Texas, where she was Vice President of Organizational Excellence and previously, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, at CHI St. Joseph Health.  In her new role, she is responsible for Strategy, Business Development, Marketing and Communications, Governmental Affairs, Physician Recruitment and Retention, Corporate Health and Outreach Services, Community Partner Engagement and the WISH program. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at the University of Toledo and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio.

Renee Conner was named Vice President of Human Resources in August.  She moved from Tyler, Texas, where she was Senior Director of Human Resources for Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Healthsouth.  In her role at Wayne UNC, Conner will work to hire and retain top talent, develop systems and structures for ongoing education and development of teammates and promote positive working relationships among all stakeholders. She holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.

These two new senior leaders join Janie Jaberg, FACHE, President and CEO; Shirley Harkey, Senior Vice President of Operations; Becky Craig, Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer; Donna Wimberly, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer; and Dr. Anthony Bruno, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, to comprise Wayne UNC Health Care’s senior leadership team.

Additional new leaders include:

Misty Alford, Cardiovascular Service Line Director. Alford joined the organization in July to provide leadership to achieve physician and hospital collaborative goals, including excellence in patient-centered care and clinical outcomes. She is a graduate of the East Carolina University School of Nursing and previously worked at WakeMed Health and Hospitals.  She is a Registered Cardiovascular Interventional Specialist and a Healthcare Accreditation Certified Professional. She is pursuing a master’s degree in nursing at ECU.


Victoria Baskett, Patient Experience Director. Baskett joined the hospital in July to focus on patient experience, patient and family engagement, and patient safety.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently serves on the N.C. Quality Center Patient & Family Advisory Council as well the nationally recognized Beryl Institute’s Global Patient & Family Advisory Council.

Jenny Parnell, Administrative Director for Medical/Surgical Nursing.  Parnell joined the organization in July to oversee nursing services in conjunction with nursing directors on several medical and surgical units throughout the hospital. She will work to ensure high quality, patient-centered care. Parnell earned both her BSN and MSN from ECU and was part of the leadership team at Vidant Medical Center before coming to Wayne UNC.

Barry Watkins, Administrative Director for Facility Services. Watkins joined Wayne UNC in June to oversee Plant Engineering, Clinical Engineering, Construction and Renovation, Environmental Services, Laundry and Security. Watkins has nearly 20 years of experience in safety, security, construction and facilities services in a variety of health care organizations across the state.   Most recently he was the Corporate Director for Engineering at Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville.

“All of us at Wayne UNC are committed to making sure we provide the very best care and experience for our patients. This means investing in resources that will help us continue to expand and improve services, recruit and retain top talent and position the system to meet the growing health needs of our community. These individuals will be a wonderful complement to our strong leadership team,” said Jaberg.

Wayne UNC Health Care is a 316-bed community, not-for-profit hospital, which has been serving residents in Wayne County and surrounding areas for more than 120 years.  It operates under a Management Services Agreement with UNC Health Care.  To learn more about UNC Health Care, please visit unchc.org.