07/12/12 — Cherry Hospital names director

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Cherry Hospital names director

By From staff reports
Published in News on July 12, 2012 1:46 PM

Interim Cherry Hospital Director Luckey Welsh has been named the new chief executive officer for the state psychiatric facility.

According to a news release from the state Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Al Delia made Welsh's appointment effective immediately.

Welsh had been the director of DHHS State Operated Healthcare Facilities through Dec. 31. He will continue to hold that post in an interim role.

"Luckey has demonstrated tremendous leadership in his three and half years at the helm of our State Operated Healthcare Facilities," said Delia in a written statement. "He and his leadership team have put a renewed emphasis on quality and safety for patients and employees, strengthened our workforce with essential training, and improved operational efficiencies at all of our facilities. I am confident that he will bring the stability that Cherry Hospital needs moving forward."

Welsh will oversee preparations for and relocation of patients and staff to the new $138 million Cherry Hospital, slated to open in early 2013. The move will include adding 373 positions to the Cherry workforce.

Welsh took over the interim director duties at Cherry after former director Philip Cook resigned Aug. 30, 2011. Cook had served at Cherry since 2009.

As director of DHHS State Operated Healthcare Facilities, Welsh has been responsible for operations at 14 facilities across the state that include four psychiatric hospitals, three developmental centers, three Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Centers (ADATC), three neuro-medical treatment centers and two residential schools. He has been instrumental in implementing a new financial management system, establishing a comprehensive patient safety and incident reporting system, and introducing the Just Culture initiative to engage employees in a positive, rather than punitive, approach to patient safety.

Welsh is a veteran hospital executive, having served as chief operating officer and then chief executive officer of Southeastern Regional Hospital in Lumberton for more than 30 years. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a former chair of the North Carolina Hospital Association.