North Carolina health system CEO recipient of state's highest civilian award

Kathy Bailey, president and CEO of Morganton, N.C.-based Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, recently received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award — the state's highest civilian honor. 

The award recognizes North Carolina residents who have made significant contributions to their state and communities through "exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments," according to a news released shared with Becker's Feb. 8. 

Michael Bridges, chair of the health system's board of directors; Jon Mercer, COO of CHS Blue Ridge; and Tonia Stephenson, president and CEO of the Burke County Chamber of Commerce, presented the award to Ms. Bailey at a ceremony Feb. 3. 

Ms. Bailey has spent 42 years as a healthcare leader. She is the former president and CEO of The Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head, where she led design, construction and operations until 2005. Prior to her role as CEO at Blue Ridge, she was the health system's chief operating officer. 

Ms. Bailey has served in numerous service-based roles, including as a board member of the American Red Cross' Catawba Valley Chapter and the Burke Development Board. She has been named among the top female health system and hospital leaders by Becker's Hospital Review for the past three consecutive years.

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