Isley to lead Nash UNC Health Care

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


ROCKY MOUNT — North Carolina native and Tar Heel health executive I. Lee Isley has been named president and CEO of Nash UNC Health Care, the hospital’s Board of Commissioners announced Wednesday.

Isley serves as CEO of Granville Health System in Oxford, a role he’s held since 2006. He’s due to start work at the University of North Carolina-affiliated Rocky Mount hospital in the first week of April.

“I am looking forward to working with the board, medical staff and hospital staff in continuing the progress made at Nash over the last several months,” Isley said in a news release. “My family and I are excited to become a part of the community.”

Isley is a native of Burlington who earned a bachelor’s degree in emergency care management from Western Carolina University, a master’s in business administration from Elon University and a Ph.D in community health and public health from the University of Tennessee. He is a fellow of the American College of Hospital Executives.

His 30-year career has included stints as assistant vice president and chief operating officer at WestCare Health System in Sylva and chief administrative officer for the Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System in Tennessee, according to his biography on the Granville Health System website.

Isley and his wife, Melissa, have four children.

The Nash UNC Health Care Board of Commissioners began a national CEO search last July after former CEO Larry Chewning announced his retirement. Ian Buchanan, chief research officer for the UNC Health Care System and senior vice president of operations at UNC Hospitals, has served as interim CEO since September.

“Lee brings a wealth of experience in providing quality health care in rural communities,” UNC Nash Commissioners Chairman James M. Lilley said in the release. “We reviewed a superior slate of candidates from all over the country, and are thrilled to have found an exceptional leader who understands health care in North Carolina.”