New Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President Named at Wake Forest Baptist

August 13, 2014

Cathleen Wheatley, M.S., R.N., C.E.N.P., has been named chief nurse executive and vice president of clinical operations at Wake Forest Baptist Health, effective September 8.

Wheatley has more than 25 years of health care and executive management experience with an extensive background in transformational leadership, management development, and clinical quality and performance improvement.

As chief nurse executive and vice president of clinical operations, Wheatley is responsible for the overall performance of assigned clinical care operations across Wake Forest Baptist including providing oversight of nursing care for patients. She will also have responsibility for cancer, pediatric and behavioral health service lines.    

Wheatley has served since 2012 in the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) as system chief nursing executive. SEHA includes 12 hospitals with 2,600 beds, 62 ambulatory care clinics and 17,000 employees.

At SEHA, she established standardized evidence-based clinical competencies and productivity standards for nursing and allied health. She developed a system-level capacity management plan and a standardized model for care coordination, utilization management and operational measurement.

“Having worked with Cathleen in Abu Dhabi, I’ve seen first-hand her excellence, vision and heart for providing the best health care of the highest quality and with great compassion,” said Karen “Bobbi” Carbone, M.D., M.B.A., president and chief operating officer, Wake Forest Baptist Health. “I look forward to her bringing that same passionate approach to our patient- and family-centered care model at Wake Forest Baptist.”

Wheatley succeeds Maureen Sintich, M.S.N., R.N., vice president and chief nursing officer, who accepted a position with Meridian Health in Neptune, N.J.

Prior to her service in the United Arab Emirates, Wheatley served at DeKalb Regional Health System, a three-campus hospital system in Atlanta, Ga., where she held the roles of senior vice president, chief clinical operating officer and chief nurse executive. Before then, she was their chief quality officer from 2007-2011. Her accomplishments at DeKalb Regional include reducing length of stay, reducing hospital-acquired infection rates and establishing a Center for Nursing Practice to optimize nursing excellence at the bedside and to recruit and retain top nursing talent.

Prior to her experience at DeKalb Regional, Wheatley held clinical practice positions in neurosciences at Emory University Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Wheatley earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing and a graduate certificate in Gerontology at Georgia State University. She is a certified executive in nursing practice (C.E.N.P.) as credentialed by the American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Wheatley has two grown sons, Kyle and Tye, who reside in Miami.

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