High Point Regional Health and Wake Forest Baptist Announce Future Transition in Leadership

April 25, 2018

High Point Regional Health and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announced transition plans for new leadership at High Point Regional. 

High Point Regional President and CEO Ernie Bovio, who has served as the top executive at High Point Regional for the past four years, will continue in his current role and provide crucial strategic support and guidance through completion of the transition to Wake Forest Baptist. In September 2018, he will assume a leadership role at UNC Health Care.

“We are very pleased to retain such a talented leader as Ernie,” said William Roper, M.D., CEO of UNC Health Care. “He has demonstrated his skill and leadership over the past four years, and especially during this period of transitioning High Point Regional to Wake Forest Baptist Health.”

During Bovio’s tenure, High Point Regional has dramatically grown its clinical services adding 100+ medical providers to UNC Regional Physicians while experiencing significant renovation, modernization and advanced technology improvements in areas including cardiology, oncology, and surgery at High Point Regional.  In addition, the hospital has consistently received the highest patient safety rating of “A” by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C.-based national organization aiming to improve health care quality and safety.   

“Ernie’s contributions to High Point Regional will have a long-lasting positive impact on health care in our community,” said Jeff Horney, chairman of the Board of Trustees of High Point Regional. “He has played a critical role in this exciting relationship with Wake Forest Baptist and we are pleased to have his help and guidance throughout the transition.”

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments our team has made and am very grateful for the support that has been provided by UNC Health Care, our Board, the medical staff, and all of our employees and volunteers,” said Bovio. “High Point Regional will be in very good hands with Wake Forest Baptist to ensure long-term stability and growth of our clinical services to best meet the needs of patients in our community.”

Over the next several months, Bovio will work closely with his successor, James Hoekstra, M.D., who in September will be named president of the health system, which has 41 locations throughout Guilford County as well as in Randolph, Davidson and Forsyth counties. Hoekstra is currently Senior Vice President and Associate Dean, Clinical and Academic Network Development and will continue to serve in that role.

Hoekstra will bring considerable leadership skills and strengths to High Point Regional, including broad relationships within the provider community as well as experience with the previous integrations of Cornerstone Health Care and Wilkes Medical Center. His expertise in growth strategies for clinical services includes development of a network of Wake Forest Baptist Health-managed emergency departments, located at 14 sites across North Carolina.

“Jim will be a great asset to High Point Regional and the High Point community,” said Wake Forest Baptist’s CEO and Dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine, Julie Ann Freischlag, M.D. “He already knows the community and he’s committed to the continued success of the health system through the growth of clinical programs that improve the health of those in the High Point area and beyond.”

Hoekstra joined Wake Forest Baptist’s faculty in 2003 as professor and chair of emergency medicine. He earned his medical degree at the University of Michigan Medical School in 1984 and completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Cincinnati in 1988. 

Media Relations

Paula Faria: pfaria@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1279

Joe McCloskey: jmcclosk@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1273