Leadership Transitions Announced at Several Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Community Hospitals

November 17, 2023

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is developing a new, streamlined leadership model across some of its community hospitals.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, Chad Brown, president of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Davie Medical Center and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Wilkes Medical Center, will assume a new role as president of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s South and West areas.   

Brown will have executive oversight of both Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Lexington Medical Center and Wilkes Medical Center.

Brown became president of Davie Medical Center in 2014. Under his leadership, Davie Medical Center has experienced tremendous growth and has become a model for patient- and family-centered care. In 2019, Brown’s role expanded and he also became president of Wilkes Medical Center where he has grown inpatient and outpatient services and increased partnerships throughout the Wilkes County community.

Cathleen Wheatley, president of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, will begin executive oversight over Davie Medical Center as part of its transition to become a campus of North Carolina Baptist Hospital (Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center). 

“This new leadership structure will help refine our operating model by streamlining executive roles and allow us to better align our service lines in strategy, growth, quality, safety and experience,” said Dr. David Zaas, president of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.

As part of the restructuring, Bill James will step down as president of Lexington Medical Center.
James has a long legacy of leading community hospitals in North Carolina and Virginia, and since becoming president of Lexington Medical Center in 2014, he has led the

growth of inpatient and outpatient services. He was instrumental in the planning and construction of the hospital’s state-of-the-art surgical facility expansion which opened in 2019.  

“We thank Bill for his strong leadership and significant contributions to Lexington Medical Center, the Davidson County community and our health system over the past decade, and we congratulate Chad and Cathleen on their new and expanded responsibilities,” Zaas said. “Each of our hospitals is tightly woven into the fabric of the communities we serve, and the success of our hospitals is directly tied to the support we receive from our communities.

“As we continue to grow, we are committed to protecting each hospital’s unique culture while ensuring our patients receive the safest, highest quality care and the best patient- and family-centered experience possible.”

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist continues to invest in all of its hospitals and areas across the health system to allow more patients to receive a higher level of care while remaining conveniently closer to home and the support of loved ones.  

Media contact: Joe McCloskey, jmcclosk@wakehealth.edu