The Board of Directors for Dogwood Health Trust has named Susan Mims, MD, MPH, to be interim chief executive officer of the region’s largest foundation focused on the health of all people and communities of Western North Carolina. Mims will join Dogwood Health Trust in December.
“Our goal was to identify an interim who had a strong knowledge of the region, strong leadership and management experience, and existing relationships with partner organizations, allowing the board to be deliberate in considering its needs for a long-term CEO,” said Janice Brumit, chair of the board. “Susan Mims meets those needs, offering a unique perspective on the impact of social determinants of health on individuals and communities throughout Western North Carolina. We appreciate her willingness to step away from her current role and tackle this important work.”
Mims is currently employed with the Mountain Area Health Education Center where she chairs the newly established Department of Community and Public Health at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC.
“There is no doubt that Dogwood Health Trust is a transformational health and wellness resource for our region,” Mims said. “The opportunity to guide the organization during this critical period is consistent with my own goals for improving access to the social and economic opportunities that influence health in a systemic way. I’m looking forward to partnering with the existing team to continue building relationships across the region, understanding and addressing the substantive issues that impact health and well-being of all people in WNC, and maximizing the positive impact of Dogwood Health Trust’s grantmaking.”
Prior to joining MAHEC, Mims served on Mission Hospital’s leadership team. She was the vice president for Children’s Services and Clinical Genetics and Personalized Medicine at Mission Health, chief of pediatrics for Mission Children’s Hospital, and vice chief of staff for Mission Hospital.
Mims also served as the chief executive for Mission Children’s Hospital for more than a decade.
Mims was the medical director at the Buncombe County Health Department, where she was responsible for clinical services in the county’s largest indigent care clinic, school-based health centers and comprehensive public health. Prior to her work as medical director at the health department, she was a physician in a private practice in Durham.
Mims attended college at the University of Georgia and earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina while completing her medical degree.
“In many respects, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the surface a number of underlying social challenges to the overall health and well-being of the people of North Carolina.,” Mims said. “Dogwood Health Trust’s focus on addressing these issues in partnership with the many non-profit and health organizations in the region is critically important and offers boundless opportunity to change lives.”
In seeking a permanent CEO, the board will focus its initial efforts on evaluating organization needs, CEO skills, and priorities for the next phase of leadership before setting a timeline for an official search process.