The leaders on our board of commissioners are much more than business professionals. They are much more than government appointees or physicians — they are neighbors. They are members of our community. These commissioners, living in the community, themselves using the health care system they govern, have an insider's view of area health care needs. It's much more than reading reports — they encounter our customers every day.
The Nash Health Care Board of Commissioners is a 14-member volunteer board appointed by the Nash County Board of Commissioners. Each board member is appointed for one 3-year term. Commissioners may be reappointed to serve two additional terms, for a maximum of three terms. In addition there are three voting, ex-officio members of the board. These ex-officio members include the president of the medical staff, the president-elect of the medical staff, and the president of Nash Health Care.
The Nash Health Care Systems Board of Commissioners meet on the first Thursday of each month. To contact any of our board members send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Lilley, Owner and Vice President of Lilley International, Inc. and Brother Properties, brings a wealth of business experience and an unyielding dedication to the community to the board. A native of Williamston, Lilley attended UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. His extensive community involvement includes serving on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Nash/Edgecombe counties (chair), Nash-Rocky Mount Schools Board of Education (1999 – 2008), and Turnage Chapter of the American Red Cross (Chair). He is a member of First Presbyterian Church where he is active in the choir and elected to the office of Elder.
Jim and his wife Catherine have two sons and a daughter. He sees Nash Health Care filling a vital role in our community. “Our hospital is going through a time of unprecedented change in the world of healthcare. NHCS must be at the forefront of that change, working to bring all stakeholders together and striving to achieve the common goal of improving the health and quality of life for all our citizens.”
Jeffrey Batts is a partner in the law firm of Batts, Batts & Bell, LLP. A North Carolina native, Batts was born and raised in Rocky Mount, and his extensive experience represents 20 years of dedication to the community.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wake Forest University. In 1986, he graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he served as managing editor of the Wake Forest Law Review. Batts practiced law in Greensboro from 1986 to 1990 before returning to Rocky Mount to join in practice with his father and brother. He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in North Carolina, as well as the United States Tax Court, and was admitted to the United States Supreme Court Bar in 2001. Batts is also a member of state and local professional associations and the Eastern North Carolina Inn of Court.
Batts has demonstrated his commitment to the Rocky Mount community through his volunteer activities, which include serving as the 2011 chairman of the Board of Directors for the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce and as a trustee for the Turner W. Battle Scholarship Fund at his high school alma mater, Rocky Mount Academy. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Nash Community College Foundation and Nash Health Care Foundation. Batts is actively involved in NCLEAP, a project of the North Carolina Bar Association's Business Law Section, offering pro bono legal advice to low-wealth entrepreneurs.
Leorita B. Hankerson, Secretary
Every day, Leorita Hankerson molds the future. As Assistant Superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Nash-Rocky Mount Schools, she knows that children represent the future of Nash County, and she understands that providing a quality education is vital for future success. Hankerson worked for the Nash County school system for 8 years before the systems merged to form Nash-Rocky Mount Schools. She earned her degrees from Talladega College in Alabama and from the Teachers College at Columbia University, New York.
John Barker, born and raised in Rocky Mount, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UNC Chapel Hill in 1974. His first job was with the North Carolina State Auditor’s Office in Raleigh, NC, and he started his banking career in 1977 as the internal auditor for the State Employees Credit Union. In 1979, he moved back to Rocky Mount as treasurer and CFO of United Federal Savings & Loan, later becoming president and CEO.
After leaving the financial sector, he became involved in commercial development and residential construction. In 2005, Barker returned to banking as president and CEO of Providence Bank, positions he currently holds.
Barker and his wife, Melissa, have three children, and attend St. Andrews Episcopal Church. “I’ve always been proud of Rocky Mount. I was born at Park View Hospital and have watched Nash Health Care grow to be one of the most prestigious hospitals in eastern North Carolina,” Barker said.
Dr. Martha Chesnutt, a physician specializing in internal medicine with Boice-Willis Clinic, is originally from Weldon, NC. Dr. Chesnutt has practiced medicine in Rocky Mount for nine years.Dr. Chesnutt earned her medical degree from the East Carolina University School of Medicine and completed both her internship and residency at Greenville Hospital System in Greenville, SC. She is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
“I am very excited about working with Nash General Hospital to improve healthcare in Nash and Edgecombe Counties,” she said. “We have an excellent medical community and I look forward to the expansion of health care services and continuous improvement in quality of care.“
Jackie Deloach is the Community Engagement Leader for the Cummins Diesel Rocky Mount Engine Plant. Prior to that position, she worked in Community Development and Client and Community Relations for PNC Bank, RBC, and Hardee’s Food Systems. She has served on the board of My Sisters House, North Carolina Wesleyan College – Dunn Center, Boys and Girls Club of Nashville, NC, Radio One’s Women’s Empowerment Board. Currently she is on the Nash Health Care Foundation Board, Edgecombe Community College Foundation board and the Strategic Twin Counties Education Partnership board. She graduated from North Carolina Wesleyan College with a B.S. in Business Administration. In 2011, she received the Alumni Achievement Award from her Alma mater.
Butch Holland is a partner with Bunch & Company, LLP in Rocky Mount. He is a graduate of UNC-CH, with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Holland currently serves on the boards of Branch Bank & Trust, the Rocky Mount Community Foundation, and Northeastern Entrepreneurial Roundtable (NEER). His firm is a charter member of NEER, an organization that works to attract small businesses to our area, and Carolinas Gateway Partnership, which was formed to promote general economic development in our area.
“Nash Health Care is a very important asset to our community in many ways and I look forward to contributing to its growth and success,” Holland stated.
Holland was born in Nashville, NC. He and his wife, Marilyn, have two children and attend First Baptist Church in Rocky Mount.
Jean Kitchen grew up in Raleigh and moved to Nash County in 1986. She has lived in both Rocky Mount and Scotland Neck, always working full-time in Rocky Mount. She is married to Hodge Kitchen and has two sons.
Kitchen graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and taught secondary English in three school systems. She then went to work with Almand’s Drug Stores and took over as president and CEO in 1998. After selling Almand’s in October 2014, she continues as chief marketing officer.
She has hosted and produced television shows for NBC and ABC affiliates, as well as PBS, dating back thirty years, including three shows currently airing: Tar Heel People, Around Town, and Buzz.
Kitchen has served on numerous committees, including: Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce (chair); UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees 1999-2007 (vice chair and secretary); UNC CH General Alumni Association (chair), Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Board of Education member for nine years (chair 1999), and recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for the General Alumni Association of UNC.
Kitchen said, “It is a privilege to work with Nash Health Care, looking for new opportunities to operate efficiently and uphold the highest quality standards.”
Bill Lehnes graduated from the University of South Carolina in Spartanburg with a business degree and put his entrepreneurial skills to work in Rocky Mount as the owner of the Chick-fil-A franchise. Lehnes was born in New Jersey and spent his early years in Greenville, SC until moving to Rocky Mount 28 years ago to open the restaurant.
Lehnes has been a very active volunteer in the community, serving the Tar River Civic Club, the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce, the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, and the Boys and Girls Club.
“I want to help because the hospital has such a powerful impact on the community, both economically and in the impact it has on the health of our local citizens,” Lehnes said. He and his wife, Kim, have three daughters and attend Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.
Originally from Murfreesboro, Mitchell has lived in Rocky Mount since 1974. He received his bachelor’s degree in business education from Fayetteville State University, and since then, he has earned several accolades for his business expertise and community service. He is the president/proprietor of the Melvin Mitchell Agency, Inc., an Exclusive Agency with Allstate Insurance Company.
“I volunteered for the board because I welcome the opportunity to become a part of improving health care for a community that I have been a part of for over 35 years,” Mitchell said. “I have a genuine, vested interest in the community members, as well as the businesses and industries striving to survive here, and I feel that with the vast changes in health care in this uncertain economy, this is a very important time to get involved.”
In addition to serving as a board member of the Rocky Mount Boys Club, Triangle Bank and Greater Rocky Mount Family Practice, Mitchell’s insurance agency was named Agency of the Year in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He is a former member of the Allstate Agency Advisory Board, a recipient of the 24-Year Honor Ring Award, and a six-time recipient of the Life Leaders Award. He also serves on the board of directors for Providence Bank, and is a past member of the board of directors for First Carolina State Bank. Mitchell has also served on the trustee board, the finance committee and the usher board of North End Missionary Baptist Church. He is a member of Alpha Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and has served that organization as a member of the executive board and as the assistant keeper of finance. Mitchell and his wife, Laura, have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Marty Nealey serves as Vice President of Operations and Plant Manager at Pfizer’s facility Rocky Mount, NC (formerly, the Hospira facility). The Rocky Mount facility is one of the largest sterile injectable manufacturing facilities in the world. It produces approximately 550 million doses of sterile injectable medicines each year for US and global markets. Prior to his current role with Pfizer, Nealey served in various leadership roles with Burroughs Welcome, Merck & Co., AstraZeneca, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, and Hospira over the past 27 years. Nealey’s extensive experience in operations and facilities management, engineering, technical services, supply chain, project management, and quality systems makes him an excellent addition to the Board of Commissioners for the Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount. Nealey recently served as a Board Director for the Twin Counties Strategic Education Partnership and currently is an active Board Member, and 2016 Chair-Elect, for the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce. Nealey is also as an active Board Member with the Carolina Gateways Partnership. Nealey and his family are from eastern North Carolina where he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from East Carolina University.
Dr. Ivan Peacock is a native of Jacksonville, NC. He attended undergraduate and graduate school at East Carolina University and then received a regular commission in the United States Navy in 1977. He subsequently attended the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda Maryland where he received his MD degree and completed a radiology residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Dr. Peacock pursued advanced military operational training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute and completed primary flight school in Pensacola, FL where he was designated Naval Flight Surgeon 3801. Dr. Peacock served 24 years as a naval officer attaining the rank of CAPTAIN (06). During his military career, he served with multiple forward deployed units of the Fleet Marine Force as a Flight Surgeon, and with the Naval Hospital Command as a Diagnostic Radiologist. After leaving active duty, Dr. Peacock joined Nash X-ray Associates, PA in Rocky Mount and continues to practice full time at Nash Health Care as a board-certified diagnostic radiologist. His professional interests include musculoskeletal imaging as well as radiology administration and leadership.
Dr. Peacock is past president of Nash X-ray Associates and has served as past chairman of Nash Health Care’s Department of Imaging Services. He also previously served as the medical director of the Nash Breast Care Center and Nash Open MRI. Currently, he serves as chairman of the Comprehensive Community Cancer Program Committee and chairman of the Credentials, Bylaws, and Rules & Regulations Committee at Nash Health Care.
Damian Tucker was sworn in as an Assistant District Attorney for Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson Counties (Seventh Judicial District) in September 1998. After three years as a prosecutor, he joined the law firm of Hester & Moore, PLLC in 2001. In 2007, he became a partner in the firm which is now Hester & Tucker, PLLC. Tucker’s sole concentration is defending the criminally accused in the Seventh Judicial District. He also has handled matters in civil, child support and small claims courts. During this period of his practice, he has resolved thousands of cases at the District Court level. Also, Tucker has successfully defended clients charged with serious felony charges at the trial level. He has extensive jury trial experience to include cases involving traffic and misdemeanor offenses, as well as the most serious drug and “violent” felony offenses, including homicide cases. He graduated from Northern Nash High School, and went on to receive a BA in Criminal Justice from UNC Wilmington, and a law degree from NC Central University.
Lisa Barnes was first elected in 2012 to the Nash County Board of Commissioners and is now in her second term. She is actively involved in the NC Association of County Commissioners, serving on the Agricultural Steering Committee and the Strategic Plan Taskforce. She was selected to attend and completed the UNC School of Government's Advanced Leadership Corps. She serves as the chairwoman of the board for the non-profit Dew4Him Ministries and is also a member of the EastPointe Mental Health Board of Directors, the Nash County Republican Party Executive Committee and the Coalition for Addiction Recovery and Education (CARE). She and her husband, John, both Nash County natives, are engaged in agribusiness and have three children.