Board of Commissioners
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 is much more than reading reports — they encounter our customers every day.
The Nash UNC 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 UNC Health Care.
The Nash UNC Health Care Board of Commissioners meet on the first Thursday of each month.
Jeffrey A. Batts, Chairman
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.
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. He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in North Carolina, as well as the United States Tax Court, and the United States Supreme Court. Batts is also a member of state and local professional associations and the Eastern North Carolina Inn of Court.
Batts has served the Rocky Mount community through his volunteer activities, which include 2011 chairman of the Board of Directors for the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce, and trustee for the Turner W. Battle Scholarship Fund at his high school alma mater, Rocky Mount Academy. He also serves on the Board of Nash UNC Health Care Foundation. Batts is actively involved in the North Carolina Bar Association.
He and his wife, Sarah, have three daughters and two sons.
John A. Barker, Vice-Chairman
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 but has since retired.
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 UNC Health Care grow to be one of the most prestigious hospitals in eastern North Carolina,” Barker said.
Melvin M. Mitchell, Secretary
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.
Sue Leggett, Nash County Commissioner
Sue Leggett grew up in Rocky Mount and graduated from Rocky Mount High School in 1997. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Agronomy Soil Science from NC State University in 2001 and graduated from The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers at Texas A&M University in 2015.
Currently, Sue lives in Nash County and works full time at Leggett Farming Partnership in Nashville, NC growing crops, fruits, and vegetables with a focus on handling the finances of the business. She is also a part of several agricultural organizations. She is involved in the Nash County Farmers Market advisory board, is a leader in our local 4-H program, and is a member of White Oak Grove Methodist Church.
Sue and her husband, Brent, have two children.
Marty Nealey, Treasurer
Marty Nealey serves as Vice President of Operations and Plant Manager at Pfizer’s facility in 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 brings extensive experience in operations and facilities management, engineering, technical services, supply chain, project management, and quality systems to the Nash UNC Health Care Board of Commissioners.
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 an active Board Member with the Carolina Gateways Partnership. He and his family are from eastern North Carolina where he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from East Carolina University.
Joel L. Bryant
Joel Bryant is a District Manager with Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical in the Cardiovascular and Metabolism therapeutic areas. He directs a sales team to meet organizational goals as they work with medical practitioners, physician networks, pharmacies, hospitals, and other diverse stakeholders. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer through the ROTC program.
In addition, Bryant has served 25 years as a commissioned officer with the United States Army, now holding the rank of Colonel with the US Army Reserve. He currently serves as the NC Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer, FEMA Region IV and the Department of Defense. His military career includes a long list of decorations, service medals, and badges, including a Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal. He has also earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, Ranger Tab, and Parachutist Badge. He is currently serving on active military duty.
Joel is passionate about healthcare and acknowledges “the privilege of working with Nash UNC Health Care to ensure access to quality, efficiently delivered, patient-centric care.” He and his wife Amy have two children and are members of Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church.
Martha J. Chesnutt, MD
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.“
Eugene (Butch) F. Holland, Jr.
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 UNC 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 A. Kitchin
Jean Kitchin 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 Kitchin and has two sons.
Kitchin 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 continued as chief marketing officer until her retirement in 2017.
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. Kitchin 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.
Kitchin said, “It is a privilege to work with Nash UNC 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.
James (Jim) M. Lilley
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 and 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 has been elected to the office of Elder.
Jim and his wife Catherine have two sons and a daughter. He sees Nash UNC 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.”
Ivan V. Peacock, MD
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 continued to practice full time at Nash UNC Health Care as a board-certified diagnostic radiologist until retiring in 2018. 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 UNC 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 UNC 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. In addition, 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.
Sheila Wallace is the Director of Federal Programs with Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools. She manages federal grants and is responsible for assuring adherence to federal guidelines and laws while making certain that identified schools have needed resources.
Wallace has served in various leadership capacities with the local school system and as Principal and Assistant Principal of several elementary schools in the district. She is the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award and has twice appeared in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. She has served on numerous boards in Eastern North Carolina, including Martin County Community Action, Carol Caldwell Scholarship, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
She is married to Ellis Wallace and they have two sons. The Wallaces are active members at Union Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville, NC where she is on the Board of Trustees and serves as Youth Advisor.
G. Tillman Bailey, III, MD - President, Medical Staff
Diagnostic Imaging, Radiology
Nash X-ray Associates, PA
Specialties and Subspecialties
Provider Type | Clinician
UNC Health Alliance
Nash UNC Health Care
Laura L. Jacimore, MD – Past-President, Medical Staff
Specialties and Subspecialties
Radiation Oncology, Cancer, Head and Neck Oncology, Neuro-Oncology, Gynecologic Oncology, Skin Cancer and Melanoma, Gastrointestinal Oncology, Urologic Oncology, Thoracic Oncology, Breast Cancer, Leukemia and Lymphoma, Bone and Soft Tissue Oncology
Central nervous system (CNS) and lung radiation oncology
Provider Type | Clinician
UNC Health Alliance
Nash UNC Health Care
Priyank K. Desai, MD – President-Elect, Medical Staff
Boice-Willis Clinic, PA (Rocky Mount-Rocky Mount Medical Park)
Specialties and Subspecialties
Critical Care Medicine
Provider Type | Clinician
Nash UNC Health Care