Published on July 22, 2019

Leggett to join hospital board

By Amelia Harper | Staff Writer, Rocky Mount Telegram

Nash County Commissioner Sue Leggett will officially begin serving in her new role on the Nash UNC Health Care Board of Commissioners at the next meeting of the board in August.

The hospital board unanimously accepted Leggett onto the board at their July 11 meeting. The Nash County Board of Commissioners unanimously confirmed her appointment at the recessed board meeting held July 15.

Leggett will be filling the unexpired term of Lisa Barnes, who had to resign her seat on both boards after winning the District 7 seat in the state House of Representatives. Nash County commissioners usually appoint one of their own to sit on the hospital board to help represent the county’s interests on that board.

In a letter to Nash County commissioners, Lee Isley, president and CEO of Nash UNC Health Care, said the hospital board is looking forward to working with Leggett.

“The board is excited at the opportunity to work with Mrs. Leggett and continue the strong working relationship established between the two boards,” Isley said in the letter.

At the Nash UNC Health Care meeting held earlier this month, Jeffrey Batts, chairman of the hospital board, also commented on that relationship.

“We have excellent communication with the Nash County commissioners through having a member of their board on our board,” Batts said. “That has worked very well, and we had a mutual desire to continue to have something along those lines.”

Batts also explained the process of hospital board appointments from the county.

“Our process, of course, is that we are the ones who recommend to them for approval candidates for our board. At their suggestion, we got together with Sue and had a really good discussion with her. She has a great interest in serving on the hospital board,” Batts said.

Batts enthusiastically recommended Leggett’s appointment to the hospital board.

“Sue is from the western part of the county, which is good, because sometimes, with so much population in this area, the structure of the board is not as geographically as diverse as it needs to be,” Batts said. “She is a graduate of NC State with a B.S. degree in agronomy. Her husband is a farmer and they are good, hard-working folks.”

Batts also pointed out that Leggett has a great deal of experience with civic engagement as she has served on several boards, been very active in the community and has served on state level agricultural committees.

“She loves to serve her community and her industry and her areas. She also has a great interest on what we are doing here at the hospital,” Batts said.

Dr. Martha Chesnutt, who serves on the nominating committee of the hospital board, said she has been impressed by her conversations with Leggett.

“She will be a great representative, not only geographically, but also as a business owner who understands the need to meet budgets. That will be a great perspective to have,” Chesnutt said.

Both Chestnutt and fellow board member Jean Kitchin noted that Leggett’s age, 37, would help bring more diversity to the board.

“It will be good to have the perspective of someone on the board who is younger and has young children,” Kitchin said. “She's also very engaged and detail-oriented.”

When Leggett’s appointment won final approval at last week’s county commissioner’s meeting, Robbie Davis, chairman of the Nash County Board of Commissioners, thanked Leggett for her willingness to serve in that role.

“I am sure you will serve us well. It is a difficult appointment and I appreciate your willingness to do that,” Davis said.

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