Nursing Leadership

Get to know your nursing leaders.


Tonia Hale, DNP, MAOM, BSN, RN
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer
Blue Ridge Regional Hospital

Tonia W. Hale is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer for Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine. Tonia is a proven leader with more than 32 years of progressive healthcare experience. A native of East Tennessee, she holds an associate’s degree in nursing from Walters State Community College, a baccalaureate degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in organizational management from Tusculum University and a doctor of nursing practice degree in executive leadership from East Tennessee State University. She is currently a resident of Burnsville.


Christina Harwood, MBA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Chief Nursing Officer

Harwood has been a nurse for 21 years with 15 of those years in the post-acute setting of home health where she started as a visiting case manager. She most recently served as the Clinical Services Director in Med-Surg, ICU, and PCU areas. Before being asked to take this leadership position in the acute care setting, Harwood served as a home health director for four years. She has also held several  leadership roles in the post-acute setting.

Harwood has her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Mount Olive and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.  She has a Master of Science in Nursing from Western Governors University and serves on the board of directors for the North Carolina Organization of Nursing Leaders.


Tom Neal, RN, MBA, MHA
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

Tom Neal, RN, MBA, MHA, serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. Tom is a proven leader with more than 30 years of progressive healthcare experience and has a diverse skill set in acute care, behavioral health and post-acute operations.

Tom most recently held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Community Health Systems (CHS). During his time with CHS, he served as Chief Executive Officer of both Berwick Hospital Center in Berwick, Pennsylvania, and Greenbrier Valley Medical Center, Ronceverte, West Virginia. As CEO of Berwick Hospital Center, Tom helped to rebuild their primary care physician base and also led efforts to bring about significant improvements in patient experience scores, safety and quality outcomes.

Tom has an MBA from the University of Louisville, MHA from the California College of Health Sciences, BSN from Regents College of New York and an ADN from Jefferson Community College.


Carol Wolfenbarger, MSN, RN, FACHE
Mission Hospital McDowell 

Wolfenbarger is board certified in Healthcare Management and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). For more than three decades she has served hospitals and health systems in east Tennessee, most recently as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Executive at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Jefferson City, Tennessee. In that role her accomplishments included achieving Top 100 Hospitals designation three years in a row, and achieving Top Performer status from The Joint Commission for two consecutive years.
She previously held leadership positions at Morristown Hamblen Healthcare System in Morristown, Tennessee, and Cherokee Health Systems in Talbott, Tennessee. Wolfenbarger also served for several years as instructor/adjunct faculty for first- and second-year RN associate degree students at Walters State Community College in Morristown, Tennessee. Wolfenbarger holds both bachelors and masters of science degrees in nursing from the University of Tennessee.


Melanie Wetmore, RN, DNP, CEN, NE-BC, CPPS
Chief Nursing Officer
Mission Hospital

Wetmore became the Chief Nursing Officer for Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in June 2018. Before joining Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, Wetmore served as the Assistant Chief Nursing Officer for Oak Hill Hospital. With over 23 years of experience in emergency care and nursing leadership, she began her career in Rochester, NY. She served in emergency nursing in Torrance, California, Tucson, Arizona, and Tampa, Florida.

Wetmore holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the State University of New York College at Brockport in Brockport, New York. She attained a Master of Science degree in nursing leadership from Jacksonville University. She completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Wetmore is a Board-Certified Nurse Executive, Certified Emergency Room Nurse, holds a certification in advanced cardiac life support, basic life support, certified professional in patient safety, and pediatric advanced life support. She is also a trauma nursing course educator.


Michele Pilon, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC
President and Chief Nursing Officer
Transylvania Regional Hospital

Pilon’s career began with bedside nursing, which continues to reinforce her commitment to excellence in the healthcare profession.
Pilon has over 10 years of leadership experience including Memorial Hospital of Martinsville in Martinsville, Virginia, where she served as Chief Nursing Officer; Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville, where she served as Chief Nurse Executive; Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, where she served as Vice President of Patient Care Services and CNO; and Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee, Florida, where she was Assistant CNO.
Pilon obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Akron in Ohio and her master’s degree in health services administration from the University of St. Francis in Illinois. Pilon is also a board certified nurse executive.


Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer

Clint Kendall, FACHE, MBA, MSN, BSN, RN, serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of Angel Medical Center.

Prior to joining Mission Health, Clint held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Andalusia Health, LifePoint Healthcare, in Andalusia, AL, where he oversaw strategic planning and overall management of a 113-bed acute care facility. He also provided oversight of Andalusia Physician Services in South Central Alabama. He believes in promoting transparent communication among providers and employees, and has earned high marks for patient care, safety, culture of excellence and employee satisfaction.

Clint earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Nursing, and Health Care Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Carolina University.

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