Nursing Leadership

Get to know your nursing leaders


Kathleen Culhane Guyette, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and President, Regional Member Hospitals
Mission Health System

As chief clinical nursing leader, Guyette, is responsible for establishing consistent nursing practice standards across the health system. In addition to her responsibilities as the chief nurse executive for Mission Health, Guyette is leading the integration work for system clinical support services such as laboratory, rehabilitation services and pharmacy. She represents nursing staff within the health system and voices nursing perspectives within the community, governmental agencies and schools. Guyette brings more than 18 years of experience in nursing leadership. She served as the vice president and associate chief nursing officer for University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill for seven years. In this role, she led the organization through multiple clinical information technology initiatives, developed advancement and leadership initiatives for nursing, reduced costs, and produced clinical and business improvements throughout the organization while maintaining excellent relationships with physicians, employees and colleagues throughout the system. Prior to joining the University of North Carolina Hospitals, Guyette served in multiple capacities in Rochester, New York, at VIA Health, Rochester General Hospital and Strong Memorial Hospital. Guyette holds an MSN from University of Rochester and a BSN from The College at Brockport, State University of New York.


Karen Gorby, MSN, MBA, RN, CENP, FACHE
President and Chief Nursing Officer
Angel Medical Center

Gorby is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). For nearly three decades she has served hospitals and health systems in Ohio, most recently as administrator and chief nurse officer at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Urbana, Ohio. She previously held leadership positions at Springfield Regional Medical Center in Springfield, Ohio, and Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, Ohio. She reports to Kathy Guyette, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Mission Health’s Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and President, Regional Member Hospitals. Gorby received her MSN from Saint Josephs College in North Windham, Maine, and her MBA from Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio.


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.


Cathleen Adams, MBA, RN, CHPCA
Chief Nursing Officer

Cathleen Adams became CarePartners Chief Nursing Officer in October 2014. In her role, Adams is responsible for the development and overall management of post-acute nursing services throughout the organization including the establishment of nursing standards of practice as well as patient standards of care.
Adams brings more than 18 years of clinical experience and is certified as a hospice and palliative care administrator. She served as vice president of clinical services for Midwest CareCenter in Glenview, Illinois, and became the chief operating officer of the organization in December 2012, overseeing the hospice and palliative care operations. As COO, she was responsible for implementing collaborative agreements with some of Chicago’s top hospital and healthcare systems, including preferred partner relationships with Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She has worked in virtually all areas of hospice clinical management, and has worked as executive director of VistaCare in Temple, Texas, and as an executive director specialist for Odyssey Healthcare. She has had responsibilities for a variety of patient care services, such as admissions, direct patient care, education and outreach, compliance and care coordination. She also is a curriculum trainer in end-of-life nursing education.
Adams has a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, and completed her master’s degree in business administration at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. She was also a Captain in the U.S. Army and worked for the Army Nurse Corps from 2008 to 2014.


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.


Karen Olsen, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC
Chief Nurse Executive, Mission Hospital

Olsen has responsibility for nursing services and other clinical service programs for Mission Hospital and outpatient departments of the hospital. Olsen joined Mission Health in 2011 from Novant Health in Winston-Salem. She served 20 years in the U.S. Navy Reserves, retiring as a Commander in the Nurse Corps, recalled for both Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Olsen served in various nursing leadership roles across North Carolina as well as Florida. Her nursing experience includes areas of critical care, emergency services, neonatal ICU, pediatrics and medical surgical. She received the North Carolina “Great 100” nursing award in 2016. Olsen earned her BSN from Beth-El College of Nursing and her MBA in Healthcare Management from Regis University in Colorado. Olsen served as a board member for Council on Aging and currently serves as a board member for MANNA FoodBank. Her husband, Eric, is retired from the Air Force and most recently from the Winston-Salem Police Department. They have two grown, married children who reside in Tennessee and in Kentucky.


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.

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