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Rod Harkleroad to step down as leader of HRMC

Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) today announced that Rod Harkleroad, CEO of HRMC, will step down from his role, effective June 5. Harkleroad, who has been with HRMC since 2016, has been named CEO for Frye Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint facility in Hickory. Chris Fensterle, who has been serving as interim CEO at FRMC, will join HRMC as interim CEO in early June, and a national search for a permanent leader has been initiated.

“I am honored to have been part of HRMC and Haywood County for the last four years,” said Harkleroad. “We have a wonderful team of dedicated employees, physicians and volunteers with a genuine commitment to advancing the health of our community. I am so proud of our accomplishments and feel confident that the future is bright for HRMC.

Harkleroad has served as CEO of HRMC since June 2016. Prior to joining HRMC, he served as CEO of Riverview Regional Medical Center (RRMC) and Trousdale Medical Center (TMC), both part of HighPoint Health System, a regional healthcare system in Tennessee that is also part of LifePoint Health. He also has held numerous leadership positions at other LifePoint hospitals in Tennessee.  

“Rod’s departure is bittersweet,” said Mark Clasby, chair of the HRMC Board of Trustees. “While we are pleased to see Rod remain in the Duke LifePoint family, we will miss his energy and leadership, under which, our hospital has achieved and sustained tremendous advancements in quality and patient safety. Our board looks forward to working with LifePoint Health and Duke LifePoint on the search for the best executive to fill Rod’s shoes and ensure continued success for HRMC.”

A nurse by training, Harkleroad’s main focus while at HRMC was improving quality and patient satisfaction as well as expanding services to meet the needs of the community. During his tenure, the facility received numerous accolades and achievements including a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade A for the past four consecutive reporting periods. HRMC was named an Accredited Chest Pain Center in 2016 and a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) in 2019. In 2018, Harkelroad implemented the community paramedicine program with Haywood County, and in 2019, HRMC was awarded the 2018 High Five Award by LifePoint Health, which is the highest honor a LifePoint hospital can receive. 

“Our team is grateful for Rod’s service, leadership and contributions to HRMC,” said Jamie Carter, eastern division president for LifePoint Health. “We are committed to supporting HRMC through this transition and ensuring it has the support and resources needed to build upon its success and lead its continued engagement with communities across Haywood County and the surrounding region.” 

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