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Avery County Healthcare Leader Retiring After More Than Three Decades of Service

After working in healthcare in Avery County for more than 34 years, Carmen Lacey, President of Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital (CMH), is retiring.

Lacey began her career in 1987 as part of the first Pharmacy Technician Certification program at Sloop Memorial Hospital in Crossnore. While working in the Pharmacy Department she was inspired to pursue a career in nursing. “I saw what nursing really meant at Sloop through several role models — and determined that was what I wanted to do,” Lacey says. 

Within six months, she was a charge nurse, and eventually became the Assistant Director of Nursing. She worked there until Sloop and CMH came together in the new hospital in Linville in 1999. Five years later, CMH became part of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. 

Through all of this transition, Lacey rose in the ranks and managed several departments including the Medical Surgical Unit, The New Life Center, Emergency Department, and the Operating Room. She also served as Director of Nursing before being promoted to President of CMH in 2012. 

“I have worked with so many wonderful people over the years,” Lacey says. “I have been truly humbled by the love, dedication and compassion that our staff has shown our community and patients. My cup has been filled with the support the staff has given me throughout all of my transitions and the many changes that healthcare has undergone. I will miss the morning briefings with Stephanie Greer and Ashley Campbell. I will miss the teamwork that has been evident when a challenge is presented. Quite simply – I will miss the people.”

And the people will miss her.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System President and CEO Chuck Mantooth, who has worked with Lacey for nearly 20 years commented, “Carmen epitomizes the phrase, “servant leader.” Her genuine care and compassion for patients is unmatched. Her dedication to the community is unwavering. It has been a true pleasure to work with her.”

Lacey says in her retirement, she plans to travel and spend more time with family. Her last day in a full-time role will be January 7, 2022. In Lacey’s departure, Stephanie Greer will assume the title of Avery Market President for both Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital and Appalachian Regional Behavioral Health Hospital.