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Executive Team

David Strong
Chief Operating Officer of UNC Health Care - System Affiliations
President of Rex Healthcare

David serves as chief operating officer of UNC Health Care for system affiliations. In this role, David provides leadership and direction for all community hospitals and regional care sites, including Rex Healthcare, High Point Regional Hospital, Pardee Hospital, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Chatham Hospital, Johnston Health, and Nash Health Care. He is responsible for the development, implementation and achievement of strategic plans and partnership opportunities with health systems and physicians. 

David became president of Rex in September 2004 and oversees all aspects of the health system's operations and its 5,300 co-workers at six campuses across Wake County. David brings a hands-on leadership style that focuses on quality care, patient safety, technology, physician loyalty and community involvement.

During David's tenure at Rex, the hospital was named a Thomson-Reuters Top 100 Hospital and a Thomson-Reuters Quality Improvement Leader. Rex also was named one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare magazine for three out of four years. And, Rex was named by Becker's Hospital Review to the list of 50 Best Hospitals in America.

David serves on the boards of Rex Healthcare, High Point Regional Hospital, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Chatham Hospital, and Johnston Health.  He currently serves CHRISTUS Health as a member of the CHRISTUS Continuing Care Board of Directors and the CHRISTUS Health Finance & Strategy Committee. He also is currently the Vice Chair of the North Carolina Symphony and is on the boards of the North Carolina Hospital Association and First Citizens BancShares – Triangle region. He previously served as chair of the American Heart Association’s Triangle Heart Ball, Chair of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Triangle Light the Night Walk, Chair of the Triangle United Way Campaign, Chair of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chair of the Greater Raleigh Chamber Governmental Affairs Committee.


Steve Burriss
Chief Operating Officer, Rex Healthcare

Steve Burriss serves as chief operating officer at Rex Healthcare, an affiliate of UNC Health Care. Since April 2012, he has overseen all operations at the 660-bed organization, at six locations in Wake County, with more than 5,400 co-workers.

Prior to his role as COO, Burriss served as senior vice president of operations and ambulatory services, managing a variety of areas, including Rex Cancer Center, heart and vascular services, physician services and ambulatory services. Under Burriss’ leadership, Rex added three new health campuses, two joint ventured surgery centers and more than 150 physicians.

Burriss joined Rex Healthcare in 1998 as director of human resources and was later promoted to vice president of human resources. Burriss was named a “COO to know” by Becker’s Hospital Review in 2013 and received recognition from the Triangle Business Journal as “40 Under 40.” During his tenure, Rex was highlighted as one of the Top 50 Hospitals in the U.S. by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Burriss takes an active role in the Triangle community. He has served on the executive leadership team for the American Heart Association, the board for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the executive leadership committee for Light the Night Walk, the board of directors for the Cary Chamber of Commerce and the Healthcare Works Coalition. He will serve as the 2015 March of Dimes’ Triangle March for Babies Chairman.

Burriss earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and an MBA from Marshall University.


Linda Butler, M.D.

Vice President of Medical Affairs/Chief Medical Officer/Chief Medical Information Officer

Linda is responsible for Rex's medical staff, quality programs and regulatory compliance. She was a pediatrician in Wake County for more than 13 years before joining Rex as chief medical officer in 2009.

Linda serves as a John Rex Endowment Board Member and Finance Committee Member. She is also on the boards of Raleigh Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Commission and Capital Care Collaborative. In 2012, she participated in Leadership NC as a member of class XIX. Rex CMO Linda Butler named  "100 Hospital and Health System CMOs to Know," by Becker’s Hospital Review in 2013 and 2014.


She earned degrees in Nuclear Engineering from N.C. State University and University of Florida, and received her medical training at UNC Chapel Hill.

Linda enjoys cycling, traveling and cooking .


Jayne Byrd, R.N., M.S.N.

Vice President, Surgical Services

Jayne joined Rex in 1973 and is responsible for overall management of Rex's surgery program.

In addition to professional memberships, she serves on the Advisory Board of OR Manager Inc., and as board secretary of the Pretty In Pink Foundation.

Jayne also supports breast cancer initiatives, including the Susan Komen 3 Day Walk and is an active supporter and volunteer with AAU women's basketball.

Jayne received her nursing education at Wake Forest School of Medicine and MSN from UNC Chapel Hill.

She is a self-proclaimed beach bum and boater.


Don Esposito
General Counsel

Don is responsible for determining, managing and directing Rex's legal affairs. He joined Rex in 2006.

He serves on the Board of Directors of the Wake Education Partnership and is active with the N.C. Bar Association. 

Don earned his bachelor's degree from UNC Chapel Hill and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Don enjoys watching college football and basketball games and youth soccer games with his three daughters.


Michelle Gray
Vice President of Information Technology/Regional Chief Information Officer

Michelle serves as CIO for Rex and as a Regional CIO for UNC Health Care with responsibility for Caldwell Memorial Hospital, Chatham Hospital, High Point Regional Health, and UNC Physician Network. She provides vision and leadership for developing and implementing information technology strategies and initiatives with a focus on community hospitals and ambulatory practices.

In addition to professional memberships, she serves on the Finance Committee for the Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue.

Michelle received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, volunteering, and attending sporting events.


Sylvia Hackett, SPHR

Vice President of Human Resources and the Rex Healthcare Foundation

Sylvia oversees human resources, volunteer services and fundraising efforts for Rex Healthcare. She joined Rex in 1999.

She serves on the Executive Committee of the Greater Triangle United Way Board and volunteers with the Wake Boys and Girls Club. She is aso a board member of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Sylvia received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from N.C. Wesleyan College and a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership and Change from Pfeiffer University.

Sylvia enjoys spending time with her family. A music lover, she plays keyboards and is now expanding her musical horizons by learning to play the guitar.


R. Erick Hawkins
System Vice President Heart and Vascular Services, UNC Health Care System

Erick leads UNC's heart and vascular service line. He joined Rex in 2003.

Erick serves as board President for Hospice of Wake County.

He received a bachelor's degree from Yale University and an MBA from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. 

He enjoys playing golf and pulling for the Pittsburgh Steelers.


Chad T. Lefteris
Vice President of Operations

Chad is responsible for construction and design, real estate portfolio, facilities, culinary services, environmental services, ambulance transport, security, customer service, operational improvement, and the oncology service line. He joined the organization in 2007.

He is involved in the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, serves on the City of Raleigh's Unified Development Ordinance Advisory Group, and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Chad received his bachelor's degree in business administration/healthcare management from Appalachian State University, and his Masters of Health Administration from Medical University of South Carolina.

Chad enjoys mountain biking, snow skiing, hiking, and tennis. 


 

Joel Ray
Vice President of Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer

Joel received his BSN from Arkansas State University and MSN in Adult-Health Nursing from Arizona State University. He served in U.S. Air Force Medical Service for 26 years before retiring as Colonel in 2008 and then served as the Director of Surgery Services at UNC Hospitals for five years.

Joel is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and a published contributor to nursing journals.

Joel enjoys music, travel, cooking and spending time with family and friends.


Bob Ricker
Vice President, Rex Physician Services and Executive Operations Director of University of North Carolina Physician Network

Bob oversees efforts to partner with primary care and specialist practices for Rex Healthcare, and the University of North Carolina Health Care System. He joined Rex in 1991 as a Registered Respiratory Therapist.

Bob received a bachelor's degree from Greensboro College and an MBA from Pfeiffer University.

He enjoys hiking, fishing and his dogs.


Lisa Schiller
Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations, Community Relations and Government Affairs

Lisa leads marketing, public relations, community relations and governmental affairs efforts for Rex. She joined Rex in 2006. 

She serves on the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce's Issues and Government Affairs committees, N.C. Hospital Association Government Relations Committee, Raleigh Professional Women's Forum and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina's Board of Directors.

Lisa received her bachelor's degree in communications from James Madison University.

Lisa enjoys spending time with her daughters and husband, golfing, cooking and attending sporting events.


Bernadette Spong, C.P.A.
Senior Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer

Bernadette directs Rex's financial operations and guides the organization's strategic planning. She joined Rex as CFO in 2005.

She serves on the Elon University Love School of Business Board of Advisors and the board of the North Carolina Community Care Networks.  She also is Chair of Coastal Pines of Carolina Girl Scout Board, Treasurer of Wake County Interact Board, a member of the North State Bank West Advisory Committee and a member of the United Way of the Greater Triangle Women's Leadership Council Steering Committee. Becker's Hospital Review named Bernadette to its 2012 list, "120 Women Hospital and Healthcare Leaders to Know."

Bernadette, who is a licensed CPA, holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting from UNC-Greensboro and an MBA from Elon University.

Berndatte was honored as the 2013 Distinguished MBA Alumna of the Year for Elon University.

Bernadette enjoys golfing and boating.


Tammie Stanton, R.N.

Vice President of Post Acute Services for the UNC Health Care System

Tammie is responsible for the leadership and strategic planning for Home Health, Hospice, Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitation, and Skilled Nursing Facilities. Tammie also oversees the WakeBrook Mental Health Center in Wake County, and serves on the Wake County Mental Health Stakeholders Committee and the Crisis Cooperative Team.

She is on the UNC School of Medicine’s Innovations Committee, the N.C. Telehealth Task Force and the Geriatrics Advisory/Executive Board for UNC Department of Medicine. Tammie is also on the Board of Directors of Alliance Medical Ministry in Raleigh and the Charles House in Chapel Hill.

Outside of work, Tammie loves spending time with her family, doing yard work and learning to play golf.


Tom Williams

Vice President, Ambulatory Services

Tommy is responsible for the strategic planning, development and operations of Rex's suburban facilities. He joined Rex in 2000.

He is currently President of Knightdale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and past Chair of Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He also serves on the NC Prevention Partners Board of Directors.

Tommy earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from N.C. Wesleyan College and his Master's in Health Administration from Pfeiffer University.

Tommy enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.


 

Sean Tehrani, M.D.

Vice President, Regional Hospitalist Services

Sean oversees the Hospitalist programs at Rex and Johnston Health’s hospitals in Smithfield and Clayton. He joined Rex as Medical Director of the Hospitalist Team at Rex in 1999. He is also the Medical Director of the Information Technology Department at Rex.

He graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine. Sean completed his medical education and residency in Internal Medicine at George Washington University Medical Center.

Sean lives in Raleigh with his wife and two daughters. He plays tennis, soccer and the piano in his free time.