Michael Smith Selected as New CEO for CarolinaEast Health System

Michael Smith and family photo
(L) Michael Smith – (R) Smith Family

Michael Smith, who has served as Vice President of Physician Practice Management at CarolinaEast since August 2010, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of CarolinaEast Health System.

David L. Blain, Chairman of the CarolinaEast Health System Board of Directors, made the CEO selection announcement Tuesday following a Special Meeting of the Board.

“The entire Board is looking forward to working with Michael as the Health System’s new CEO. We expect that he will be able to seamlessly transition to his new role and build on our strong foundation of quality, patient-first health care,” said Blain. “His experience will be vital as we continue to expand our partnership with UNC Health and position CarolinaEast as a regional health care hub.”

Smith succeeds Ray Leggett, who announced his retirement in January and whose last day will be June 30, 2022. “I so love this Organization and especially our Staff,” said Leggett. “It was really important to me that our Board select someone who will love this Organization and the Staff as much as I do. I think they have done just that with the selection of Michael Smith. He has been a part of our Admin Team here for more than a decade and I am confident that he will do an excellent job in this role.”

Smith is a New Bern native and holds degrees in accounting from University of North Carolina Greensboro and economics from Wake Forest University. He is a certified public accountant and worked for several accounting firms prior to coming to CarolinaEast in 2010. As the Vice President of Physician Practice Management, Smith has been responsible for managing, attracting, and retaining quality physicians from the best programs in the country.

Smith is directly responsible for the recruitment and retention of both the cardiovascular and structural heart team at CarolinaEast and led the team to receive the only Cardiovascular Center of Excellence (CVCE) accrediation in North Carolina from the American Heart Association. Smith’s position on the CarolinaEast Leadership Team for the past 12 years has also allowed him to play an instrumental role in successfully negotiating CarolinaEast’s affiliation agreement with UNC Health.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve in this leadership role in a growing and dynamic health care system that includes the hospital where I was born,” said Smith. “I look forward to working with the CarolinaEast Board, our administrative leaders, outstanding physicians, and our very capable and dedicated staff to continue to serve our community and region.”

Smith is heavily involved in the Eastern North Carolina community as he currently serves as a Corporate Board Member and current Board Chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain, the CarolinaEast liaison to Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune for physician support, and the Finance Committee Chair at The Epiphany School of Global Studies. He is the father of three grown children.

By Brandy Popp, Director, Public Relations, CarolinaEast Health System