MAHEC names William Hathaway, MD as next CEO

Press release from Mountain Area Health Education Center

After conducting a nationwide search, the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) is pleased to announce William Hathaway, MD, will succeed Jeffery Heck, MD, who announced his retirement in August after leading the organization through a decade of unprecedented growth. Dr. Hathaway will assume the role of CEO beginning February 7, 2022, and already has a strong understanding of MAHEC’s mission, having served as a member of the not-for-profit organization’s board of directors since 2014 and working closely with MAHEC to expand graduate medical education programs and clinical training opportunities in the region.

“Dr. Hathaway is extraordinarily qualified to lead our rapidly growing organization as we strive to meet our region’s healthcare needs during this challenging and exciting time,” shared Dr. Heck. “He has helped guide MAHEC’s mission and programs for many years as a board member and now as our board chair. His steady presence as chief medical officer for Mission Health during the transition to HCA Healthcare and throughout the pandemic has been a great benefit to our community. I know he will greatly enhance our ability to transform health across Western North Carolina.”

Dr. Hathaway participated in a national search process led by MAHEC faculty, staff, and regional and state leaders who conducted a thorough and diverse search process to ensure MAHEC’s board could select the best candidate to build on the strong foundation MAHEC has created over 47 years. This foundation is designed to promote regional health and includes robust residency and fellowship programs, hospital and health system partnerships, statewide programming through the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers, academic programs affiliated with the University of North Carolina, and more than 100 regional and statewide partnerships.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to join the MAHEC family as the next CEO. I’ve come to know MAHEC well over the past 22 years while working and living in Western North Carolina. I have been awed by the organization’s commitment to patient care, serving the underserved, educating the next generation of healthcare workers, and meaningfully improving the health and wellness of our 16-county community,” noted Dr. Hathaway. “The opportunity to advance these goals is something I could not pass up. I want to thank Dr. Heck for his transformational tenure at MAHEC. He has set the stage for unparalleled organizational success, and he will be missed dearly. I am grateful for my time with Mission Health and HCA Healthcare and look forward to our continued partnership in my new role.”

Dr. Hathaway has been a practicing cardiologist in Asheville since 1999, but his ties to North Carolina extend back to his residency training at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he also trained in cardiovascular medicine. During his 23 years at Asheville Cardiology Associates and Mission Health, his leadership roles have ranged from chief medical officer and chief of staff to chief of cardiovascular services. Dr. Hathaway is dedicated to advancing health and equity in Western North Carolina and currently serves on the boards of the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, Pisgah Legal Services, YMCA of Western North Carolina, and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County in addition to MAHEC.

“We are deeply indebted to Bill Hathaway for his years of service at Mission Health and are incredibly happy to see him take this next step in his career as CEO of MAHEC,” shared Greg Lowe, president of HCA Healthcare North Carolina Division. “Bill has cared for this community in many roles at Mission, and we are grateful that through our long-time partnership with MAHEC, we will continue to work together for the health and well-being of the areas we are privileged to serve.”

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