Leadership Promotions Kick Off 40th Year


Raleigh, NC, January 23, 2023 – The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME), which this year celebrates its 40th year of delivering unparalleled leadership in healthcare, today announced three executive promotions. Karen Southard, RN, MHA, CPHQ, was named Vice President of Quality Improvement, Priscilla Smith, RN, MS, MBA, CPHQ, was named Vice President of Program Solutions, and Dori DeJong was named Executive Director of the CCME Foundation.

"I'm thrilled to announce the promotions of these leaders, reflecting our continued growth and commitment to healthcare quality as we mark four decades in business," says Steven Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer of CCME. "The advancement of key leaders is critical to our future as we build on our foundation of excellence to create strong partnerships and forge new possibilities in the delivery of care and improving health in our communities."

Karen SouthardIn her new role as Vice President of Quality Improvement, Southard will continue to build on her 30-year success in healthcare Quality Improvement by expanding CCME's Quality Improvement solutions. Prior to leading those efforts, Southard was Vice President of Quality and Clinical Performance Improvement at the North Carolina Healthcare Association.

Priscilla SmithAs Vice President of Program Solutions, Smith brings more than 35 years in healthcare operations and quality program oversight to the company's expansion of state Medicaid External Quality Review, Fraud, Waste, and Abuse programs, and quality program solutions. Before joining CCME as Director of State Review Services in 2021, Smith was Behavioral Health System of Care Director for Magellan Health in Virginia.

Dori DeJongAs Executive Director of the nonprofit CCME Foundation, which provides grants that impact access to healthcare, DeJong's responsibilities will expand to include oversight and administration of the Foundation. Prior to joining CCME in 2021 as Executive Operations Administrator, DeJong worked in the North Carolina judicial branch and as a military intelligence officer in the US Army.