WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics announced today that April R. Cook, longtime CEO and co-founder of the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic, has been selected to succeed association CEO Randy Jordan, who plans to retire later this year.
Cook has been involved with the association since 2001 and is the first CEO to bring decades of experience running a clinic to the role. As board chair, she led a regionalization effort that has resulted in increased collaboration among clinics on initiatives to improve the delivery of services to patients.
“April was the clear choice of the board based on her 22 years of experience with free and charitable clinics and the passion and vision she brings to the role,” said board chair Tony Price. “The association under Randy’s leadership has become an increasingly valuable partner and advocate for North Carolina’s free and charitable clinics, and we look to April to continue to build on this strong foundation.”
Cook will begin participating in association planning activities immediately and is scheduled to assume the CEO post Sept. 1, allowing for a transition period of several months during which Jordan will continue to counsel Cook and serve the association and its member clinics as executive advisor.
“Free and charitable clinics play a vital role in North Carolina’s health care safety net, and Randy has done a tremendous job telling our story and strengthening our relationships with funding partners, legislators and other stakeholders,” Cook said. “I look forward to helping members achieve our shared mission of providing access to high-quality, affordable health care for the uninsured and underserved.”
Since being named CEO in 2016, Jordan and his staff have built the association into an effective ally for its 72 member clinics, which offer primary care, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health and other services at low or no cost to North Carolina’s uninsured and underinsured residents. He announced this spring he planned to retire by the end of the year.
The association was instrumental in securing more than $27 million in state COVID-19 relief funding over the past two years to help clinics weather the pandemic, which dramatically reduced local fundraising and the supply of volunteer health care professionals – two critical lifelines for clinic operations.
During Jordan’s tenure, the association also launched several initiatives targeting unmet health care needs of the uninsured and underserved – including dental care and behavioral health – and has taken a leadership role in focusing the response of free and charitable clinics to health equity issues.
“It has been a privilege to work so closely with our member clinics on the cause of providing health and social services to the uninsured and underserved,” Jordan said. “The work that each of our clinics do in their communities every day is amazing, and I’m confident that under April’s leadership the association will continue to be a strong partner that can enable and enhance their success.”
About North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics
The North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics supports 72 member clinics in expanding access to health care, reducing health disparities and improving the health of uninsured and underinsured individuals. Member clinics are a vital part of North Carolina’s safety net, providing care for 80,000 patients in 85 of the state’s 100 counties, including primary and specialty medical care; dental care; pharmacy services; optometry; behavioral health care; lab tests and hospital referrals. The association supports member clinics with education, advocacy, research, funding and collaboration, and promotes quality health care for all North Carolinians. Learn more at www.ncafcc.org.