Title: CEO (retired)
Organization: Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians
What the nominator said: “J. Dale Key is the longtime CEO of Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians and has worked tirelessly behind the scenes since the early 1990s providing administrative support and strategic guidance to the sole provider of Emergency Medicine services throughout the Cape Fear region. His energies and efforts are tireless and he has conducted himself with honesty and integrity as our region has gone through myriad challenges on the healthcare landscape. Key is retiring after a long and dignified career. He is an unsung hero in the healthcare community and everyone who has been positively been touched by the care delivered in our community’s emergency departments owes him some degree of gratitude as his steadfast and principled leadership has provided the backbone for operational support to deliver outstanding emergency care to our community 24 hours/day for the last two decades.
“Those of us who know him well know him as a kind and humble man who might be embarrassed by the attention and acknowledgment, but we also know that much of our success is due to his efforts, expertise and dedication.”
– Brian McGrath, emergency physician and officer of ECEP
Title: Director of facility services
Organization: Wilmington Health
What the nominator said: “Ian has been with Wilmington Health since 2018, and I believe the heroic things he has done is to push forward even if there are heavy headwinds, such as hurricanes, that have impacted our area. He is someone we can trust to be there when an emergency arises with a strategic action plan that we can trust will support us all. I can’t speak for others, but I can say that Ian has an outgoing personality and I see how he connects with others. I value his compassion that he shows to others within the Facility Services department and outside the department. Ian had only been with WH a few weeks when his young son passed unexpectedly. I watched Ian come through that grief and devastation and not one time did I ever see him take it out on others within our department. Ian is part of F3 Cape Fear, for which he does volunteer work, as well as a foster parent to two young children. Ian is an incredible community hero, sacrificing daily, to provide safety, security, and access in our practice locations, along with being so generous in his time that he also provides for his community and those in need.”
– Michael Christopher, facility services supervisor, Wilmington Health
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