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Search To Start For New Hospital President After Departure Of Shelbourn Stevens

By Staff Reports, posted Jun 30, 2023
Shelbourn Stevens, former president of Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the system's coastal region, appeared in a press conference in Burgaw on June 21. (Photo by Johanna F. Still)

Officials with Novant New Hanover Regional Medical Center said Friday a search for a replacement will be conducted after the abrupt departure of the center's president.

Shelbourn Stevens, who had been president of Novant Health's coastal region and Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center as of this week, "is no longer with Novant Health, and we appreciate his contributions to our organization over the years," according to a Novant spokesperson.

Stevens had been with Novant for 33 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He started his career with Novant as a respiratory therapist and served as president and COO of Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center before the sale of NHMRC to Novant.

Months after the NHRMC-Novant sale closed, Stevens was named as the coastal region’s new leader, while longtime president and CEO John Gizdic took a higher leadership role with Novant as executive vice president and chief business development officer. Gizdic is no longer based in Wilmington but remains in that role. 

Stevens’ oversight included NHRMC, Pender Medical Center and Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center. This entails an employee base of nearly 8,600 as of December; Novant is the largest employer in the region. He earned nearly $776,000 in 2021 and about $534,000 in 2020, according to a study on hospital executive compensation prepared by researchers and the North Carolina State Treasurer’s office.

First reported by WHQR Thursday evening, Stevens attended the Greater Wilmington Business Journal’s Power Breakfast Series on Thursday morning alongside other Novant leaders. Jeff Lindsay, Novant’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, was among four panelists at the breakfast event, which focused on health care in the region

Lindsay is based out of Winston-Salem where Novant is headquartered, according to his LinkedIn profile. He will lead the region in the interim during the executive search, according to the Novant spokesperson. Lindsay "has worked in healthcare for nearly 30 years and has been part of Novant Health since 1996,” the spokesperson said. 

Stevens previously told the Business Journal he came to the area in 2006. Last week, he appeared in a press conference to discuss the pending sale of Pender Medical Center in Burgaw. 

“Still trying to process it,” said New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr. 

Vice-chair LeAnn Pierce, who was sworn in in December, said she didn’t know Stevens. Chair Bill Rivenbark and Commissioner Rob Zapple didn’t immediately return requests to comment. Brian Eckel, a member of the Novant board of trustees, declined to comment. Jason Thompson, also a member of the health board, could not be immediately reached. 

The Novant spokesperson did not respond to additional questions about the sudden departure. 

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