Warden Receives Award


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Wilkes Journal-Patriot Staff


William C. (Bill) Warden Jr. of Wilkesboro was presented Tuesday night with the 2010 Trustee Service Award from the North Carolina Hospital Association. Warden was one of six hospital trustees in the state to receive the award this year.

A plaque symbolizing the award was presented to Warden by Bill Pully, president of the hospital association, at the October meeting of the Wilkes Regional Medical Center hospital operating board, of which Warden is a member.

"Bill has a unique talent for leadership," said Pully. "His vision of what health care needs to be for Wilkes County residents put him in a position of even broader perspective. He is a tremendous example for all those across the state who aspire to serve in positions of trustee leadership."

Warden's nomination is unusual because it was submitted by two hospitals, North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wilkes Regional Medical Center. Warden has served on the governing boards of each organization and the board of directors of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

The retired executive vice president of Lowe's Companies, Warden has been a leader in business and community organizations for many years. He has been a director of Bassett Furniture, Ruddick Corporation (Harris Teeter), and Great State Bank.

In Wilkes County, he has been a director of the Wilkes Family YMCA and the Wilkes County Public Library board, the Wilkes Community College Endowment, The Health Foundation, and the National Committee for the New River. He has also served as a deacon in Wilkesboro Baptist Church.

"Bill is a pillar of our community, and his influence on the delivery of health care in Wilkes County will continue for generations," said Gene Faile, chief executive officer of Wilkes Regional. "He has led by his personal example of adhering to the highest standards of conduct and stewardship."


After receiving the award, Warden said, "Serving on these two board has been a great privilege, and I feel as though it gives me a bigger reward to serve than I could ever give back to these organizations."

On the Wilkes Regional board, Warden was a leader in changing the structure of the hospital, and forging a collaborative relationship with the Town of North Wilkesboro (as a member of the hospital advisory committee which was created in 2004 to examine the governance and bylaws of the town-owned hospital), Wake Forest Baptist and Carolinas Healthcare System (CHS). Wilkes Regional is managed by CHS. "Today, Wilkes Regional is on solid financial ground, thanks to Bill's leadership in championing the change," added Faile.

"I have worked with Bill in a professional setting as well as volunteer setting," said Arnold Lakey, board chair of Wilkes Regional, "and I find him to be a cut above."
Warden was instrumental in the reorganization of Wake Forest Baptist, which is operating under one CEO for the first time. N.C. Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences comprise the medical center, the largest employer in the Piedmont Triad and the only academic medical center in the Piedmont and western regions of the state.

"Bill has been a leader among our governing boards in integrating the School of Medicine and hat will enable the medical center to become a preeminent organization in education, research, clinical care and community service," said John MD, CEO of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "I value his insight and appreciate his friendship."

"Both of these institutions are where they are today because of people like Bill. In cooperation with CHS, we are already making plans for bigger and better things in Wilkes County."

Warden has served on the board of trustees of Baptist Hospital for the past 10 years and has been chairman for the past two years. Warden was seated as a member of the new WRMC hospital operating board in May 2006.

"Bill understands the role of the medical center in bridging the gap between Wake Forest Baptist and the community hospitals in our region," said Donny Lambeth, president of North Carolina Baptist Hospital. "The medical center wants to work with those hospitals to strengthen their services."

Warden is a native of Sparta. He received his bachelor's degree and law degree from Wake Forest University. He and his wife, Carol, are parents of three children.
Pully noted that there are 1,800 hospital trustees in the state.

The presentation to Warden was made here last night since Warden missed the state awards ceremony on May 1 in order to attend the MerleFest.

Warden told the association members attending the meeting last night, "I apologize for missing the state meeting, but if you'll come up to the MerleFest some time, you'll understand why I wasn't there."

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