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Vidant Duplin Hospital announces Debra Hernandez as New President

October 09, 2018 posted by Laura Maready

Kenansville, N.C. – Vidant Health is pleased to announce that Debra Hernandez, MHA, RN, FACHE, CENP, has been named as the next president of Vidant Duplin Hospital, effective Oct. 29.

“Debra brings so much to Duplin County and our health system. She has more than 35 years of experience in the hospital setting, from the bedside to executive offices,” said Jay Briley, president of Vidant Health Hospitals. “As inspiring as her work experience is, it is her connection with Vidant’s mission and eastern North Carolina that set her apart in the interview process. She understands the rural communities we serve and the unique opportunities we have as a health care system.”

Hernandez is familiar with Vidant, having worked at Vidant Medical Center in recent months providing clinical and operational expertise and guidance for nursing and patient services. She’s spent most of her career in North Carolina, including roles at WakeMed Health and Hospitals, Wayne Memorial Hospital and Duke University Health System. She also served Ascension Texas in the role of vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. In this role she provided guidance for the design, construction and opening of a new hospital, giving intentional focus to efficient, patient-centered care.

“I am excited to serve Vidant Duplin Hospital as its next president,” said Hernandez. “This is personal for me as eastern North Carolina is my home and health care has been my life’s passion. I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside such dedicated and resilient colleagues. If recent weeks are any indication, I am joining the ranks of an incredibly committed and talented team.”

Hernandez is filling a role left vacant by Jay Briley, who became president of Vidant Health Hospitals on June 1, 2018. Sue Taylor has been interim president over the past four months at Vidant Duplin Hospital and will resume her responsibilities as vice president of Patient Care Services.


Media contact: Laura Maready, 910-296-2908 or


About Vidant Health

Vidant Health is a mission-driven, 1,512-bed health system that annually serves more than 1.4 million people in 29 eastern North Carolina counties. The not-for-profit system is made up of more than 12,500 employees, eight hospitals, home health, hospice, wellness centers, and Vidant Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician and provider group with more than 500 providers in more than 90 locations in eastern North Carolina. Vidant is affiliated with The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. As a major resource for health services and education, Vidant has a mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit

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