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Hugh Tilson, Jr.
Hugh Tilson, Jr.

Hugh Tilson, Jr., JD, MPH, has been named Director of the North Carolina Health Education Centers (NC AHEC). Kevin FitzGerald has served in the role on an interim basis since May.

Tilson has extensive experience in health care, including particular expertise in hospital and provider issues, health policy development, and NC’s Medicaid Transformation.

Over the course of more than 20 years, Tilson served in roles of increasing responsibility at the North Carolina Hospital Association. He first joined the organization in 1996 as Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, eventually becoming the group’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In addition, he spent a year as Interim President of the organization, which promotes improved delivery of quality and affordable healthcare in North Carolina.

“AHEC is an institution that all North Carolinians should be proud of, serving as an invaluable educational and operational support resource for medical providers in all stages of their careers – from students to veteran community doctors,” said William L. Roper, MD, MPH, CEO of UNC Health Care and Dean of the UNC School of Medicine. “Hugh’s expertise in healthcare leadership and coalition building will position the organization for continued success and I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Most recently, Tilson has operated Tilson Solutions, offering strategic planning, public affairs, and other consulting services to a range of clients. He has also worked with Cansler Collaborative Resources as a consultant.

“NC AHEC is a gem. I am excited to help build and educate North Carolina’s health care workforce. As health care continues to change, I look forward to working with AHEC partners across the state to assure high quality health care, especially for vulnerable populations and under-served communities,” said Tilson.

NC AHEC is a statewide network founded in 1972 to improve the supply, distribution, quality, diversity, and retention of the state’s health workforce, with a focus on addressing the needs of underserved populations, promoting primary care and prevention and improving the quality of health care. AHEC has nine regional AHEC centers, each of which is governed by an independent board or are part of a larger academic health system. Each regional AHEC provides continuing professional development, support for community preceptors, health careers exposure, library services, and practice support to primary care providers in their regions; six of the nine regions sponsor residency programs in primary care or needed specialties. AHEC’s overall vision is to help transform health education and services, working across professions, across the continuum of care and across the state.

The primary responsibilities of the Program Director include providing overall direction for NC AHEC, overseeing the organization’s budget and program office, managing health workforce planning and development initiatives across a range of health professions, fostering collaboration among academic programs and organizations across the state, and representing the organization on the state and national level.

Tilson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the UNC School of Law. He holds a Masters of Public Health from Harvard.