Tony Rose Named LRU Business Leader of the Year

Tony Rose (left) and Dr. Wayne Powell, President of LRU

Tony Rose (left) and Dr. Wayne Powell, President of LRU

HICKORY, N.C. — The Lenoir-Rhyne University Business Council will honor J. Anthony (Tony) Rose, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Catawba Valley Medical Center (CVMC), as Business Leader of the Year during an awards luncheon at Moretz Mills on Wednesday, April 15, at 12:00 p.m. This event is open to the public. Reservations are required and should be made by April 8.

Rose has served as President and CEO of CVMC – the region’s only not-for-profit, public healthcare system – for 22 years. During his tenure, he has provided long-term, consistent executive leadership not common within most hospital organizations today. His influence has helped expand vital healthcare services to a significantly larger geographical footprint, providing access to high quality care for patients in Catawba, Caldwell, Alexander, Lincoln and Burke counties. With the experienced executive leadership team he developed, CVMC is carefully navigating the challenges of healthcare transformation and strategically addressing a complex regulatory environment.

Rose’s legacy is rich with examples of his commitment to preserving the cornerstone upon which the hospital, originally known as Catawba Memorial Hospital, was founded. In the 60’s, the Catawba County Board of Commissioners championed a bond referendum that secured capital funding and votes needed to construct the hospital to help meet a growing need for local medical care – thereby creating a healthcare “safety net” for the community. When Rose arrived at Catawba, serving as a “safety net” meant absorbing about $1 million per year to provide care for low-income or uninsured patients – today that number exceeds $12 million annually. At the same time, CVMC is one of Catawba County’s largest employers, with 1700 employees, up from approximately 900 when Rose arrived.

In 2014, CVMC reached a significant milestone when it received a fourth consecutive Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for nursing excellence. Considered the “gold standard” among members of the nursing community, this fourth Magnet recognition puts CVMC in the prestigious company of only 26 other hospitals in the country. The infiltration of a Magnet culture embodied by CVMC’s staff is evident in the growing number of advanced degree professionals to be found in all areas of the organization.

CVMC and Rose have responded to community needs with health programs addressing specific population health concerns including the following highlights:

  • $34 million 5-story Patient Pavilion – home to the Center for Women & Children which includes the Birthing Center, which has experienced a 40% increase in births during Rose’s tenure
  • The Pavilion also houses the Comprehensive Cancer Center’s inpatient unit and infusion treatment services, bringing together all the cancer services in one area of the hospital
  • The Pavilion is home to the region’s only Level-III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, minimizing the need for babies being transferred to Winston or Charlotte; this keeps premature or sick infants and their parents closer to home and families
  • Service lines of excellence staffed with physicians from world-class teaching hospitals such as MD Anderson, UNC Chapel Hill, and Johns Hopkins
  • A growing network of outpatient practices – Catawba Valley Medical Group includes 12 primary care practices, three specialty care practices and an urgent care
  • Ryan C. White Clinic – confidential HIV/AIDS medical care and preventative services  Catawba Valley Maternity Services – prenatal care offered by CVMC midwives in partnership with the Catawba County Public Health Department
  • Health First Center – a community outreach program that includes mobile cancer screening, classes, support groups and wellness education
  • Programs providing school nurses and athletic trainers to area schools

Prior to becoming the third CEO in CVMC’s history, Rose spent 11 years as a hospital executive in Rockledge, Florida, three years at a hospital in Tennessee and three years at a hospital in the Jacksonville, Florida area. He earned his undergraduate degree at Mt. St. Mary’s University in Maryland, and completed graduate school at George Washington University where he earned a Masters in Health Care Administration. He and his wife, Karen, have two adult children for whom they have modeled stewardship and community service. Pillars in the Hickory community, the Roses are actively involved in their church and enjoy supporting local theater and the arts. Rose is a member of the American Hospital Association and the North Carolina Hospital Association. He has served on the governing boards of many organizations including current roles on the Board of Directors for Catawba County Economic Development Council and the Boy Scouts of America.

For more information or to RSVP for the luncheon honoring Tony Rose, call or email Leeanne Kale at (828) 328-7321 or


About Lenoir-Rhyne University: Lenoir-Rhyne University was founded in 1891 and is a private, coeducational university with its primary campus in Hickory, N.C. Academic programs include more than 50 undergraduate majors and 24 graduate programs, the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, N.C., the Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia, S.C., and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C. Today, more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled across all campuses. Lenoir-Rhyne is affiliated with the N.C. Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and welcomes students from all religious backgrounds. The website is

Short URL: