North Carolina AHEC Program
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MAHEC Names Jeffery Heck, MD, as President and Chief Executive Officer

Jeffrey Heck, MDThe Mountain AHEC (MAHEC) Board of Directors has selected Jeffery Heck, MD, as the new president and CEO. Heck has more than 30 years of health care experience and is currently the associate dean of the UNC School of Medicine Asheville Campus. He succeeded Teck Penland, PhD, who led MAHEC since 1997 and recently retired (see story below).

Before coming to Asheville in 2004, Heck (photo right) was a professor of family medicine at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine for more than 20 years and also served as the director of their Family Medicine Residency Program. He is the founder of Shoulder to Shoulder, a non-profit charitable organization that seeks to address the health, education, economic, and social needs of underserved communities in the poorest rural areas of Honduras.

Heck assumed his new position at MAHEC on February 6, 2012.

“We were able to attract a group of top-notch candidates for the CEO position because of MAHEC’s reputation and the organization’s success under Dr. Penland,” said MAHEC Board Chair Dale Fell, MD. “Jeff’s extensive experience made him an ideal choice to lead MAHEC in an ever-changing health care environment. He has a proven track record of building relationships, inspiring teamwork among leadership, understanding the importance of partners and never losing sight of the mission. As a seasoned health care executive, Jeff brings not only impressive experience but an energizing vision that will add to the strong foundations already in place at MAHEC.”

Penland Retires as MAHEC President and CEO

Teck Penland, PhDTeck Penland, PhD, arrived on the scene as MAHEC’s president and CEO in August 1997. From 1986-1992 he was deputy director of Northwest AHEC and prior to that was assistant professor in the School of Business Administration at UNC-Greensboro. From 1992 until 1997, Penland was a senior management advisor for the Ministry of Health in Bahrain.

Penland (photo right) brought a wealth of experience and skills with him to MAHEC and has been an integral part of its growth and prosperity during the past 15 years. During his tenure, MAHEC has played a vital role in improving the health of western North Carolina by providing outstanding educational programs and services in collaboration with regional partners. A retirement reception was held in Penland’s honor on January 27, 2012, with 150 in attendence.