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Caldwell to take job with Novant foundation, leave as president of Rowan Medical Center

SALISBURY — Dari Caldwell, president and chief operating officer of Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, will take a job with the company’s nonprofit foundation, Novant announced Friday.

Caldwell has served in the top spot at Salisbury’s hospital for nine years. After her departure, Gary Blabon will become interim president and COO. Blabon currently is the senior director of professional and support services at Rowan Medical Center.

Caldwell’s new role will be vice president of the Novant Health Foundation, where she will focus on fundraising in Rowan County and beyond, a news release stated.

“We are appreciative of Dari’s many contributions to Novant Health, and we are proud to have her serve in this new role,” said Jesse Cureton, executive vice president and chief consumer officer for Novant Health. “Her new role offers the opportunity to continue to support our Rowan County community while raising much-needed funds for patients and programming in all of the communities we serve.”

In a Facebook post about her career move, Caldwell said she plans to remain in Rowan County and be involved with fundraising for the local hospital, saying the move is “the best of all worlds.”

“I am ready to learn new things and move a little closer to retirement,” Caldwell wrote.

During Caldwell’s tenure at Rowan Medical Center, a news release said, the hospital achieved significant growth and brought needed services to the community, including opening the Glenn Kiser Hospice House. Rowan Medical Center remains fully accredited by the Joint Commission and has earned some of the nation’s top honors in quality care, including stroke center certification, chest pain center accreditation, baby-friendly designation and others, a news release stated.

While Caldwell has led Rowan Medical Center, the hospital has improved its scores, especially for the emergency department, a news release said. Its ratings improved from 48% to more than 60% of patients who said they would be likely to recommend the emergency department to others.

The team has also reduced hospital-acquired infections by more than 70% in the past 18 months. Serious safety situations were reduced to zero, and the hospital team continues to see reductions in its 30-day readmission rates.

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