Local Healthcare Leader Recognized as Distinguished Alumni

Posted on May 25, 2017

Joan H. Evans, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Transformation for Cone Health received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNCG during a special event on May 22.

“Joan has been a force for transformation and innovation at Cone Health, and nationally within the healthcare industry,” said Bryan School Dean McRae Banks. “She has had a profound and positive impact on the organization in every role she has held, obviously of increasing importance as she progressed through the organization. As a member of our Board of Advisors, she has been a strong supporter of, and advocate for, the Bryan School. Most importantly, she embodies three of the four pillars of our educational approach: innovation, organizational sustainability, and ethics. Joan is a great example of the type of person we want all our alumni to become.”

Evans spent the first three years of her undergraduate education at UNCG, where she was a merit scholar. After deciding to pursue certification in physical therapy she transferred to the Medical College of Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University), where she earned a B.S. in Physical Therapy. Within five years of beginning her career as a staff physical therapist, she was promoted to chief of physical therapy at The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro. With more career growth came her decision to pursue her MBA at UNCG, which she completed with highest honors while working full-time. A former professor said, “Joan stands out as one of the best students I ever taught. None of her classmates were able to match her ability to juggle the coursework, career, and family demands at her level of success and with such grace.”

Joan’s career assignments grew as she continued to learn and excel as a leader. Since 2014, she has served as Executive Vice President of Innovation and Transformation, and is a member of the Cone Health executive leadership team. With her leadership, Cone Health has risen to the top 2% of U.S. News & World Report’s Common Care ranking. Joan was recognized with the Best Organization for Leadership Development Award from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership and the National Success Story Award from Press Ganey for measurable improvements in quality, service, and cost.

“I am certain that there are many accomplished and impressive alumni who were nominated for this award. However, all of us at Cone Health agree with the selection committee that there is no one more accomplished in her chosen field, more respected in her home organization and more deserving of this honor,” said Cone Health CEO Terry Akin.

In addition to her work with Cone Health, Evans is principal of South Rim Consulting, where she mentors aspiring leaders through executive coaching, strategic planning, conflict resolution, and organizational change. She is a graduate of Leadership Greensboro, serves on the Bryan School’s Dean’s Advisory Board, the Elon University Board of Advisors, and the Board of the Greensboro Science Center.


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