Joann Anderson

Senior Advisor

Bellarmine University

MSN, Nursing Administration

Joann Anderson is a 45-year industry veteran who has navigated practically every leadership role in both for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare. Starting her career as a bedside RN, Joann went on to serve for a quarter-century as a health system president/CEO – 10 years in Kentucky and 15 years in North Carolina.

Rural healthcare is a passion for Joann. Having grown up in rural Appalachia, where access to healthcare was extremely limited, Joann made the choice to devote her entire career to rural hospitals and health systems. She has worked extensively with state and federal agencies to improve access to care for diverse populations in rural communities, and she was one of just 29 leaders selected by the AHA Board of Trustees to serve on the Task Force on Ensuring Access in Vulnerable Communities.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, when her rural hospital was overwhelmed with patients necessitating a mobile morgue, Joann gained national attention for her outspoken support of vaccines in a county where vaccination rates were among the lowest in the state.

In addition to her executive roles, Joann through the years has served as chair of the NCHA Board of Trustees; chair of the AHA’s Section for Small or Rural Hospitals; and North Carolina Regent for the American College of Healthcare Executives. In recognition of her national leadership, she was named by Becker’s as a Top 50 rural hospital CEO.

Today, Joann continues to serve on multiple boards that align with her interest in rural communities, including Campbell University and Appalachian Regional Healthcare. As a Senior Advisor at Ascendient, her consulting practice is focused on Leadership Development and Rural Healthcare Operations.

In her free time, Joann enjoys spending time with her two sons and 7 grandchildren.

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them."

– Maya Angelou