Len Preslar named Executive Director of Health Management Programs and Distinguished Professor of Practice

8.12.2009 Faculty News, General, News Release

Len B. Preslar Jr., former chief executive officer of the North Carolina Baptist Hospital, is the new Executive Director of Health Management Programs and Distinguished Professor of Practice for the Wake Forest University Schools of Business.

Among his immediate objectives, Preslar will be responsible for launching the new MBA Health Concentration at the Schools of Business. He will also oversee the growth of degree programs, as well as other educational and outreach /service initiatives with the goal of establishing Wake Forest as an educational leader for health care management and related industries. Additionally, he will be responsible for leading all academic activities at the intersection of the medical and business schools at the University.

Preslar says he has high expectations for the MBA health concentration at the Schools of Business. He looks forward to creating exciting new career opportunities for students in a variety of fields throughout the health management industry.

Preslar served North Carolina Baptist Hospital for 38 years, including 13 years as chief financial officer. He retired from the hospital in 2007 after 19 years as president and CEO. Baptist Hospital together with Wake Forest University Health Sciences comprise Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Among his proudest accomplishments at the hospital, Preslar says, was the institution of a patient survey tool to define opportunities for improvement, the organization of teams in deficient areas to define change outcomes, and the development of metrics to track accomplished goals. He set an overall goal to be in the top 10 percent nationally in Press-Ganey Patient Satisfaction surveys, and the hospital achieved and sustained a ranking in the top 2 percent nationally.

He also generated a commitment among physicians and professional staff to significantly improve clinical quality, reorganizing support staff to focus on continuous quality improvement. Preslar also proudly introduced the Six Sigma process innovation program, which led to sustainable improvements in service, quality and financial performance. In 2007, the program added $7 million to net income and provided a return on investment five times that of program costs.

Under Preslar’s leadership, Baptist evolved from a hospital to a health care system, adding long-term care and rehabilitation services, hiring primary care physicians, developing affiliations with 21 regional hospitals and acquiring MedCost, the largest PPO network in the Carolinas. The 880 bed academic hospital and its subsidiary operations have total assets of $1.5 billion, operating expenses of $875 million and 8,260 employees.

Wake Forest University Dean of Business Steve Reinemund says that Len Preslar’s extensive experience will heavily influence the development of a premier MBA health concentration at Wake Forest University.

“Len’s knowledge of the health industry will enable him to work with our talented faculty to build a program that will quickly find its place among the top in the nation. We are delighted to have him join the Schools of Business,” said Reinemund.

Preslar holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and MBA in Finance. He and his wife Jodi have been married for 38 years and have three children.