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Health and Human Services Makes Appointments to Improve Quality of Care

Release Date: March 24, 2009
Contact: Renee McCoy, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH – Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler announces two new appointees to improve hospital administration and quality assurance at facilities statewide.

“The positions will be the cornerstone of the team enhancing care and safety in our facilities providing the care our citizens deserve and expect,” said Sec. Cansler.

J. Luckey Welsh Jr., former president and CEO at Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, will serve as director of the state’s Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse facilities. 

Welsh said, “I look forward to embarking on a journey of excellence in the state’s facilities.”

Welsh spent the past 40 years in the health care industry, starting as a pharmacist in 1967. He received a Master of Public Health Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and pharmacy degree from Mercer University in Macon, Ga.

Cecelia Karas, a former mental health consultant with a reputation for quality service, will direct Health and Human Services Training and Quality Assurance Initiative.

“I’m looking forward to creating focus on improving care and providing a safe place for patients,” Karas said.

Karas is a former mental health trainer at Hartland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph, Mo., and director of nursing services at a metropolitan hospital in Houston. She also worked as a contract director of psychiatric services at Nash Healthcare in Rocky Mount.