Betts to lead Obici Healthcare Foundation

Published 8:37 pm Friday, June 17, 2022

The Obici Healthcare Foundation’s Board of Directors has selected R. Battle Betts Jr. as the foundation’s new president and chief executive officer effective Aug. 1.

Betts succeeds Annette C. Beuchler, who was hired in late 2016. A news release about Betts’ appointment did not address the reason for a change in leadership, but Program Officer Fiona Charles told the News-Herald that Beuchler “departed” in July 2021. Christine Morris has been serving as interim CEO.

Betts joins the foundation with over 28 years of public health, finance, planning and policy experience, having served as health director of Albemarle Regional Health Services in North Carolina, where he led a staff of 260 providing health promotion and  disease prevention programs for over 162,000 residents in eight counties.


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As health director he worked with multiple North Carolina Healthy People task forces to establish the 2010, 2020 and 2030 health priorities for the state of North  Carolina. Betts was recently honored with the 2022 North Carolina Health Director of the Year award by the North  Carolina Association of Local Health Directors.

“Our Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Mr. Betts as the foundation’s new president & CEO,” Chairman Thomas L. Woodward III said in a news release. “Having successfully led public health initiatives, Mr. Betts has a deep knowledge of the health needs of rural populations. He is an exceptional leader who values community building and partnerships and will be  instrumental in advancing the foundation’s mission.”

Betts said he is “humbled by the wonderful opportunity to serve Obici Healthcare  Foundation in their mission to improve lives and health outcomes.”

“I look forward to working with the diverse and  engaged Board of Directors and highly talented staff to form new innovative partnerships in our communities and foster existing relationships to maximize available resources,” he said.

Betts holds a Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University and a Bachelor of Science in School and  Community Health from East Carolina University. He and his wife, Amanda, have two adult children.

Obici Healthcare Foundation is a private foundation established in 2006 from the sale of Louise Obici Memorial Hospital to Sentara Healthcare. Since its inception the foundation has awarded over $61 million in grants.