Blue Ridge Region AHEC – Shenandoah Valley
Capital Region AHEC – Richmond Metro and surrounding areas
Eastern Virginia Region AHEC – Southeast Virginia and Peninsula
Northern Virginia Region AHEC – Northern Virginia
With the departure of Executive Director Keisha Smith from the Authority, R. Neal Graham has assumed the role of Interim Executive Director. Mr. Graham is a familiar face to many in the community health care arena having served in several executive and management positions over the years. Most recently, he was the Chief Executive Officer for the Virginia Community Health Care Association for 19 years. Prior to that engagement he worked for the Virginia Department of Health as the Director of Tobacco Use Control Programs from 1992 to 2001.
From 2013 to 2019 Mr. Graham served on the VHWDA Board of Directors as the Treasurer and assisted in the formation of the Virginia Health Workforce Foundation. At the Authority his priority will be the development and submission of the Health Resources & Services Administration Area Health Education Centers Program grant application and the coordination of the search for the next Executive Director.
Keisha L. Smith, Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority’s Executive Director since 2016, has accepted a new position and will be leaving the organization this month to relocate to Atlanta. Under her leadership the Authority has expanded partnerships, launched new initiatives and become a recognized leader in the development of the health workforce pipeline. Ms. Smith has keenly focused on expanding the reach of the organization and actively recruited new organizations and institutions to participate.
Senator George Barker, Chair of the VHWDA Board of Directors says, “We are very appreciative for the years of service Keisha provided, her leadership and commitment to the program, and her dedication to the Commonwealth of Virginia. We wish her all the best in her new endeavor.
VHWDA is excited to announce Harrison Hayes as its new Executive Director! Harrison has spent that last four years at VCU Health as the Director of Workforce Development. In 2021, VCU awarded him the Professional Integrity Award for his work in developing a workforce development model to help address regional labor needs. He has presented this model at the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities’ national conference and regularly represents health care industry in regional workforce development discussions. Harrison holds a Master of Education from VCU, and a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University.