Cape Fear Valley Health Increases Collaboration and Efficiency

Cape Fear Valley Health
CLIENT:Cape Fear Valley Health
LOCATION:Headquartered in Fayetteville, NC and serving Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, and beyond
SIZE:Over 5,000 employees; serving more than 1 million patients annually

Client Profile & Challenge

Cape Fear Valley Health (CFVH) is among North Carolina’s largest and busiest health systems. Rapid growth had propelled the organization from a small county hospital into a thriving health system with over 5,000 employees, 765 beds, and 935,000 annual patient visits. The organization knew that managing continued growth and responding creatively to ongoing change was critical to becoming a major regional player, especially in a time of upheaval in the healthcare industry.

The senior leadership team at CFVH was aware that innovative leadership would be critical to achieving growth and service excellence in this dynamic environment. CEO Michael Nagowski knew the organization needed a customized, comprehensive leadership development process that would positively impact performance.

Cape Fear Valley Health transforming healthcare with the Center for Creative Leadership


CCL worked with CFVH to deploy an interactive discovery and diagnostic process to identify key business challenges and the organization’s critical drivers of leadership strategy. The findings provided a foundation for CCL’s program design and for the implementation of a customized leadership development process that would align CFVH’s culture with its strategic initiatives.

Broad support surfaced for leadership development at all levels in order to improve patient care and service quality, drive superior performance, promote collaboration, manage change, and become more strategically agile.

Using the detailed data collected from discussions with the CFVH leadership team along with diagnostic tools, CCL designed a 5-day, experiential leadership development process for the top 125 leaders of the health system. Over an 18-month timeframe, all key leaders went through highly participatory sessions which included 360 assessments and personality measurement tools to help participants gain insight into their individual strengths, challenges, and long-standing patterns of behavior. Individual coaching sessions helped each leader integrate the findings into a succinct, personalized development plan.


Leaders who participated in the program say it was transformative — even life-changing — and revealed an entirely new model for individual and collective leadership. The process ignited a metamorphosis of the structurally embedded, crisis-oriented approach to leadership and moved the organization towards a proactive, empowered, and collaborative leadership practice.

CFVH’s work with CCL has resulted in a number of significant, measurable outcomes that are impacting individuals, the organization, and its mission.

Financial results — CFVH’s bottom line has improved each year since the launch of the leadership initiative. According to the CHRO, “this improvement, in part, results from a more focused, aligned leadership team resulting from the CCL experience.”

Patient Satisfaction — Patient satisfaction scores improved significantly in an 18-month period following the program — benefitting from cross-boundary leadership and a far more cohesive improvement process.

Employee Retention — Turnover, a challenge for most health systems, has dropped by 3% since the program began.

Participants are working across barriers on initiatives that are making a significant impact in advancing the organization’s agenda. And despite new challenges and issues, leaders and staff report they’re highly prepared and functioning far more efficiently than before. Senior leaders at CFVH are now confident they have the right leadership process in place to prepare new and existing leaders to address reform and the challenges of a shifting healthcare marketplace.

(Percentage of participants reporting improvement in the following areas:)
Ability to use feedback to make changes
Awareness of impact of behaviors on others
Use of communication channels
Ability to work across organizational boundaries

Participants Say

“CCL’s leadership training resonates in every area of our organization. With newly developed skills and a deep understanding of how to respond, collaborate, and creatively adapt to constant change, our leadership team is better equipped to move us into a new era of exceptional performance and outstanding service to our patients.”

Michael Nagowski

Cape Fear Valley Health

“As a large regional healthcare system, we face new challenges every day. Working with CCL has helped us fortify a strong leadership team by providing the leadership tools to perform our jobs more effectively. As a result, we’re more agile in dealing with tough challenges like patient satisfaction and other operational
issues. We’re now faster at getting to the root of problems — and developing creative solutions to solve them. That makes a real impact on our bottom line!”

William Pryor

Cape Fear Valley Health

Partner With Us

We bring over 50 years of experience partnering with top healthcare providers to achieve transformational change, organization-wide. Our healthcare leadership development solutions are designed to provide maximum learning and growth for your healthcare leaders at the individual, team, and system levels.

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