The Catawba Valley Health System (CVHS) Board of Trustees and several Catawba
County leaders joined together on November 28 to honor Eddie Beard who
served 33 years at CVHS, including the last four as president and CEO.
Among the honors bestowed on Beard was The Order of the Leaf Pine, the
highest civilian honor one can receive in North Carolina.
Beard also was presented a flag that has flown over the N.C. State House,
a certificate commemorating the date the flag was flown there, and a retirement
plaque signifying his 33 years of service to CVHS.
Although Beard’s official retirement date is December 31, 2022, he
was officially succeeded as president and CEO by Dennis Johnson on November 14th.
N.C. Representative Mitchell Setzer made the presentation of The Long Leaf
Pine Award on behalf of N.C. Governor Roy Cooper. Among the honors and
awards the Governor of North Carolina can bestow, none is more valued
than The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Since its creation in 1963, it has
been presented to honor persons who have a proven record of service to
the State of North Carolina or other special achievement. Upon being named
to The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the honoree receives a certificate
by which the Governor confers the recipient’s unique status.
Chris Baltz, chairman of the CVHS Board of Trustees, also made remarks
of appreciation to Beard that included dozens of noteworthy achievements
the organization has accomplished during Beard’s time as Chief Nursing
Officer, Chief Operation Officer, and Chief Executive Officer.
Although significant expansion of services was noted, as well as national
recognitions for nursing excellence and other award-winning programs,
Baltz noted, “Eddie’s most admirable achievement was leading
this organization through the pandemic, during which he and his team treated
the majority of COVID-19 patients in this county. For that we are truly
indebted to his leadership and character.”