Bernstein Dinner

Berstein Fellows GatheringEvent Contact:
Rachel Presslein

Each year the Foundation hosts the Jim Bernstein Health Leadership Fund Dinner & Lecture, bringing together over 300 health care professionals from all over the state of North Carolina and beyond to celebrate the legacy of Jim Bernstein and the work being done to advance health care access and community health in North Carolina. The proceeds from the event support the Jim Bernstein Health Leadership Fellows program, administered by the Foundation.

Please SAVE-THE-DATE for the 14th Annual Jim Bernstein Health Leadership Dinner taking place on October 3rd, 2019. Stay tuned for more information regarding sponsors and awardees!

If you would like to be a sponsor for the 2019 event, please contact!

Event Information

Each year the Foundation recognizes outstanding individuals at the event through the presentation of the following awards: the Jim Bernstein Community Health Career Achievement Award, the Jim Bernstein Health Leadership Distinguished Fellow Award, and the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation Community Achievement Award.

Jim Bernstein Community Health Career Achievement Award Recipients

2018: Tork Wade, MSPH

Torlen (Tork) Wade is currently Executive Vice President for Business and Provider Partnerships at Community Care (CCNC), a statewide non-profit, public-private collaboration that improves the quality of care and holds down the cost of care for 1.6 million Medicaid recipients. More than 90% of North Carolina’s primary care providers participate in CCNC. He has worked with CCNC since its earliest inception.

Tork spent 32 years at the NC Office of Rural Health in a variety of roles, including: Primary Care Systems Specialist, Assistant Director, and Director. His primary job was developing community-owned and operated primary care centers for underserved rural communities. He also worked with the Office in directing the design and development of the Carolina ACCESS program, an essential precursor to CCNC development.

He received a BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and an MSPH from the UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. Tork also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sarawak, Malaysia. He is married and lives in Raleigh with his wife Libby

2017: Dave Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP

2016: Leah Devlin, DDS, MPH

2015: Gene Cochrane, MBA

2014: Thomas Bacon, DrPH

2013: John Price, MPA

2012: Sarah Morrow, MD

2011: Olson Huff, MD

2010: Harvey Estes, MD

2009: John Frank, MBA

Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation Community Achievement Award Recipients

2018: Reverend Richard Joyner

Reverend Richard Joyner is the pastor at Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, the founder of the Conetoe Family Life Center, and the Director of Pastoral Care at Nash-UNC Health Care in Edgecombe County, NC. He was raised in Pitt County, NC and spent his childhood on farmland tended by his family of sharecroppers. Tired of the economic injustice and racial discrimination his family faced as sharecroppers, he enlisted in the Army as soon as he was eligible. Despite his determination to leave, he returned and has been serving the small, rural community of Conetoe since 2001.

Through his pastoral role, Reverend Joyner witnessed firsthand more than 30 funerals in one year for people under the age of 32, due largely to complications from chronic health problems related to obesity. This moment was pivotal in his decision to turn his focus back to farming as a means to improve the health of his community by founding the Conetoe Family Life Center in 2007. The central focus of the center is a 25 acre garden that provides approximately 60 youth the opportunity to develop leadership abilities, social skills and stress management techniques through gardening. The garden also increases access to healthy, locally grown foods to the broader County.

2017: Gayle B. Harris, MPH

2016: Robin Tutor Marcom, EdD, MPH, OTR/L

Jim Bernstein Health Leadership Distinguished Fellow Award Recipients

2017: Steve North, MD, MPH

2015: Ron Gaskins, MPA, MBA

The event often features a distinguished health professional who speaks on a relevant issue facing healthcare at the state or national level.

Bernstein Dinner Speakers

2018: Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, MD, MPH

Dr. Elizabeth Tilson serves North Carolina as the State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she promotes public health and prevention activities, as well as provides guidance and oversight on a variety of cross-Departmental issues. She is also a practicing pediatrican and delivers primary care at the Wake County Human Services Child Health Clinic.

Dr. Tilson received her BA in biology from Dartmouth College, earned her Medical Degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She completed a Pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a General Preventive Medicine/Public Health Residency at the University of North Carolina –Chapel Hill and is board certified in both fields.   She has been active and has served in leadership roles in many local, state, and national pediatric, public health and preventive medicine organizations.

Before joining DHHS, Dr. Tilson served as the Medical Director of Community Care of Wake and Johnston Counties, one of the 14 Community Care of North Carolina networks, and as the Chief Network Medical Director for CCNC. Prior roles have also included serving as an Assistant Consulting Professor and Cancer Control Specialist with Duke University Medical Center and a Clinical Pediatric Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill.

2016: Marcia K. Brand, Ph.D.

2014: Jonathan Oberlander, Ph.D., MA

2012: Tom Morris, MPA

2011: Valinda Rutledge, MSN, MBA

2010: Emily Friedman

2009: Fitzhugh Mullen, MD

2008: Edward Salsberg, MPA

2007: Trish Riley, MS

2006: Ed Wager, MD

 Photos from Past Events

2017                View Photos
2016                View Photos