Hugh tilson jrHugh Tilson Jr., JD, MPH, has been named director of the North Carolina Health Education Centers (NC AHEC), with an effective start date of October 31, 2018. Kevin FitzGerald has served in the role on an interim basis since May 2018.

Tilson has extensive experience in health care, including particular expertise in hospital and provider issues, health policy development, and North Carolina’s Medicaid transformation.

Over the course of more than 20 years, Tilson served in roles of increasing responsibility at the North Carolina Hospital Association. He first joined the organization in 1996 as director of legal and regulatory affairs, eventually becoming the group’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. In addition, he spent a year as interim president of the organization, which promotes improved delivery of quality and affordable healthcare in North Carolina.

AHEC is an institution that all North Carolinians should be proud of, serving as an invaluable educational and operational support resource for medical providers in all stages of their careers—from students to veteran community doctors,” said William L. Roper, MD, MPH, CEO of UNC Health Care and dean of the UNC School of Medicine. “Hugh’s expertise in health care leadership and coalition building will position the organization for continued success, and I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Most recently, Tilson has operated Tilson Solutions, offering strategic planning, public affairs, and other consulting services to a range of clients. He has also worked with Cansler Collaborative Resources as a consultant.

“NC AHEC is a gem. I am excited to help build and educate North Carolina’s health care workforce,” said Tilson. “As health care continues to change, I look forward to working with AHEC partners across the state to assure high quality health care and health, especially for vulnerable populations and underserved communities.”

The primary responsibilities of the program director include providing overall direction for NC AHEC, overseeing the organization’s budget and program office, managing health workforce planning and development initiatives across a range of health professions, fostering collaboration among academic programs and organizations across the state, and representing the organization on the state and national level.

Tilson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the UNC School of Law. He holds a Master of Public Health from Harvard.


NC AHEC’s mission is to meet the state’s health and health workforce needs and to provide education programs and services that bridge academic institutions and communities to improve the health of the people of North Carolina, with a focus on underserved populations. Its vision is to lead the transformation of health care education and services in North Carolina. Visit ncahec.netfor more information.