Local News

Cherry Hospital gets new director

Four employees have been placed on leave while North Carolina officials investigate a patient neglect case at a mental hospital in Goldsboro.

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Philip Cook
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler announced Thursday the appointment of Philip Cook as director of Cherry Hospital.

“Philip Cook is an experienced psychiatric hospital administrator with roots in eastern North Carolina,” Cansler said in a news release. “We are looking to him to make the necessary changes and implement programs to ensure the quality of care of patients entrusted to our care at Cherry Hospital.”

Cook is currently president of Trinity Leadership Partners, LLC, a behavioral health consulting firm. Prior to that, he was division president of Psychiatric Solutions Inc., which oversaw seven hospitals in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Mississippi.

From 1995-2006, he served as chief executive officer for Parkridge Valley Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn. He was a therapist for Horizon Mental Health Management in New Bern and also in private practice in Morehead City prior to moving to Tennessee.

Cherry Hospital made news last April after a man died after he choked on his medicine and was left in a chair for 22 hours without food, water or medical attention. Three employees were fired and 10 others were disciplined.