The North Carolina Hospital Association yesterday named Stephen Lawler, currently senior vice president of the regional group for Carolinas HealthCare System, as its next president effective July 1. “Steve Lawler brings a keen understanding of the challenges facing health care providers today and a strong commitment to ensuring a unified voice for our industry and our partners at the state and national levels,” said John McConnell, M.D., CEO emeritus of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and chair of the NCHA Board of Trustees. “We look forward to his leadership as NCHA and its members evolve to meet the changing needs of our patients, our communities and our employees.” Prior to joining CHS, Lawler served more than 20 years in leadership roles at Vidant Health. “It is a great honor and privilege to be asked to serve this remarkable organization and support its staff, members and partners in improving the lives of the people of our state,” he said.