Board of Trustees

Icons that represent the board of trustees


The State Health Plan's Board of Trustees consists of 10 members. The board is made up of experts in medicine, health administration and education and is responsible for the design of employee health benefits.

Contact members of the board via e-mail at

Dale R. Folwell – State Treasurer

Dale R. Folwell, CPA Board Chair

Chair, ex officio

Dale R. Folwell was a four-term member of the N.C. House of Representatives, including two years as Speaker Pro Tempore. During that time, he sponsored 29 major pieces of legislation enacted with bipartisan support. More recently, he was Assistant Secretary of Commerce with the Employment Security Commission, where he took the most “broke and broken” unemployment system in the United States and turned it into a national leader in debt repayment, quality and customer service. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master's in Accounting. Married for 28 years with three children, he lives in Winston-Salem. 

Kristin Walker – OSBM Director

Wilton Russell "Rusty" Duke Jr., Board Member

Governor Appointee

Kristin Walker is the State Budget Director of North Carolina and leads the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM). In this role she provides management oversight for statewide budget issues, demographic and economic analysis, preparation of budget recommendations, agency strategic planning, internal audit, and encouraging evidence-based policymaking. 

She also serves on the state’s Committee on Actuarial Valuation of Retired Employees' Health Benefits, Council of Internal Auditing, Economic Investment Committee, NC Federal Tax Reform Allocation Committee, Governor’s Advisory Committee on Performance Management, and as secretary to the Council of State.  She is an ex officio member of the Debt Affordability Advisory Committee and the State Health Plan Board. Kristin also serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Budget Officers.

Prior to her 2022 appointment as State Budget Director by Governor Roy Cooper, Kristin served as Chief Deputy Budget Director for OSBM. She joined the agency in 2017. Before joining the state budget office, Kristin was a Fiscal Analyst for the North Carolina General Assembly for more than 10 years. Before joining the state of North Carolina, she worked for the federal government at the National Science Foundation, managing multi-million-dollar grant programs in the social and behavioral sciences.  

Kristin graduated with honors from the University of Michigan and obtained her Master of Public Policy degree from the Sanford School at Duke University. She currently serves on the Sanford MPP Alumni Board. Kristin has also served on various nonprofit boards and committees and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Raleigh.

Dr. Pete Robie - General Internist

Pete Robie, Board Member

Treasurer Appointee

Dr. Robie is a General Internist who has practiced in Winston-Salem for 42 years. He has worked in academic medicine, in a small group/solo practice, and since 1997, in a large primary care practice group affiliated with a large medical center. He served on the Board of Trustees of Qualchoice Health Insurance from 1993-2003. He currently attends two urgent care centers, one family practice center, volunteers at a health center for uninsured patients, and is a member of the Forsyth County Board of Health.

Dr. Robie is a 1976 honors graduate of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He is married to a nurse-midwife and has three children, one of whom is a physician assistant in an emergency department.

Mike Stevenson

Mike Stevenson, Board Member

Speaker of the House Appointee

Mike Stevenson is a 1971 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a major in business and accounting.  His career began with a regional CPA firm in Raleigh where he became a CPA. From there Mike became the chief financial officer for Halifax Memorial Hospital in Roanoke Rapids and served for 13 years. In 1988 he moved to Murphy and began his 30-year service as Murphy Medical Center’s chief executive officer.  

During his 43-year health care career he has served on numerous local and state boards and committees including Rotary, the North Carolina Health Care Association as chairman in 2011, the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority board and the Mountain Area Health Education Center board. He currently serves on the Tri-County Community College Board.

Mike is married and has three daughters and five grandchildren and enjoys traveling and golfing. He is a life-long resident of North Carolina, having been born in Raleigh and residing in Murphy for the last 33 years.  

Cyrus Vernon

Cyrus Vernon, Board Member

Speaker Appointee

Cyrus Vernon, of Yanceyville, served as instructor at Caswell County Schools for 34 years, teaching high school special education and agricultural education. Currently, Vernon works with his son to raise heirloom apple trees at Century Farm Orchards. He also serves on the board of directors for Piedmont Electric Cooperative.

Vernon has an agricultural education degree from N.C. State University and a master’s degree in agricultural education from N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University. He is married and a lifelong resident of Caswell County.

Wayne Fish – State Employee

Wayne Fish, Board Member

Governor Appointee

Wayne Fish is an active state employee who has served for over 25 years in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction He currently works as the Correctional Food Service Manager I at Craggy Correctional Center in Asheville, N.C. He served one term as President of the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) and remains an active member. He is also active in the Association of Correctional Food Service Affiliates. (ACFSA).

Mr. Fish holds an associate degree in Hospitality Management and Administration from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and is a Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional. He resides in Maggie Valley, N.C.


Melanie Bush, MPAff

Melanie Bush

Governor Appointee

Melanie Bush, MPAff, is Deputy Medicaid Director for the North Carolina Division of Health Benefits (DHB), Department of Health and Human Services.  In this role, Melanie provides leadership, strategic planning, and overall operations oversight for the North Carolina Medicaid program, which serves almost 3 million low-income parents, children, seniors, and people with disabilities who cannot afford health care.   She was previously Chief Operating Officer, overseeing Medicaid operations, Deputy Director of Clinical and Operations, overseeing Medicaid policy development, and Assistant Director, Policy and Regulatory Affairs, managing the Division’s relationship with federal counterparts at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and directing the Division’s legislative actions and implementation.   

Prior to joining DHB, Melanie was the Medicaid Fiscal Analyst for the Fiscal Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA), serving as lead of the Health and Human Services budget team for four years.  She also held the positions of Senior Policy Analyst for Medicaid at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and Policy Analyst for the Center for Community Change in Washington, DC.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.   

Wilton Russell "Rusty" Duke Jr.

Wilton Russell "Rusty" Duke Jr., Board Member

Senate Appointee

Wilton Russell “Rusty” Duke Jr. is engaged in a broad criminal and civil litigation practice for the firm of White and Allen. He has served as the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge of Pitt County, Resident Superior Court Judge and as a District Court Judge of Pitt, Craven, Carteret and Pamlico Counties. Prior to that service, he practiced law as a general practitioner.

Mr. Duke is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of North Carolina. He is a former Mayor of the Town of Farmville, a former trustee of Meredith College and a former committee member of Young Life of Greenville Pitt County. He is currently a member of the Greenville Rotary Club and the East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America and was a recipient of the Council's Distinguished Citizen's Award in 2014.

Originally from Louisburg, Mr. Duke earned his undergraduate degree in history from Wake Forest University in 1970 and his law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1974. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable John D. Larkins Jr., United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Dr. Kerry Willis

Dr. Kerry Willis, Board Member

Dr. Kerry Willis is a practicing physician at Open Water Medical PA, which he founded. Dr. Willis is a graduate of N.C. State University for undergraduate studies and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and completed his residency training at Family Medicine Center at East Carolina University. He serves as chairman of the Atlantic Integrated Health Physicians Organization, which he helped found in 1995 to give physicians a better voice in design and delivery of health care services in eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Willis has served local sports programs as a team physician, and been active in the fight against prescription opioid abuse as a speaker for regional seminars and health care provider of services for the Loaves and Fishes Drug Rehabilitation program. His latest project is working with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Department on a grant to reduce drug abuse in criminal offenders and offer them an alternative path to jail. He is involved with the N.C. Academy of Family Medicine as an advocacy committee member working to improve the health care delivery system and its structure, and is a vice chairman of the Physicians for Life Interest Group for the National Academy of Family Physicians.

He is married with two sons and four grandchildren. He enjoys introducing innovative technologies to primary care practices, hunting with his bird dogs and any kind of fishing that allows him to enjoy the great outdoors of North Carolina.

We Want to Hear from You

Contact members of the board via e-mail at

Written correspondence can be sent to:

NC State Health Plan
Attention: Board of Trustees
3200 Atlantic Ave
Raleigh, NC 27604