Sue Lynn Ledford was born and raised in Cherokee County. Ledford received her Bachelor Science in Nursing and Masters of Public Administration degree from Western Carolina University. She is currently a doctoral candidate at UNC-Chapel Hill, and holds the position of the Wake County Human Services Public Health Division director. Ledford’s current role as Wake County Public Health Division Director encompasses 12 municipalities and includes Raleigh, the county seat and state capital where she has served since 2009. The Wake County Human Services Department is a consolidated agency that provides public health, social services, behavioral health as well as housing, and transportation for a population of approximately one million residents. Most of her professional career has been in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. Sue Lynn’s passion for early intervention, preventive health services and innovative strategies have fueled a dynamic career at the local, state, and federal levels.
As a nurse, her work has spanned the health care spectrum of hospital, community, school health, and public health focused upon system change and integrating services across disciplines in the larger context of social and community organizations. Various efforts have included international disaster relief in Sri Lanka, as well as working with Native American populations in Western NC and South Dakota. Ledford was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 from GlaxoSmithKline. In 2006, Ledford help create the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative program. Ledford has a strong leadership background as the president of the School Nursing Association of North Carolina, board member of the North Carolina Partnership for Children Inc, and president of the North Carolina Association of School Business Officials. Sue Lynn is married and has four children. Her leisure time includes biking, hiking, and exploring the state of North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. Ledford has always had a passion for the nursing profession and believes that nursing is truly one of the most versatile careers in healthcare. Ledford states, “Nurses are patient-centered and patient focused in our care delivery; whether we are caring for patients in a hospital, the community, schools, disasters, or caring for the public health needs of a population group we understand that positive health outcomes depend on holistic nursing care.” (from the 100 nurses/100 counties project in 2014).