American activist and lawyer, Marian Wright Edelman, said “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” This week’s Hugh Chatham Way Highlight focuses on a team member who would do anything for anyone. Her positivity and willingness to serve others is not forced – it’s simply who she is. Join me in celebrating Katee Hettleman, Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagement.

Mary Blackburn, VP, Care Innovation and Chief Clinical Officer, said “Katee has a passion for service to the community – I am grateful that she has chosen Hugh Chatham and the Yadkin Valley to be her community! Katee has a unique ability to make connections between people and between organizations to create innovative solutions and programs which will further our vision and mission for years to come.”

Fred Chatham, current Chairman of the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, continues by saying, “I have been impressed with Katee since her days in Sparta and Roaring Gap . A great people person and a great addition to HCMH. We are lucky to have her!” Another member of the HCMH Foundation Board, Tony Cook, added, “Katee is extremely professional, organized, and willing to do whatever it takes to complete a task, even if it is not in her job description. When she began her current role at Hugh Chatham, she immediately helped with the Clingman Medical Center scholarships and made our decision making process shorter and easier by organizing our data. It has been a real pleasure working with her and I appreciate her upbeat attitude and her immediate response time.”

To know Katee is to respect and appreciate her. Her smile is contagious and her work ethic is exemplary. She is fully committed to Hugh Chatham and our core values. Katee is a true asset to this organization and we are so grateful to have her on our team!


Q & A with Katee

How did you come to Hugh Chatham?
My family has been receiving exceptional care for the past 15 years from Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital and its practices. My husband, Michael, was admitted about three years ago and I made the comment then that I would love to be a part of the Hugh Chatham team. A few short months later, I was made aware of an open management position in Food & Nutrition, and I quickly reached out to my friend, Vicky Tysor, and the rest is history.

What led you to a career in philanthropy and community engagement?
I have always had a servant’s heart, and have been involved in making my community a better place to live. I have held several positions in my career serving the needs of others, and have years of experience raising funds for non-profits and other worthy causes. Serving on multiple boards during the past 12 years, I was responsible for dealing directly with donors and large foundations. I served on the Alleghany Memorial Hospital Capital Campaign Cabinet, and assisted in the raising of over $6 million for the hospital renovation. I helped start and run the Alleghany County Empty Bowls Program for 10 years, raising in excess of $200K, benefiting the Solid Rock Food Closet. In addition, I was a co-founder of two non-profits, Blue Ridge Christian School and Blue Ridge Developmental Day, and dealt with boards and fundraising daily. I look to continue my love for community and doing my part to make Elkin and Hugh Chatham a better place.

How do you and your team exhibit STARS?
Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of a successful organization. Most recently, I was part of a large group that hosted the 2022 Wine Auction & Gala. I worked with several departments within our organization, and many members of our community. Our TEAM made it happen and was willing to go the extra mile to make it successful. I have found that the Hugh Chatham family has a love for each other and willingness to make our TEAM better.

What do you like to do for fun?
Michael and I enjoy cooking, traveling, entertaining, and spending time with our two amazing college aged children. Ohhh, and I can’t forget our sweet dog Henri!


Katee Hettleman was nominated by Paul Hammes.