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Lee Health Adds System Diversity Director

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Michelle Happer Brings Broad Experience to Leadership Dynamic Role

(Fort Myers, Fla. – Sept. 10, 2019) --- Michelle Happer has joined Lee Health as its newest system director of diversity. In this role, she will oversee and lead Lee Health’s diversity, patient care civil rights and language services.

Happer has more than ten years of health care, education and community relations experience in diverse settings.

“We’re thrilled to bring Michelle on board. She brings extensive experience with large organizations and an outstanding record of driving performance and accountability within those companies,” said Lisa Sgarlata, DNP, MSN, MS, FACHE, Lee Health chief patient officer and chief nurse executive.

Happer most recently served as the manager of compliance and cultural diversity for the Sentara – Optima Health Plan in Virginia Beach, where she was responsible for cultural diversity and inclusion program initiatives. The managed care plan serves more than 450,000 members across Virginia. Before that, she was a physician relations executive for Inova Health System in Falls Church, Virginia, a leading nonprofit health care provider in Northern Virginia.

Happer has a doctorate of education in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She also earned and a Master of Arts degree in communication and public relations and Bachelor of Science degree from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. She is completing her Master of Arts in Health Care Law from Regent University.

About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Formerly known as Lee Memorial Health System, the organization began its second century of service with a new name in 2016. Learn more at