NAGS HEAD, N.C.—The Monday after retiring from a 35-year high-profile career, Linda Palombo enrolled in a real estate class. She also applied to work at the Aycock Brown Welcome Center in Kitty Hawk and soon began volunteering at The Outer Banks Hospital, on the Disaster Relief Committee at her church, and with the Interfaith Community Outreach. That says a lot about the energy and involvement of the woman who provided leadership to 39,000 students and close to 6,000 employees in the Chesapeake Public School system. “I like to stay busy,” Palombo said, which is something of an understatement.

Palombo’s experiences, both as an Assistant Superintendent in the Chesapeake schools and her subsequent commitment to her life on the Outer Banks, came to the attention of Chris Mosley, Chesapeake Regional Medical Center’s CEO & President. “As an Assistant Superintendent for the Chesapeake School system, Linda brings to the table her extensive understanding of the public sector along with her knowledge of how good education works. Additionally, she loves this community. It’s an ideal blend of professionalism and passion.”

Prior to retiring, Palombo and her husband, Robert, used to vacation regularly in their home in Southern Shores. “We would drive down on a Friday evening and as soon as we began to smell the salt air, we would start to unwind.”

When the couple finally retired in 2004, Palombo thought she knew all about the community—until she began working in real estate. People would ask her about healthcare on the Outer Banks and whether or not there was a hospital. “I found out that the hospital is an essential part of the community, both to the visitors and to those who live here, especially retirees. Good healthcare is a vital ingredient when choosing a retirement destination.”

“Linda represents a growing segment of our community—those who select the Outer Banks as their retirement home,” said Van Smith, hospital president. “Many of these folks come from areas with many healthcare choices. We want them to know that The Outer Banks Hospital can offer them the same high-tech, cutting-edge care they are accustomed to. Linda will be a touchstone for how we communicate that message.”

OBH parent corporations, University Health System of Eastern Carolina, based in Greenville and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, appoint the 10 members of The Outer Banks Hospital board. UHS appoints six members and Chesapeake four. At least five board members must be Dare County residents.