Tom & Raven
Thomas Zweng & Raven Barkley
EVP and Chief Medical Officer, Novant Health
Tom was born and raised in a large family in Palo Alto, California, the son of an ophthalmologist and a homemaker.
He met his wife, Mary, while he was studying history and biology at University of California, Davis. During their 32 years of marriage, they have raised three wonderful children – Katie, Amy and Joe – as well as their yellow Lab, Sally. Earlier this year, Mary and Tom welcomed a new addition to the family – Patrick, Katie’s husband!
After completing medical school at UCLA and his surgical residency at University of Michigan, Tom joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky in the department of surgery.
After six years in Kentucky, the family moved to Charlotte, where Tom joined a surgical group, practicing for 10 years before accepting a leadership role at Novant Health. He is currently the executive vice president and chief medical officer for Novant Health, supporting 4,500 members of the medical staff across 13 hospitals, as well as the systemwide pharmacy team and the clinical improvement, regulatory and research groups. He partners with nursing to ensure the high standards of care are being upheld. Before his current role as chief medical officer, Tom was the vice president of medical affairs for the Charlotte-based Novant Health facilities from 2006 to 2014.
Tom’s passion for improving the health of the community has driven him to take on several quality initiatives that have a tremendous impact on patient care. He has tirelessly served as the champion for First Do No Harm, Novant Health’s patient safety program, resulting in an 85 percent reduction in serious safety events across the system, placing it in the top 10 percent of hospital quality programs in the country.
Tom also has a focus on supporting the communities in which he serves. Tom was instrumental in raising awareness about the dangers of diesel emissions, especially on vulnerable patient populations. Through his work with Clean Air Carolina, he was able to engage with construction contractors using large diesel vehicles, thereby minimizing patients’ exposure to harmful exhaust around hospital construction projects.
Committed to making Charlotte a more inclusive and equitable community, Tom has explored diversity-related issues through the Leadership Development Initiative, an intensive 12-month program of Charlotte’s Community Building Initiative (CBI). He currently sits on the CBI board. Tom also serves on the boards for Discovery Place and Medic, Mecklenburg County’s emergency medical system, helping to deliver pre-hospital services and outcomes. He has served on the board of Opera Carolina and was co-chairman for the Mecklenburg County Arts & Science Council’s 2010 annual fund drive.
Tom has dedicated his Dancing with the Stars fundraising efforts to the Novant Health Nursing Education Fund, because he knows firsthand that nurses are the front line of patient care. He firmly believes that nursing scholarships remove barriers to continuing education, which translate to a higher level of care for our community.
A few fun facts about Tom:
- Favorite hobbies: birding, skeet shooting, opera and travel
- When he’s not working he enjoys: spending time with family or practicing his dance moves!
- Liz & Juwan: $219,409.00
- Ed & Sarah: $166,498.00
- Weston & Chelsea: $157,702.00
- Judy & Josh: $94,399.00
- Tom & Raven: $87,266.00
- Sonja & James: $51,690.00
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Seasons with Charlotte Ballet: 2
Raven, from Bronx, NY, began dancing at age 10 at Ballet Tech, the New York City Public School for Dance. She furthered her training at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Arts High School for Music and Art and Performing Arts, where she graduated with honors. While at LaGuardia, Raven also attended the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s (DTH) Pre- Professional Program as a scholarship student and performed with DTH’s Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble. While at DTH, Raven was selected as a featured dancer for the Scholastic Children’s book, “Beautiful Ballerina” by Marilyn Nelson. During the summer of 2013 and 2014, Raven received the honor of performing choreography by Tony Award winner George Faison for the NYC SummerStage Performance Series. In 2015, Raven graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance with a concentration in ballet from SUNY Purchase. In the summer of 2015, Raven appeared on NBC’s annual “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.” She has performed works by George Balanchine, Aszure Barton, DaVon Doane, George Faison, Eliot Feld, Robert Garland, Bill T. Jones, Jessica Lang, Arthur Mitchell, Matthew Neenan, Taryn Russell, Bettijane Sills and Deborah Wingert.
A few fun facts about Raven:
- Dancing Since: Age 10
- Favorite ballet movements: My favorite movements are grand jeté and tour jeté
- If she weren’t dancing she’d be: A mathematician/computer scientist
- Advice for aspiring dancers: “Continue to reach for your goals and never settle for less. No matter how hard it gets remember that you’re dancing because you love it.”
Novant Health Nursing Education Fund
At Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, we are welcoming a new era in healthcare, where achieving good health is just the beginning. We believe in caring for the whole person by getting to know you, having conversations, and making connections with our patients. Novant Health Foundation Presbyterian Medical Center has many funds that support nursing and continuing education for nurses throughout our healthcare organization.