FirstHealth Magazine - Spring/Summer 2016

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Spring/Summer 2016

the magazine from FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Serving More than Moore

Accidents happen. WE’RE HERE WHEN THEY DO



(beside Food Lion) 7473-C Hwy 22 | (910) 215-5100

(beside Richmond Memorial Hospital) 921 Long Drive, Ste 104 | (910) 417-4100

CEO Message

Awards and just doing what’s right

D David J. Kilarski Chief Executive Officer FirstHealth of the Carolinas

o me a favor, please. Turn back to the cover of this magazine and take a close look. At the top, attached to what is known in the publishing industry as the “nameplate” (i.e. the banner identifying the magazine), you will see a purple and white logo that says “100 Top Hospitals.” Now turn to the back cover. There, on the lower two-thirds of the page, you will see an ad anchored by the same logo. Below that, you will notice four icons: Blue Distinction Center+ Cardiac, The Joint Commission, 50 Top Cardiovascular and Blue Distinction Center+ Maternity. Below them, you’ll see the hashtag #QualityMatters. Those of you who follow FirstHealth of the Carolinas in the media will likely have the background behind the nameplate logo, all of the icons and the hashtag. For the rest of you, here’s a primer, because – as you will learn – quality does matter. The small icons on the ad indicate awards recognizing several of the services FirstHealth of the Carolinas provides: specialty cardiac care, primary stroke care, cardiovascular care and specialty maternity care. The purple and white logo at the top, 100 Top Hospitals, essentially covers them all. You’ll indulge me, I hope, in this bit of self-congratulation, but health care organizations don’t often get the chance to blow their own horn. On the contrary, in this new day of health care transformation and the confusion and frustration that can accompany it, the opposite is often the case. We learned about the national Top 100 designation, which comprises our Pinehurst, Raeford and Rockingham campuses, a few weeks ago. Just days later, we learned that Business North Carolina had named Moore Regional one of the best hospitals in the state (No. 8) and the No. 1 hospital in patient satisfaction. Both designations followed by weeks Moore Regional’s selection as a Top 50 cardiovascular hospital and as seventh in the nation in emergency heart attack care. We find these recognitions very gratifying, because they are based on publicly reported data from a variety of impeccable sources, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). They’re not based on reputation, and we don’t pay for them. We earned them. In this issue of our FirstHealth magazine, you will learn that we not only provide quality services, but that we also provide them throughout a broad service area – one that covers a large part of central North Carolina and two counties in South Carolina. Our hospitals and clinics care for tens of thousands of patients each year with medical services that range from the wellness and acute care of family medicine to the high technology of cardiology. With this edition of our magazine, we hope to give you some perspective of the scope of those services. Awards are nice, but fleeting. Our real reward comes in caring for people. It’s a day-today business, and it’s our passion. I hope this magazine will give you some understanding of that passion.

(800) 213-3284 • 1

Spring/Summer 2016

the magazine from FirstHealth of the Carolinas

155 Memorial Drive P.O. Box 3000 Pinehurst, NC 28374 FirstHealth is published by the Communications Department of FirstHealth of the Carolinas in conjunction with StayWell


Brenda Bouser

Contributing Writers

Brenda Bouser, Ellen Cooper

Contributing Photographers Dung Kim, Don McKenzie

Contributing Illustrator

Departments 1

CEO’s message


New Providers

20 Letters

Serving More than Moore

Laurel Holden

On the cover: Although the system’s flagship hospital, Moore Regional, is located in Moore County, FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers a variety of health care programs throughout a 15-county service area that covers a large portion of central North Carolina and two counties in upstate South Carolina. This issue of FirstHealth indicates the scope of those services while highlighting some of the people who provide and receive them.

Board of Directors FirstHealth of the Carolinas Mr. Hew Fulton, Chair Mrs. Carolyn D. Helms, Vice Chair Mr. Sherwood Blackwood, Corporate Secretary Mr. Robert E. Tweed, Treasurer David M. Cowherd, M.D. John N. Ellis, M.D. Mr. David J. Kilarski Mr. Julian W. King Ms. Tracy A. Leinbach Mr. Brian McMurray

Mr. Jimmy Preslar Van “Beaux” Slaughter, M.D. William L. Stewart, M.D. Mr. Gary VonCannon Raymond Washington, M.D. Mrs. Rusti Welch

Corporate Officers Chief Executive Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas President, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. . . . . . Mr. David J. Kilarski Chief Financial Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas.

. . Mrs.

Chief Medical Officer FirstHealth of the Carolinas .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John

Chief Information Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr.

F. Krahnert Jr., M.D.

David B. Dillehunt

Chief Nursing Officer, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. Karen Robeano, DNP, R.N. President, FirstHealth Physician Group . . . . . . . . . . . . Daniel R. Barnes, D.O. President, Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus. . Mrs. Susan K. Beaty, R.N. President, FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital . Mr. John J. Jackson President, Foundation of FirstHealth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. Kathleen Stockham President, FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital. . Mrs. Beth Walker, R.N. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr.

Vice President, Strategy & Innovation, FirstHealth of the Carolinas . . . . . . . . . .

Vice President, Finance & Support Services, FirstHealth of the Carolinas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President, Quality, FirstHealth of the Carolinas .

Daniel F. Biediger

. . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs.

. . . . . . . . Mr.

Amy Graham

Jeffrey A. Casey

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs.

Cindy McNeill-McDonald, R.N.

The not-for-profit FirstHealth of the Carolinas is headquartered in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and comprises Moore Regional Hospital, Montgomery Memorial Hospital, Richmond Memorial Hospital, Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus, The Foundation of FirstHealth, FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company, the FirstHealth Physician Group and Regional Health Services. Comments on FirstHealth magazine or changes of address should be directed to or to (910) 715-4278.

StayWell 407 Norwalk St. Greensboro, NC 27407 (336) 547-8970 President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bill Moore Creative Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jan McLean Managing Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terri Poindexter Smith Production Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Traci Marsh © Copyright 2016 by StayWell, an operating company of StayWell/MediMedia USA, and FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from StayWell. Articles in this publication are written by professional journalists who strive to present reliable, up-to-date health information. However, personal decisions regarding health, finance, exercise and other matters should be made only after consultation with the reader’s physician or professional adviser. All editorial rights reserved. Opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of StayWell or FirstHealth of the Carolinas. Models are used for illustrative purposes only.

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A Miracle Case, Defying Widow Maker


Putting a Face on Family Care


From One Obstacle to the Next, Fit and FirstHealth

Lynn S. DeJaco

Chief Operating Officer, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Brian T. Canfield

Vice President, Human Resources, FirstHealth of the Carolinas . . . . . . .


10 Service by Service, County by County 12 Into FirstHealth History 13 Cancer Care from Cancer CARE 14 Back on the Job after Knee Surgery 16 Caring for Patients with Chronic Diseases For more information on any of the programs or services offered by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, please call (800) 213-3284 or visit

“A miracle case” Richmond man defies “the widow maker” nterventional cardiologist Steven Filby, M.D., calls Jerry with FirstHealth help


Sheppard “a miracle case.” Sheppard sees the hand of God in his experience, but he also – and very gratefully – acknowledges the role that several FirstHealth physicians and numerous FirstHealth services played in it. “I received exceptional care – from the doctors and nurses at Reid Heart Center to the FirstHealth Security staff who drove my wife back and forth to the Clara McLean House,” he says. Sheppard’s story began almost a year ago in the showers of FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond in Rockingham.

(800) 213-3284 •


A routine day becomes

anything but routine (continued from page 3)


t was July 2015, and Jerry Sheppard 1 had just finished his routine workout. He was making his way to the showers, again part of his normal routine, when he started to feel unwell – foggy and not normal, as he recalls. Then he collapsed. Another fitness center member heard him fall and called for help. Exercise coordinator Sam Stokes 1. FirstHealth and membership service coordinator Phillip Williams Fitness-Richmond responded and started CPR. 2. FirstHealth Regional EMS Within minutes, paramedics from FirstHealth Regional EMS had arrived and, finding that the 3. Reid Heart Center unconscious Sheppard was in cardiac arrest, put him in an ambulance and headed for Reid Heart Center at a. Interventional cardiologist FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Steven Filby, M.D. By the time they arrived, a Cardiac Cath team b. Neurohospitalist headed by Dr. Filby had assembled and was ready to take Sarah Uffindell, M.D. over. Dr. Filby quickly determined what had happened. The 73-year-old Sheppard, a man with no prior c. Pulmonologist health issues, had a 94 percent blockage in his left Michael Pritchett, D.O. descending artery, the “widow maker,” so-called because d. Hospitalist so few of its victims survive. Daniel DiFrischia, M.D. The team implanted a stent, opening the artery, and Sheppard, who had been pulse-less only shortly before, 4. Cardiac Rehabilitation, was on the road to recovery. FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond “To survive an attack in the ‘widow maker’ is rare,” 5. Clara McLean House Dr. Filby says. “The fact that Mr. Sheppard survived is amazing.” Sheppard left the hospital three and a half weeks later. Soon afterward, he started Cardiac Rehab, which he has since completed, at FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond. With a clean bill of health from Dr. Filby, he has since resumed his fiveday-a-week workout schedule at FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond. During a follow-up appointment with Dr. Filby, he learned about a second “miracle.” “Dr. Filby walked into the room with a smile on his face and told me I had no damage to my heart,” Sheppard says. “I asked him if that was unusual, and he told me that is almost never the case.”

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The right place, at the right time


There’s never a good time or place for a heart attack, but Jerry Sheppard believes he probably would not have survived his if it hadn’t occurred where it did – and if the full continuum of appropriate FirstHealth services had not been quickly available. Here’s a brief outline of those services and how they were in the right time and the right place for Sheppard: • Sheppard had his heart attack at FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond, a medically based fitness center where the staff is trained in CPR.


• Paramedics from FirstHealth Regional EMS were nearby, at the EMS station on the hospital campus, and responded within minutes.


• A Cardiac Cath team headed by a fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist was alerted and had assembled by the time Sheppard arrived at FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center in Pinehurst. • During Sheppard’s three and a half weeks at Reid Heart, his physician team included specialists in hospital medicine, neurohospital medicine and pulmonology as well as cardiology.

4 5

• The available hospitality of the nearby Clara McLean House allowed Gloria Sheppard to remain near her husband throughout his hospitalization and avoid numerous trips to and from their home in Richmond County. • After he left the hospital, Sheppard continued his recovery under the direction of the Cardiac Rehab team at FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond. • Once healthy enough, he resumed his regular workout routine at FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond.

RACE and the STEMI protocol When Jerry Sheppard collapsed in the showers at FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond, he was yards away from FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital. Why then did paramedics bypass Richmond Memorial’s Emergency Department and head for Pinehurst and Moore Regional’s Reid Heart Center a halfhour away? The answer lies in FirstHealth’s participation in a statewide program of heart attack care called RACE and the heart attack protocol known as a STEMI Alert. Under this system, an ambulance transporting an EKGidentified heart attack patient may pass by one or even more hospitals in favor of the closest hospital with a Cardiac Cath Lab. In Sheppard’s case, that was Moore Regional, the established PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) Center for Moore, Richmond, Montgomery, Lee and Scotland counties as well as for portions of Hoke, Randolph and Chatham counties and for some Womack Army Medical Center patients. “The goal is to get the patient to the Cath Lab and get the blockage opened up as soon as possible,” says Matthew Harmody, M.D., medical director of FirstHealth Regional EMS. (The consumer health site Better Doctor has ranked FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital as seventh in the nation in emergency heart attack care.)

(800) 213-3284 • 5

Putting a

face on family care


he decision by James R. Liffrig, M.D., to enter the specialty of family care medicine arrived as one of those proverbial “a-ha moments” that seem so often to occur in the shower. He had intended to become an orthopaedist and had, in fact, already been accepted in an orthopaedic training program. Fate intervened, however, by putting him into a primary care situation as a general medical officer in U.S. Army Special Operations. The simple fact that he enjoyed the work somehow came to him in that shower. “It was the right decision,” he says. Family medicine has taken Dr. Liffrig in several different directions, including stints as director of the Family Medicine Residency Program and chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg; as an assistant professor of family medicine for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; and, after he retired from the military, as a civilian family physician at the Fayetteville Medical Home at Womack Army Medical Center. For the past year, he has been a family physician with FirstHealth Family Medicine in Seven Lakes, where his goal is to provide “patientcentered, evidence-based care” for every man, woman and child in his care. “Effective family medicine uses a team approach led by a physician or advanced care provider such as a nurse practitioner or physician assistant in conjunction with nursing staff and other support personnel, who can address patient concerns comprehensively and with continuity from one visit to the

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At one time a general medical officer in U.S. Army Special Operations, James R. Liffrig, M.D., is now a physician with FirstHealth Family Medicine in Seven Lakes and medical director of FirstHealth Convenient Care.

Your first office visit A patient’s relationship with a family care provider begins with what James R. Liffrig, M.D., describes as a “big fact-finding and exploratory visit.” Each patient fills out a form with questions concerning personal and family health. The physician performs a routine physical exam, orders any necessary or recommended screening tests, and brings appropriate vaccinations and other prevention items up to date. The idea is to get as much information about the patient from the very beginning. The process may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the needs and complexity of the patient. “This is time well-spent,” Dr. Liffrig says. “It’s an investment in the future. If we get the first visit right, everything else comes much easier.”

Finding a provider FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers family, primary and convenient care throughout its primary service area of Moore, Hoke, Montgomery and Richmond counties.

Family Medicine Biscoe: 104 Professional Drive – (910) 428-1544 Candor: 210 E. Main St. – (910) 974-7555 Ellerbe: 112 E. Ballard St – (910) 652-2663 Raeford: 313 Teal Drive – (910) 904-2350 Robbins: 300 S. Middleton St. – (910) 948-2911 Rockingham: • 104 Physicians Park Drive – (910) 895-1989

next in a non-emergent setting,” Dr. Liffrig says. Each family care provider (physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner) typically has his/her own group of enrolled patients and oversees and coordinates their overall health and health care experience. Services include:

• Same-day urgent care • Comprehensive family care (from children to senior citizens) • Chronic disease management (including, for example, diabetes, hypertension and behavioral health) • Preventive services such as wellness visits, screenings and vaccinations • Specialty referrals • Medication management and refills

• 921 Long Drive, Suite 101 – (910) 417-3850 Seven Lakes: 1035-C Seven Lakes Drive – (910) 673-0045 Troy: 522 Allen St. – (910) 571-5510 Vass: 3349 US 1 Highway – (910) 245-7678 Whispering Pines: 7473-B Highway 22 – (910) 215-5115

Internal Medicine 809 S. Long Drive, Suite H, Rockingham – (910) 417-4005

Primary Care Physician Offices & Specialty Center, 6322 Fayetteville Road, Raeford – (910) 878-6700

Convenient Care “The family care team is in one location,” Dr. Liffrig says. “I try to get as much accomplished as I can at the clinic. The whole notion is to provide a holistic, simple approach to health care. Patients become accustomed to their team, and the team becomes familiar with them. Patients benefit from this approach and become healthier as a result.”

Whispering Pines 7473-C Highway 22 – (910) 215-5100 Rockingham 921 Long Drive, Suite 101 – (910) 417-4100

(800) 213-3284 • 7

From one obstacle to the next Fit and FirstHealth


epending on the venue, Suzanne Kim might be swinging on a rope, sloshing through mud, dragging a cement block, hoisting a sandbag, snaking under barbed wire, or slipsliding across a grease-lathered wall. Or all of the above. Kim, the manager of FirstHealth Fitness in Raeford, participates in obstacle races, many of them Spartan Races, the ESPNchristened “true tests of will” that have over the past decade

attracted a worldwide following of fitness professionals and weekend warriors. While many participants are the muscled military types one might expect with such endeavors, others are like the diminutive Kim, who is 5 feet 2 and just weeks past her 50th birthday. A lifelong fitness buff who believes that anyone can aspire to a personal fitness lifestyle, Kim considers her obstacle race participation more of a personal challenge than a competition. If she’s competing with anyone, it’s with herself.

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“I just do it for fun and self-satisfaction,” she says. Kim’s obstacle race participation began as a “family thing” that included her husband, Dung; their daughter and son-in-law; and some of their friends. That was in August 2011 with the Warrior Dash in Huntersville, North Carolina. Kim finished the 5K “mud run” in 49 minutes.

She followed up a few months later, in March 2012, with her most difficult race so far. Held at the U.S. National Whitewater Center near Charlotte, the Spartan Sprint was shorter, but “much harder” than the Warrior Dash because of the water obstacle and the run through wooded terrain. Of the original family/friends group, only Suzanne and Dung remain – he often doubling as photographer, recording her hoists, sloshes, swings and slip-slides while running alongside her. (Dung Kim’s images accompany this story.) The Kims’ quest for success in the obstacle racing world has taken them from North and South Carolina to Florida, New

Fitness Center locations FirstHealth of the Carolinas has five fitness centers in four midCarolinas counties: • FirstHealth Fitness-Pinehurst, 170 Memorial Drive • FirstHealth Fitness-Southern Pines, 205 Davis Road • FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond, 120 Richmond Memorial Drive (in Rockingham) • FirstHealth Fitness-Troy, 524 Wood Street • FirstHealth Fitness-Raeford, 313 Teal Drive Each center is medically based (physician supervised) and offers programs designed for individuals at every level of the fitness experience. For more information, visit

Racing to care for patients Jersey, Pennsylvania, Hawaii and Mexico. Race participation has helped her overcome a fear of heights, although she continues to struggle with obstacles involving upper-body strength. “This year, my goal is to work on my upper-body strength to succeed at more of the obstacles where that is needed and where I struggle, such as the monkey bars and the platinum rig,” she says. Like all race participants, the Kims tend to shake off bad weather as just another obstacle, but she recalls one event that was cancelled because of thunder and lightning and another that she didn’t finish because of the extreme cold. “You do things that you didn’t think you could do, that you didn’t think you were capable of doing,” she says, “and every time, you get better.”

Matthew Harmody, M.D., calls Adventure Racing his “primary avocation.” For Marvin Hudson and Richard Lassiter, the challenge of an eight-hour wilderness endurance race was an entirely new experience. Dr. Harmody, the medical director for FirstHealth Regional EMS, has competed in several Adventure Races, including a few 24-hour events as a soloist. Lassiter, a fireman and a FirstHealth EMS training officer, is experienced in search and rescue training. Hudson, who is also an EMS training officer, had never run more than a few miles before a recent event. In March, the men competed as a team in an eight-hour race outside of Newport News, Virginia, which focused on wilderness medicine scenarios – locating and caring for simulated patients. With a map and compass as their only guides, they set out on a wildness path to locate “victims” by foot, canoe and mountain bike. Although it was their first time racing together and Lassiter and Hudson’s very first Wilderness Medicine Adventure Race, they finished second out of 21 teams. FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers EMS services in Richmond, Montgomery and Chatham counties in North Carolina and in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. To learn more about the Wilderness Medicine Adventure Race exploits of this three-man FirstHealth team, go to

(800) 213-3284 •


Service by Service, County by County FirstHealth of the Carolinas has hospitals in Moore, Montgomery, Richmond and Hoke counties, but – in association with its affiliated providers, partners and medical staff – provides various services throughout the mid-Carolinas region.

PITTSBORO • Bariatric (weight-loss) Surgery





Back & Neck Pain Moore Hoke Lee


Behavioral Health Services

Moore Montgomery, Richmond & Hoke (Telepsych in Emergency Department and Primary Care locations)

Cancer Services

• Gynecologic Oncology Moore Hoke • Medical Oncology Moore Lee • Radiation Oncology Moore







Chest Center of the Carolinas



Cardiac Rehab


Moore Richmond




Moore Richmond Hoke Lee Robeson Scotland


Cardiology (Electrophysiology) Moore

Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery (including open heart and TAVR)





Clara McLean House (hospitality house) Moore

Clinical Trials Moore



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Critical Care Transport Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke

Convenient Care Moore Richmond

Dental Care

Moore Montgomery Hoke

Diabetes & Nutrition Education Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke





Endocrinology Moore

Family/Primary Care

Moore (locations in Robbins, Seven Lakes, Whispering Pines, Vass) Montgomery (locations in Biscoe, Candor, Troy) Richmond (two locations in Rockingham & one in Ellerbe) Hoke

FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company Moore (headquarters)

FirstHealth Response Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke Anson Chatham Cumberland Harnett Lee Robeson Scotland

FirstMedicare Direct (Medicare Advantage insurance product) Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke Chatham Lee Scotland


Moore (locations in Pinehurst and Southern Pines) Montgomery Richmond Hoke

Gastroenterology Digestive Health Center Richmond

Employee Assistance Program


Moore Montgomery Richmond Randolph Scotland

Emergency Services (hospital based) Moore Hoke Montgomery Richmond


Montgomery Richmond Chatham Chesterfield, S.C.

Moore Richmond (Digestive Health Center)

General Surgery Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke

Healthy Living Classes Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke

Home Care

Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke Lee Scotland


Moore Montgomery

Hospital Campus

Outpatient Surgery

Hospitalist Medicine

Pediatric Hospitalist Medicine

Moore Regional Montgomery Memorial Richmond Memorial MRH-Hoke Campus Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke

Imaging Services

Moore (including open MRI & digital mammography) Montgomery, Richmond, Hoke (including digital mammography)

Infectious Diseases Moore

Internal Medicine Moore Richmond

Maternal Fetal Medicine Moore

Medical Transport Moore

Medication Assistance Moore Montgomery Richmond

Neonatology (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Moore

Neurohospitalist Medicine Moore

Neurology Moore


Moore Cumberland (future site) Lee (future site)


Moore Montgomery, Richmond, Hoke, Lee (office hours only)


Moore Hoke Montgomery, Lee (office hours only) Richmond

Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat) Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke Lee Scotland

Outpatient Rehab Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke Lee

Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke


Plastic Surgery Moore


Montgomery Hoke


Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke

Pulmonary Rehab Moore Montgomery Richmond

Pulmonology Moore

Reid Heart Center Moore

Regional Medical Transport Moore

Robotic Surgery Moore

Sleep Disorders Moore Montgomery Richmond

Tobacco Cessation (FirstQuit) Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke

Transfer Center

Moore (headquarters – accepting from all counties)

Transition Care Clinic Moore Montgomery Richmond Hoke


Moore Lee Scotland

Valve Clinic

Moore Cumberland


Moore Lee (office only) Scotland (office only)

Wound Care & Hyperbarics Moore Richmond Hoke

(800) 213-3284 • 11

Into FirstHealth history as

50th TAVR patient


racie Milliken felt a little pressure when her new aortic valve popped into place. Then she realized that she was feeling better than she had felt in a couple of years. “It was like a motor cranked up in my heart,” she says. The 73-year-old Scotland County resident didn’t know it at the

FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Surgical

FirstHealth provides a variety of cardiovascular and surgical services in several locations in five mid-Carolinas counties: Reid Heart Center 120 Page Road North, Pinehurst • FirstHealth Cardiology • FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery • FirstHealth Valve Clinic FirstHealth Valve Clinic-Fayetteville 530 Sandhurst Drive, Fayetteville FirstHealth Cardiology, Pinehurst Heather Glen Office Park 7 Regional Circle, Pinehurst

Scotland County resident Gracie Milliken landed a place in FirstHealth history as the 50th valve replacement patient to undergo a successful TAVR procedure. She is pictured with two physicians from her TAVR team: cardiothoracic surgeon Peter I. Ellman, M.D. (at left), and interventional cardiologist Steven J. Filby, M.D.

time, but her new aortic valve had earned her a spot in FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital history – as the Reid Heart Center’s 50th successful TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) patient. She was also the first Reid Heart patient to have a TAVR implant while under conscious sedation and not general anesthesia. “She was sitting up in a chair and walking shortly afterward, which is pretty tremendous,” says Steven Filby, M.D., the interventional cardiologist on FirstHealth’s TAVR medical team. With the minimally invasive TAVR, a damaged aortic valve can be replaced without being removed and without opening the patient’s chest. The Valve Clinic at Reid Heart has offered the TAVR option for patients considered too high risk for open-heart valve replacement since October 2013. Dr. Filby; cardiothoracic surgeons Peter I. Ellman, M.D., and Art Edgerton, M.D.; radiologist Michael Edwards, M.D.; and anesthesiologists from Pinehurst Anesthesiology Associates comprise the FirstHealth TAVR team.

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FirstHealth Cardiology, Rockingham 106 Physicians Park Drive, Rockingham FirstHealth Cardiology, Laurinburg 1705-A Berwick Drive, Laurinburg FirstHealth Cardiology, Raeford Physician Offices & Specialty Center 6322 Fayetteville Road, Raeford FirstHealth Cardiology, Pembroke 812 Candy Park Road, Suite 6101 A, Pembroke Our physicians: Peter L. Duffy, M.D.; Peter I. Ellman, M.D.; Art Edgerton, M.D.; Steven J. Filby, M.D.; William L. Harris, M.D.; John F. Krahnert Jr., M.D.; Mark D. Landers, M.D.; Olujide G. Lawal, M.D.; David J. Shin, M.D.; H. Allen Strunk Jr., D.O.; Peter J. Vassallo, M.D. For more information on FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Surgical, visit

Cancer care from

Cancer CARE


very personal story accompanies every single distribution from The Foundation of FirstHealth’s Cancer CARE Fund. Because there are so many great stories, Cancer CARE Fund coordinator Laura Kuzma finds it difficult to pull even one example from among them. “It’s nice to be able to have the generous participation of a community that really cares about taking care of its own,” she says. This kind of caring started the Cancer CARE Fund, (Survivor Thumbprint Tree, 2014) which began with an endowment from the late Ruth Lyman Watkins, a Foundation of FirstHealth benefactor. Watkins, who had cancer herself, had observed how even a little help can make a big difference in the life of a cancer patient. Since the Cancer CARE Fund’s inception 1 in 8K Moore CARES Race in 2000, The Foundation of FirstHealth has As a way for the community to get involved and continue to support distributed more than $1.3 million to help patients undergoing cancer treatment, The Foundation of FirstHealth’s thousands of patients in hundreds of ways. In Cancer CARE Fund will partner with the Village of Pinehurst and the Fiscal Year 2015 alone, a total of $130,496.30 Moore Free and Charitable Care Clinic for the 1 in 8K Moore CARES went to 519 patients – most of it (69 percent) to Race to be run through the streets of Pinehurst on Saturday, Sept. 10. people needing help with transportation to and from treatments. Proceeds will assist patients who are uninsured by supporting Another 17 percent of the 2015 funding scholarships for mammograms through the Moore Free and Charitable went toward medication assistance, 4 percent Care Clinic. Funding will also help meet the needs of community toward dental care and 7 percent toward various residents who are undergoing cancer treatment. other needs (from candy for patient waiting areas to wigs and prostheses to medical supplies). Keeping funds raised locally in the community has always been the Those receiving help have most often goal of the Cancer CARE Fund. been lung and breast cancer patients, followed by those with prostate, colon, head and neck, “It is important that those who support this race and the Cancer CARE ovarian and uterine cancer and smaller numbers Fund know that the funds are used for patients in our community, of bone, pancreatic, skin and kidney cancer. Fund directly and when they are needed most,” says Laura Kuzma, Cancer recipients have come from Moore, Richmond, CARE Fund coordinator. Lee, Hoke, Montgomery, Robeson, Scotland, Cumberland, Chatham, Anson, Harnett, For information about supporting the 1 in 8K Moore CARES Randolph and other counties in North Carolina Race, call The Foundation of FirstHealth at (910) 695-7500. and from Marlboro County, South Carolina.

(800) 213-3284 • 13

Back on the job (and the court and field) after knee surgery

Tillman “Bubba” Kirkley is successfully back on the job as


a supervisory special agent with CSX Railroad since his bilateral

ears of sprinting around knee replacement surgery at basketball courts and soccer, FirstHealth Moore Regional baseball and football fields as Hospital. a player or referee had taken their toll on Tillman “Bubba” Kirkley’s knees. Both of them. Nearly 30 years in various jobs with CSX Railroad, most recently as a supervisory special agent with patrol duties covering a 500-mile radius of his native Hamlet, hadn’t helped. Neither had a “family thing” of arthritis. Football season 2013 was especially tough. “I got to where I was hurting bad,” Kirkley says. to have them replaced one day,” he was told. When cortisone shots, heat and even knee On Dec. 16, 2013, Kirkley had both knees replaced braces no longer provided relief, Kirkley decided that at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst. something more had to be done. It’s made a world of difference to his quality of life – “In my shoes, what would you do?” he asked John both on the job and on the court. Three months after R. Moore, M.D., the orthopaedic surgeon he had met the surgery, Dr. Moore told him he could resume doing through mutual sports activities. “You’re going to have “what you want to do.”

14 Spring/Summer 2016

FirstHealth Rehabilitation FirstHealth of the Carolinas provides outpatient rehabilitation services at the following locations: Moore Rehab, 170 Memorial Drive, Pinehurst Aviemore Drive, 12 Aviemore Drive, Pinehurst Outpatient Rehabilitation-Richmond, 120 Richmond Memorial Drive, Rockingham Outpatient Rehabilitation-Raeford, 313 Teal Drive, Raeford Outpatient Rehabilitation-Troy, 520 Allen St., Troy Outpatient Rehabilitation-Sanford, 1227 Carthage St., Sanford For more information on FirstHealth Rehabilitation Services visit

The surgery, the hospital stay and the physical therapy were all much better than Kirkley had imagined. “It was my first time in the hospital in my life,” he says. “It was my first experience, and it was a good one.” His nurses had him out of bed within a few hours of the surgery, and inpatient physical therapy began soon afterward. Four days and three nights after the surgery, he was home. Three weeks of in-home physical therapy and another three weeks of physical therapy with FirstHealth Outpatient Rehabilitation at Richmond Memorial Hospital followed. He was even able to do some of his surgical follow-up with Dr. Moore in his Rockingham office. In March 2014, just three months after surgery, Kirkley was back at work, on individual patrol and supervising six other CSX agents in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” he says of his experience.

FirstHealth orthopaedic services FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers orthopaedic services at the following locations in Moore, Montgomery, Richmond and Hoke counties: Moore Regional Hospital, 155 Memorial Drive, Pinehurst Montgomery Memorial Hospital, Medical Arts Building, 522 Allen St., Suite 203, Troy Richmond Memorial Hospital, 809 South Long Drive, Suite K, Rockingham Moore Regional-Hoke Campus, Physician Offices & Specialty Center, 6322 Fayetteville Road, Raeford FirstHealth Orthopaedics participates in the CMS Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative, demonstrating superior outcomes and low cost in its joint replacement program. For more information, contact Bridgett Baird at (910) 715-1386.

(800) 213-3284 • 15

Caring for patients with chronic disease


ifty-five percent of the patients who are treated in the Transition Care Clinic (TCC) at FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital are uninsured. Medicare or Medicaid covers another 27.6 percent. Since the TCC at Montgomery Memorial opened in 2014, hospital readmission rates and return visits to the emergency department have decreased – this despite the fact that many TCC patients suffer from hypertension and/or diabetes, both chronic diseases that can be very hard to control. Montgomery Memorial President Beth Walker believes the TCC’s services had a lot to do with the hospital’s recent recognition for Excellence in Outcomes by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) and iVantage, a web-based health analysis firm. Only 16 rural North Carolina hospitals received the recognition, which is based on readmission and mortality rates and patient safety. According to Walker, Montgomery Memorial’s outcomes have always been good, but they have improved with the TCC. “Our TCC is a critical piece of this,” she says.

16 Spring/Summer 2016

What is a Transition Care Clinic? FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers the specialized services of a Transition Care Clinic (TCC) in each of the four mid-Carolinas counties with a FirstHealth hospital. Treatment requires a referral from a physician in the hospital, either an emergency department physician or a hospitalist, or from the patient’s primary

care provider. The individualized medical care may include IV diuretic therapy, health education and coaching, nutrition counseling, medication review and reconciliation, and assistance with financial issues. Physicians, nurse practitioners or physician assistants and nurses staff each clinic. Each clinic is open to all, regardless of ability to pay.

Transition Care Clinic provider Crystal Coen, FNP, confers with patient James Simmons while five of the health care professionals who provide specialized Transition Care Clinic services are shown in the background: (from left) Michelle Cole, R.D., LDN, CDE, diabetes educator; Alexis Elliott, LCSW, health coach; Christine Cowell, PA-C; Carla Lynthacum, LPN; and Cindy Laton, CTTS, CCP, tobacco cessation specialist.

TCC Locations Moore County: Specialty Centers Building, Entrance 1, 35 Memorial Drive, Pinehurst Montgomery County: Medical Arts Building, 522 Allen St., Troy Richmond County: Richmond Medical Park, 921 Long Drive, Suite 203, Rockingham Hoke County: FirstHealth Building (in front of Walmart), 4565 Fayetteville Road, Raeford

(800) 213-3284 • 17

N E W P ROV I DE R S Anesthesiology

Steven B. Collins, PA-C; Pinehurst Anesthesia Associates, FirstHealth Back & Neck Pain-Pinehurst, FirstHealth Back & Neck PainSanford; Moore Regional Hospital

Back & Neck Pain

Kondie L. Lykins, PA-C; Pinehurst Anesthesia Associates, FirstHealth Back & Neck Pain-Pinehurst; Moore Regional Hospital

Convenient Care

Diedre M. Bass, PA-C; FirstHealth Convenient Care

18 Spring/Summer 2016

Family Medicine

William Lee Bell, M.D.; FirstHealth Family Medicine-Robbins; Moore Regional Hospital

Family Medicine

Marri Brackman, D.O.; Pinehurst Medical Clinic; Moore Regional Hospital

Family Medicine

Linda K. Hughes, M.D.; FirstHealth Primary Care-Raeford

Family Medicine

David Emmons, FNP; FirstHealth Family Medicine-Rockingham

Family Medicine

Amy G. Gaweda, FNP; FirstHealth Primary Care-Raeford

Family Medicine

Kathryn Newell, PA-C; FirstHealth Primary Care-Raeford

Family Medicine

Bridget Thompson, PA-C; FirstHealth Family Medicine-Ellerbe


Vito Cirigliano, D.O.; Pinehurst Medical Clinic; Moore Regional Hospital


Joseph Perry, M.D.; Pinehurst Medical Clinic; Moore Regional Hospital

Gynecologic Oncology

Valerie D. Taylor, PA-C; FirstHealth Gynecologic Oncology

Hospitalist Service

Robin Edwin, M.D.; FirstHealth Hospitalist Service; Moore Regional Hospital, Moore Regional HospitalHoke Campus, Richmond Memorial Hospital

Hospitalist Service

Hospitalist Service

George J. Shalhoub, M.D.; FirstHealth Hospitalist Service; Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus; Transition Care Clinics

Hospitalist Service

Seth F. Weaver II, M.D.; FirstHealth Hospitalist Service; Moore Regional Hospital, Moore Regional HospitalHoke Campus, Richmond Memorial Hospital

Hospitalist Service


Cynthia Z. Africk, M.D.; FirstHealth Neurosurgery; Moore Regional Hospital


Andy Bibey, PA-C; FirstHealth Neurosurgery; Moore Regional Hospital


Gregory Collins, M.D.; FirstHealth Behavioral Services; Moore Regional Hospital, Moore Regional HospitalHoke Campus, Richmond Memorial Hospital


Jane Schwarting, PMHNP-BC; FirstHealth Behavioral Services; Moore Regional Hospital, Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus, Richmond Memorial Hospital


Do you need help in finding a primary care provider or medical specialist? If so, visit Omar D. Rodriguez, M.D.; FirstHealth Hospitalist Service; Moore Regional Hospital, Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus, Richmond Memorial Hospital

Corrine E. Bricher, PA-C; FirstHealth Hospitalist Service; Moore Regional Hospital, Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus, Richmond Memorial Hospital

Zeina A. Haddad, M.D.; Carolina Eye Associates; Moore Regional Hospital

(800) 213-3284 • 19

Wonderful stroke care in FHC Inpatient Rehab My husband was brought to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital for a stroke and, from the emergency room to ICU to neurology and, most importantly, Inpatient Rehab, what wonderful care he received. Everyone was so caring and made sure we were both comfortable. It was a traumatic experience, but they helped every step of the way. We would like to give special thanks to his Inpatient Rehab team (Judy Blasko, P.T; Dana McLean, O.T.; Jenny Thompson, O.T.; Liz Horvath, P.T.; The Joint Commission has Heather Fraley, P.T.; Michelle Cardona, certified the stroke care program SLP; and Amy Hand, R.N.) for all of at FirstHealth Moore Regional their help to get him up and moving. Hospital as a Primary Stroke To all the nurses and assistants, we Center. For more information on thank you, too. This is an excellent the stroke care services offered by facility with the most caring and FirstHealth of the Carolinas, visit professional people. I just can’t thank you enough for the great care you gave my husband.

A West End woman credits the FirstHealth Inpatient Rehabilitation team of (front row from left) Jenny Thompson, O.T.; Liz Horvath, P.T.; Heather Fraley, P.T.; and Dana McLean, O.T.; and (back row from left) Judy Blasko, P.T.; and Michelle Cardona, SLP, for helping get her husband “up and moving” after a stroke. Not pictured is Amy Hand, R.N.

Denise Manseau West End, North Carolina

Nothing but praise for Reid Heart Center I have nothing but high praise for your Reid Heart Center. Not only does it look great but, from the moment we stepped through the door, we were treated with courtesy and kindness. Each question was answered as needed. My husband and I both noted how cheerful everyone was, which makes such a difference to the patient. Lisa Trout, R.N., was my nurse, and she was great as was everyone who attended me in both the preparation for the Cath Lab and in the Cath Lab. I felt like a very welltaken-care-of cocoon. Since it is pretty intimidating to see all the machines, I was most appreciative of being informed of what was happening in there. My grateful thanks to everyone who was so attentive and helpful. I also want to sing the high praises of cardiologist Dr. Joseph Hakas. I met Dr. Hakas after my primary care physician was able to get me in to meet him very quickly. From that moment on, with his great and helpful staff, I was able to get a spot in the Cath Lab.

20 Spring/Summer 2016

I am so grateful to everyone for making this work. By the following Friday afternoon, I was on my way home with a new stent. So, in less than 24 hours, I was fixed with the helpful care of both Dr. Hakas and Dr. Patrick Simpson, also a cardiologist. Everyone went so out of their way to help me, and I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am. Judith Scruggs Vass, North Carolina

For more information on the heart care services provided by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, visit


155 Memorial Drive P.O. Box 3000 Pinehurst, NC 28374

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