FirstHealth Magazine - Summer 2013

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Summer 2013

the magazine from FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Heart Care from the Heart Facebook “f ” Logo

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The New Generation of cancer care.

Battling cancer requires the most powerful and advanced technology available. FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center now offers a highly specialized radiation treatment called “Stereotactic Radiosurgery” that treats certain cancers once considered inoperable while sparing healthy cells and preventing harsh side effects. Delivering treatments identical to those of a CyberKnife® or a Gamma Knife®, the Trilogy™ Stereotactic Radiosurgery System not only performs stereotactic radiosurgery but can also be used for conventional radiation therapy treatments, making the new linear accelerator the most versatile cancer treatment system available. It’s the new generation of cancer care, available today at Moore Regional Hospital. For more information, call (910) 715-1056.


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CEO Message

Individualized care that is high-tech and high-touch

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

s you read this issue of FirstHealth, you may notice a subtle but recurring theme. It is “individualized care.” From the diet and exercise plans provided by a registered dietitian and personal trainers with the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness to the treatment programs for patients with cardiovascular disease, cancer and other problems, the individual – the person with specific needs – is always the focus. It is FirstHealth’s core purpose “to care for people,” and we are always mindful of that. Each FirstHealth hospital and every FirstHealth service is located in a small town with a distinct community feel, so our patients are our friends, our neighbors, our loved ones. They are people we know and care for, not just inside but also outside the hospital and beyond the parameters of health care. In turn, FirstHealth is an organization that has historically been blessed by strong community support. That support built our first hospital more than 80 years ago and continues to this day. The Foundation of FirstHealth gives form and substance to the community’s largesse and helps us to provide many of the services and programs that set us apart from other “community” hospitals. It gives us the big-city technology and professional expertise that we highlight in this magazine. In the story on our new Valve Clinic, interventional cardiologist Steven Filby, M.D., talks about the “personalized care” that patients receive. In the article on Cardiology Services, clinic director Cindy Ward, R.N., notes that referring physicians reach a person, not an automated phone tree, when they call about services. The “high-tech” aspect of FirstHealth care, the result of our continuing commitment to invest in the best and highest-quality care possible for our patients, is reiterated in our 2012 Annual Report (found on pages 14-16). In it, you will read about a neurosurgeon who helped pioneer the spinal navigation procedure he offers at Moore Regional Hospital and about the stereotactic radiosurgery technology that began as an option for patients with brain cancer and has recently been expanded to include lung cancer. You will learn that our cardiothoracic surgeons now offer a procedure to relieve painful angina and about the acquisition of a new generation of robot-assisted surgical equipment. In a Hoke County update, you will see how FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital will introduce expert emergency care and 21st century imaging and other services to an area that has never before had a hospital of its own. You will learn that FirstHealth’s commitment to the area won’t end when the hospital opens this fall, but will expand with specialty services that will be added as needs are identified. You will also learn how FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company expanded its focus last year with a Medicare Advantage product called FirstMedicare Direct for eligible individuals in Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond and Scotland counties. In addition to including a membership to the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness, FirstMedicare Direct introduces FirstCarolinaCare’s wellness and chronic disease management programs to the Medicare-eligible population. While just a snapshot from the full FirstHealth of the Carolinas album of services, this issue of FirstHealth should help you to understand who we are and how we care for people – high-tech and high-touch for big-city medicine with a small-town feel.

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155 Memorial Drive P.O. Box 3000 Pinehurst, NC 28374 Editor, FirstHealth of the Carolinas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brenda Bouser Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Schneider Creative Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jan McLean Production Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Traci Marsh

f i r s t h e al t h .o rg

Contributing Writers

Amy Avery, Brenda Bouser, Ellen Geanes, Erica Stacy

Contributing Photographer Don McKenzie

Board of Directors FirstHealth of the Carolinas


CEO’s message

22 Calendar 23

Support groups


New providers

26 Letters

Mr. Julian W. King, Chair Mr. Hew Fulton, Vice Chair Robert Bahner Jr., M.D. Mr. Sherwood Blackwood Mr. Alex Bowness Mr. James H. Bulthuis David M. Cowherd, M.D. John N. Ellis, M.D. Mrs. Carolyn D. Helms David E. Hipp, M.D. Mrs. Anna G. Hollers

Mr. David J. Kilarski Ms. Tracy Leinbach Mr. Donald E. Padgett II Mr. Joel Shriberg Bruce S. Solomon, D.O. William L. Stewart, M.D. Mr. Robert E. Tweed Raymond G. Washington, M.D. Mr. David B. Woronoff

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

. . . Mr.

David J. Kilarski

. . . . Mrs.

Chief Information Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas .

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

Chief Medical Officer FirstHealth of the Carolinas .

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

Lynn S. DeJaco

David B. Dillehunt F. Krahnert Jr., M.D.

Chief Operating Officer, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mr. Brian T. Canfield Chief Nursing Officer, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Karen Robeano, DNP, R.N. President, FirstHealth Physician Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Daniel R. Barnes, D.O. President, FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital President, FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company .

. . . Mr.

. . . . . . Mr.

John J. Jackson Kenneth J. Lewis

President, Foundation of FirstHealth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mrs. Kathleen Stockham President, FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital. . . . Mrs. Beth Walker Vice President, Human Resources, FirstHealth of the Carolinas . . . . . . .

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

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

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

Daniel F. Biediger Jeffrey A. Casey

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

Cindy McNeill-McDonald

The not-for-profit FirstHealth of the Carolinas is headquartered in Pinehurst, N.C., and is composed of Moore Regional Hospital, Montgomery Memorial Hospital, Richmond Memorial Hospital (a division of Moore Regional Hospital), the Foundation of FirstHealth, FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company, and Regional Health Services. Comments on FirstHealth of the Carolinas magazine or changes of address should be directed to or to (910) 715-4278.

FirstHealth of the Carolinas is published by Krames StayWell 407 Norwalk St. Greensboro, NC 27407 (336) 547-8970 President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William G. Moore Senior Staff Accountant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sharon Tesh © Copyright 2013 by Krames 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 Krames 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 Krames StayWell or FirstHealth of the Carolinas. Models are used for illustrative purposes only.

2 Summer 2013

On the cover: Rockingham resident Don Deberry enjoys playing outdoors with his young daughter since a new procedure at FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center relieved his painful angina. (See related story on page 7.)

Features 3

The FirstHealth Valve Clinic


FirstHealth Cardiology Services


The Reid Research Center


Medical advancements

10 Interested in losing weight? FirstHealth has options 13 Keeping active people active with sports medicine 14 FirstHealth in 2012: A year of change, progress and milestones in caring for people 17 FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital … coming VERY soon 18 Guided care for patients with chronic illness 21 Social media in health care

The FirstHealth

Valve Clinic

Valve Clinic Leadership The FirstHealth Valve Clinic is led by interventional cardiologist Steven J. Filby, M.D.; and cardiothoracic surgeons Peter I. Ellman, M.D., and Art Edgerton, M.D. Dr. Filby earned his M.D. from the Louisiana State University Medical School. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.; a general cardiology fellowship at UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill; and a two-year interventional cardiovascular and endovascular fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Dr. Ellman earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Virginia and his cardiothoracic training at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Edgerton earned his medical degree from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine. He completed a residency in general surgery and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. As coordinator of the Valve Clinic, Dona Baker, R.N., BSN, coordinates patient appointments with physicians as well as the procedures that are required for evaluation. She also serves as the central contact for patients and families. A graduate of the University of Central Florida in Orlando with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, she previously worked as a registered nurse in the Cardiac Cath Lab at Moore Regional Hospital.


he human heart has four chambers, each with a valve that directs the forward flow of blood and prevents backward leakage. When a valve doesn’t work properly—when it lacks an opening for blood to flow through or if it leaks, for example, a person may experience symptoms ranging from weakness or dizziness to palpitations to chest discomfort. Treatment will depend on the type and/or severity of the problem. An interventional cardiologist and two heart surgeons with the FirstHealth Valve Clinic have developed a team approach that includes prompt evaluations and expert treatment options for patients with valve disorders. “By choosing our program, patients get care in a unique environment—a state-of-the-art facility that has a small-town feel to it,” says interventional cardiologist Steven J. Filby, M.D. “They come to one central location and get personalized care.” When patients are referred to what is essentially a “one-stop” Valve Clinic, specialized testing is centrally located for patient convenience and all requests for previous diagnostic tests and subspecialty appointments are arranged for them. As a result, most patients will spend only an afternoon consulting with FirstHealth Valve Clinic physicians. Afterward, the multidisciplinary professional team will meet to evaluate test and examination results and to recommend a treatment plan that is specific to the patient. Treatment options may include medical management, conventional surgery or the latest minimally invasive options for disorders such as aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation, pulmonary stenosis, mitral stenosis and mitral regurgitation. “We want to encourage patients to explore the full spectrum of therapeutic options,” Dr. Filby says. “Our goal is to provide the very best treatment strategy for each individual patient.”

Steven Filby, M.D.

Peter Ellman, M.D.

Art Edgerton, M.D.


to the FirstHealth Valve Clinic, visit or call (855) 695-7915.

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FirstHealth Cardiology Services


irstHealth Cardiology Services unites seven FirstHealth cardiologists in four midCarolinas counties to better serve the needs of patients and referring physicians throughout the region. The service operates under the umbrella of the FirstHealth Physician Group, an organization of FirstHealth-employed providers. It was launched last summer with the opening of FirstHealth Cardiology Services-Reid Heart Center and the affiliation of the previously independent Pinehurst Cardiology Consultants with FirstHealth of Carolinas. In addition to the Reid Heart Center program, which is located on the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, FirstHealth Cardiology Services operates clinics in Moore, Richmond, Scotland and Montgomery counties. Services available through these clinics allow for more rapid patient evaluations (most within 24 hours) as well as local care management and non-invasive diagnostic testing for patient convenience. Patients requiring more complex diagnostic examinations are referred to the state-of-the-art Reid Heart Center. “With seven cardiologists and a family nurse practitioner in the group, we can enhance communication, reduce duplication, get patients to the correct specialists and provide more robust geographic coverage for this area—and all through one phone number for the referring physician,” says cardiologist Peter L. Duffy, M.D., of FirstHealth Cardiology Services–Pinehurst. “The integration of the practice allows us to focus on patient care instead of on the details of running a small business.” According to Cindy Ward, R.N., clinical director of FirstHealth Cardiology Services, the new approach is based on “accessibility”—for patients and for referring providers. “Primary care physicians who call our center will speak to a referral coordinator, not a phone tree, to match the patient with the correct specialist or location,” she says.

Cardiology Services Locations and Providers FirstHealth Cardiology Services– Reid Heart Center 120 Page Road North Pinehurst, N.C. Steven J. Filby, M.D. FirstHealth Cardiology Services– Pinehurst Heather Glen Office Park 7 Regional Circle Pinehurst, N.C. Peter L. Duffy, M.D. Mark D. Landers, M.D. H. Allen Strunk Jr., D.O. Peter J. Vassallo, M.D. Dinah P. Welch, FNP FirstHealth Cardiology Services– Rockingham 106 Physicians Park Drive Rockingham, N.C. ’Jide G. Lawal, M.D. David J. Shin, M.D. FirstHealth Cardiology Services– Laurinburg 1705-A Berwick Drive Laurinburg, N.C. ’Jide G. Lawal, M.D. FirstHealth Cardiology Services–Troy 1038 Albemarle Road Troy, N.C. (located inside Mid Carolina Family Medicine) David J. Shin, M.D.

For more information call (800) 213-3284.

For PATIENT REFERRALS call (855) 695-7915.

The cardiologists of FirstHealth Cardiology Services: (from left) Peter L. Duffy, M.D.; ’Jide G. Lawal, M.D.; Mark D. Landers, M.D.; H. Allen Strunk Jr., D.O.; Peter J. Vassallo, M.D.; David J. Shin, M.D.; Steven J. Filby, M.D.

4 Summer 2013

The Reid Research Center


or more than 80 years, FirstHealth’s physicians, staff and volunteers have prided themselves on a quality of care considered rare outside of large health care institutions and teaching facilities. The financial support of The Foundation of FirstHealth has helped create this focus on the “big-city care with a small-town touch” for which FirstHealth of the Carolinas has become known. With the creation of FirstHealth’s Reid Research Center, this focus is gaining more significance. “The Reid Research Center, generously supported through community philanthropy, supports research throughout the FirstHealth health care system,” says Kathleen Stockham, president of The Foundation of FirstHealth. “Funds are used to invest in technology and resources to enlist and enhance clinical trials, physician-sponsored studies, nursing research projects, best practices studies and other forms of analysis to improve patient care in the mid-Carolinas.” There is no building called the Reid Research Center, but the programs and activities that the initiative supports are evident throughout the FirstHealth organization. “You can build a center without building a building,” says Chris Miller, administrative director of FirstHealth Community Health Services. “We have people in the system who can and are ready to implement research.” Nowhere is this approach more apparent than in FirstHealth’s Clinical Trials program. Clinical trials are research opportunities that determine whether new drugs, treatments, devices or approaches are safe and effective. These opportunities, which may also look at disease prevention, are conducted with people who volunteer to participate. Most clinical trials answer scientific questions and try to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose or treat a disease. According to Miller, clinical trials research has been ongoing at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital for about 20 years—most of it involving cancer. The focus has broadened as physicians and therapists in other medical specialties have begun to offer the new drugs, devices and treatments provided in clinical trials. An example of a non-cancer-related program is the now-completed clinical trial for patients with foot drop, a mobility-limiting condition associated with stroke, traumatic brain injury and neurological diseases. FirstHealth’s Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation was one of only 30 test sites selected for the national study. Research studies are also being offered or being planned in such areas as coronary artery disease and heart failure. Cancer trials have covered such areas as colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Reid Research Center support also extends onto hospital floors as nurses study and adopt best practices in patient care, many of them researched and presented by FirstHealth’s Nursing Evidence-based Research and Development Squad (NERDS). “The goal is to get these opportunities in all of our hospitals, including the new one in Hoke County, as well as in all non-hospital-based programs,” Miller says. “All of these things help enhance the quality of services and therapies we provide.”

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FirstHealth’s Center for Outpatient Rehabilitation was one of only 30 test sites in the country selected for a national clinical trial on a medical device used to assist patients with foot drop, a condition associated with stroke, traumatic brain injury and neurological diseases.

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advancements ‌ Quicker recovery. More precise treatment. Choices for care when there were none before. By Amy Avery

These are the reasons FirstHealth of the Carolinas brings together specialists and sub-specialists with a wide range of experience and expertise. It’s also the reason FirstHealth continues to bring its patients advanced equipment and facilities. As these stories tell, advanced choices mean better and better care for patients across the state as well as those in the Sandhills.

6 Summer 2013

Though only in his 50s, Don Deberry used to wake up with a racing, “quivering” heart, a symptom of his angina. A new procedure performed by cardiothoracic surgeon Peter I. Ellman, M.D., at FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center changed his life. DeBerry was the first Reid Heart Center patient to have a transmyocardial revascularization (TMR).

… ... in treatment for chest pain For years, extreme heart pain, or angina, kept Rockingham resident Don Deberry from doing the simplest of things. Though only in his early 50s, Deberry awoke in the early hours of many mornings with a racing, “quivering” heart that was beating 150 or more times a minute, instead of the normal 60 to 100. He had to stop four or five times during every short walk to get the mail. Playing with his toddler, Ciara, or spending quality time with his wife, Eileen, always seemed out of reach. “Angina feels like a heart attack, and I’d already had three,” Deberry says. “It was to the point I was afraid to go anywhere. My doctors had tried everything, and I’d stopped looking for a solution.” Heart specialists at FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center had not. “Every treatment we offer aims to improve the day-to-day quality of our patients’ lives,” says Peter I. Ellman, M.D., a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. “We’re always looking for one more option, one more tool to offer patients who might not have many other choices.” Last fall, Deberry’s physicians brought him hope in the form of new tools and a new technique—an advanced procedure that would dramatically reduce his angina pain.

The procedure is called trans-myocardial revascularization, or TMR. It’s one of the very few treatments that, short of a heart transplant, can offer people with such serious angina hope for a more normal life. It is reserved for those patients with severe angina who are not candidates for stents or bypass surgery because of the severity of their coronary artery disease. “We had the research to show that TMR can help people go from having severe and debilitating chest pain to having little or no pain,” Dr. Ellman says. “It’s one more tool we’ve invested in at Reid Heart Center, so we can continue to offer advanced, state-of-the-art medical care for the people living in our part of the state and beyond.” The TMR procedure requires a special laser and an incision in the chest muscle that’s only 2 to 3 inches long. Through this incision, the surgeon uses the laser to create up to 40 short “channels” in the heart muscle, each as wide as the head of a pin. Research shows these channels may improve blood flow by stimulating the growth of new blood vessels. TMR is also thought to have an anesthetic effect on the nerves in the heart that can relieve pain immediately. Facebook “f ” Logo

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advancements … Patients are usually up and walking Don Deberry enjoys life just hours after the procedure. more, including play time with daughter Ciara, since Deberry was the first Reid Heart Cena procedure at FirstHealth’s ter patient to have TMR. By all accounts, Reid Heart Center relieved the results were outstanding. his angina pain. “For years, I was taking up to six nitroglycerine tablets a day, plus wearing a nitroglycerine patch 12 hours a day,” Deberry says, “but I’ve not needed any of that since having TMR last October. It’s amazing.” Deberry now enjoys spending time with his wife and little Ciara—at home and on outings with his grown children and extended family. “Without the TMR, I don’t think I’d be here today,” he says, “but through the staff at FirstHealth and my doctors, Dr. Ellman and (cardiologist) Dr. (Patrick) Simpson, God had his hand on me and on my family.”

... in treatment for chronic pain Just two years ago, 89-year-old Anne Prunty of Pinehurst had leg pain that made it difficult for her to walk or stand. “My family doctor had me try so many pain medicines, but I was allergic to every single one of them,” Prunty says. “I couldn’t even take aspirin.” When the pain got worse over time, Prunty’s doctor sent her to the FirstHealth Back & Neck Pain Center in Pinehurst. There she found an advanced Paul J. Kuzma, M.D. procedure that gave her relief without major surgery. It’s called the “MILD” procedure, and it brings people like Anne Prunty to FirstHealth from across North Carolina and other states.

8 Summer 2013

FirstHealth’s pain specialists were among the first in the state to offer it. Normal aging can cause changes in the lower spine. A common result of these changes is called “lumbar spinal stenosis.” People with it might feel pins and needles, shooting pain or heaviness in the legs. They often feel better once they sit down. As Prunty found, the pain and discomfort can keep them from doing the everyday activities they want and need to do. “The majority of the patients we see for this condition are in their 70s, 80s and even 90s,” says Paul J. Kuzma, M.D., a specialist in pain management with the FirstHealth Back & Neck Pain Centers. “Pain medicines often don’t work as well for them, and many do not want or cannot have surgery. But our investments in training and special equipment allow us to offer this procedure and give them significant relief.”

With spinal stenosis, the lower (lumbar) canal in the spine grows narrow over time and presses on the nerves that run through it. During the MILD procedure, which stands for “minimally invasive lumbar decompression,” a specialist uses tiny surgical tools to remove tissue or bone growing in this narrow space, relieving the pressure and improving blood flow. “A short recovery time is one huge benefit of this procedure and many notice the pain relief within hours,” Dr. Kuzma says. “Most patients don’t need general anesthesia, and they can go home the same day with only a simple Band-Aid along the spine.” Although the procedure does not completely rid people of

pain, research studies and the experience at FirstHealth show the relief is significant. Nationally, 70 percent of MILD patients have 50 to 70 percent improvement in pain. “If we can cut the pain in half—especially without surgery and without a long recovery, that’s a huge benefit for our patients,” Dr. Kuzma says. “That means a lot to their quality of life.” Anne Prunty agrees. “Everyone at the Pain Center understands what it’s like to be in pain, and they’re so caring,” she says. “Today, between the MILD procedure and therapy, I’m able to do the simple things I couldn’t do before. It’s helped a lot.”

... in robot-assisted surgery You might have heard that the da Vinci robot offers patients at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital an important choice for surgery. Unless you’re in the medical field, though, it can be hard to fully appreciate what this choice means. “This is an amazingly useful and powerful tool, and it’s changed how we treat many different medical conditions,” says Greg L. Griewe, M.D., Greg L. Griewe, M.D. a urologist with FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and Pinehurst Surgical. Dr. Griewe commonly uses the da Vinci Surgical System for patients who need prostate or kidney surgery. It’s also used for more uncommon procedures, such as removal of cancerous adrenal glands. A more recent addition to the FirstHealth medical staff, Michael J. Sundborg, M.D., of Southern Pines Women’s Health Center, will soon be using robotic surgery to treat patients with gynecological cancers.

Because of the system’s robotic “arms,” a surgeon has much more control of surgical tools than ever before. This precision helps avoid damage to nerves and other tissues, reduces blood loss and the need for transfusions, and reduces the need for pain medicine after surgery. The “arms” are also more flexible than many other available tools, so they give surgeons access to areas of the body that are often hard to reach. All these advancements help patients recover more quickly, and they make surgery an option for some patients who are not healthy enough for traditional surgery. With FirstHealth’s investment in the very latest version of the da Vinci system, physicians have the foundation on which advanced tools will be built. So they will be able to do more for more patients in the future. “Robotic surgery is a great leap forward,” Dr. Griewe says. “Compared to traditional ‘open’ surgery, the difference is like night and day. And there’s so much more we can do and will be doing with this type of surgery over time.”

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Interested in losing weight? FirstHealth has options Bariatric surgery an option for the morbidly obese


or people who are morbidly obese and have been unsuccessful in controlling their weight through diet and exercise, bariatric (weight-loss) surgery can be an effective treatment option. FirstHealth’s Bariatric Center, located at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, offers Roux-en Y divided gastric bypass surgery as well as adjustable gastric band and gastric sleeve procedures. Since its beginning in 1999, FirstHealth’s weight-loss surgery program has helped more Raymond Washington, M.D. than 1,000 patients lose weight and regain control of their lives. General and bariatric surgeons Raymond G. Washington Jr., M.D., and David W. Grantham, M.D., comprise FirstHealth’s weight-loss surgery team. Both are affiliated with Pinehurst Surgical. Dr. Washington, who is the program’s medical director, began his extensive bariatric training by assisting on more than 250 bariatric cases. A graduate of the Medical College of Virginia, he completed his internship and residency at Christiana Care Health Systems in Wilmington, Del. He is a member of the American Society of David Grantham, M.D. Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons and is certified by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Grantham, who is also certified by the American Board of Surgery, received his medical training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his residency and a fellowship in advanced laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. A third member of the Bariatric Center staff, Melissa Herman, R.D., LDN, CDE, is a registered dietitian who specializes in working with bariatric surgery patients. She counsels patients about diet concerns before and after surgery, and creates diet plans that are individualized to patient needs. She also leads a monthly weight-loss support group that encourages shared patient experiences and peer support. “Our program is built on indefinite follow-up based on surgery, nutrition and education,” says Dr. Washington. “Surgery is just one component of the program. It is also important to develop good eating habits and a good understanding of what exercise and nutrition can do regarding weight loss.”

10 Summer 2013

Post-surgical diabetes remission called “Top Medical Innovation” Raeford resident Rick Sousa knew there was a chance his type 2 diabetes would go into remission once he’d had weight-loss surgery. Or that he would see enough of an improvement in the disease that he would no longer need medication to control it. Sousa also knew there was no guarantee of either outcome, but he hoped for the best and got it. Less than a month after his surgery at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, the FirstHealth paramedic started to notice an encouraging change in his blood sugar levels. “They were slowly going down,” he says. Except for the two multivitamins he takes daily, Sousa no longer needs any kind of medication. He is completely off his oral diabetes medicine as well as the medication he took to lower his cholesterol and to prevent problems with his blood pressure and kidneys. “I’m feeling fantastic,” he says. Since his surgery, Sousa has enjoyed the benefit of what one of the foremost health care systems in the country calls “the top medical innovation for 2013” or, according to the Cleveland Clinic, research showing that bariatric surgery can help control diabetes even when medicine cannot. In fact, said a recent Cleveland Clinic press release, “Many diabetes experts now believe that weight-loss surgery should be offered much earlier as a reasonable treatment option for patients with poorly controlled diabetes—not as a last resort.” Weight-loss surgeons at Moore Regional Hospital have observed this remission phenomenon (disappearance or lessening of symptoms) time and time again in their patients with type 2 diabetes.

Health & Fitness dietitian

Registered dietitian Ashley Carpenter, of the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness, consults fitness center members, FirstHealth employees and community residents of all ages about adopting healthy eating patterns. Those who meet with her about nutrition education and chronic disease prevention get an individualized plan that is designed toward specific fitness and nutrition goals.


egistered dietitian Ashley Carpenter, R.D., LDN, works with the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness to help members, hospital staff and community residents of all ages adopt healthier eating habits. She has a B.S. degree in nutrition from East Carolina University and has been with FirstHealth since 2007. Before joining the Centers for Health & Fitness, Carpenter worked as a dietitian in a variety of FirstHealth outpatient specialty programs, including the Bariatric Program, the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab programs, and the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center. She also served as an inpatient dietitian at Moore Regional Hospital, where she worked with a variety of patients with complicated diagnoses. People who meet with Carpenter about nutrition education and chronic disease prevention get an individualized plan that is designed toward specific fitness and nutrition goals. Carpenter also provides metabolic testing to measure resting metabolic rate or RMR (the number of calories a person burns to maintain his/her vital body processes in a resting state). The test involves simply sitting in a chair and breathing normally into a tube for 10 to 15 minutes. Using the results of this metabolic measurement, Carpenter can provide a precise recommendation of the individual’s calorie needs for weight management and develop an individualized plan based on that information. The same test is also available as a service of the FirstHealth Diabetes Education and Nutrition Center. Facebook “f ” Logo

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Genetic testing holds a weight-loss key


ohn F. Krahnert Jr., M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon and FirstHealth’s chief medical officer, added “guinea pig” to his resume when he accepted an offer to try out the genetic code test that FirstHealth’s Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center plans to offer to patients. He learned a lot about his personal response to exercise, diet and nutrition by participating in a scientific process that began with the very non-scientific-sounding process of spitting into a cup. “It’s amazing what they can get out of a test tube of spit,” he says. The test, called Pathway Fit Testing, is provided by Pathway Genomics Corporation, a California-based clinical laboratory that offers genetic testing services. Although some modules include testing for genetic predisposition for certain diseases, the test to be used by FirstHealth focuses on nutritional codes related to diet and weight-management. “It will be offered as a service as part of our diabetes and nutrition department,” says registered dietitian Melissa Herman of the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center. “We hope to pilot it with weight-loss surgery patients and test them before surgery to see if we get better outcomes. We will reveal the findings with the patient and then provide additional counseling and support as needed.” The test will provide information on the individual’s response to exercise and diet. Is one type of exercise more beneficial to the individual than another, for example? Are certain eating behaviors healthier for that person than others? In addition to lots of other information, Dr. Krahnert’s test revealed that he gets more benefit from endurance training than strength training, that he has a good blood pressure response to exercise and that he is at very low risk for elevated triglycerides. It also found that he is what he calls a “balanced diet kind of guy.” Others may find that they have a “snacking behavior,” a “hunger gene” or an “eating disinhibition” gene—meaning they are likely to “graze” on certain types of foods or be more susceptible to hunger or eat even when full. When combined with information from a lifestyle questionnaire, the process produces a recommended diet (Balanced, Low Carb, Low Fat or Mediterranean) along with guidelines on serving sizes, food limitations and meal plan ideas. When shared during a consultation with a physician or dietitian, the information from genetic coding can be used to produce meaningful lifestyle changes. “Spitting into a cup is nothing,” Dr. Krahnert says, “but the information you get back is incredible.”

For more information

on any of these FirstHealth programs, call (800) 213-3284. 12 Summer 2013

Exercise is Medicine


xercise is an important tool in any weight-loss program, and FirstHealth’s Exercise is Medicine program can be an important component of almost any weight-loss regimen. Hosted by the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness, the physician-referral Exercise is Medicine (EIM) program allows participants to meet with an exercise specialist to develop an “exercise prescription.” It also includes a two-week trial membership to the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness of the participant’s choice. And it is free. Crucial to EIM’s success is the partnership with a physician who can help the participant understand—and act on—the use of regular exercise for Holly Sinnott attaining and maintaining health. Originally funded by The Foundation of FirstHealth, EIM is for people who do not currently participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, who are at risk for chronic diseases, who are currently dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or who need help incorporating an exercise plan into their lifestyle. Holly Sinnott, who brought an extensive background in healthy living programs to FirstHealth, has served as EIM coordinator for the past year. She has a master’s degree in public health from Georgia Southern University.

FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness As medical fitness facilities, the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness are more than gyms. Their programs are medically based and supervised by a medical doctor. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst 170 Memorial Drive Pinehurst, NC

Center for Health & Fitness– Troy 524 Wood St. Troy, NC

Center for Health & Fitness– Southern Pines 205 Davis Road Southern Pines, NC

Center for Health & Fitness– Raeford 313 Teal Drive Raeford, NC

Center for Health & Fitness– Richmond 120 Richmond Memorial Drive Rockingham, NC

Center for Health & Fitness– Pembroke 923 W. Third St. Pembroke, NC

Keeping active people active with sports medicine By Erica Stacy


hen Colleen Kaiser injured her knee playing soccer during her freshman year in high school, her family chose orthopaedic surgeon David Fedder, M.D., for her treatment. “Dr. Fedder was able to look at my injury from a sports standpoint,” Kaiser says. “He gave me choices that would allow me to continue playing. It was important to have options and not be limited by my injury.” Dr. Fedder, who completed a Fellowship at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, has always had an interest in athletic injuries. Earlier this year, he earned a subspecialty certification in orthopaedic sports medicine. He is one of a select group of physicians to qualify for the certification, which includes various requirements such as a David Fedder, M.D. 200-question written examination. “Everyone is an athlete in some sense of the word,” Dr. Fedder says. “Understanding how participation in a sport affects the body and its recovery from injury helps me keep people active and doing the things they enjoy.” Dr. Fedder estimates that more than half of his patients receive treatment for sports injuries. “I have the opportunity to care for a diverse segment of our community,” he says. “I see young athletes as well as 70-year-olds who want to keep playing tennis or enjoying time on the golf course. Most want to stay active, so they are motivated and willing to work hard to get back in the game.” Kaiser was running within three or four months after her first injury and surgery and playing soccer again in six months. Since then, Dr. Fedder has treated her for two additional injuries. “I guess you could say that I’ve become a frequent flyer,” she says. Now a student at North Carolina State University, Kaiser plans to major in textile engineering with a concentration in biomedical applications. “I want to help other girls who want to be athletes,” she says. “Dr. Fedder inspired that passion in me. We are lucky to have someone with his background in our community.” Dr. Fedder is associated with FirstHealth Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement and Pinehurst Surgical. He has been practicing medicine locally since 1992, but says he has never stopped learning. “This new certification offers additional assurance to my patients that I am committed to keeping them active,” he says. “When you need an electrician for your home, you want someone with the right credentials to ensure your home’s integrity. When you have an injury, you deserve the same assurance for the health and safety of your body.”

Colleen Kaiser was running within three or four months of her first knee injury and orthopaedic surgery and playing soccer again in six months. Since then, David Fedder, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon with a certification in sports medicine, has treated her for two additional injuries.

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FirstHealth in


A year of change, progress and milestones in caring for people

Milestones Hoke Community Hospital FirstHealth of the Carolinas begins the process of bringing the first-ever hospital to Hoke County. The community celebrates the construction of FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital on Highway 401 outside of Raeford just before Christmas 2012 with a topping-out ceremony highlighted by the placement of a steel beam covered with the signatures of FirstHealth supporters, physicians and employees. (For a Hoke Community Hospital update, see page 17.)

Clara’s House opening

As a 60-year employee of Richmond Memorial Hospital, Crawford Lefler (at right) gets the first slice of cake as the facility notes six decades of service to Richmond County. RMH President John Jackson is pictured at left. The hospital opened on Nov. 9, 1952.

The Clara McLean House at FirstHealth welcomes its first guests in April 2012. The 20,000-square-foot Clara’s House was built with widespread community support and the philanthropy of the late Clara McLean to give out-of-town patients and their families a place to call home during the stress of medical treatments or hospital stays.

RMH at 60 FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital notes 60 years of service to Richmond County and surrounding communities. Crawford Lefler, whose employment with the hospital predates the facility’s opening, is on hand for the celebration.

New Services

Pharmacy technician Gennifer Goins assists customers at the FirstHealth Outpatient Pharmacy at Moore Regional Hospital.

14 Summer 2013

00 An employee/ambulatory pharmacy opens on the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Prescription services from the FirstHealth Outpatient Pharmacy are available to patients being discharged from Moore Regional Hospital, to patients treated in the hospital’s Emergency Department or any of Moore Regional’s outpatient clinics, and to FirstHealth employees and their dependents. 00 Operating under the umbrella of the FirstHealth Physician Group, FirstHealth Cardiology Services begins offering care with FirstHealth Cardiology Services–Reid Heart Center. A FirstHealth affiliation with Pinehurst Cardiology Consultants creates FirstHealth Cardiology Services–Pinehurst. By the end of the year, cardiology clinics have also opened in Richmond, Scotland and Montgomery counties. (See related story on page 4.)

00 FirstHealth FirstCare opens in Raeford to provide walk-in convenient care for general illness, injury treatment, pediatrics, immunizations, and lab and X-ray services. 00 Cardiothoracic surgeon Peter I. Ellman, M.D., performs Moore Regional’s first TMR (trans-myocardial revascularization) procedure on a Richmond County man with painful angina. (See related story on page 7.) 00 FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company receives approval to offer a Medicare Advantage product called FirstMedicare Direct and begins enrolling subscribers later in the year. 00 Richmond Memorial Hospital and DaVita Inc. enter a partnership to provide inpatient dialysis services at Richmond Memorial Hospital. 00 A pioneering neurosurgeon, Charles S. Haworth, M.D., joins the FirstHealth medical staff and begins offering spinal navigation technology to treat patients with spinal stenosis, ruptured discs and vertebrae that have slipped out of place. 00 The availability of stereotactic radiosurgery in the Radiology Oncology department at Moore Regional Hospital makes highly effective cancer care possible for some people who have not been candidates for traditional cancer surgery. Previously available only for patients with brain cancer, stereotactic radiosurgery at Moore Regional has since been expanded to include patients with lung and other cancers. 00 Funded by The Foundation of FirstHealth, FirstNavistar, FirstHealth’s Web-based health and community information database and call center, begins serving Moore, Montgomery, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond and Lee counties. 00 The “eCards” greeting card service becomes available to patients in Moore Regional, Montgomery Memorial and Richmond Memorial hospitals.

Expanded Services & Renovations 00 FirstHealth enters a new level in state-of-the-art robot-assisted surgery with the arrival of the da Vinci Si Surgical System at Moore Regional Hospital. A third-generation robotic system, da Vinci Si offers the latest technology and imaging for minimally invasive robotic procedures. 00 FirstHealth opens new Back & Neck Pain Centers in Raeford and Sanford to join an existing service in Pinehurst. 00 Montgomery County women get access to FirstHealth OB/GYN services with the opening of a specialty practice with office hours shared by Rasheed Yabuku, M.D., and Mohamed Ibrahim, M.D., of FirstHealth Richmond Medical Group–Women’s Center. 00 Fifty-four rooms in two patient care areas at Richmond Memorial Hospital get a facelift in a renovation project that is completed without interruption to patient care.

MRH LEADERSHIP TEAM—Moore Regional Hospital welcomes Brian T. Canfield (at left) as its chief operating officer during 2012, and one of his first responsibilities is the recruitment of the hospital’s chief nursing officer. Within months, Karen Robeano, DNP, R.N., joins a leadership team headed by David J. Kilarski, (at right) FirstHealth CEO and president of Moore Regional Hospital.








Accolades 00 Moore Regional Hospital is named one of North Carolina’s best hospitals in the March 2012 issue of Business North Carolina magazine and is later ranked the fifth best hospital in North Carolina and among the best in the Piedmont region in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of the nation’s Best Hospitals. Cleverley + Associates, a national health care data and consulting firm,


recognizes Moore Regional as a top-ranked Community Value Provider. Becker’s Hospital Review recognizes Moore Regional Hospital as one of 101 hospitals throughout the country with great orthopaedic programs. The accredited cancer treatment program at Moore Regional Hospital receives its third consecutive Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). Only 13 facilities—and just one other in North Carolina—have been recognized for three consecutive surveys. FirstHealth receives the Hospital Prevention Excellence Award from NC Prevention Partners for its efforts in promoting a healthy environment through tobacco-free campuses and healthy food policies. FirstHealth Home Care is named a Top Agency of the 2012 HomeCare Elite, a compilation of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. The FirstHealth Family Care Centers receive the Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home designation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, indicating that their care is personalized, coordinated, effective and efficient. FirstHealth of the Carolinas is recognized as one of the 100 “Most Wired” Health Systems in the U.S. in a national benchmarking survey conducted by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine. Moore Regional Hospital receives the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR ACTION Registry—Get with the Guidelines (GWTG) Gold Performance Achievement Award, which recognizes its success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients. Only 167 hospitals in the country get the award. For the third consecutive year, FirstHealth of the Carolinas receives a Spirit of North Carolina Award for Campaign Excellence from the United Way of North Carolina. The award recognizes outstanding commitment and support to communities through local United Way involvement. Facebook “f ” Logo

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Patient Care Initiatives

SCHOOL HEALTH CENTERS—A long partnership between FirstHealth of the Carolinas and Montgomery County Schools gets a boost with the opening of new School Health Center buildings at East and West Montgomery Middle schools. The centers serve all school-aged children in Montgomery County, provided their parents have consented to the service.

Grants 00 $953,129 to be disbursed over four years from the HRSA Office for the Advancement of Telehealth to create the FirstHealth Center for Telehealth. 00 $68,190 (in partnership with the Moore Free Care Clinic, Pinehurst Radiology, the Moore County Department of Social Services and the Moore County Health Department) from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Affiliate to provide free screening mammograms for uninsured and underinsured Moore County residents. 00 $23,635 from the March of Dimes for tobacco-cessation support for pregnant women in Richmond County. 00 $47,143 from the N.C Department of Health and Human Services/N.C. Collaboration Initiative for teen tobacco-use prevention. 00 $172,528 from The Duke Endowment to establish the position of heart failure care transitions nurse. 00 A total of $2,400 from North Carolina SAFE Kids for a variety of children’s safety programs. 00 $29,903 from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Rural Health and Community Care for a medical access program for uninsured patients at FirstHealth Family Care Center–Richmond Family Medicine. 00 $25,000 from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Rural Health and Community Care for a medical access program for uninsured patients at the FirstHealth Family Care Center–Troy. 00 $10,000 from the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (America’s Toothfairy Grant) to support delivery of comprehensive oral health care for underserved children.

00 FirstHealth Physician Group: An organization of the more than 150 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who are employed by FirstHealth of the Carolinas. Services include dental, hospital medicine, cardiology, cardiovascular thoracic surgery, gynecological oncology, neonatology, neurosurgery, infectious diseases, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, family practice medicine and internal medicine. 00 Patient and Family Advisory Council: A 32-member organization of former and current patients and FirstHealth staff charged with setting the standard for providing the “exceptional” patient experience. 00 No Pass Zone: An initiative from the FirstHealth HCAHPS Quality Team regarding call light response at Moore Regional and Richmond Memorial hospitals. 00 AIDET: An initiative encouraging the five fundamentals of patient communication: A (Acknowledge) I (Introduce) D (Duration) E (Explanation) T (Thank You). 00 Mandatory Flu Vaccines: A new Employee Health vaccination policy that requires every FirstHealth employee who works in a hospital building or the Hospice House or whose regular responsibilities include any patient contact—with the exception of those granted a special medical condition exemption— to be vaccinated against flu. 00 Patient Navigators: Registered nurses who serve as advocates for patients needing help working through the health care system. (See related story on page 18.)

Support of Communities 00 As a Gold Sponsor for the 2012 Turkey Festival in Raeford, FirstHealth of the Carolinas maintains a high level of visibility throughout an entire week of activities. 00 In recognition of the groundbreaking for FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital, FirstHealth makes a $5,000 donation to the Hoke Museum.

FirstHealth of the Carolinas is the primary sponsor for the Uwharrie Mountain Festival in Montgomery County. With its focus on health and physical activity, the 2012 festival includes various outdoor activities as well as programs and screenings sponsored by FirstHealth.

16 Summer 2013

FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital …

coming VERY soon


he sign at the construction site says “Coming Soon,” but a specific date has been set for the opening of Hoke County’s first hospital. FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital will accept its first patients on Oct. 1, 2013, bringing much-needed hospital and related medical services to a region long noted as the most rapidly growing in the state without them. A community grand opening event is planned for late September to coincide with Hoke County’s annual Turkey Festival. Services of the new hospital will include an Emergency Department that provides care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with staffing by the same emergency-certified physicians who serve all

FirstHealth hospitals, as well as eight inpatient beds and an operating room. Other services include imaging services (including X-ray, ultrasound, CT and MRI), diagnostic cardiology, critical care transport and lab services. An adjacent medical office building will provide space for specialists and other interested physicians. (FirstHealth is currently awaiting final approval on a state certificate of need that would give the hospital a second operating room and 28 additional beds.) Recent photographs of the construction site on Highway 401 just outside of Raeford show a building that is quickly taking shape as an exciting new addition to the Hoke County community.

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Guided care

… for patients with chronic illness


he “Teresa” of Vera Willis’s letter at line Teresa, d to drop you a te an w the right is Teresa Hunsucker. As st ju I t bu I am, lp my don’t know who the transitions nurse for the Emerhave done to he u realize that you I yo at th l al te gency Department at FirstHealth precia how much I ap very long Montgomery Memorial Hospital in Troy, she to let you know treatment for a al ic ed m r fo g her been searchin refers patients with chronic medical condiin order to help ughter. She has nd da yo be d an tions to available resources provided not only by t above ent e how you wen medical treatm f o ed FirstHealth of the Carolinas but also by other ne time. She told m re di w, she’s in d community agencies. ent. As you kno tm ea tr at ve very well save th n ha ai ay bt o m r he n ve Willis’s daughter, Rikki Newberry, lives in have gi cancer, e help that you Candor and is just one of the many patients who r third battle with he right now and th be ay m is th ars old, and have benefited from Hunsucker’s knowledge and She’s only 29 ye e. lif r he connections. essence. Four other registered nurses have similar roles so time is of the with FirstHealth of the Carolinas, but with difand helpful compassionate as en ferent services and different titles. Each nurse acts be ve ha d t everyone woul as an advocate for patients who need help working she had been ap at th I’m sure that no d te ci ex e yesterday so through the often-complicated maze of medical I am e. Rikki called m er w u ay from her, so yo aw as s ile m providers, procedures and services. Each is specially 0 0 8 ut abo ll benefit. I live el much trained and dedicated to ensuring that her patients proved for the fu r. It makes me fe he lp he n ca I h get the quality care they need. e a doctor. d as to how muc

to go se extremely limite she is now able at th g in w o kn e situation, better about th lp her. have done to he u yo at th l al r n fo Thank you agai Vera Willis Danville, Ill.

Teresa Hunsucker, R.N. Transitions Nurse, Montgomery Memorial Hospital

Teresa Hunsucker, R.N., consults with Jonathan E. Brower, M.D., about a chronic disease patient in the Emergency Department at FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital. As the department’s transitions nurse, Hunsucker refers patients with chronic conditions to community resources that can help with their problems.

18 Summer 2013


y 10 a.m. on a recent Monday morning, Teresa Hunsucker, R.N., had already seen back-to-back patients needing her help. One had problems with chronic pain. The other had transportation issues. Both were uninsured. As the transitions nurse for the Emergency Department at Montgomery Memorial Hospital, Hunsucker sees patients like these every day. Almost all have chronic conditions that bring them to the Emergency Department again and again. Many are jobless. Hunsucker refers these patients to community resources that can help with their problems while also helping reduce the number of times they have to visit the Emergency Department. “This is a rural county, but we have a lot of resources,” Hunsucker says. “We may be a

small hospital, but there are resources here, and there are qualified people here. We can get you where you need to go.” Although based at Montgomery Memorial, Hunsucker reports to FirstHealth Care Transitions Services. Funding for her position comes from the hospital and FirstHealth Care Transitions Services to assure continuous care for patients with chronic conditions—especially those with congestive heart failure, COPD, hypertension and diabetes. “The main focus is on chronic disease management for access to

appropriate care,” Hunsucker says. Hunsucker began her nursing career as a registered nurse on a nursing unit at Moore Regional Hospital 14 years ago after completing the associate degree nursing program at Randolph Community College. She has been in her current position since August 2011 and has since completed the Guided Care Nurse Certification program. She is currently working toward her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Lynn Agee, R.N. Patient Navigator, FirstHealth Oncology Services


usan Beaty, administrative director of the Outpatient Cancer Center at Moore Regional Hospital, sees Lynn Agee’s role as being vital to patients who are engaged in the diverse challenges of cancer diagnosis and treatment. “Lynn is an advocate for the patients and families and ensures that they receive seamless and coordinated care during this difficult time,” Beaty says. As the oncology patient navigator for Oncology Services at Moore Regional, Agee guides and supports newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families as they access cancer care services. Her position is funded through the hospital and the Cancer CARE Fund of The Foundation of FirstHealth. Agee received her B.S. degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is now enrolled in UNC-Charlotte’s MSN program with an emphasis on community and public health nursing. She completed the Guided Care Nurse Training program through Johns Hopkins Hospital and University in 2011 and has received her Guided Care Nurse certification. As a support person, liaison and advocate, Agee attends appointments; helps patients understand their diagnosis, treatment and provider referrals; and finds the resources necessary to ensure timely access to care. “From the moment people are told they have cancer, their life is forever changed,” she says. “I hope my role in their care can make that difficult journey a little easier. Whether it’s being a support person, a familiar face, providing education about diagnosis and treatment or helping secure resources needed to access timely treatment, my role as a patient navigator changes to meet the patient’s needs. My goals are to make sure that patients have no barriers to prevent access to the care necessary to treat them.”

Lynn Agee, R.N., is the oncology patient navigator for Oncology Services at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. In a position that is funded by the hospital and The Foundation of FirstHealth, Agee supports newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families as they access cancer care services.

Lynn Quick R.N. Patient Navigator, Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center


s the patient navigator for the FirstHealth Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center, Lynn Quick, R.N., coordinates care with physicians, hospitalists, nurses and discharge planners to assist patients with diabetes as they move from inpatient to outpatient services and resources. “This initiative will assist patients with improving access to diabetes education and support, and will ultimately improve self-management skills for the individual and decrease hospital readmissions due to diabetic complications,” she says. Since earning her associate degree in nursing from Sandhills Community College, Quick has worked in Medical/Surgical, Intensive Care, Post-Anesthesia Care, Home Health, Long-Term Care and Cardiac Rehabilitation nursing. She has been with the FirstHealth Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center for nearly five years, and is a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

Lynn Quick, R.N. Facebook “f ” Logo

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Darnell Marks, R.N. Transitions Nurse–Heart Failure, Care Transitions Services


arnell Marks, R.N., explains her role with FirstHealth of the Carolinas by sharing the story of a patient who had been hospitalized for pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure. The patient lived alone and cooked for himself, except for the occasions when his sister would bring him food from the meals she had prepared for her family. Healthy eating was noticeably lacking from both scenarios. In fact, the patient expressed an unhealthy taste for country ham and claimed to eat it every morning for breakfast. Then he met Marks, the heart failure transitions nurse for FirstHealth Care Transitions Services. The two started meeting even before the patient left the hospital. During discussions about the patient’s care, Marks shared videos about nutrition and healthy cooking tips methods. She also spoke with his sister. After the patient left the hospital, and at Marks’ suggestion, he started to weigh himself daily and to watch his salt intake. He completely gave up country ham. He has since lost weight and is doing well. When she shares this patient success story, Marks notes the importance of “empowering patients to take better care of themselves.” Sometimes patients understand the goal, she says, and sometimes they don’t. The man in her story certainly did. “I think what you have done for me with the teaching and the phone calls has done more for me than any pill I am taking,” he later told Marks. Marks’ wide-ranging role includes patient education, referral to appropriate resources, transitions oversight and follow-up intended to reduce preventable hospital readmissions and improve patient quality of life. “The relationship that is built is one of utmost importance,” she says. “When patients feel they have someone they can call quickly to ask a question or voice a concern, they are more likely to make the call. I enjoy being that person.” Marks earned her associate degree in nursing from Sandhills Community College and is now working on her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She is certified in Integrated Chronic Care Management. Her position is funded by a grant from The Duke Endowment.

As the heart failure transitions nurse for FirstHealth Care Transitions Services, Darnell Marks, R.N., provides the patient education, resource referrals, and transitions oversight and follow-up to help reduce preventable hospital readmissions and improve quality of life for patients who have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

Barbara Seaman, R.N. Palliative Care Manager, FirstHealth Hospice


arbara Seaman, R.N., works with FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care as manager of Palliative Care Services. The program provides support to patients and their families as they struggle through a course of a serious illness. “This may include management of distressful symptoms, establishing goals of care and continuing education regarding disease pathway,” Seaman says. “Palliative care can help patients better understand their illness, and assist with decisions that may be difficult and timely. It can be offered to patients at any stage in their illness, in congruence with aggressive medical treatment. The goal is to strive for best quality of life while anticipating future needs.” Seaman has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and is certified in hospice and palliative care. She also has additional practice experience in special procedures and critical care. Before accepting her current position, she was a palliative care specialist in a large teaching hospital in South Carolina, where she worked closely with physicians and staff at all levels to promote best practices.

Barbara Seaman, R.N.

20 Summer 2013

Social media in health care #notjustforteenagers #notjustforsocializinganymore

By Ellen Geanes


acebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn … the list of social media sites goes on and on. The very thought of social media is overwhelming for some, while others are linked in to multiple sites, multiple times a day. So what is social media and what can it do for you? Social media is a way to share information with a large audience. According to Social Media Today, “Everyone has the opportunity to create and distribute. All you really need is an Internet connection, and you’re off to the races.” For example, Facebook users and Facebook pages post status updates to communicate and deliver messages to friends and followers, while Twitter users send out constant “tweets” to their followers. The biggest misconception around social media is that most users are teenagers. While this may be true for some sites, the times of social media have changed. With many more organizations communicating through social media—and the general public turning to social media for information, a majority of social media users are above the teenage age range. Twenty-four percent of the followers on the FirstHealth of the Carolinas Facebook page are between the ages of 35 and 44. Seventy-eight percent are women, and 22 percent are men. On the FirstHealth of the Carolinas Twitter Page, followers include other health care systems, media organizations and even FirstHealth employees—all beyond their teen years. “Consumers are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to find health-related information and share their thoughts and feedback about treatments, procedures, medications and providers,” says Gretchen Kelly, administrative director of public and government relations for FirstHealth of the Carolinas. “Through our involvement in social media, we are able to join the health care conversations that are already taking place. Social media gives us the opportunity for real-time, meaningful engagement with patients, families and the communities we serve.”

#SocialMedia for you

FirstHealth of the Carolinas uses Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to reach out to its followers in different ways:

77 Facebook allows us to interact and engage with our followers. Through

Facebook, we post medical tips and physician advice. We share success

Follow us For the latest FirstHealth of the Carolinas information, daily tips and more, follow FirstHealth on your favorite social media sites: stories and patient testimonials, even healthy recipes and fitness advice. 77 On Twitter, you’ll find the latest FirstHealth news and what’s happening

around the organization. Current job openings are also posted on Twitter. 77 Pinterest is the newest addition to the FirstHealth social media family.

On Pinterest, you will find healthy family recipes, exercise routines, general FirstHealth information (including Foundation news), the latest news releases and information on our world-class health care services. There’s no need to join all three of the FirstHealth social media sites, but you just may find something different in each of them to suit your needs. Remember, social media isn’t just for the teens anymore. So tweet, follow and pin away. You’re just moments away from information we guarantee you will “like.” Facebook “f ” Logo

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Calendar June 10th Annual Blue Jean Ball Saturday, June 1 6:30 to 11 p.m. The Fair Barn, Pinehurst A barbecue buffet, live music, beer, wine and dancing in support of the Cancer CARE Fund of The Foundation of FirstHealth. Tickets: $75 per person. Cancer Survivors Day Sunday, June 2 2 to 4 p.m. The Fair Barn, Pinehurst A celebration of cancer survivorship. FREE. Yoga for Cancer Patients & Their Caregivers Thursday, June 20 3 to 4 p.m. Clara McLean House 20 FirstVillage Drive, Pinehurst A 60-minute class for cancer patients and their caregivers to assist with renewal of mind, body and spirit. FREE. American Red Cross Blood Drive Wednesday, June 26 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Conference Center Moore Regional Hospital Prepared Childbirth Class Saturday, June 29 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Richmond Memorial Hospital A one-day session that includes information on breastfeeding, breathing techniques, pain control, pregnancy surprises, labor positions and postpartum care. FREE.

July American Red Cross Blood Drive Thursday, July 18 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst Yoga for Cancer Patients & their Caregivers Thursday, July 18 3 to 4 p.m. Clara McLean House 20 FirstVillage Drive, Pinehurst (See June entry for information) FREE

August Yoga for Cancer Patients & their Caregivers Thursday, Aug. 15 3 to 4 p.m. Clara McLean House 20 FirstVillage Drive, Pinehurst (See June entry for information) FREE American Red Cross Blood Drive Wednesday, Aug. 28 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Conference Center Moore Regional Hospital

September American Red Cross Blood Drive Thursday, Sept. 12 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst

Health & Fitness programming Genes and Body Weight June Tuesday, July 23 Father’s Day Massage Special Center for Health & Fitness– Raeford June 1-20 $40

July FirstHealth Cancer Wellness Program July 8-August 24 Center for Health & Fitness– Southern Pines A seven-week fitness-based program designed to support individuals living with cancer. Financial assistance for those who qualify is available through the Barbara McGinnis Memorial Scholarship Fund of The Foundation of FirstHealth. Nutrition Basics for Better Health Thursdays, July 11, Aug. 1 and Sept. 12 12:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst Learn strategies for achieving or maintaining a healthy weight and managing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. FREE Summer Group X Boot Camp Challenge Monday, July 15-Saturday, Aug. 24 Center for Health & Fitness– Southern Pines This challenge features unlimited group exercise classes where you earn points for attendance. Members free/community $100 for two-month membership; students with valid student ID $74 Nutrition for Vegetarian Athletes Thursday, July 18 5:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst Learn how to make appropriate vegetarian food choices for optimal health and performance. FREE

22 Summer 2013

Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst 5:15 p.m. Learn about the interactions between genes and diet and lifestyle factors and their effect on body weight. FREE Maximizing Your Metabolism Tuesday, July 30 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 5:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst Learn how your metabolism works. FREE

August Packing a Healthy Lunch— Bento Style! (for kids and adults) Thursday, Aug. 15 5:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst Learn how to put together “Bento” (Japanese for a boxed lunch) meals with several types of food that have different colors, textures, and flavors for nutritious lunches for kids and adults. FREE Exercise is Medicine Program Overview Tuesday, Aug. 20 (also Wednesday, Sept. 18) 6 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst Learn how the Exercise is Medicine Program works with your doctor to help you take control of your health. FREE Top Nutrition Tips for Diabetics Tuesday, Aug. 27 12:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst Get our top nutrition tips for taking control of your diabetes. FREE

Support Groups Back to School Bash (for grades K-5) Friday, Aug. 30 6 to 8 p.m. Celebrate the start of a new school year with this fun-filled fitness event. $10 members/$15 community

September Parents’ Night Out (ages 15 months to 11 years) Friday, Sept. 13 5 to 8 p.m. $18 members/$23 community; each additional sibling: $12 members /$17 community Nutrition for Endurance Sports Tuesday, Sept. 17 5:15 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst Our dietitian will share endurancespecific nutrition guidelines to maximize your performance. FREE

Fall Break Youth Fitness Camp (boys and girls grades K-5) Sept. 23-27 1 to 5 p.m. Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst An introduction to fitness that uses a variety of games, workouts and equipment during pool time, indoor/outdoor play, fitness education and fun. $75 members/$85 community Foods to Promote Bone Health Thursday, Sept. 26 Center for Health & Fitness– Pinehurst 12:15 p.m. Learn which foods to eat for healthy bones and preventing or reducing bone loss. FREE

Bariatric 7 p.m., first Thursday, Clara McLean House, 20 FirstVillage Drive, Pinehurst. Better Breathers 10 a.m., third Tuesday, Conference Center, Moore Regional Hospital. Breastfeeding Mothers 1:30 p.m., first Thursday, Conference Room, Women & Children’s Unit, Moore Regional Hospital. Cancer 2 p.m., every Tuesday, Cancer Center Resource Room, Moore Regional Hospital. Cancer Survivors 11 a.m., second Tuesday, Cancer Center Resource Room, Cancer Center, Moore Regional Hospital. (Registration required.) Fibromyalgia 7 p.m., second Tuesday, Conference Room, Outpatient Center, Moore Regional Hospital.

Special Health & Fitness offers

FirstQuit (quit tobacco) noon, every Thursday, Community Health Building, 5 Aviemore Drive, Pinehurst.

Swim lessons for children Center for Health & Fitness–Raeford FirstHealthCenter for Health & Fitness–Richmond Each month, year round.

Implantable CardioverterDefribillator (ICD) 5 p.m., Conference Center, Moore Regional Hospital. This group meets quarterly. Meetings scheduled for 2013 will be held May 16, Aug. 15 and Nov. 21.

Sizzling Summer Membership Package Join the Center for Health & Fitness–Southern Pines for three months at a special discounted rate of $145. The offer is good through Aug. 31. Memberships must be purchased and redeemed during this time period. Small Group Personal Training Center for Health & Fitness–Southern Pines Get four to six friends together. Pick a class format and intensity level and split the cost of the training session: • Four to six small group personal training Yoga, Pilates or combo • Four to six small group Metabolic Effect • Four to six small group Aquatic Fitness class Finish with conversation and relaxation in the center’s spa wet area. The program is available through Aug. 31 only. Members $60/Community$75 per hour Labor Day Massage Special Center for Health & Fitness–Raeford Aug. 15-Sept. 7 $40

Journaling Support for Cancer Patients (for men and women who have had cancer in the past or who are currently in treatment), 10 a.m., first Thursday, Clara McLean House, 20 FirstVillage Drive, Pinehurst

Living with Loss (for those who have experienced the death of a loved one), 11:30 a.m., second and fourth Wednesday, FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care, 251 Campground Road, Pinehurst. NAMI-MC (National Alliance on Mental Illness-Moore County), 7 p.m., first Monday, Community Classroom, FirstHealth Specialty Centers Building, Moore Regional Hospital. Post-Deployment Group 11 a.m., every Monday, Behavioral Services, FirstHealth Specialty Centers Building, Moore Regional Hospital. Sandhills Ostomy Association 3 p.m., first Sunday, Conference Center, Moore Regional Hospital. Sandhills Young Adult Cancer Support (for cancer patients and survivors between the ages of 18 and 50), 7 p.m., fourth Monday, Clara McLean House, 20 FirstVillage Drive, Pinehurst Stroke 10:30 a.m., second Saturday, Conference Center, Moore Regional Hospital. Susan Sharpe Cancer Support (for anyone dealing with cancer), 6:30 p.m., fourth Thursday, Conference Dining Room, Richmond Memorial Hospital, 925 S. Long Drive, Rockingham. Vital Connections (for those who have a loved one enrolled in a hospice or palliative care program), 11:30 a.m., first and third Tuesday, FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care, 251 Campground Road, Pinehurst. Please register the day before each meeting if planning to attend.

Unless otherwise noted, support groups meet on the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst. Some groups suspend meetings during summer months and around the Christmas holidays. For more information, call (800) 213-3284. Facebook “f ” Logo

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David J. Shin, M.D.

Amanda K. McGarry, P.A.-C

Board Certified

FirstHealth Cardiology Services–Rockingham FirstHealth Cardiology Services–Troy Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital, Richmond Memorial Hospital Training: M.D., Tulane University School of Medicine, Louisiana Internship/Residency: Tulane University School of Medicine, Louisiana

Pinehurst Medical Clinic Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: P.A., Methodist University, North Carolina

Cardiovascular & Thoracic

Gynecologic Oncology

Jason D. Bales, P.A.-C

Michael J. Sundborg, M.D.

FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic Center Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: P.A., A.T. Still University, Arizona

Board Certified

Southern Pines Women’s Health Center Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: M.D., Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences, Maryland Internship/Residency: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.

Cardiovascular & Thoracic

Hospitalist Service

Robert A. Hodge, P.A.-C

Gary G. Gammon, M.D.

FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic Center Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: P.A., University of Oklahoma Physician Assistant Program

Board Certified

FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: M.D., University of Vermont College of Medicine Internship/Residency: Ohio Valley Medical Center

Family Medicine

Hospitalist Service

Larry Elliott, P.A.-C

Suzanne E. Kimball, D.O.

FirstHealth Family Care Center–Candor Hospital Affiliations: Outpatient Practice Only Training: P.A., School of Health Care Science, Texas

Board Certified

FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital, Richmond Memorial Hospital Training: M.D., University of Virginia Internship/Residency: Albany Medical Center, New York

Family Medicine

Hospitalist Service

Todd Nicholson, P.A.-C

Mohan Shrestha, M.D.

FirstHealth Family Care Center–Vass Hospital Affiliation: Outpatient Practice Only Training: P.A., Methodist University, North Carolina

24 Summer 2013

Board Certified

FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: M.D., Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal Internship/Residency: Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal; Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, New York

Hospitalist Service Bharat Subba, M.D.

New FirstHealth Medical Practices

Board Certified

FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: M.D., B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal Internship/Residency: St. Barnabas Hospital, New York

Hospitalist Service Robert M. Watt, M.D. Board Certified

FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: M.D., Indiana University School of Medicine Internship/Residency: St. Vincent Hospital, Indiana

FirstHealth Family Care Center–Candor FirstHealth Family Care Center–Vass FirstHealth Cardiology Services

Infectious Diseases Janet S. Kozel, P.A.

(with locations in Reid Heart Center, Pinehurst, Laurinburg, Rockingham and Troy)

FirstHealth Infectious Diseases Program Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: P.A., University of Kentucky


FirstHealth Richmond Medical Group Internal Medicine & Family Care

Grace M. Heffner, P.A.-C Pinehurst Surgical Hospital Affiliations: Moore Regional Hospital Training: P.A., Jefferson College of Health Sciences

For more information, call (800) 213-3284

For a complete listing of FirstHealth of the Carolinas providers, visit our website at If you prefer a printed copy, call (800) 213-3284 Facebook “f ” Logo

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Clara's House: a special place with special people

Peace, tranquility and love

Like staying with family

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the staff at Clara’s House! I have never stayed anywhere where I have felt so much at home. This house radiates peace and tranquility—and love.

Our family can’t thank you enough for letting us stay at the Clara McLean House during our father’s illness. He had a heart attack on Christmas Eve, and our family rushed to North Carolina to be here. We live in Louisville, Ky., and didn’t know where we were going to stay once we got here. We knew we needed to be close to the hospital while he had open-heart surgery and during his recovery that followed. Thank you so much for, in the midst of our family crisis, providing us with such a warm and friendly place to stay. We were so comfortable and close to the hospital. The volunteers were so friendly and helpful. We felt like we were staying with family. They even cooked delicious meals for us. Thank you again! God is using this wonderful facility to help many families. Please know that what you are doing here means so much to many families.

Suzanne Michalski Oak Island, N.C.

A feeling of home Thank you for giving me a feeling of home and all that is normal during a very stressful time for my family. Please continue what you do and be blessed. Alice J. Whitfield Fayetteville, N.C.

26 Summer 2013

Like visiting a best friend’s home My stay here was like visiting my best friend’s home and she happened to have a very beautiful and peaceful place that made you sad to leave. On the other hand, (you were) happy that your family or friend was well enough to be leaving the hospital. Thank you so much for everything. JoAnn R. Smith Fayetteville, N.C.

Michael Purvis Louisville, Ky.

Swim team owes much to Pinehurst fitness center

The Union Pines swim team had a very successful season with the boys’ and girls’ teams winning the Cape Fear Valley Conference championships and a number of swimmers going on to compete in the 3A regional and state championships. None of this would have been possible without the support of the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst. We greatly appreciate our teams being able to use the pool for practice. Without your support, the Union Pines swim program would not even be possible. Thank you very much for helping to make the Union Pines swim team successful and enriching our children’s high school experience. Mike and Carol Anne Fry Whispering Pines, N.C.

The conference-winning Union Pines High School swim teams used the pool at the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness–Pinehurst for their practice sessions this season. Members of the team are pictured at the pool with coach Beth Christianson (in pink) and aquatics program supervisor Corrie Dodds of the Center for Health & Fitness-Pinehurst (to her left).

Community fortunate to have Cancer Wellness Program I recently completed the Cancer Wellness Program at the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness–Southern Pines under the direction of Cinnamon LeBlanc. I was extremely pleased with this program and the professional instruction and dedication that Cinnamon provided to each participant. The program is motivating and includes a variety of activities that help improve one’s overall fitness level. Cinnamon demonstrated the use of each piece of equipment and adjusted it for each individual’s fitness level. She was diligent in overseeing that each exercise was performed correctly. In addition, the yoga and Pilates classes worked on flexibility, stretching and core-body strength. This is a total fitness program that offers a great benefit, and I am thankful I enrolled in it. The community is fortunate that FirstHealth works with cancer patients and provides this program to encourage and promote ways to improve their overall fitness to become stronger and more confident. I hope many others will take advantage of this opportunity and that it will continue to be made available. Andrea Walters Pinehurst, N.C. The Cancer Wellness Program at the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness–Southern Pines supports individuals who are living with cancer through exercise and education while teaching participants how to improve their quality of life. Scholarships are available through the Barbara McInnis Fund of The Foundation of FirstHealth.

One has to experience Hospice to fully understand Hospice care I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate the assistance that was given to my husband, Bob, and me by the FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care team. I always knew Hospice was a wonderful organization, but one has to experience it to understand how meaningful it is to let the dying process proceed in a natural way with minimum pain. Having Hospice by my side helped me not to panic, but to be with Bob until the last moment. Hospice nurse Lacy Pessagno, R.N., happened to be here at the house when death occurred, and she and the nurse’s aide and the case manager took charge of organizing the next steps and seeing that all went smoothly. I am forever indebted to those three caring women for guiding me along so smoothly and taking care of all of the practical details. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the good that you do. Joyce B. Franke Pinehurst, N.C.

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MMH ED care more than “routine” I’m writing you to let you know about the professionalism, courtesy and compassionate care my wife received from Dr. William Kader and the entire staff of the Emergency Department and FirstHealth paramedics Wanda Hawkins and Stephanie Bennett (of EMS–Montgomery). My wife and I were on our way from Winston-Salem to one of the elementary schools in Troy for an open enrollment benefits meeting when my wife became sick. I was concerned enough about her condition to stop at a local restaurant and call 911 for an ambulance as I had no idea where the nearest hospital was. Paramedics Hawkins and Bennett responded and transported my wife to Montgomery Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department. Dr. Kader and the entire staff, especially the nurses, were attentive and compassionate and explained everything to my wife and me as she was being cared for. Dr. Kader was particularly kind and showed compassion and thoroughly explained his diagnosis, after-care and medication he prescribed to my wife. I recently retired after 24 years of service with the Winston-Salem Police Department. I know too often you hear complaints when citizens feel services are not delivered to their expectations. Even though Dr. Kader and all involved in my wife’s care may feel their actions were routine, I wanted all of them to know how much we appreciate the way she was cared for. Please extend a big “Thank You” to everyone involved in my wife’s care. Matt Winnicki Winston-Salem, N.C.

For more information on these or any of the services provided by FirstHealth of the Carolinas, please call (800) 213-3284.

A “huge thank you” to Outpatient Cancer staff I want to say a huge thank you for putting up with me, first of all, and for the excellent treatment that (my husband) Barry has received and is receiving at (the FirstHealth Outpatient Cancer Center). It is like being at Disney World compared to (a competing hospital). We cannot begin to thank you all enough for everything. You have all treated us both like total royalty. From the minute we walk in the door, we are greeted with wonderful smiles. Then we go to chemo. On days we see Dr. (Ellen) Willard, we go to the lab and, again, big smiles and no waiting. We also get help with finances. We appreciate everything and every one of you. It is never said enough, and people should know how much they mean to each other. Let us convey to you all one more time how much we value your knowledge, experience, time, friendship and the expert treatment that you are giving Barry at this fine facility. Judy Cameron Fayetteville, N.C.

28 Summer 2013

Montgomery Memorial Hospital Emergency Department physician William Kader, M.D., and FirstHealth paramedics Wanda Hawkins and Stephanie Bennett

The FirstHealth Heart Team. They are not only among FirstHealth Cardiology Services: Reid Heart Center (pictured) Pinehurst Rockingham Laurinburg Troy

the most respected cardiologists and surgeons in the field of heart care, but they are also members of our community. They have made a firm commitment to ensuring that we have world-class heart care right here in the heart of the Carolinas. That level of commitment, combined with state-of-the-art facilities, access to the latest technologies and quality coordinated care,

The FirstHealth Heart Team: Peter L. Duffy, M.D. Art Edgerton, M.D. 'Jide G. Lawal, M.D. Mark D. Landers, M.D. John F. Krahnert, Jr., M.D. Peter I. Ellman, M.D. David J. Shin, M.D. Peter J. Vassallo, M.D. H. Allen Strunk, D.O. Steven J. Filby, M.D.

has led our cardiology program to be recognized as one of the finest heart programs in the nation. The CardioThoracic Center (877) 715-4111 / Cardiology Services (855) 695-7915

World-Class Heart Care in the Heart of the Sandhills


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

Because we use a variety of sources for mailing, duplications sometimes occur. Please pass an extra copy along to a friend or neighbor. 1107-40-10 Open MRI Magazine-Ad BACKPAGE_OpenMRI-Ad 3/27/12 3:30 PM Page 1

A New Journey for Life Nicole began her new journey for life with the surgical weight-loss program at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. She’s now happier and healthier – and shopping for a brand new wardrobe. You can begin your own journey for life by attending one of our FREE weight-loss surgery information sessions. For more information, visit


Choose Our True Open MRI

or call (800) 213-3284.

While others may claim to offer “open” MRI scanning, we have the only true open MRI system in our service area. Our open, full-body scanner offers greater comfort especially for large patients, older patients and those who experience anxiety in small, confined

spaces. Most importantly, our open MRI provides exceptionally high-quality images, allowing your doctor to have the highest level of diagnostic confidence. When it comes to MRIs, we are open for business – truly open.