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Summer 2014

the magazine from FirstHealth of the Carolinas


in health

Official medical services provider during the U.S. Open Championships

CEO Message

Great golf and great health care


orth Carolina health care “rambles back at least to the Revolution,” according to “In Love and Service,” a 1991 history of Moore Regional Hospital. But it was sketchy at best and limited to the occasional itinerant physician sturdy enough to brave the rutted roads and traveler’s isolation of the time. For generations, most of the “healing” in the Sandhills region remained home-provided, with rare trips to hospitals in Raleigh or Fayetteville for the most seriously ill. Life in the Sandhills began to change in the late 19th century, however, when entrepreneur James Walker Tufts bought 5,500 acres of pine barren at $1.25 an acre and eventually carved out a golfing oasis from what had originally been intended as a “health resort for people of modest means.” In one of his best decisions, Tufts engaged the now-legendary Donald Ross (portrayed in the Rod Harter as Donald Ross accompanying photograph by Moore County actor/ director Rod Harter) as his golf professional. The dour Scotsman quickly moved into David J. Kilarski golf course architecture and designed four of Pinehurst Inc.’s courses, including the Chief Executive Officer crown jewel, Pinehurst No. 2. FirstHealth of the Carolinas Golfing history was being made, and health care tradition would soon follow. The sport brought people to Pinehurst who were accustomed to a way of life far more sophisticated than had previously been Moore County practice. They wanted good food, nice homes (if only seasonally) and good shopping. They also wanted the kind of health care they knew back home. One of those people was Simeon B. Chase, a successful stockbroker with holdings in Chicago, New York and Myrtle Beach as well as Pinehurst. For several years, Chase’s generosity had helped keep afloat the area’s struggling McConnell Hospital, but he eventually turned his attention to a new venture and, in April 1927, met with several other Moore County “influentials” to launch Moore County Hospital Inc. A charter for the fledgling hospital was obtained in May of the following year, The Duke Endowment put needed fundraising over the top with a $75,000 contribution, and Pinehurst Inc. donated the land. Here, the rich traditions of Pinehurst Inc. (now Pinehurst Resort) and what is now FirstHealth of the Carolinas irrevocably merge. In many respects, FirstHealth and Moore Regional Hospital are what they are today because of Pinehurst Resort. Along with the Moore County School System, they comprise Moore County’s three largest employers. A tradition of hospital leadership that began in 1928 with James W. Tufts’ son, Leonard, continues today with Don Padgett, the current president and COO of Pinehurst Resort. The same demand for superior health care that characterized the Moore County of the 1920s has mirrored the growth of the Village of Pinehurst and surrounding communities and the metamorphosis of the one-building Moore County Hospital into the multi-county FirstHealth. As we welcome the first-ever back-to-back play of U.S. Men’s and Women’s Open Golf Tournaments to Pinehurst, and in our role as official medical services provider for these two legendary sporting events, we are reminded of this long partnership. With this special issue of FirstHealth magazine, we share some of that history and some of the reasons that FirstHealth is FIRST in quality, FIRST in health.



A “charmed life” in many ways


s a young man working for his father’s New Jersey candy company, Walter Reid came up with an idea for a new candy that would revolutionize the industry. He called it Blow Pop, because it combined the chewy fun of bubble gum with the irresistible sweet of candy. It would become the third best-selling candy in the world and Walter Reid’s self-described “claim to fame.” After he sold his Charms Candy Company to Tootsie Roll in 1988 (upon the advice of Boston consultant Mitt Romney), Reid retired to Pinehurst and developed relationships with FirstHealth of the Carolinas, The Foundation of FirstHealth and the pioneering physician who started the open-heart surgery program at Moore Regional Hospital. The bonds helped dispel Reid’s long-held belief that cutting-edge medical treatment and innovative medical services were to be found only in large academic medical centers. They also formed the basis for a philanthropy that has touched thousands of lives in the Sandhills region. Reid Heart Center and the Reid Research Center are named for Walter Reid and his wife, Betty. They also endowed FirstHealth’s Physician Professional Development and Enrichment Program. Walter Reid died in 2011, but his wife has continued to support FirstHealth services and programs.

“Reid Heart Center and the Reid Research Center are named for Walter Reid and his wife, Betty. They also endowed FirstHealth’s Physician Professional Development and Enrichment Program.”

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Reid Heart Center

Reid Heart Center Reid Heart Center: the FirstHealth Cardiac and Vascular Institute at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital features the latest generation in cardiac and vascular care. It is staffed by surgeons and cardiologists who work together to treat patients with the latest in technology, clinical methods and clinical trials. The goal is to provide the best in patient care with the best possible outcomes.

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Reid Research Center There is no building called the Reid Research Center, but the programs it supports are evident throughout FirstHealth of the Carolinas. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Clinical Trials Program, which allows FirstHealth physicians to offer new drugs and devices to treat patients with disease. Funds also support new technology as well as physician, nursing and best practice studies in the goal to improve patient care.

Physician Leadership Academy Endowed by Walter and Betty Reid in honor of John F. Krahnert Jr., M.D., who started FirstHealth’s openheart program, the Physician Professional Development and Leadership Program introduces physicians with recognized leadership potential to the organizational development, corporate finance, strategic planning and other skills necessary to become FirstHealth leaders.

Exercise as medicine

The physicians say Exercise is Medicine …


arolyn Monroe and Lynn Ritter don’t know each other, but they have something important in common. Exercise is Medicine (EIM). Since their introduction to EIM, Monroe has lost weight and become more active and fit, and Ritter has taken up running, finishing her first half-marathon in just under three hours. Almost 270 physicians representing various medical specialties have referred patients to EIM since it became part of FirstHealth Fitness programming more than three years ago. That’s an average of 40 physicians making 80 referrals each month. After deciding to take part in the program, participants either join one of FirstHealth’s five fitness centers or work out on their own according to a personal fitness plan developed by a FirstHealth exercise specialist. Their participation and progress is then reported to their referring physician for a patient/ physician partnership designed to help previously sedentary people or those with or at risk for chronic disease to make regular physical activity a “prescribed” part of their lifestyle.

Smart exercise with a Smartkey Many Exercise is Medicine patients who join a FirstHealth Fitness program are issued a Smartkey to help with their exercise accountability. So are other fitness center members who are interested in following their exercise progress. The technology, which is available on most cardiovascular machines and Technogym strength machines, has the capability of a total tracking experience—whether in the fitness center, on the playing field or at home. Smartkey holders get a monthly summary of their progress as well as an overall participation summary that helps them track consistency and trends in their physical activity. This special technology was funded by a disbursement from The Foundation of FirstHealth.

“ … provides motivation and education to incorporate exercise into patients’ lives. I like the one-on-one interaction and realistic goal-setting.” —Fabian Rodriguez, M.D., internal medicine

FirstHealth Fitness-Pinehurst

“ … has been a great resource for my patients. The guidance that the program provides gives my patients the confidence to exercise.” —Joseph Hakas, M.D., cardiology

“ … has helped my patients increase their knowledge of fitness options, set goals and track progress. I like the goalsetting, ease of referral and excellent communication the program provides.” —Leslie Murphy, M.D., internal medicine

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Michael J. Sundborg, M.D., and patient Nancy Yanchus at Dr. Sundborg's farm in Moore County horse country

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The gynecologic oncology patient/doctor team


ichael J. Sundborg, M.D., has a special relationship with each of his patients. He describes it this way. “The patient is captain of her team,” he says. “When diagnosed with cancer, patients can feel like they have lost control. My job is to put them back in control. They’re going to make the decisions. I think that’s the most important part of their treatment course.” As the region’s only gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Sundborg offers services that cover every aspect of gynecological cancer care—diagnosis, surgery, medical oncology, surveillance and support care—except for radiation oncology. He has also performed some of the area’s first-ever robotics procedures for gynecologic cancer. To get the scope of the care he provides, patients previously had to travel to Chapel Hill, Durham, Wilmington or Charlotte. They now get academic medical center-quality care in a private practice setting. One of those patients is Pinehurst resident Nancy Yanchus. “Dr. Sundborg instills such confidence in me,” she says. “I know that he will always be honest with me in diagnosing my symptoms and in presenting alternatives to treatment. One is always aware of his efforts to extend a life and/or the comfort of his patients. His smile, warmth and kind words are always received with an open heart. My family and I believe his appearance in this medical community to be a divine intervention as far as my health care is concerned. We are all blessed.”

Cancer services plus Beyond the traditional services for cancer care, FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers a variety of “extras” designed to improve or provide additional assistance during the cancer care experience. • Oncology patient navigator to help newly diagnosed patients make their way through the health care system • Cancer CARE Fund (to assist cancer patients with medication, transportation and other treatment-related needs) • Yoga for Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers • Cancer Wellness Program (supporting individuals living with cancer through exercise and education) • Support groups • Free counseling • CARE-Net, which pairs patients with specially trained volunteers—many of them cancer survivors themselves • Cancer Resource Room • Nutrition and dietary assistance • Quit-tobacco program • Billing assistance • Stress-management program • Spiritual care and pastoral counseling • Cancer care coordination

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“Dr. Coach”

(Photo courte sy of

St. Joseph's U niversity)


Raymond Washington, M.D., coaching his children, Jackson and Mia, and (inset) as a St. Joseph’s University basketball standout

6 Summer 2014

ith a busy medical practice that includes both general and bariatric surgery, Raymond Washington, M.D., decided several years ago that if he wanted to fulfill a mission of “taking care of kids,” he would have to come up with something that they and he enjoyed doing. He found it in coaching youth league basketball, an activity that also allows him to spend more time with his own children—12-yearold Jackson and 10-year-old Mia. During basketball season, Dr. Washington leaves his office or the operating room and heads for one of the gyms where he mentors youngsters involved with the Upward Basketball League or the Pinehurst Parks and Recreation basketball program. He’s a role model—not only as a physician who doubles as a youth league coach but also as a former college basketball standout. Dr. Washington played for Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s University Hawks from 1988 to 1991, serving as team co-captain his junior year and as captain while a senior. Highlights of that experience included playing with the team that captured the 1991 Big 5 Championship and being named outstanding student athlete. For Dr. Washington, basketball became a learning experience that taught him “time management and hard work pay off” and that children—even those who are most at-risk—can become successful by identifying with successful adults. One of those ways is athletics. “Athletics teaches lifetime skills,” Dr. Washington says, “and the ability to manage your time becomes central. I love to see the kids and how, once they believe in themselves—maybe by making a first basket—can improve themselves. I think that means a whole lot to the kids. It means a whole lot to me.”

Caring for golfers and others


s the official medical services provider for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Open Golf Tournaments, FirstHealth of the Carolinas will staff four on-site tents during the two weeks of play on the famed Pinehurst No. 2 golf course. “We will provide everything from Band-Aids and suntan lotion to administering IV fluids and repairing lacerations,” says Matthew Harmody, M.D., medical director of FirstHealth’s Regional EMS Service. More than 100 FirstHealth physicians and nurses have volunteered to provide the on-site medical coverage during the two golfing events. To assure total coverage, FirstHealth will work in conjunction with Moore County EMS, which will provide on-site bike and “gator” (golf cart-type vehicles with room for a backboard) teams. They will also determine whether people needing care should be taken to a medical tent or transported, for a higher level of care, to the Emergency Department at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. From left, volunteer shuttle van driver and Volunteer Advisory Council member Jack Barron; Valerie Brown, M.D., hospitalist physician; Lenore Rittenhouse, R.N.; and Todd Brown, M.D., emergency services physician.

The FirstHealth volunteer way


sk any of the more than 1,300 volunteers who share their time and talents with FirstHealth of the Carolinas why they do what they do, and the answer will almost invariably be the same. “To give back.” These generous people save the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, many times while using the skills and professionalism they acquired during their own careers. By supporting patient and visitor services, they supplement the activities of the paid FirstHealth staff, “giving back” in many ways. Volunteers serve at all four FirstHealth hospitals as well as with the various ancillary services located throughout the Sandhills region.

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A new perspective on chronic disease care


he staff of the FirstHealth Transition Care Clinic (TCC) never knows what to expect on any given day. Except to deal with whatever walks in the door. And to be busy. From the time the clinic opened on the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in October 2013 until the middle of March 2014, the clinic had treated 247 unique patients, many of them averaging several return visits during their 30 days of program eligibility. Each was dealing with a chronic disease diagnosis, 80 percent of them were uninsured, many were unemployed, and some had no resources at all (e.g., no money, no transportation, no food). The average age was 48. “We thought we would be seeing Medicare patients,” says Cheryl Batchelor, ANP. “That has not been the case.” Batchelor, the adult nurse practitioner in charge of clinic operations, shares the patient caseload with Daniel R. Barnes, D.O., and Suzanne Wilson, M.D., both specialists in internal medicine. So far, the top three conditions affecting TCC patients have been congestive heart failure, diabetes and hypertension (chronic

high blood pressure) with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) running a close fourth. Many patients have had a combination of diagnoses—some further complicated by tobacco use or other addictions. Referrals come from hospital physicians (hospitalists) and emergency department physicians with a goal of reducing return hospital admissions and emergency department visits—an ambitious undertaking since many patients don’t have a primary care provider. With so many patients with so many different needs, Batchelor often finds herself in the role of case manager. Fortunately, there are plenty of FirstHealth resources she can call on for help. They include pharmacy, diabetes and nutrition, tobacco-cessation, financial and medication assistance, behavioral services and health coaching professionals in addition to such community agencies as the Moore Free Care Clinic and the Community Care Network of the Sandhills.

Suzanne Wilson, M.D., and Cheryl Batchelor ANP, are two of the three medical providers for the Transition Care Clinic at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.

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On occasion, Batchelor has been known to share information on local food banks and churches that serve hot meals. “It’s a matter of coordinating everything the best way we can,” she says. “It’s a team effort.” It’s also working. From October 2013 to February 2014, the emergency department return rate for TCC patients was 2.28 percent. For hospital readmissions within the 30-day eligibility period, it was 4.22 percent, or less than half the national readmission rate of 9.8 percent. In addition, the TCC is a model for a program that opened earlier this year at FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital in neighboring Montgomery County and for programs scheduled to open at FirstHealth hospitals in Hoke and Richmond counties. Both The Duke Endowment and the federal Health Resources and Health Administration (HRSA) have expressed interest in the transition care model and provided start-up or operational funding. A pharmaceutical company representative who calls on hospitals down the Eastern Seaboard has told Batchelor he has never seen anything like the Transition Care Clinic. “This is a unique service,” Batchelor says. “We are pioneering a new frontier to fill the gap of hospital-to-home or emergency department-tohome where people have no primary care provider or resources. It’s trial and error. If something works, we keep it, but, slowly, we are starting to change behaviors in primary care.”

Weight-loss surgery and medication needs


herry Cooper didn’t have the high blood pressure or diabetes that often accompanies excessive weight, but she did have rheumatoid arthritis, a painful condition that was being complicated by her extra pounds and was especially making itself known in her right hip. She was also taking several medications for her symptoms and pain. Cooper had bariatric (weight-loss) surgery at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in September 2012 and has since lost 113 pounds or the equivalent weight of a small adult. Perhaps more strikingly, however, is the fact that she no longer needs four of the five medicines she had been taking previously—one that upset her stomach, another that caused nausea, a third she took to combat the nausea caused by the second and yet another that gave her headaches. “I feel great,” she says. Cooper is a lab technician at FirstHealth Family Medicine in Ellerbe, where primary care physician Bo Kopynec, M.D., has noticed similar responses to medication requirements in all of his patients who have had weight-loss surgery. Some, especially those diagnosed with diabetes, had been weaned of least some of their medications by the time they left the hospital. “It’s one of the tools we can use to treat diabetes,” Dr. Kopynec says. Various studies, including information cited in the respected British medical journal The Lancet, have confirmed what Dr. Kopynec has observed. “Bariatric surgery,” a recent Lancet article pointed out, “not only induces weight loss, but also improves metabolic status (the way the body uses food and water to make energy).” According to general and bariatric surgeon Raymond Washington, M.D., weight-loss surgery is especially effective in patients who have been prescribed an oral diabetes medication. “Their medication needs are usually resolved prior to their discharge from the hospital,” he says. “If they are on insulin, it will take a little more time.”

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on Padgett could have gone anywhere for his hip replacement, and even investigated some of the world’s best-known orthopaedic surgery programs while trying to make his decision. He looked at the renowned Cleveland Clinic, where he knew people from his tenure as chief operating officer of the Firestone Country Club in Akron and where his son-in-law is a neurologist. He talked to orthopaedic surgeons at Duke Medical Center. When it came time to choose where he would have his surgery, though, he opted for a place much closer to

World-class golf meets world-class joint replacement surgery home than Ohio or even Durham. He chose Pinehurst and FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. “By the end of my search, I knew where I was going to go,” Padgett says. “The quality of care and the reputation of the organization is very high.” As president and chief operating officer of Pinehurst Resort, Padgett will be front and center during the two weeks of U.S. Men’s and Women’s Open Golf play on the historic Pinehurst No. 2 course this month. Like the thousands of golf lovers who will descend on Pinehurst for the storied events, he will hike the course for glimpses of some of the world’s greatest golfers. He will also be behind the scenes, busily assuring that both tournaments and related activities go off without a hitch. And he’ll be doing it with a pain-free right hip. Padgett, who had his replacement surgery in January 2012, had his two-year check-up earlier this year and gives high marks to both the FirstHealth team and orthopaedic surgeon Jason Guevara, M.D.

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Don Padgett, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pinehurst Resort, with Jason Guevara, M.D.

“Everything is fine,” Padgett says. “He did a great job.” Dr. Guevara, who also replaced Padgett’s mother’s knees, says it takes a successful patient-surgeon team to result in a successful joint replacement outcome. “We worked together as I do with all my patients,” he says of Padgett’s surgery. “I told him ‘I put it in; you make it work.’” Dr. Guevara isn’t surprised that Padgett chose to have his surgery at his hometown hospital or even that some of the professionals from the other programs Padgett consulted with told him he could expect great care from FirstHealth. “They recognize the capabilities of our surgeons,” Dr. Guevara says. “We have hospital support, and we have a top-notch group of people. We’re all looking out for the overall benefit of the results.”

Mark E. Brenner, M.D. Board Certified Fellowship: Orthopaedic Trauma

David J. Casey, M.D. Board Certified Fellowship: Adult Reconstruction

Neil A. Conti, M.D. Board Certified

David P. Fedder, M.D. Board Certified Fellowship: Sports Medicine

Ward S. Oakley, M.D. Board Certified

James E. Rice, M.D. Board Certified

David E. Strom, M.D. Board Certified Fellowship: Foot & Ankle

Glen D. Subin, M.D. Board Certified

Jason E. Guevara, M.D. Board Certified Fellowship: Total Joint Replacement

Daniel M. Williams, M.D. Board Certified Fellowship: Orthopaedic Spine Surgery

John R. Moore IV, M.D. Board Certified Fellowship: Adult Hip/ Knee Reconstruction

Kurt P. Wohlrab, M.D. Board Certified

The results tell the story You just have to look at the numbers to get an idea about the success of the joint replacement program at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. In 2013, FirstHealth’s orthopaedic surgeons performed 1,754 hip, knee and shoulder procedures as compared to the 800 of another mid-Carolinas hospital. Procedures that also include hip and knee revisions,


Likelihood to recommend the hospital


Skill of physicians

hip surfacings, and shoulder arthroscopy, bicep tendon repairs and reconstruction make FirstHealth’s orthopaedics program one of the 10 busiest in the state. And that success is reflected in the program’s inpatient satisfaction scores. Consider the following mean score statistics from the last quarter of 2013:


Skill of nurses


Overall rating of care given


Staff worked together to care for you

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The haven that is Clara’s House The guests describe it best

F Clara McLean and brothers Jim and Malcolm were photographed for an October 31, 1949, Life magazine feature on “The New South.”

12 Summer 2014

rom Raeford, North Carolina, to Alameda, California, from Winter Haven, Florida, to Minneapolis, Minnesota, patients and families needing respite from the sometimes stressful world of medical care find a welcoming place in the Clara McLean House at FirstHealth. Clara’s House has hosted hundreds of guests since its April 2012 opening. Easily accessible to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, it is named for the late Clara McLean, part of an entrepreneurial rural North Carolina family that changed the face of the interstate trucking and container shipping industry in the 1940s. Her generous support of The Foundation of FirstHealth helped make the warmth and hospitality of Clara’s House possible. During my husband’s heart surgery, you showed much love, concern and compassion for us as we faced a critical time in our life. The peaceful environment of gardens, the library and quiet room gave me added strength to face my journey. Raeford, North Carolina

McLean House story on TV Earlier this year, the Clara McLean House was the subject of a news feature on WRAL, the region’s CBS television affiliate, which focused on a Hoke County husband and wife who spent time in the FirstHealth hospitality house while he underwent treatment for lung cancer. To view the segment and to read an accompanying story, go to www.

We spent most of our time in the ICU, but it was nice to have this “intensive care unit” to come to as well. That’s what this place feels like—a place where any and every need is met. Augusta, Georgia What a great place! The staff is very friendly and helpful. These are such beautiful surroundings to relax in under the stress of upcoming and postsurgical procedures. Winter Haven, Florida Thank you so much for giving us the blessing of staying at the Clara McLean House. Connersville, Indiana Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making our stay here warm and comfortable. The Clara McLean House is the best! Alameda, California, and Minneapolis, Minnesota

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The quiet solace of the Hospice Chapel


ollowing the unexpected death of one of the physicians on the FirstHealth Hospice House team, staff members and volunteers sought out the quite solace of the nearby Hospice Chapel. When a patient and former spouse reconnected after a long separation, they chose the Chapel as the site for their remarriage. During an observation of National Hospice Week, staff and volunteers took part in a “Blessing of the Hands” celebrating the therapeutic touch of hospice care. The non-denominational Hospice Chapel, located across the campus from the Hospice House, is used for a variety of Hospice-related activities. Most often, according to Hospice Director Tina Gibbs, it is a place where patients, families and staff can take a few minutes away from the sometimes-difficult environment of hospice care. “Mostly, individuals, small groups and families come and go throughout the day for individual reflection,” Gibbs says. “We encourage that.” The 1,000-square-foot Chapel can accommodate up to 49 people and is equipped with audio-visual equipment and movable seating for a variety of Hospice-related services and programs.

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Hospice services The not-for-profit FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care serves residents of Moore and Montgomery counties. The 30acre campus is located minutes away from FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst and features an 11-bed Hospice House (designed as an acute-care facility for short-term pain management and symptom control), Administrative Building and freestanding Hospice Chapel. The campus is also home to the FirstHealth Grief Resource & Counseling Center, which offers programs and counseling services to anyone in the community who is dealing with life-altering illness or is facing the death of a loved one or who has already suffered a loss. The FirstHealth Hospice Foundation supports the work of FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care by increasing financial resources and community awareness.

The Foundation of FirstHealth


rom the outside, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and its related health care facilities may look like ordinary buildings, but a closer look reveals a strength that lies in the very foundation upon which the original Moore County Hospital was built. It’s a foundation based on compassion, vision and responsibility for continued health care excellence. The Foundation of FirstHealth was established on these ideals. Through the vision and generosity of community friends and benefactors, The Foundation promotes the highest standards of medical care through education and technology while ensuring that these standards continue for generations to come. A few years ago, The Foundation of FirstHealth raised more than $35 million to build the Reid Heart Center, the FirstHealth Hospice House and the Clara McLean House at FirstHealth (all featured elsewhere in this publication). Each project supports an ongoing commitment to the highest quality of care for patients and their families—both inside and outside hospital walls. “The Next Step” is a plan to enhance Foundation endowment to the point where major FirstHealth initiatives—for today and tomorrow—can be funded by a steady stream of interest income from a principal that is not touched.

Going global


irstHealth of the Carolinas has partnered with Nueterra Global Alliance (NGA) in an international medical exchange to include the Pinehurst-based FirstHealth in marketing efforts designed to offer its medical specialties (including heart, valve, orthopaedics and weight loss) to an international patient base. FirstHealth began accepting NGA-referred patients in January 2014. Headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, Nueterra specializes in health care management and the development of joint-venture partnerships with health systems, hospitals and physicians (including the Pinehurst-based Surgery Center of Pinehurst). NGA is its international arm.

The goal is to increase the current invested portfolio by $50 million (or $10 million for each area) over the next five to eight years through a strategic plan that focuses on five primary initiatives: Cancer, Clara McLean House, Heart, Nursing Enrichment and Physician Enrichment. • Cancer Support: In 2011, the Moore Regional Hospital Cancer Registry recorded 1,383 cases of cancer. Eighty-nine percent of those patients found the care they needed at Moore Regional, eliminating the need for travel outside of Moore County. • Clara McLean House: More than half of the patients who seek treatment at Moore Regional come from outside Moore County. The Clara McLean House provides a supportive, home-like environment that is steps away from the hospital. • Heart Services: North Carolina residents account for one of the highest percentages of heart disease in the United States. FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center boasts state-of-the-art medical technology that accommodates procedures that are performed in only a few places in the country. • Nursing Enrichment: Noting a projected national shortage of more than a million nurses by 2020, FirstHealth recognizes that nurses are the core of patient care. One solution for retaining quality nurses is to provide continuing education while recognizing clinical excellence. • Physician Enrichment: Physicians are continuously expected to increase their skills and knowledge, to epitomize service excellence, and to lead complex health care teams that do the same. The Foundation’s investment in an enrichment program helps recruit and retain the best physicians from a shrinking pool of practitioners.

For more information on The Foundation of FirstHealth, call (910) 695-7500. (800) 213-3284 • 15




he four hospitals in the FirstHealth of the Carolinas network (Moore Regional, Richmond Memorial, Montgomery Memorial and MRH-Hoke Campus) have a combined active medical staff of 321. Of that number, 96 percent are board certified. Trained in some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the country, they practice in all major medical and surgical specialties, including open-heart and valve surgery, neurosurgery, neonatology, behavioral health and bariatric surgery.


ALABAMA University of Alabama

FLORIDA University of Florida

KENTUCKY University of Kentucky

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Miami

University of Louisville

University of South Florida

LOUISIANA Louisiana State University

ARIZONA University of Arizona ARKANSAS University of Arkansas CALIFORNIA Loma Linda University University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) University of California at San Francisco COLORADO University of Colorado DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Georgetown University George Washington University

GEORGIA Emory University Medical College of Georgia ILLINOIS Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School Northwestern University University of Illinois INDIANA Indiana University KANSAS University of Kansas

Tulane University MAINE University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine MARYLAND Johns Hopkins University Uniformed Service University of Health Sciences University of Maryland MASSACHUSETTS Boston University

1 1


1 1

1 1 7

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MICHIGAN Michigan State University

NEW YORK Albany Medical College of New York

NORTH DAKOTA University of North Dakota

SOUTH CAROLINA Medical University of South Carolina

VERMONT University of Vermont College of Medicine

Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons

OHIO Case Western Reserve University

University of South Carolina School of Medicine

VIRGINIA Eastern Virginia Medical School

Mt. Sinai-New York

Northeast Ohio University

MISSISSIPPI University of Mississippi

New York Medical College

Ohio State University

TENNESSEE East Tennessee State University

Medical College of Virginia

MISSOURI Kansas City University College of Medicine and Biosciences

New York University

Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine


University of Cincinnati

SUNY Downstate

Wright State University


OKLAHOMA University of Oklahoma

University of Michigan Wayne State University MINNESOTA University of Minnesota

Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine University of Missouri

University of Rochester

NEW MEXICO University of New Mexico

Weill Cornell Medical College

NEBRASKA Creighton University

NORTH CAROLINA Bowman Gray (Wake Forest)

NEW JERSEY University of Medicine & Dentistry-School of Osteopathic Medicine

Pennsylvania State University

University of North Carolina

Virginia Commonwealth University WEST VIRGINIA West Virginia University School of Medicine WISCONSIN University of WisconsinMadison

Texas Tech University of Texas University of Texas at Southwestern Medical School

Jefferson Medical College

East Carolina University

University of Tennessee

Texas A&M

Hahnemann University

Medical College of Pennsylvania

University of Virginia School of Medicine

TEXAS Baylor University

PENNSYLVANIA Drexel University

Duke University

Tennessee State University

University of Texas Medical BranchGalveston University of TexasHouston

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Temple University


University of Pennsylvania




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6 2

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1 2





1 1

Medical College of Wisconsin




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Nursing at its best


or more than 20 days last year, Karen Robeano’s husband was hospitalized in one of North Carolina’s major academic centers. For an additional 40-plus days, he was in FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Robeano recalls seeing great nursing care in the teaching institution, but she also saw care that was less than great. That was never the case at Moore Regional, she says. As Moore Regional’s chief nursing officer, Robeano could reasonably be expected to have a slanted perspective. She insists not, however. Karen Robeano, DNP, R.N., is the vice president of Patient Care Services and chief At Moore Regional, she says, nursing officer for FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. patient after patient got the same high-quality care as her husband—just because of where they were and not because they were married to “the boss.” “It was so much beyond that,” Robeano says. “Our nurses consistently deliver the highest level of care and compassion for patients and families. They make sure patients get everything they need to achieve maximum health.”

Robeano believes the difference lies in the fact that FirstHealth nurses live where they serve. They know their patients and their families from outside the hospital. They see them in grocery stores, churches, schools and social settings. Sometimes they care for members of their own families. “Our nurses take that to heart,” says Robeano.

18 Summer 2014

The Walter Reed anesthesiology “pipeline”

This nursing excellence can be found in “every corner of the hospital and beyond,” according to Robeano. “There is not one unit I would feel uncomfortable about having a family member in,” she says. “Our nurses really do love being a nurse at FirstHealth and providing excellent patient care.”

A Magnet hospital FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital is a Magnet Nursing Hospital, a recognition of nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) that also includes “Pipeline” anesthesiologists (from left) David Chandler, D.O.; James Winkley, M.D.; Paul Kuzma, M.D.; and Brian Thwaites, M.D.


Richmond Memorial Hospital and FirstHealth’s School Nurse, Community Health and Cardiac Rehab programs. In making the designation, the ANCC noted The Foundation of FirstHealth’s longstanding nursing support, especially in the areas of clinical education, staffing and technology, directly related to improved patient care.

he development of Pinehurst Anesthesia Associates into a brotherhood of physicians with ties to the military reads like one of the “begetting” chapters from the Old Testament. One doctor brought on another and another brought on another until this story of soldier/physicians became a fascinating chapter in FirstHealth physician lore. Most of the specialists who now provide anesthesiology and pain management services for FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital were trained by the military. But the ties date back more than 40 years to the late Charles Hartsell, M.D. “I believe he came to Moore Regional after his discharge from the military in the ’60s,” says L. Burt Place, Pharm.D., M.D. “He practiced until about 10 years ago.” Now the senior partner in Pinehurst Anesthesia Associates, Dr. Place was first approached about joining the Moore Regional team after his 1991 U.S. Army discharge. The invitation came from his friend, Francis Corrigan, M.D., who had come to

(800) 213-3284 • 19



the hospital to provide anesthesiology service and join the new open-heart team after serving in the first Gulf War. Because his father was ill, Dr. Place initially turned the offer down L. Burt Place, Pharm.D., M.D. and remained in his Ohio hometown for private practice. Still the chance to move to Pinehurst remained on the table, and Dr. Place eventually accepted it. “With the resolution of (the personal) issue, my desire to return to the South and Dr. Corrigan trying to get me to come and join the staff at Moore Regional (plus having a Southern bride), I decided to move to Pinehurst,” he says. “I was very impressed with the hospital and members of the anesthesiology department to include the certified registered nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists.” At Moore Regional, Dr. Place joined a team that included Dr. Corrigan and three other military veterans: Dr. Herb Hostetler, who had served with the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Vietnam era, Dr. Rob Nicke, a veteran of the Navy Medical Corps, and Dr. Hartsell. Drs. James McFadden and Joseph Wicker completed the mix. “I felt that we could all work very well together, and I think we did just that,” says Dr. Place. As the hospital’s need for anesthesiologists grew, Drs. Place and Corrigan drew from their military backgrounds and started what is now referred to as “the Walter Reed Army Medical Center pipeline.” “Frank and I were very involved in the anesthesiology residency there, so we got to work with and know all of our residents,” Dr. Place says. The first of those residents to join the Moore Regional team was Ray Lupkas, M.D., who signed on in 1994. Brian Thwaites, M.D., who had a special interest in pain management, followed in 1996. That year also saw the founding of Pinehurst Anesthesia Associates P.A. in a move aimed at partnering the anesthesiologists of the open-heart team with those focusing on pain care.

20 Summer 2014


In 1997, the “pipeline” brought Steven Karan, M.D., to Pinehurst, and he and Dr. Thwaites introduced a new era of Walter Reed residency connections. “The ones (Dr. Corrigan) and I worked with were long gone,” Dr. Place recalls. Next came Robert Oldroyd, M.D., and then Paul Kuzma, M.D. Dr. Kuzma recommended James Winkley, M.D., and David Chandler, D.O., followed. While some of the physicians in the group have retired or moved on to other interests, Drs. Place, Thwaites, Oldroyd, Kuzma, Winkley and Chandler remain with the practice along with their non-military partners Matthew L. Oldroyd, M.D. (Dr. Robert Oldroyd’s brother) and Jacland F. Reville, M.D. “Both are graduates of elite anesthesia residencies, with Dr. Oldroyd training at Stanford and Dr. Reville at Wake Forest,” Dr. Place says. Dr. Place’s personal military association began with his undergraduate studies at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. He then moved on to The Medical University of South Carolina for a degree in pharmacy. After deciding to pursue a career in medicine, he accepted a U.S. Army Health Professions Scholarship that paid his medical school expenses in return for four years of post-residency military service. That was also at The Medical University of South Carolina. “For me, it was a no-brainer with my interest in medicine and the military,” Dr. Place says. Drs. Thwaites, Karan, Robert Oldroyd, Kuzma and Chandler also attended medical school through the Health Professions Scholarship Program, and Dr. Winkley earned his M.D. from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Although a number of FirstHealth physicians (from such specialties as OB/GYN, cardiology, gastroenterology, medical oncology and psychiatry) also have military backgrounds, the “pipeline” bond of the anesthesiologists is special, according to Dr. Place. “All of us who spent time in the military have a special kind of camaraderie,” he says. “We are all very proud to have served as physicians in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, taking care of active duty personnel. It was a great experience I would not hesitate to do again.”

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

Board of Directors

Mrs. Lynn S. DeJaco Chief Financial Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas

FirstHealth of the Carolinas

John F. Krahnert Jr., M.D. Chief Medical Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Mr. Hew Fulton, Chair

Mr. David B. Dillehunt Chief Information Officer, FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Ms. Tracy A. Leinbach, Vice Chair

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

Mr. Sherwood Blackwood

James Lewis, M.D.

Mr. James H. Bulthuis

Mr. Don Padgett

David M. Cowherd, M.D.

Bruce S. Solomon, D.O.

John N. Ellis, M.D.

William L. Stewart, M.D.

Mrs. Carolyn D. Helms

Mr. Robert E. Tweed

Mrs. Anna G. Hollers

Raymond Washington, M.D.

Mr. David J. Kilarski

Mrs. Rusti Welch

Mr. Julian W. King

Mr. David B. Woronoff

Mrs. Karen Robeano, DNP, R.N. Chief Nursing Officer, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital Daniel R. Barnes, D.O. President, FirstHealth Physician Group Mr. John J. Jackson President, FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Mr. Kenneth J. Lewis President, FirstCarolinaCare Insurance Company Mrs. Kathleen Stockham President, Foundation of FirstHealth Mrs. Beth Walker President, FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital Mr. Daniel F. Biediger Vice President, Human Resources, FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Editor, FirstHealth of the Carolinas Brenda Bouser Managing Editor Jason Schneider Creative Director Jan McLean Production Director Traci Marsh Contributing Photographers John Gessner, Don McKenzie

Mr. Jeffrey A. Casey Vice President, Finance & Support Services, FirstHealth of the Carolinas Mrs. Cindy McNeill-McDonald Vice President, Quality, FirstHealth of the Carolinas Mrs. Susan K. Beaty Administrator, FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus

About the Cover Pinehurst Resort President and COO Don Padgett (left) researched the orthopaedic surgery programs at some of the best health care facilities in the country before deciding on FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and Jason Guevara, M.D., for his hip replacement procedure. (Related story on page 10)

For information on any of the programs and services discussed in this publication, call (800) 213-3284 or visit


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FirstHealth Magazine - Summer 2014