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FirstHealth of the Carolinas
Stepping Stones

by Erica Stacy

When we are about a year old, each of us takes a simple step that begins an incredible journey of discovery. Every new opportunity is a stepping stone to the next.

As we grow and change, our goals become more challenging, but the process remains the same. One step at a time, we lay a path to the future. Because of our efforts, those who follow in our footsteps will hopefully find the way a little easier to navigate and appreciate the chance to add their plans and dreams to our own.

Such is the case with the Foundation of FirstHealth’s Stepping Stones Campaign. With a goal of $30 million, the campaign marks a strong investment in FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, its physicians and other health professionals, and—most importantly—in the community.

Through this ambitious campaign, FirstHealth has further established its commitment to provide the finest care to every patient, whatever the need.

Taking the first steps
During the early 1990s, FirstHealth of the Carolinas developed a far-reaching and comprehensive plan for the future. Known as the “Road to 2010,” that plan makes tangible a vision of how FirstHealth hospitals and services will change and evolve.

Guided by the “Road to 2010,” FHC has undertaken the following four major projects.

The FirstHealth Heart Institute at Moore Regional will centralize and streamline heart services. The new facility will offer more cardiac beds and enhanced accommodations as well as six dedicated operating rooms and four advanced catheterization labs.

Six larger family waiting rooms and a small garden café will further improve comfort and convenience.

The recently completed expansion of the Moore Regional Hospital Emergency Department has allowed the staff to continue to efficiently and effectively manage patients in critical situations. With 40 universal rooms and 10 extended care area beds, the renovated ED meets the changing needs of the community with excellent medical care delivered in state-of-the-art facilities.

The Hospice House will provide patient suites for those with a life-limiting illness who can no longer be cared for in the home. This will be particularly helpful for patients whose caregivers have physical limitations, patients who need 24-hour medical assistance and those whose pain level is too severe for family members to address adequately at home. Through the addition of the Hospice House, FirstHealth will offer care in a home-like setting provided by specially trained professionals

The Hospitality House will provide the perfect space for families to stay or to rest during a loved one’s hospitalization or medical treatments. More than half of all MRH patients travel from outside Moore County, so caring for the family’s needs is as important as ensuring excellence for the patient.

FirstHealth’s goal is to ensure that every person who walks through any of its doors gets the personal care that makes a real difference. The combined cost of these new projects comes to more than $90 million.

An investment in health and the future
The Stepping Stones Campaign continues a tradition that goes back to the hospital’s earliest days—calling on the community to help build the facilities needed for expanding and updating patient-care services and raising them to the highest level of excellence.

“I went into medicine to make a difference in people's lives, and for nearly 18 years I have been given the opportunity to use my God-given gifts to have a positive impact on my patients and their families,” says cardiothoracic surgeon John Krahnert, M.D. “I am humbled by the incredible impact our community has had on our medical services.”

To date, the Stepping Stones Campaign has raised more than $28 million in contributions and pledges.

“As we approach the final stretch of the most ambitious campaign in our history, it seems appropriate to celebrate everything that we have accomplished together,” says FirstHealth CEO Charles T. Frock. “Our community has access not only to health services with unparalleled quality, but also to educational opportunities, disease prevention programs and screening initiatives. Our efforts have influenced local, state and national policies. Every step we take makes a difference in the health and wellness of our community, but there is still work to be done.”

“Our community plays a vital role in the care that we are able to provide to our patients,” says John Ellis, M.D., Stepping Stones Campaign chair. “We can’t continue to provide excellence without your support. The contributions that are made to this campaign today will continue to benefit patients for many years to come.”

Gifts come in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes they are wrapped in bright paper or have shiny ribbons. Once in a while, they quietly touch the heart and change our very existence with their kindness.

The Stepping Stones Campaign received such a gift when former Charms candy company CEO Walter W. Reid III and his wife, Betty Reid, announced their intention to make a $3.6 million contribution. The donation marked the Reids’ second gift to the campaign for a total commitment of more than $7.6 million—the largest donation in FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital’s nearly 79-year history.

Walter Reid has shared the fruits of his “charmed” life by establishing the Walter W. Reid III and Elizabeth W. Reid Fund in recognition of the outstanding health care provided to the community by FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and in support of the Foundation of FirstHealth’s Stepping Stones Campaign.

“These gifts have given me as much pleasure as anything I have done,” Reid says. “It may go into bricks and mortar, but it won’t end when the last brick is laid. The income from the fund will be there forever for FirstHealth to use as it wishes to care for people.”

Thoreau once said that kindness is the only investment that does not fail. By investing in the mission of Moore Regional Hospital, Walter and Betty Reid have extended a kindness that will continue to live and grow—benefiting health services in their community for many generations.