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FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Some of the best communicators of the FirstHealth story are the members of the Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary, a group that has existed for almost as long as the hospital itself and whose annual Holiday Ball is the hospital’s oldest and most visible fundraiser.

The 2007 Holiday Ball, chaired by FirstHealth Hospice Foundation Board chair Bob Tweed and his wife, Lorraine, raised money that was directed toward the Auxiliary’s multiyear $1 million pledge to the Stepping Stones Campaign. With its special focus on the FirstHealth Hospice House, the Holiday Ball also communicated a new service – inpatient hospice care – for the FirstHealth family of services.

Rebecca Cranford (second from left) received an award from the Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary as the 2007 graduating Sandhills Community College nursing student with the greatest potential for professional success. Shown with Cranford following a May 11, 2007, pinning ceremony are (from left) Auxiliary representatives Kara Simpson and Kathy Byron and Star Mitchell, chair of SCC’s Department of Nursing.

The year 2007 was one of many accomplishments for the Auxiliary and not just in terms of fundraising. Foremost among those accomplishments was the Auxiliary’s establishment as an integrated Foundation of FirstHealth entity, a change that positioned the Auxiliary under the Foundation’s fiduciary and philanthropic umbrella.

With the change, Rebecca Ainslie, director of Hospitality Services, became the Foundation’s liaison to the Auxiliary and began providing organizational support. “The Foundation has been managing the Auxiliary’s database, as well as providing support for the Holiday Ball, for several years,” she says. “The connection to the Foundation’s philanthropic governance structure has been a natural progression for the Auxiliary.”

Bob and Lorraine Tweed of Pinehurst served as honorary chairs of the 2007 Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Ball.

The change not only gave the Auxiliary access to the Foundation’s communications, investment and organizational resources but also a seat on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. It is also expected to maximize the Auxiliary’s philanthropic endeavors, especially the annual Holiday Ball.

“It’s a tremendous thing for us,” says Kathy Byron, the Auxiliary’s president during 2007. “This change positions the Auxiliary in the FirstHealth corporate structure, which gives us input and information from other FirstHealth boards. Because we are all trying to work together toward the same means, this will make what we do better.”

Also during 2007, the Auxiliary:

  • Made significant progress toward the fulfillment of its $1 million pledge to the Stepping Stones Campaign to build a Heart Hospital, Hospice House and Hospitality House. During 2007, the Auxiliary focused its fundraising and communications efforts on the Hospice House.
  • Increased the funding potential of the Holiday Ball with a greater emphasis in sponsorship levels.
  • Doubled its special projects allotment. By doing so, Byron says, “We’re providing funding for a variety of things we wouldn’t have been able to fund in the past.”
  • Partnered with FirstHealth Community Health Services on a variety of projects including a Men’s Health Conference and FirstSchool Garden, an outdoor classroom that is integrated into the curriculum and teaches healthy eating at several elementary schools in Moore County.
  • Embarked on a more aggressive membership outreach that resulted in new membership growth.


FirstHealth CEO Charles T. Frock
During 2007, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley appointed FirstHealth CEO Charles T. Frock to a five-year term on the North Carolina Institute of Medicine.

Established to seek solutions to statewide problems that hinder the improvement of health and the efficient and effective delivery of health care for every resident of the state, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine serves an advisory function at the request of the governor, the General Assembly and/or agencies of state government in the formation of public policy on issues concerning health and health care.

Frock also served as chair of the North Carolina Hospital Association during 2007, and addressed the opening session of the organization’s Winter Membership Meeting. During his speech, which was titled “We Are the Stewards of the Uninsured,” Frock presented an overview of how hospitals face the issue of the uninsured every day. He also summarized some successful grassroots efforts to deal with the matter, including FirstHealth’s own FirstPlan product.

Sharon Nicholson Harrell, director of Dental Care Centers
The director of the FirstHealth Dental Care Centers told 2007 graduates of the University of North Carolinas School of Dentistry that “the sky is the limit” with unprecedented opportunities for professional challenge in a career in dentistry.

As commencement speaker for the program’s 54th Honor Convocation on May 13, 2007, Sharon Nicholson Harrell, DDS, MPH, delivered a charge to the dental school graduates.

“I charge you to consider providing at least $10,000 per year in care for Medicaid recipients in the state of North Carolina,” Dr. Harrell said in her address. “What a wonderful way to say ‘thank you’ to the citizens of North Carolina who have made it possible for you to receive the premier dental education in the nation.”

Dr. Harrell received her DDS degree from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry in 1987 and her master’s degree in public health from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health in 1990.

David Carter, EMS director
During 2007, David Carter, director of FirstHealth’s Regional EMS System, joined the board of the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), a national organization that focuses on the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Carter also chairs the Key Element I Cycle 3 Revision Committee, a group charged with updating SCPC criteria on the emergency department/EMS relationship on heart attack diagnosis and treatment. He is also an SCPC reviewer for chest pain centers that want to become certified.

Established in 1998, the SCPC promotes protocol-based medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of heart attack and heart failure as well as the adoption of those standards by health care providers. Each year, more than 5 million Americans enter the hospital with chest pain. Of those, 1.25 million present symptoms of cardiac distress and 600,000 die.