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FirstHealth of the Carolinas
Foundation of FirstHealth By Kay Grismer
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Joyce Stanton Greene begins each day with a prayer, just as she did that morning last May when she suddenly realized something was terribly wrong

After being rushed to the emergency department at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, she was taken to Chapel Hill where the doctors warned her family that “it didn’t look good.”

Twenty-four hours later, she was undergoing brain surgery. Joyce doesn’t remember much of the weeks that followed, but her prayer was surely answered.

“Father, I am well aware I can’t make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight for I can’t walk alone.”

When Joyce returned to her home at the Country Club of North Carolina, she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. “I am blessed with friends,” she says.

Within a few months, she was fully recovered. “The first place I went after my recuperation was a Moore Regional Hospital Foundation Board meeting,” she says.

For two decades, Joyce Stanton Greene has contributed her time as a volunteer at Moore Regional Hospital, and as a board member of the Hospital Auxiliary, the FirstHealth Hospice Foundation and the Moore Regional Hospital Foundation. Through her philanthropy, she has made a true investment in life.

Giving pays the highest interest rate
and has the longest term of any investment available.

Born in Pennsylvania, Joyce Stanton moved to Essex Fells, N.J., when she was 17. She modeled “for fun” at Bamberger’s Department Store in Newark, and landed on the cover of the magazine published by her new employer, Fidelity Union Trust, the largest bank in New Jersey.

“I was a little clerk during the war and then receptionist,” she says.

But she was “in the right place at the right time” and soon began working for the president and CEO. By 1977, she was an “executive on the move,” after being named an officer of the holding company, Fidelity Union Bancorporation.

“I worked very hard,” she recalls. “I was always selling for the bank—encouraging the local garbage man to get a loan for a new truck, suggesting a new grandfather open a savings account for his granddaughter or introducing someone to our executive officer that resulted in a million dollar trust account from our competitor.”

She also found herself in a position to help fellow employees at the bank. When she found inequities in raises, vacation time or retirement benefits, “I would get on my soap box,” she says, and the policy would be changed.

In 1980, Joyce was seriously injured in an automobile accident and spent the next year in and out of the hospital. After 39 years with Fidelity Union, she retired in 1981. She and her husband of 18 years, Hugh Logan Kerr, moved to Southern Pines where they bought the Longcope property (adjacent to what is now Belle Meade). Hugh continued working as an executive in the sales and marketing division of William A. Force and Company and planned on retiring in five years when he turned 65.

“We had just come home from Europe,” Joyce says. “Hugh thought he had bronchitis, but he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.”

Joyce was his caregiver until he died in 1987, short of his 65th birthday. They had been married 24 years.

“He was a truly beautiful human being,” she says.

After Hugh’s death, Joyce sold her home and moved to the Country Club of North Carolina, where she met Braddock Greene, a widower. They were married in 1993. Eight months later, he was diagnosed with myelodysplasia (leukemia).

“We really lived after he was diagnosed,” Joyce says. “We went on cruise after cruise.”

Brad continued to walk three miles a day, and played golf and croquet. “He had such a positive attitude,” Joyce says.

The day before Thanksgiving 1997, Joyce and Brad went to the Outer Banks to celebrate the holiday with his family. “He couldn’t even play nine holes of golf,” she recalls.

The next day, he returned to Moore Regional Hospital for transfusions. Five months later, in April 1998, Brad died a few days after entering the FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care program and just two days shy of their fifth wedding anniversary.

Giving is the investment in living that pays the
dividends we need: health and happiness.

Joyce has become a tireless advocate of FirstHealth Hospice as a member of the Hospice Foundation Board and with her philanthropy. In memory of Hugh Logan Kerr and Braddock Greene, she donated one of three special suites at Moore Regional Hospital that offer a warm and loving place for families to be with their loved ones in their final days.

Her contributions to the FirstHealth Hospice Foundation were recognized, in November 1998, at the fourth Women’s Health Care Forum, when she was named a Woman of Distinction. “She is a shining example of the evolution of Hospice philanthropy,” says FirstHealth CEO Charles Frock.

In 2000, through the gift of a charitable trust, Joyce established the Joyce Stanton Greene FirstHealth Hospice Chaplaincy Endowment Fund. The fund supports Hospice chaplains who are trained in a clinical pastoral education to assist patients and families—as well as Hospice staff and volunteers—with nondenominational spiritual counseling that is available at any time of the day or night.

“Those who can go and be with people who are dying are a blessing,” she says. “To me, grieving is tough. I have a note that I got after Brad died from Pam Hudson, the Hospice chaplain at that time, that I’ll keep forever.”

Joyce continues to support the Foundation, most recently with a contribution to provide Andy C. Kiser, M.D., the equipment for his pioneering work in the development of a procedure that corrects atrial fibrillation. She has also made generous gifts to other organizations that are close to her heart: the Sandhills Children’s Center, a private, non-profit day school for young children who have mental handicaps, sensory impairments and other developmental disabilities; Pinetree Enterprises, a private non-profit organization that was established to provide training, placement, coaching and support to adults residing in Moore County who are challenged by developmental disabilities; and the Village Chapel of Pinehurst.

What you give away is the only wealth
you will always have.

“I am very conscious of the plight of others, and I want to do whatever I can within my power to be helpful,” Joyce says. “God has been good to me, and I want to give back.”