FirstHealth of the Carolinas

Meet Our Team

FirstHealth Cardiology Services
FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic Center
FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic Center
Thomas Arthur “Art” Edgerton

Art Edgerton, M.D., Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeon
A North Carolina native, Dr. Edgerton has more than 20 years of experience in advanced cardiac, thoracic and vascular procedures. Before coming to FirstHealth, Dr. Edgerton, was associated with Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C., where he started the cardiothoracic surgery program in 1997, building a robust practice and performing 350 surgeries each year.

He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Wake Forest University in 1977 and his medical degree from the Bowman Gray (now Wake Forest) School of Medicine in 1981. He completed his general surgery residency in 1987 and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery in 1989, both at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

After spending a year at Wake Forest in a junior faculty position, Dr. Edgerton moved to his hometown of Charlotte and Charlotte Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates with privileges in cardiothoracic surgery at Presbyterian Hospital and Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy.
His surgical specialties include coronary artery bypass, valvular heart surgery, lung surgery and carotid endarterectomy. He is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Peter I. Ellman, M.D.

Peter I. Ellman, M.D., Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeon
Dr. Ellman grew up in Vermont, where he was a competitive ski racer in high school and college. He attended Dartmouth College, where he majored in English and was on both the varsity alpine ski team and golf team. He earned his medical doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 2000. Dr. Ellman completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Virginia and his cardiothoracic training in Gainesville at the University of Florida.

He specializes in all aspects of adult cardiac surgery including coronary artery bypass surgery, valvular repair and replacement, and diseases of the aorta. He also treats patients with non-cardiac diseases of the chest including benign and malignant processes of the lung and mediastinum.

Dr. Ellman is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery .

John F. Krahnert Jr., M.D.

John F. Krahnert Jr., M.D., Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeon
The founder of FirstHealth of the Carolinas’ heart surgery program, Dr. Krahnert graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in biology and earned his M.D. from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. He completed both his internship and residency at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He then completed a fellowship in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

The year 2010 marks Dr. Krahnert’s 20th anniversary in the Sandhills. He was the youngest person in the country to start an open-heart surgery program. The two decades since then have seen FirstHealth’s heart surgery program grow from infancy into one of the most respected in the country, performing about 450 cases a year and pioneering some of today’s cutting-edge procedures.

Dr. Krahnert is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.


FirstHealth Cardiology Services Reid Heart Center
Steven J. Filby, M.D.

Steven J. Filby, M.D., Structural, Peripheral & Coronary Interventional Cardiologist
An interventional cardiologist who performed some of the first minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures of their kind in this region, Dr. Filby returned to FirstHealth to establish a Structural Heart Program at the Reid Heart Center.

Dr. Filby’s practice is focused on the medical and interventional management of coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease (including carotid stenosis), adult congenital heart disease and valvular heart disease.  He performs a variety of procedures including catheter-based defect closures (ASD, PFO, PDA), valve replacements and peripheral vascular interventions that can offer a reasonable alternative to conventional surgery.

A native of New Orleans, Dr. Filby graduated with honors from Harvard University with a B.A. in biological anthropology before earning 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 Ohio’s renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

He was affiliated with Moore Regional for two years before joining Oklahoma Heart Hospital Physicians, a specialty group that has been top-rated for patient satisfaction by Consumer Reports Magazine.

Dr. Filby is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology, and is board eligible in vascular medicine.


FirstHealth Cardiology Services - Pinehurst
Peter L. Duffy, M.D., FACC

Peter L. Duffy, M.D., FACC, Interventional Cardiologist
Dr. Duffy is an interventional cardiologist who has been a member of the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital medical staff since 1996. He was previously associated with Pinehurst Cardiology Consultants, which become fully integrated with FirstHealth of the Carolinas as physicians of FirstHealth Cardiology Services in October 2012.

Dr. Duffy graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and earned his M.D. from New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. He received his Master in Medical Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He completed his internship and residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York, N.Y., and then did a fellowship in Cardiology at Georgetown University and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Interventional Cardiology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention.

His special interests include chest pain evaluation, heart attack care, cardiac catheterization and coronary angioplasty including stent placement and rotational atherectory.

Peter J. Vassallo, M.D., FACC

Peter J. Vassallo, M.D., FACC, Cardiologist
Dr. Vassallo is a cardiologist who has been a member of the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital medical staff since 1996. He was previously associated with Pinehurst Cardiology Consultants, which become fully integrated with FirstHealth of the Carolinas as physicians of FirstHealth Cardiology Services in October 2012.

Dr. Vassallo graduated from Fordham University in Bronx, N.Y., and earned his M.D. from Universidad del Noreste School of Medicine. He completed his internship, residency and a cardiology fellowship at Bridgeport Hospital at Yale University School of Medicine in Bridgeport, Conn. He was chief resident while there and returned to Yale University School of Medicine as a clinical instructor from 1990 to 1991.

He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Nuclear Cardiology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

His special interests include noninvasive nuclear cardiology, myocardial perfusion imaging, cardiac catheterization and transesopahgeal echocardiography.

H. Allen Strunk, D.O., FACC

H. Allen Strunk, D.O., FACC, Cardiologist
Dr. Strunk is a cardiologist who has been a member of the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital medical staff since 2001. He was previously associated with Pinehurst Cardiology Consultants, which become fully integrated with FirstHealth of the Carolinas as physicians of FirstHealth Cardiology Services in October 2012.

Dr. Strunk graduated from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., and earned his D.O. from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his internship and residency at Youngstown Hospital Association in Youngstown, Pa., and Harrisburg Hospital in Harrisburg, Pa. He then completed a fellowship in Cardiology at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa. Dr. Strunk is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

His special interests include cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, clinical cardiology and congestive heart failure.

Mark D. Landers, M.D., FACC

Mark D. Landers, M.D., FACC, Electrophysiologist
Dr. Landers is an electrophysiologist who has been a member of the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital medical staff since 2003. He was previously associated with Pinehurst Cardiology Consultants, which become fully integrated with FirstHealth of the Carolinas as physicians of FirstHealth Cardiology Services in October 2012.

He graduated from Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and earned his M.D. from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. He completed his internship and residency, as chief resident, in the University of Connecticut Medicine Program. He then completed a fellowship in cardiology and electrophysiology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Landers is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a member of the Heart Rhythm Society. Dr. Landers’ practice focuses on therapies for cardiac arrhythmias including treatment of heart rhythm disorders with medical and ablation therapy for atrial fibrillation, SVT and CT. He implants and follows cardiac devices, pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). He also treats advanced heart failure to include the use of pacemakers and ICDs.


FirstHealth Cardiology Services - Rockingham

’Jide G. Lawal, M.D., FACC, Cardiologist
Dr. Lawal is a cardiologist who has been a member of the medical staff at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, a division of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, since 2000. He was previously associated with Sandhills Cardiology Associates with locations in Rockingham and Laurinburg. He became fully integrated with FirstHealth of the Carolinas as a physician of FirstHealth Cardiology Services in January 2013. He graduated from the University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria, where he also earned his M.D. He completed his internship, residency and cardiology fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons at Harlem Hospital Center, New York, N.Y. Dr. Lawal is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases and nuclear cardiology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. His practice focuses on noninvasive studies including echocardiogram, nuclear and Holter as well as invasive, non-interventional cardiology including cardiac catheterization and coronary angiogram, pacemaker implantations and TEE.

David J. Shin, M.D., FACC, Cardiologist
Dr. Shin joined FirstHealth Cardiology Services in January 2013 as a provider with FirstHealth Cardiology Services – Rockingham and a member of the medical staff at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, a division of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Dr. Shin relocated to North Carolina from Jacksonville, Fla., where he was a member of a large cardiology practice. Dr. Shin earned a B.A. in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and a medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, La. He did his internship and residency in internal medicine at Tulane, where he also completed a fellowship in cardiology. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases and nuclear cardiology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Shin’s practice focuses on invasive, non-interventional cardiology including cardiac catheterization, nuclear cardiology, angiography and echo TEE pacemakers.


FirstHealth Cardiology Services - Hoke
Debbie Wright-Thomasson, M.D., FACC

Debbie Wright-Thomasson, M.D., FACC, Cardiologist
Dr. Wright-Thomasson joined FirstHealth Cardiology Services in July 2013 as a provider with FirstHealth Cardiology Services – Hoke. A Texas native, Dr. Wright-Thomasson earned a B.S. degree in home economics from Texas Tech University in Lubbock; an M.S. degree in nutrition from Texas Women’s University in Denton; and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She completed her internship with the University of Texas Medical Branch, John Sealy Hospitals, in Galveston; and her residency in internal medicine with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, University Medical Center in Lubbock. She practiced internal medicine for 10 years before being offered fellowships in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University and the Division of Cardiology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She spent another 10 years practicing cardiology with St. Elizabeth Regional Health System, St. Elizabeth and Home Hospitals, Lafayette, Ind., before relocating to North Carolina in 2011.She is board certified in cardiology, nuclear cardiology and echocardiography. Dr. Wright-Thomasson’s FirstHealth practice focuses on non-invasive cardiology including complete echocardiography (with stress test, TTE and TEE services); nuclear studies; and Holter and event monitoring. With her interest in integrative medicine, she will coordinate various medical services into her patient treatment plans

 
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