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Center for Provider Wellbeing

The Center for Provider Wellbeing (CPW) is an innovative and comprehensive benefit for physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, perfusionists and their families in the community served by FirstHealth.  The CPW is supported by the Foundation of FirstHealth's Physician Enrichment Fund

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Provider Wellbeing

In this Section:



Commitment to Wellbeing and Engagement

The ever-changing landscape of health care is creating an even more highly complex and demanding work environment for our health care providers. Burnout rates among providers have never been higher than what we are experiencing today. According to a 2013 report from the Department of Professional Employees, almost half a million registered nurses had already left their profession nationwide. Many cited high workloads and limited staffing as reasons for their departure. In the same report, about one-third of nurses surveyed reported an emotional exhaustion score that qualified them as "high burnout." According to Medscape’s recent Lifestyle Survey of physicians, the overall rate of physician burnout this year was 51 percent, significantly higher than 2013's rate of 40 percent. In addition, the survey revealed that more female physicians (55 percent) than male physicians (45 percent) said they were burned out.  

In response to this growing epidemic, The FirstHealth Center for Provider Wellbeing was established in 2016 as an innovative and comprehensive benefit for our physicians, other medical providers and their families with the intent to promote well-being, prevent burnout, increase resilience, restore health, and foster intentional engagement. The mission of the Center is to serve our providers and their families by offering any needed professional or personal support through means such as group-based or individually customized programs and services related to the five facets of well-being, as defined by the “Father of Positive Psychology” Dr. Martin Seligman, from the University of Pennsylvania. He has extensively researched well-being and developed the PERMAmodel which includes Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships (nurturing), Meaning (and purpose), and Accomplishments or achievements.

To further demonstrate our commitment to well-being, we actively sought collaboration through the following valuable resources in 2017. The CPW paid for FirstHealth of the Carolinas to become an institutional member of the Coalition for Physician Well-being. This was done to share the Coalition’s knowledge with all medical providers we serve to extend the Coalition’s vision of “a health care culture where physicians achieve balance in their lives and derive joy in their practice of medicine; where there is a commitment to communication, collaboration, care, and compassion.” We additionally have joined over 130 organizations across the country in providing a statement of commitment on the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) website to address burnout:

The Center for Provider Wellbeing is entirely supported by the generous donations of our community to The Foundation of FirstHealth and the Reid Physician Enrichment Endowment.  


The Center’s programs and services are available to all physicians, dentists, NPs, PAs, perfusionists and their families located in the communities served by FirstHealth. 


Confidentiality is imperative to our program. No records of services are accessible by FirstHealth administration or any other provider without consent. The Center for Provider Wellbeing staff and consultants are obligated by law, ethics codes, and licensing bodies to uphold the highest standards of confidentiality.


Programs and Services

Transitional Support

FirstHealth’s new providers are individually welcomed by the Director of the Center for Provider Wellbeing prior to his/her start date. “Welcoming” includes a meeting, typically over lunch, dinner, a weekend brunch/meal, or coffee/tea to introduce the Center’s programs and services. Providers are encouraged to contact the Center for any individual and/or family concerns, whether personal or professional. A brochure about the FirstHealth Employee Assistance Plan, Behavioral Services therapy, and free coaching is provided along with a related discussion of the provided information. In addition, providers are offered a free one-month full access trial to one of the five FirstHealth Fitness Centers. The free trial includes a physical assessment, nutritional consult, and three thirty-minute personal training sessions for both the provider and their spouse or significant other, with an additional month free upon signing for a 12-month contract. 

Furthermore, providers and their spouses/significant others are offered a free financial advisor consultation, with zero solicitation as this is with an out of state consultant to the Foundation. The Foundation of FirstHealth is committed to fostering a healthy and financially secure community and offers a confidential one-hour review of providers’ estate planning strategy and financial plan. The sessions are conducted by the Foundation’s independent consultant, William T. Sturtevant. 

Bill Sturtevant is a nationally recognized personal estate and financial planning consultant who has successfully recommended solutions for members of our community with estate, tax, and other legal issues. He earned the Certified Financial Planner designation in 1984 and regularly assists a variety of charitable organizations with complicated and unusual gift situations. He has been listed in Who’s Who and in 1995 was honored as Planned Giving Professional of the Year. The personal estate planning consulting service is complimentary, and all information remains confidential. 

Collegial and Spousal Engagement

We provide programs designed to promote a sense of belonging, support, and connectedness among co-workers, spouses/significant others, families, the surrounding community, and the organization. Programs include: 

  • FirstConnect - a social network under the Center for Provider Wellbeing umbrella with the goal to welcome and connect providers’ spouses or domestic partners to others in the community. FirstConnect members plan and participate in social events to promote connectivity and build relationships among newcomer providers and their families to foster successful integration within the community. FirstConnect members are available to provide any needed assistance related to questions about where to live, schools, local activities, child-care facilities/babysitters, home-school contacts, services needed, or anything that is requested. New spouses or significant others are appointed a FirstBuddy to help address such questions or other needs. Additionally, FirstConnect members create a customized
    “Welcome Basket” for new families soon after their arrival, based on what was learned about them through initial outreach. These baskets include local food or other items as well as toys and a book for children about moving to a new area. The baskets also contain the local Pinestraw magazine, helpful community resource listings compiled by members, area maps, and other materials from the Chamber of Commerce.


  • Provider Socials - Research has shown that social interactions are critical to mental and physical health. To foster these needed connections, the Center for Provider Wellbeing facilitates functions that serve to engage our medical providers. Past activities have included Wine and Design outings, provider welcome receptions, provider retirement parties, lunch and dinner presentations for targeted provider groups, and most recently, a “Happily Epic After” barbeque six weeks after implementation of the new Epic Electronic Medical Record, featuring the band “House Call” which includes members Dr. Dan Barnes, FirstHealth Physician Group President, and Bill Shilkitus, PA-C with FirstHealth Convenient Care. At the recent barbeque, providers were given Provider Wellness logoed tee shirts and drawstring bags with self-care type items in addition to gift certificates for two tickets to the local-based Carolina Philharmonic orchestra.


  • Barnes Bulletin – a monthly bulletin distributed to FirstHealth Physician Group Members designed to provide needed communication specifically related to the group. The bulletin includes information about the Suggestion Line, where providers can offer communication back to their leaders, Operations Updates, Epic Tips and Tricks, Clinic Provider Updates, Patient Resources, Recognition Spotlights, Medical Humor, and Social Events.


  • Physician Leadership Academy - equips physicians to become active and engaged leaders within the organization

Coaching and Consultation Services

The Center for Provider Wellbeing offers a wide range of coaching and consultation services for individual providers, departments and teams dealing with the effects of burnout. Providers can self-refer or be referred by the Center for Provider Wellbeing. Specific services include:  

  •  One-on-one consultation and coaching
  • Wellness coaching
  • Critical event intervention and coaching for individuals, teams, and/or departments
  • Physician leadership coaching
  • Individualized leadership coaching
  • Facilitation of team-building workshops

The knowledge and information about being healthy is all around us, yet achieving good health is much easier said than done.  This is where wellness coaching can make a difference. Wellness coaching is both a partnership and a process to set goals, prioritize what matters most, and help you to follow through. The wellness coaching process will build confidence in your ability to make changes and create new healthy habits. A partnership with a coach provides structure, accountability, expertise and inspiration that enables the client to learn, grow and develop beyond what he or she can do alone. 

Coaching can be done either in person or by telephone. Telephone coaching gives flexibility as it is not restricted by geography or office hours.  You can ‘meet’ during your lunch hour at work or while the baby is taking a nap. Coaching over the phone is very effective because listening is the cornerstone of coaching. A lack of visual cues often frees people from stereotypes, so many people feel they can express themselves more freely on the telephone.  If visual contact is preferred, or the accountability of going to a meeting is better for you, in-person sessions are available. 

Workshops, Presentations, and Retreats

The Center for Provider Wellbeing collaborates with individual providers, departments, and teams to develop educational programs that meet specific needs. Individuals or groups may choose from existing programming topics, such as resiliency, patient experience, self-care and work life balance, or custom tailor a specific program. These topics can be addressed either as keynote presentations, extended workshops, or retreats and can encompass providers’ family members. Visit our Events page for more details about upcoming events. Please contact the Center for Provider Wellbeing at to share topics of interest to you or your department. 

Outpatient Onsite Visits

The Director of the Center for Provider Wellbeing conducts Outpatient Onsite Visits to FirstHealth’s outpatient clinics. The purpose of these visits is to provide an onsite presence to offer support and availability to hear and address issues. If you’d like to schedule a visit or hear more about this service, please contact us at 

Physical and Spiritual Health and Restoration

To foster restoration, the FirstHealth Fitness Center in Pinehurst offers, to any provider wishing to commit to a massage every month for a year for the 12 Months of Christmas Massage Program, special pricing of $55 for 60 minutes for members (community rate is $65) and $79 for 90 minutes (community rate is $89) for the 12-month program. The reduction in cost is offered as a benefit to all medical providers due to the known benefits of regular massage and FirstHealth’s commitment to supporting provider well-being. If you are unsure about enrolling in this monthly program, you still can access discounts through their packages: 

  • 3 Pack of 1hour massages: $199 members/$228 community
  • 6 pack of 1hour massages: $378 members/$432 community

Provider Recognition Coins

Beginning in March 2017, Dr. Barnes, President, FirstHealth Physician Group, established a Provider Coin Recognition Program. Inspired by the tradition that began with the military, coins are awarded to providers demonstrating exemplary service. There are three different types of coins, including the You Make a Difference coin for valuable input or service, the Above and Beyond Coin for extraordinary effort leading to a positive result, and a Heart of Gold coin for demonstrating meaningful compassion to patients or colleagues. It is asked that FirstHealth Physician Group providers offer continued input to identify worthy members to receive the valued recognition. It is Dr. Barnes’ hope that receivers will feel personal pride in being awarded a coin and that the coin serve as a positive reminder of ones’ contributions to the greater organization. 

If you would like to nominate a deserving colleague, call the FirstHealth Physician Group Line at (910) 715-7969. 

Well-Being Index 

We have collaborated with MedEd Solutions to offer the Well-Being Index, a brief online self-assessment which provides participants with immediate individualized feedback including tools and local and national resources to address personal well-being. Invented by the Mayo Clinic, the Well-Being Index is 100% anonymous and in less than 10 questions can predict risks towards several dimensions, including fatigue, depression, burnout, anxiety/stress, mental/physical quality of life and work-life balance. Participants receive feedback on their well-being compared to their peers and can track their personal well-being over time. Through the Center for Provider Wellbeing, this resource is offered to FirstHealth employed and affiliated providers and staff.  

Meet Our Team

Jason Jerry, M.D.

Chief Provider Wellbeing

Jason M. Jerry, M.D., FAPA, FASAM, is a board certified psychiatrist who is also certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He obtained his medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio and completed his residency training at The University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami, Florida. He has devoted most of his career to the research and treatment of those addicted to alcohol or drugs. He previously worked for one of the largest privately owned addiction treatment centers in Florida and ultimately became their Corporate Medical Director.

Before coming to FirstHealth, Dr. Jerry was a staff psychiatrist at The Cleveland Clinic's Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center and an Assistant Professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been very involved in patient advocacy work and served as the Chair of both the Treatment Subcommittee for the U.S. Attorney of Northern Ohio's Heroin and Opioid Task Force and the Addiction and Pain Committee for the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association. He was also a member of the Ohio State Medical Association’s Focused Task Force on State Legislation.

Dr. Jerry has published several peer-reviewed articles related to psychiatry and addictions and has received multiple awards related to his work in the field of addictions including the 2016 U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Partnerships for Public Safety.


Suze Kopynec, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA

Director, Center for Provider Wellbeing

Suze Kopynec has been a Physician Assistant for 31 years. She graduated from Elon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Medical Laboratory Technology, received her PA training from Wake Forest School of Medicine, and a Master's degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska. Suze has been a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) for thirty-three years, participating on the state level and with the Constituent Chapter Officers Workshop (CCOW), as well as lobbying on Capitol Hill for the PA profession. She is one of less than one percent of PAs to earn their Distinguished Fellow designation. She practiced primarily in Emergency Medicine and Family Practice. She has been an administrator of an urgent care center for an 80-physician group specialty practice, was a Medical Science Liaison traveling across the US and Canada training surgeons, educating staff, and managing world-wide product related issues, taught Risk Management/Medical Malpractice Prevention, and served as a medical expert for numerous malpractice cases. Most recently, she served our active duty soldiers at Fort Bragg. She completed training and received Certifications in Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP), as a Flourishing Skills Group (FSG) Facilitator, and CAPP Coach (ICF Accredited) in 2017. Currently she is the Director of The Foundation of FirstHealth’s Center for Provider Wellbeing—an innovative service to address the concerns of provider resilience and burnout.  


Wayne M. Sotile, Ph.D. 

Consulting Psychologist

Clinical psychologist Wayne M. Sotile, Ph.D.. is a pioneer in the field of work/life balance and resilience  for high-performing health professionals and their families.  He and his group have coached and counseled more than 45,000 high performers and consulted with 400 leading corporations. He has delivered over 7,000 keynotes to professional and lay audiences worldwide, including invited addresses to the Medtronic, Inc. sales force, Bayer Pharmaceutical senior leadership, American Medical Association, International Conference on Physician Resilience, the Million Dollar Roundtable, the Entrepreneurship Institute, Conde Nast Publishers, Federal Express, State Farm Insurance Co., numerous health care organizations and specialty societies, and countless Fortune 500 companies.

Dr. Sotile has authored or co-authored nine books including  Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back and Thriving Physicians: Avoiding Burnout and Shaping Resilience Throughout a Medical Career (forthcoming, 2017) His work is featured frequently in the international print media and on national television, including appearances on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and Dateline NBC.

Educated at Louisiana State University, University of South Carolina, and Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Sotile is a former faculty member at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is Founder of the Sotile Center for Resilience and the Center for Physician Resilience, in Davidson, North Carolina.


Rebecca Sotile Fallon, M.S., C.W.C.

Executive Coach

Clinical and Health psychologist Rebecca Sotile Fallon, M.S., C.W.C. has worked with healthcare providers for the past 15 years.  She is the Editor-in-Chief of “The Resilient Physician Newsletter” and the co-author of Understanding Your Pacemaker or Defibrillator: What Patients and Families Need to Know (with David Hayes, the former Chair of the

Department of Cardiology, Mayo Clinic).  Rebecca is also a Certified Wellness Coach and lectures nationally on psychosocial aspects of medical care and work/life balance for busy healthcare professionals.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a B.A. in psychology, Rebecca obtained a Masters of Science degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of Florida.

From 2003-2014, Rebecca worked with Medtronic, the world’s leading manufacturer of implantable cardiac devices. There, she served as Clinical Specialist in cardiac devices and became renowned as an expert on quality of life issues for medical patients. Most recently, Rebecca’s work with Medtronic involved planning and executing national medical educational symposia on cardiac patient management.

Currently, Rebecca serves as Director of Wellness for the Sotile Center for Resilience and the Center for Physician Resilience, in Davidson, North Carolina, where she coordinates and delivers wellness services to a diverse population of health professionals and continues her national presence as a speaker and consultant to health organizations.

An engaging and dynamic speaker, Rebecca’s presentations combine descriptions of evidence-based tactics and strategies for promoting physician resilience; practical advice for managing the constant changes affecting healthcare workplaces today; and “from the trenches” advice about what differentiates healthcare professionals who thrive from colleagues who flounder in burnout and disillusionment.  Rebecca has also developed a niche in presenting to high-powered professional women about their unique resilience challenges, and how simple strategies can combat burnout and dispel “the myth of the balanced life.”


Colleen Dolgan, R.N., M.A.

Consultant, Innovation and Strategies

Colleen Dolgan has more than 20 years of experience as a corporate executive overseeing the organization and training functions. She started up employee and leadership development programs, provided introductory training for performance improvement, change and culture management, and led the culture transition for a healthcare merger. Colleen has also served in various faculty positions at Cleveland State University, OH, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN, and Cuyahoga Community College-Corporate College, OH. Colleen has experience leading and executing as a senior learning executive for over 36,000 employees. She oversaw the functions for mentoring, employee and leadership development, e-technology, onboarding, strategic education, organization development, and career development. Additionally, she oversaw the start-up training function for Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and developed leadership academies for both physicians and nurses. She specialized in designing various team building events, assessments, coaching and new executive assimilation. She is a sought-after presenter on topics including evidence-based leadership, communications, team development, personality, change, diversity, strategic thinking, and executing change.

Following her tenure as Cleveland Clinic’s senior learning officer, Colleen launched her own consulting practice in April 2010. She is an executive coach to current and high potential leaders and physicians. She is a co-author for articles related to organizational development and has authored numerous self-study packets, videotapes, and classroom curriculums. She has consulted with physicians and medical school faculty for leadership, communication, and performance management skills. Colleen was the instrumental force behind the development of our FirstHealth Physician Leadership Academy and continues to contribute to provider well-being efforts.


Heather Taylor, DNP, WHNP-BC, RNC

Heather Taylor is a doctorally prepared advanced practice nurse with more than 16 years of experience in diverse clinical settings. Her areas of expertise include clinical program development, health informatics, provider-led research, and evidence-based practice. Following practice as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Taylor initially joined FirstHealth as a Clinical Coordinator with Hospitalist Services and later served as Program Coordinator of the Community Case Management program. At that time, Dr. Taylor obtained her Doctor of Nursing Practice from Duke University. Following graduation, she transitioned into independent consulting, implementing numerous evidence-based practice initiatives to foster best practice in Magnet-designated health care systems. Dr. Taylor has also served as a system representative for the national American Medical Group Association Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Learning Collaborative and lead investigator for the associated grant-funded quality improvement pilot. Responsibilities included pilot oversight, data collection and analysis, policy development and authoring year-end case studies. In consulting with FirstHealth’s Nursing Research Council, Dr. Taylor developed and executed a multi-disciplinary evidence-based practice continuing educational series and led successful application for the Cardinal Health Foundation E³ - Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Excellence in Health Care Grant for hourly rounding study to support the organization’s mission to improve patient safety and quality of care. She has co-authored numerous poster presentations for national conferences and authored white papers in best practice and a journal article in a leading publication in informatics. Dr. Taylor currently collaborates with FirstHealth across various organizational initiatives.


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Located within the Clara McLean House 20 First Village Drive
Pinehurst, NC 28374

Office Phone: (910) 715-4228 Mobile Phone: (910) 639-5487 Email:


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