TROY – Kathie Parson finds it very easy to share the FirstHealth of the Carolinas story. She does it every day in her position as community and physician liaison for FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital and FirstHealth Business Development.
She describes herself as a “carrier of good news” in a job that involves developing relationships with the medical and business communities in Montgomery, Randolph and Stanly counties.
“I think of myself as a conduit for what we provide and how much we care about those communities,” she says.
“Kathie is the FirstHealth/Montgomery Memorial person who is out in the community representing us as she interacts with people in all aspects of community life,” says Montgomery Memorial President Beth Walker. “She will be making regular visits to all the medical health care professionals and taking new information about FirstHealth and Montgomery Memorial services to them, also allowing them to tell her how our services to their clinics might be enhanced so they can better serve their patients.”
Parson brings a wealth of experience in several different areas to the FirstHealth position she assumed in February. She worked as the director of Corporate Relations and Property Management for a luxury real estate organization while living in Miami, Fla. Then, as now, she was “building relationships” and encouraging potential customers to “think of our company first.”
She moved to Pinehurst from Asheboro in 2003. Since that time, she has worked as a manager for Fidelity Bank and in the executive office of N.C. State Sen. Harris Blake. However, her versatility and people skills were probably put to their greatest test earlier – during the special time she spent with Petty Enterprises.
That’s Petty as in Richard and Kyle, son and grandson of Lee and grandfather and father of Adam – in other words NASCAR royalty.
Parson and her husband were living on Shelby’s Moss Lake, within easy commute of Charlotte and its airport for the constantly traveling Mark Parson, when she heard about the opportunity with the Pettys. She started out as their marketing manager at their office near Charlotte Motor Speedway and expanded her role by helping to lay the groundwork for a more unified corporate infrastructure.
“The Pettys were looking for help,” she says, “and I knew how to deal at a corporate level.”
As she was introduced to the unique world of NASCAR and especially after she moved closer to their home territory in Randolph County, Parson came to regard the Pettys as part of her extended family. She was with them in times of tragedy – when 18-year-old Adam was killed in New Hampshire during a practice run – and in times of exciting new enterprise.
“I remember securing the first telephone number for Victory Junction Gang Camp,” she says.
A camp for critically and chronically ill children, the Victory Junction Gang Camp is part of the Hole in the Wall camp program founded by actor Paul Newman. Parson got to know the late movie legend when the Pettys were establishing Victory Junction as a memorial to Adam.
Parson left Petty Enterprises after five years so she could spend more time with her young son, Wyatt, now 11. He attends Sandhills Classical Christian School, and the Parsons are happily at home in the Pinehurst house that Mark started renovating after falling in love with the area.
In addition to his residential/commercial design business, Mark Parson is also a member of the Pinehurst Village Council.
As for her own job, Parson looks forward to going “back to the communities I used to be in” while familiarizing herself with the areas she doesn’t know as well. She expects to visit lots of physician practices, civic groups, senior centers and the like as she talks about FirstHealth and Montgomery Memorial and discusses “all we have to offer.”
“Logistically, we are in a good position to serve those communities,” she says.