Art Edgerton, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon with FirstHealth’s Reid Heart Center, has been named Moore Regional Hospital’s 2013 Physician of the Year. He is shown with Karen Robeano, R.N., DNP, Moore Regional’s chief nursing officer, who made the award presentation during the May meeting of the hospital’s Leadership Council.
PINEHURST – When Art Edgerton, M.D., was thinking of leaving his established Charlotte-area surgical practice for the new Reid Heart Center, he contacted FirstHealth’s chief medical officer, an acquaintance since both were Wake Forest medical students.
In addition to speaking to John Krahnert, M.D., Dr. Edgerton also “sought the counsel” of his son, Colston, then a first-year medical student at Wake Forest.
Both conversations ultimately had an impact on his decision to come to Pinehurst, but a comment from his son proved especially insightful. “Dad,” the young man said, “this sounds like just the kind of practice you’ve been looking for.”
Dr. Edgerton joined the FirstHealth Cardiovascular & ThoracicCenter in the fall of 2010. This month, he was named Moore Regional’s 2013 Physician of the Year.
“I feel extremely humbled and honored,” he says.
Nominations for the Physician of the Year Award come from members of the hospital’s clinical staff who also make the final selection. One of the nurses who nominated Dr. Edgerton called him “the most kind and understanding doctor in this hospital.” Other nurses noted his respect for the nursing staff and the above-and-beyond care that always includes personal time with his patients and their families.
“(Nurses) feel appreciated and respected for our part in the patient’s recovery,” said one nomination.
“Dr. Edgerton interacts with sincere concern and caring for all his patients and their families,” said another. “He allows them adequate time to ask questions – (he is) not intimidating but very approachable.”
Another nomination described Dr. Edgerton’s gifts as an educator. “Dr. Edgerton is always willing to share his knowledge and willingly offers explanations concerning the patient’s plan of care,” the letter said. “He promotes a team effort attitude that overall is a plus for our patients…one purpose – care for our patients to help them return to the best health they can be in.”
Every comment seems to confirm Dr. Edgerton’s team-approach philosophy of patient care, especially the care of patients dealing with the unique experience of heart or lung surgery.
“From Admissions to Housekeeping, it’s a total team,” he says. “The staff here is incredible.”
Dr. Edgerton also compliments the “good team chemistry” he shares with FirstHealth’s two other CVT surgeons, Dr. Krahnert and Peter I. Ellman, M.D., and the administrative and community support that went into the development of Reid Heart Center.
“To me, it’s an award that reflects the entire team at FirstHealth – a team that makes it possible for each physician to provide exceptional care for their patients,” he says.
Dr. Edgerton 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 returned to his hometown of Charlotte and Charlotte Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates. In 1997, he started the cardiothoracic surgery program at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C., and remained there until his move to FirstHealth.
His surgical specialties include coronary artery bypass, valvular heart surgery, lung surgery and carotid endarterectomy; and he is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.
In addition to son Colston, now a fourth-year medical student, Dr. Edgerton and his wife, Ann (a physician assistant), have a daughter, Anna, who works for Bloomberg News in Brazil.