RAEFORD – It was the 1970s, and the future Debbie Wright-Thomasson, M.D., was a recent college graduate with the heady job of negotiating contracts for the U.S. Cotton Council in Korea.
Debbie Wright-Thomasson, M.D.
When a series of transportation mishaps put her on a cross-country bus trip from Pusan to Seoul, she witnessed a different aspect of Korean life – a native population whose lives were being shortened by poor diet and non-existent medical care. The experience was the first step in a career path that eventually led to medicine with a specialty in cardiology.
“I wanted to do something as a mission,” she says.
Now a fellowship-trained cardiologist, Dr. Wright-Thomasson will offer cardiology services to Hoke County residents through FirstHealth Cardiology Services-Hoke beginning July 8. Her office will be located in the FirstCare Specialty Services building until the opening of the FirstHealth Medical Office Building adjacent to FirstHealth’s new Hoke hospital on Highway 401 in Raeford.
Appointments with Dr. Wright-Thomasson are now being accepted and can be made by calling 1-855-695-7915.
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 will focus 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.
“I try to help people improve and maintain their own health,” she says.
Daniel Barnes, D.O., president of the FirstHealth Physician Group, calls Dr. Wright-Thomasson a “wonderful addition” to FirstHealth Cardiology Services and the FirstHealth Physician Group (an organization of FirstHealth-employed physicians and other providers).
“Her experience and passion for patient care make her a perfect choice to further expand cardiology services in Hoke County,” he says. “We feel that she will deliver high-quality, patient-centered care with a personal touch.”
With the addition of Dr. Wright-Thomasson’s office in Raeford, FirstHealth Cardiology Services will expand to six practices with eight board certified specialists in four counties. Other locations are FirstHealth Cardiology Services – Reid Heart Center; FirstHealth Cardiology Services – Pinehurst; FirstHealth Cardiology Services – Troy; FirstHealth Cardiology Services – Rockingham; and FirstHealth Cardiology Services – Laurinburg.
“Dr. Wright-Thomasson is a quality provider with a passion for her patients,” says John F. Krahnert Jr., M.D., FirstHealth’s chief medical officer. “She is a huge advocate for wellness and preventive medicine, and we expect that her unusual combination of experience and innovation will be a key component to the development of FirstHealth’s regional cardiology program.”
Dr. Wright-Thomasson says she was drawn to FirstHealth by the organization’s reputation for excellence in caring for people.
“You need a well-oiled machine to help take care of patients,” she says. “FirstHealth provides the resources to help us actually make a difference in the lives of our patients, and everybody in Cardiology Services is motivated to do that.”