PINEHURST – Wes Cowell became chair of the FirstHealth of the Carolinas United Way campaign in late 2011 and the next year charted the course for the most successful United Way fundraiser in the history of the Pinehurst-headquartered health care system.
This year, he will serve as campaign chair for the 2013 Moore County United Way fundraising effort, a position for which he is well qualified, according to Linda Pearson, the organization’s executive director.
“Wes gets the job done,” says Pearson, “and, along the way, he makes it fun for people and helps us get the message out. He is a volunteer who understands the importance of the work we do in the community, and we feel like he is an excellent advocate for the work of United Way here in Moore County.”
The administrative director of FirstHealth Pharmacy Services, Cowell led a 2012 FirstHealth United Way/Montgomery County Crisis Fund campaign that saw a 19.6 percent increase in the total employee giving amount and a 16 percent increase in individual employee giving over the previous year. (The FirstHealth campaign includes the Richmond County United Way and the Montgomery County Crisis Fund as well as the Moore County United Way.)
In addition, the number of “Leadership Givers” – employees pledging $1,000 per year in Moore County, $300 per year in Richmond County and $200 per year in Montgomery County – more than tripled (from eight to 26).
Cowell credits the success of FirstHealth’s effort to the enthusiasm of departmental captains, administrative support and the Steering Committee-suggested events (such as a prize wheel and VP dunking booth) that encouraged employee involvement. He also notes the importance of sharing the United Way story with potential givers.
“Being involved in the Moore County United Way has certainly opened my eyes to the profound charitable nature of the people living and working in Moore County and to the truly remarkable work of the agencies the United Way supports,” he says.
“I have had the opportunity to see for myself how every dollar is scrutinized and then put to maximum use in improving the quality of life of those people who need it most. Each and every one of us should be proud that we have such a strong organization focused intently on supporting the agencies that in turn sustain the foundation of our community. I am very fortunate for the enthusiasm of both the employees and administration of FirstHealth of the Carolinas who make our campaign an annual success, and I look forward to partnering with the other campaign chairs to share ideas this year.”
A native of Nashville, Tenn., Cowell joined FirstHealth five years ago as director of the main pharmacy on the Moore Regional Hospital campus. As administrative director, a position he assumed in 2009, he is responsible for pharmacy services at both Moore Regional and Montgomery Memorial hospitals, the FirstHealth Outpatient Pharmacy and the medical oncology pharmacy as well as the pulmonary rehabilitation program at the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness-Southern Pines and the respiratory therapy program on the Moore Regional campus.
Cowell received his doctor of pharmacy degree from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons: Connor, 8, and Rylan, 3.
The 2013 Moore County United Way Campaign begins Sept. 5 and has a goal of $595,000.