PINEHURST – Since April, FirstHealth of the Carolinas has partnered with the University of North Carolina’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology to offer a part-time Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) program at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
In November, with the addition of Julie Markworth Johnson, M.D., to the MFM staff, the program will become full time and provide services five days each week.
“Moore Regional has very successfully partnered with UNC’s OB/GYN program to offer a Maternal-Fetal Medicine program two days each week for several months now,” says Dan Barnes, president of the FirstHealth Physician Group. “As we had expected, the program’s volumes have indicated a considerable need for these services in this region. Dr. Johnson’s addition to the MFM staff will allow us to take the program to five days and give this very special patient population the assurance of full-time specialized care.”
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine Program at Moore Regional offers inpatient and outpatient preconception and prenatal consultations for patients with a variety of complex conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes and autoimmune disorders and for such high-risk pregnancy issues as twins and triplets, preterm labor and previous fetal death.
Available services include amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, tests that are done early in a pregnancy to detect problems with the unborn baby; state-of-the-art obstetric ultrasound; and other fetal procedures.
A genetic counseling service will continue to be offered one day each week.
Although Dr. Johnson will be the full-time MFM provider, the current providers (David Stamilio, M.D.; Thomas Ivester, M.D.; Nancy Chescheir, M.D.; and Mark Sewell, M.D.) will also be associated with the program.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. degree in biology, Dr. Johnson earned her medical degree from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
She completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Palmetto-Richland Memorial Hospital/University of South Carolina School of Medicine and a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island/the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University.
Board certified in obstetrics & gynecology, she was previously a member of the active medical staff at Women & Infants Hospital and at Rhode Island Hospital, both in Providence, R.I., and a consulting physician for four hospitals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Dr. Johnson expects that most of her practice at Moore Regional will involve patients in the following three categories: women who have complicated medical problems that are not related to their pregnancy, women who have problems that are directly related to their pregnancy, and healthy women who are carrying a fetus with a medical problem or problems.
“Pregnant women are generally healthy, but they can develop complications,” she says. “The fact that you’re dealing with two patients at one time (the mother and her baby) adds to the complexity of the problem and changes your perspective. That makes the problem-solving even more of a challenge.”
The FirstHealth-UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine program is located in the Women & Children’s Services area of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. Appointments are by physician referral only.