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FirstHealth Increases Its Primary Care Presence in Hoke County

| Date Posted: 12/3/2015


Kathleen Figler, R.N.
Linda K. Hughes, M.D.
Kathryn E. Newell, PA-C

RAEFORD – FirstHealth of the Carolinas has increased its provider presence in Hoke County with the recent addition of a physician, a physician assistant and a family nurse practitioner to its primary care practices in Raeford.

Linda K. Hughes, M.D., and Kathryn E. Newell, PA-C, have joined the FirstHealth Physician Offices & Specialty Services practice at 6322 Fayetteville Road on the campus of FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital-Hoke Campus. Kathleen Figler, R.N., CFNP, has joined FirstHealth Family Medicine at 313 Teal Drive in Raeford.

All three providers focus on health care services for the entire family.

“Hoke County is one of the fastest-growing communities in the state,” says Dan Barnes, D.O., president of the FirstHealth Physician Group. “With that growth comes an increasing need for primary health care. FirstHealth has responded to that need with the addition of three very experienced family medicine practitioners.”

Dr. Hughes, who came to FirstHealth from her private practice, Linda K. Hughes, M.D., PA in Fayetteville, earned her undergraduate degree in zoology from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and her medical degree from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

She completed her residency in family medicine with Duke University/FAHEC in Fayetteville and is experienced in both hospice care as well as family medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine.

“I chose family medicine as my area of specialization, because – since medical school – it has appealed to me to look after the whole person and the whole family,” she says. “Our environment has a huge impact on our health, and knowing the entire family has often helped unravel some tough medical problems. We are more than the sum of our parts, and family medicine helps to bring all of that together.”

Newell has been a certified physician assistant with NextCare Urgent Care in Cary for the past two years. She has also been associated with family practice, primary care and urgent care practices in Cary, Raleigh and Apex.

A graduate of Palm Beach State College in Florida, she studied organic chemistry and biochemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond before graduating from the Duke University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.

A member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants, she is certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Physician Assistants.

Dr. Hughes and Newell joined Tabitha Bedini, M.D.; and Rebekah Diky, PA-C, at FirstHealth Physician Offices & Specialty Services.

Figler earned her R.N. diploma from the Millard Fillmore Hospital School of Nursing in Buffalo, New York, and her BSN, M.S., family practitioner degree from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

She came to FirstHealth from the University of Arizona Medical Center, Family Medicine, in Tucson, and also has experience as a family nurse practitioner in Alaska, New Mexico, New York, Saudi Arabia and Virginia. She spent a year as a medical journalist in New Zealand and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

“I have provided rural health care over the last 20 years in Fort Yukon, Alaska; Chinle and Parker, Arizona; and other Indian Health Service locations,” Figler says. “Rural health is a definite subspecialty in family medicine, and many dedicated staff work very hard every day throughout the U.S. to work with patients and families to provide comprehensive care in these geographically isolated areas.”

At FirstHealth Family Medicine in Raeford, she joined Marcus Lowry, M.D.; Robert Townsend, D.O.; and Michael Nissen, FNP.

To make an appointment with Linda K. Hughes, M.D.; Kathryn E. Newell, PA-C, or one of the other providers at FirstHealth Physician Offices & Specialty Services, call (910) 878-6700. To make an appointment with Kathleen Figler, R.N., CFNP, or one of the other providers at FirstHealth Family Medicine-Raeford, call (910) 904-2350. For more information, visit


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