Elizabeth C. Turney, M.D.
PINEHURST – Elizabeth C. Turney, M.D., cites a family medical experience as the reason for her early interest in a medical career and her introduction to the care of premature babies during her pediatric residency to her interest in the specialty of neonatology.
“The field challenged me intellectually, and the long-term care of premature infants gave me the chance to have a long-term relationship with the baby and their family,” she says. “Nothing else in my career had allowed me to care for an entire family, both from a medical perspective as well as an emotional one. The satisfaction of seeing a baby discharged from the NICU home with its family made me want to come to work every day.”
A member of the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2010, Dr. Turney has joined FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital as a neonatologist in the Clarke Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Turney to the neonatology service at Moore Regional Hospital,” says Nicholas Lynn, M.D., medical director of the Clarke NICU. “Since she received much of her education and training in North Carolina, we know she will bring outstanding medical skills and perspective to our neonatal population. Since she was raised in North Carolina, we know that she will make the transition to Pinehurst easily and rapidly become a valuable member of our medical staff and community."
Because her sister had been diagnosed with a congenital heart disease, Dr. Turney spent a lot of time with her sister and mother in the hospital. “I was fascinated by the doctors and nurses caring for her and often imitated them in play,” she says. “My parents encouraged my interest and, from then on, I knew I wanted to become a physician.”
With her special interest in breastfeeding, Dr. Turney has, since 2014, participated in a research study focused on improving breastfeeding rates that received a 2015 North Carolina Children’s Promise Research Grant. The current emphasis of her research involves training providers about breastfeeding and the benefits of breast milk.
“To this end, I developed a hands-on curriculum with breast models that allows trainers to learn breastfeeding techniques,” she says. “The curriculum also taught trainees about the anatomy and physiology of breast milk production and the benefits of breastfeeding to mother and baby and increased the breastfeeding rates at my former hospital by two-fold.”
A 2003 graduate of Wake Forest University with a B.A. in chemistry and German, Dr. Turney taught honors chemistry and biology at GTCC Middle College in Jamestown, North Carolina, for two years before entering medical school. She earned her medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City in 2010.
“I always intended to go to medical school, but wanted to take some time to give back to others before going,” she says. “I attended the North Carolina School of Science and Math and greatly benefited by the public education I received there. This experience only enhanced my love of learning, and I felt that, before medical school, I wanted to share that with others as a teacher myself.”
Dr. Turney did her internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Hospitals, where she completed a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine earlier this year.
The Level III Clarke Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital treats premature and sick newborns. Staffed by specially trained nurses and physicians, the 13-bed unit is family-centered to ensure that infants requiring more than routine nursery care can still have their families close by. For more information, click here.