SANFORD – Coming very soon to Sanford is FirstHealth of the Carolinas’ newest primary care location – FirstHealth Primary Care, Sanford. It will be part of the health system’s newly constructed Lee Campus, opening on Monday, October 1. Local residents and those who work in the area are invited to tour the facility and meet staff at an open house on Saturday, September 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 2919 Beechtree Drive.
One staff member who is especially excited to be part of this growth is the center’s new office manager, Nikola Martin. She has worked for FirstHealth for several years and has lived with her family in Sanford for a decade.
“I love the FirstHealth culture, and I’m glad I’ll be able to serve my community so closely in this position,” she says. “This opportunity gives me the best of both worlds—professionally and personally.”
Martin has worked in health care management since 2001, focusing on customer service, office management and patient relations.
Most recently, she served FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital as supervisor of emergency department patient services. She has worked in related positions at Fort Bragg and before that, served as a military police officer for the U.S. Army Reserves.
At the new FirstHealth Primary Care in Sanford, her work brings her “home” so to speak, since the offices are just a short drive from where she lives with her husband, Phillip, and family. They have six children, including three adult children, Brandon, Julian and Cameron. Their three younger ones, who are busy participating in local activities, are teens Phillip, Jr., and Nikolas, and daughter Autumn, 10.
“This will be the first time in many, many years our children will have a parent working in the same city we live in,” Martin says. “That will certainly make our evening dinners less hectic and getting to their events easier. But I’m especially glad that patients in the area won’t have to travel as far to get care from FirstHealth physicians.”
Martin earned an associate’s degree from Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, and her B.A. from UNC Fayetteville State University. She is now enrolled in the master’s in healthcare administration program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. A native of Detroit, Martin said her parents moved the family to Sanford in 1993 after falling in love with the area during a visit.
FirstHealth Primary Care in Sanford offers appointments for patients ages 17 and older. Internal medicine specialist Allison Zhang, M.D., will provide care. The center will also offer laboratory and imaging services, such as X-ray and ultrasound. The address is 2919 Beechtree Drive off of US 15-501, near the US-1 and 15-501 interchange. For appointments, call (919) 897-2256.
Also opening right next door will be FirstHealth Convenient Care. Hours will be 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. seven days a week for walk-in care, sports physicals and other non-emergency care. A second FirstHealth Convenient Care clinic is located south of Sanford, in Tramway, at 1602 Westover Drive, Sanford, N.C.