PINEHURST, North Carolina -- Debra Bare, Jaime Marion, Courtney Maness and Ariana Maness have a lot in common. They’re related: Debra is Jaime’s mother, and Jaime is mom to Courtney and Ariana. All graduated from Union Pines High School. All are “strong, independent women who voice their opinions,” according to Jaime. Plus, all three generations work at FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
“Because so much of my family is here, I feel like it’s a family business,” laughed 23-year-old Courtney. Her sister Ariana, 19, agreed, “I’m part of a family legacy.”
Ahead of this Mother’s Day, the three generations reflected on why they enjoy working for the same organization and why they chose FirstHealth to be that organization.
The Legacy Begins: Debra
In 1984, Debra was a young wife and mother enrolled at Sandhills Community College. “I needed a stable, secure job, and I knew that health care could provide that,” she said. She took a part-time job working in registration and collections in Moore Regional Hospital’s emergency department in Pinehurst. Daughter Jaime was five years old.
She advanced to roles in admissions, pre-admissions and patient accounts, gaining skills and responsibility with each move. Now at age “61 and holding,” Debra is a denial management analyst who reviews and resolves denied patient insurance claims. She also works to determine the underlying issues for denials to avoid them in the future.
“I’m continuously looking for more to learn, and FirstHealth has always given me those opportunities,” said Debra, who grew up in Carthage but now lives in Snow Camp in Alamance County, an hour from her office in Southern Pines. “I absolutely love my job and my co-workers and am willing to make the drive.”
Having her daughter and granddaughters work at FirstHealth gives Debra the same sense of stability and security she felt when she started with the organization. “I feel comfortable with them at FirstHealth,” she said. “Plus, getting together with them for an occasional lunch is a personal perk.”
In 1999, Jaime was a young, single mother of infant Courtney. She needed a job with health insurance. Mom Debra encouraged her to apply at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital (Moore Regional merged with Montgomery Memorial Hospital in 1995 to become FirstHealth), and Jaime started part-time in the records department in Pinehurst.
In those days before electronic records, Jaime physically delivered patient records from department to department. “I was in great shape then!” she commented. More importantly, however, Jaime’s job allowed her to take care of her daughter.
In 2003 second daughter Ariana came along, and Jaime enrolled her in the FirstHealth Child Development Center (CDC), a daycare for employees’ children on the Moore Regional Hospital campus. Little did she know then that Ariana would eventually work at the CDC or that Ariana would help care for Jaime’s future daughter, Rylen, at the CDC. (More on that later.)
Jaime is now a release of information specialist, which means she specializes in retrieving electronic, paper and microfilm-stored records as needed. With her longevity at FirstHealth, she’s also sought out to help with older records.
While Debra and Jaime don’t work together, the daughter appreciates occasional help from her mother. “Mom is on the financial side, and I’m on the medical records side, but I’ll call her with questions about who to contact about this or that,” Jaime said. “Over the years, I need to call her less and less.”
Jamie said having family nearby also helps in her personal life. “If I’m working late, I’ll ask Mom to pick up Rylen, which is a huge help,” said Jaime, who lives in Carthage. She also enjoys grabbing lunch with her mom and daughters, saying, “I know they will not always be nearby, so I enjoy it now.”
While in college, Courtney was looking for a part-time job. “Grandma heard that the registration department at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital was hiring and suggested I apply,” she recollected.
Courtney started as an outpatient registration specialist in 2017 and soon added the role of medical office assistant at Carthage Family Medicine. She worked at these jobs on the weekends and summers, loving every minute.
In 2020, she graduated from Campbell University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and health care management and accepted a full-time position at FirstHealth as a professional billing coordinator in Pinehurst. “My office was right down the hall from Grandma’s, so it was fun to see her every morning,” Courtney said. Now Courtney is the administrative coordinator of FirstHealth Physicians Group in Pinehurst.
Courtney will soon relocate out of the area, which means she will no longer work for FirstHealth in a full-time capacity. “FirstHealth has been my home for five years and leaving was such a difficult decision to make,” she said. “I’ll miss everyone so much that I plan to stay on for as long as needed until my replacement starts and is comfortable.”
After graduating from Union Pines High School in 2021, Ariana started working as a nursery attendant at FirstHealth Fitness – Pinehurst. Soon after, she advanced to a teaching assistant role at FirstHealth Child Development Center—the same place she attended daycare as a child.
“My family was very influential in my choice of FirstHealth as a place to work,” said Ariana, who lives in Aberdeen. “I wanted a job that could provide grounding, responsibility and growth, and FirstHealth does that.” In the fall, she starts classes at Sandhills Community College while continuing to work.
Not only does Ariana’s grandmother, mother and sister work at FirstHealth, but five-year-old sister Rylen is a student at the CDC. The sisters love the opportunity to see each other throughout the day, and Ariana appreciates the chance to see mom Jaime at pick-up time.
Ariana’s relationship with FirstHealth extends beyond that of student and employee. She was also a Moore Regional Hospital patient during her bouts with leukemia in 2014 and 2018. Her main request during hospitalizations? FirstHealth’s sweet tea. “When I was in the emergency department, I just had to have sweet tea from FirstHealth’s cafeteria,” Ariana said. During her treatments at UNC Chapel Hill, an army of Ariana’s family and friends loaded up their cars with deliveries of FirstHealth sweet tea.
Debra added, “Everyone at FirstHealth was so supportive during Ariana’s illness. FirstHealth co-workers and friends visited, brought cards and called. We were even allowed to do fundraisers.” Thankfully, Ariana is now in remission.