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FirstHealth Family Medicine - Pinehurst Welcomes New Family Medicine Physician and Certified Physician Assistant

| Date Posted: 8/17/2022

PINEHURST - Grace Ball, D.O., and Crystal A. Frutchey, PA-C have joined the growing practice of FirstHealth Family Medicine-Pinehurst.  The two join providers Ann Marie Richards, M.D., and Melissa Aubin, PA-C. Frutchey joined the practice in July and Dr. Ball will start seeing patients on Aug. 30.


Dr. Ball recently completed a family medicine residency at Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville. She received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va. Although she was interested in the study of medicine, due in large part to her dad being a family medicine physician and conversations at the dinner table often revolving around medicine and patient care when she was growing up, Ball wasn’t always convinced medicine was the path for her.


“I majored in the classics at the University of Virginia to appease my love for ancient civilizations and Latin,” she said. “However, I was still intrigued by medicine and my time spent in Honduras doing a medical brigade as well as being a medical scribe really solidified my interest in a career in medicine.”


Ball said after her third year of family medicine rotation during medical school, she was hooked. “My love for family medicine is one of natural curiosity to address problems and empathy to know and understand the people behind the medical issue,” she said. “I want to build personal, lifelong relationships with my patients and provide comprehensive care—as they say, cradle to grave.”


Ball said she is excited to join FirstHealth and was attracted to the opportunity to join an organization with a likeminded mission to provide care not only for patients, but the entire community, especially those in need.


“During my residency training, we were taught how to provide comprehensive medical care to individuals as well as the greater community,” she said. “We focused not only on treating the medical issues at hand, but also how to manage social determinants of health. I feel that FirstHealth's core purpose To Care for People is the exact philosophy of family medicine and the kind of medicine I want to practice.” 


Ball is working toward becoming board certified in Lifestyle Medicine and appreciates FirstHealth’s focus on lifestyle and healthy living. Outside of work, she enjoys running, practicing yoga, painting with oils or watercolors and discovering new music.


Frutchey joined FirstHealth Family Medicine-Pinehurst after serving patients at Atrium Health Mount Gilead Medical Services since 2017. She has served in the North Carolina National Guard since 2007, first as a combat medic until she was commissioned as a physician assistant in 2017. She graduated with both a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Lees McRae College and a Master of Science in Public Health from Campbell University in 2016.


Originally from Greer, S.C., she said her interest in health care was initially sparked by working in a pharmacy in high school. Frutchey went on to become a pharmacy technician before joining the North Carolina National Guard.


“After going into the military, I became a combat medic, or health care specialist, and it went from there,” she said. “When I was deployed in 2009, I met my first physician assistant and was really impressed by their medical knowledge and the flexibility the career offered.”


Frutchey now lives in Cameron, N.C., with her husband, John, and their son, Jack. She enjoys being active outdoors, running and knitting. “I look forward to serving the unique needs of my community and being an asset in the area,” she said.


FirstHealth Family Medicine – Pinehurst is located at 150 Ivey Lane. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. Patients are seen by appointment, and same-day appointments are offered for established patients with acute illnesses. To make an appointment with Grace Ball, D.O., or Crystal Frutchey, PA-C, call (910) 215-5210.

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