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Health Care Navigation Program to Launch FirstHealth Series

| Date Posted: 8/26/2014

PINEHURST – The diagnosis of a medical condition – serious or otherwise – can be intimidating enough, but the prospect of multiple physician visits, various treatment options and numerous other needs can be overwhelming.

Help is available, however, and FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers various resources for assisting with a patient’s health care journey.

Participants in “Navigating the Health Care System” on Thursday, Sept. 11, the first program in the Moore Education Series, will learn about the resources that are available to help them take an active role in their health care. Sponsored by the Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary, the series will consist of three different programs over three consecutive months and feature a moderator-led panel discussion.

Each program will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Shadowlawn Room of the Clara McLean House at 20 FirstVillage Drive, Pinehurst.

As one of the panelists in the September program, Jamie Smith, director of Navigation and Donor Relations with The Foundation of FirstHealth, will discuss the value of the FirstHealth resource called FirstNavistar. A web-based database and call center, FirstNavistar is manned by a staff that is trained to connect patients, families, caregivers, health care providers and the community in general with community agencies as well as medical resources in the Sandhills and mid-Carolinas.

Available information includes details about the area’s primary care and specialty health care providers; prescription drug assistance; health news; personalized health-planning tools; community resources such as senior services, home health agencies and personal care services; and other offerings.

“You name it,” Smith says. “The information runs the gamut from health care assistance to housing and insurance. We even have a section on shelters and food and clothing assistance.”

Anyone who calls the FirstNavistar telephone number – (877) 609-5645 – Monday through Friday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. will reach either Smith or Teresa Engel. In addition to his role as the program's director, Smith is an options counselor, certified by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to provide information to the public about community resources. As an N.C. Department of Insurance SHIPP (Seniors Health Insurance Information Program) counselor, Engel is certified to provide information on such topics as insurance coverage, Medicare supplements and drug coverage.

Information is always available at the FirstNavistar website, at, which during April of this year recorded 103,644 page views from 621 visitors.

In addition to Smith, panel participants in the “Navigating the Health Care System” program will include Suzanne Wilson, M.D., FirstHealth's chief medical information officer; Helen Mantila, M.D., of FirstHealth Family Care in Seven Lakes; Lynn Agee, R.N., oncology patient navigator for FirstHealth Cancer Services; and Cassina Hunt, FirstHealth privacy officer and director of Health Information Management.

Pam Hudson, senior development officer for The Foundation of FirstHealth, will serve as moderator.

The September Moore Education Series program will be followed by “Staying in Motion,” on Oct. 9; and “Healthy Aging,” on Nov. 13.

The Moore Education Series consists of three monthly educational sessions for both men and women. All are free and open to the public. For more information or to register, call (800) 213-3284 or visit

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