Harnett Health Welcomes Resident Physicians

July 8th, 2016


On June 27, Harnett Health executives, physicians, educators, and key hospital staff welcomed a dynamic inaugural group of 15 medical school graduates from around the country who will begin post-graduate training as Resident Physicians – often referred to as Residents – in Harnett Health hospitals and practices. “It is an honor to be part of the very first residency program at Harnett Health,” says Sonya McLamb, Medical Education Coordinator at Harnett Health, “I have already had the privilege of working with these bright, young professionals over the last few months, and I am convinced this group will significantly help transform and improve the healthcare in our community.”

The 15 Residents will be rotating through Betsy Johnson and Central Harnett Hospitals, as well as the hospital-owned practices, Angier Medical Services, Coats Medical Services, Dunn Medical Services, Lillington Medical Services, Harnett OB/GYN and Premiere Pediatrics. They have been divided and assigned to three different programs: internal medicine, family medicine, and a traditional program. Both the internal medicine and family medicine Residents will be training at Harnett Health for a 3-year period; while the traditional rotating interns will train for one year.

Vice Present, Mike Jones has been the lead executive at Harnett Health since the vision began, he recalls “In 2013, as Harnett Health opened Central Harnett Hospital and Campbell University welcomed it first class of students at the School of Osteopathic Medicine, we also entered into an agreement to develop a Harnett Health Medical Education program. The idea of having resident physicians providing medical services in our hospitals and clinics seemed like a dream at the time, but thanks to all the assistance from CUSOM administration and faculty, and Cape Fear Valley Health, it is now reality.”

A celebratory welcome breakfast was held at Betsy Johnson Hospital to kick off a week-long, system-wide orientation before the Residents officially hit the floors next week on July 1st. “With the residents, we will change our culture and vastly improve the health in this community,” says Dr. Michelle Langaker, D.O., “I am looking forward to the amazing changes that will occur with both the Campbell Medical Students and the Harnett Health residents and feel very lucky to be a part of this community.” Harnett Health physicians will be diligently preparing these resident physicians to become top-notch physicians, improving the healthcare and the lives of the people of Harnett County.

Meet our Resident Physicians


Harnett Health Comfort Cart

June 13th, 2016


Comfort Cart Picture

The Comfort Cart first started at Betsy Johnson Hospital in the fall of 2015. Harnett Health later expanded the Comfort Cart to include Central Harnett in January 2016. The carts are run by hospital volunteers, junior volunteers, and Campbell student volunteers who take the carts around to the patients’ rooms almost every day.

“The Comfort Cart is a way to help distract and provide relaxation activities to our patients during their hospital stay,” says Megan Gurkin, Patient Educator and Comfort Cart Coordinator for Harnett Health.

We provide many activities for our patients: coloring books, crayons, newspapers, word searches, books, magazines, playing cards, hand-made blankets, and sound machines; all at no charge. The supplies are either purchased by the hospital or donated by members of the community.

Staff and patients all comment on the positive experiences that the Comfort Cart brings. We hope to continue to provide the Comfort Cart at both hospitals to make our patients feel more at home during their time at Harnett Health.

Donations of new items can be made to the Comfort Cart by contacting:

Megan Gurkin


(910) 892-1000 ext. 4964

Wound Care Awareness Week

May 31st, 2016


The Wound Care Center at Harnett Health, a member of the Healogics network, is helping raise awareness of chronic wounds. The third annual Wound Care Awareness Week is being held from June 6 to June 10. One of nearly 800 Healogics-managed Centers; Harnett Health Wound Care Center offers advanced therapies to patients suffering from chronic wounds.  Program Directors across the nation will dedicate the entire week to educating physicians, patients and the general public about the chronic wound epidemic and the advanced wound care solutions.

It is estimated that chronic wounds affect 6.7 million people in the U.S. and the incidence is rising, fueled by an aging population and increasing rates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity and the late effects of radiation therapy. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to diminished quality of life and possibly amputation of the affected limb.

“We see patients living with non-healing wounds for a prolonged amount of time due to the lack of awareness of advanced wound care options,” said D. Scott Covington, MD, FACS, Chief Medical Director for Healogics. “We work to educate community physicians about which of their patients can benefit from advanced wound care, and then provide coordinated care to heal that patient’s wounds.”

People with wounds that have not improved with traditional methods of treatment may benefit from a visit to Harnett Health Wound Care Center. Visit www.woundcareawarenessweek.com to learn more about Wound Care Awareness Week and to hear from patients about how wound healing changed their life.  Harnett Health’s Wound Care Center is located at 803 Tilghman Drive, Suite 300, Dunn, NC 28334. To schedule an appointment, please call 910-230-7858.


Nix the Mix: Don’t Combine These Drugs with…

September 12th, 2014

Don’t combine these drugs, foods and herbs to avoid potentially dangerous interactions:


Lipitor + Grapefruit

Eating grapefruit while taking the cholesterol lowering medication Lipitor is not a sweet combination. The interaction between the two are believed to slow the activity of the enzyme the body uses to metabolize Lipitor. This could lead to heightened levels of Lipitor in your body which increases your risk of developing myopathy, a neuromuscular disease characterized by muscle weakness, and rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which the muscle fibers break down and kidney failure is possible.



Warfarin + Dong quai

Medicinal herb Dong quai is found in many women’s supplements and is used to relieve menstrual cramps, regulate periods and even ease symptoms of menopause. It has blood-thinning effects , so beware when adding the drug Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) to the mix. Warfarin is a blood thinner prescribed to prevent heart attack and stroke. Taking products with Dong quai in them along with Warfarin can increase your risk of bleeding.



MAO inhibitors + Tyramine

Pass by the Chianti wine, chicken liver, aged cheeses and other foods and drinks containing high levels of tyramine if you are taking MAO inhibitors like Nardil, Parnate and Marplan. Combining the MAO inhibitors with tyramine could lead to extreme high blood pressure because the MAO inhibitor blocks monoamine oxidase, the enzyme that also metabolizes tyramine. With the monoamine oxidase suppressed, tyramine levels in the body can build up, increasing blood pressure to potentially fatal levels.



Digoxin + High-Fiber Foods

Taking Digoxin to help regulate your heart function? Then be sure to not consume large quantities of foods high in fiber like oatmeal and bran muffins. Fiber may impair your body’s ability to absorb Digoxin into the bloodstream, diminishing the drug’s effectiveness.


Osteoporosis: 6 Things to Know

September 12th, 2014

Image - Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that literally translates “porous bone.” If you look at the healthy bone under a microscope, it looks similar to a honeycomb. With osteoporosis, there are larger holes and spaces in between the bone, meaning you’ve lost bone density or mass.  As your bones become less dense, they become weaker and are more likely to break. In seniors, this poses the threat of kyphosis (curving of the spine) and a potentially fatal hip fracture.

1. PREVALENCE:  The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates about 53 million Americans have osteoporosis. Discovery Health reports that approximately 71% of women with osteoporosis don’t even know they have it, and 86% who have osteoporosis are not being treated.

2. CALCIUM: Young adults should be consuming between 1,000 to 1,200 mg of calcium daily through food, and if needed, supplements to help keep your bones strong. Women 50+ should be getting 1,200 to 1,300 mg of calcium a day. Good sources of calcium include low fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.  Your doctor may prescribe a calcium + vitamin D supplement based on your specific needs.

3. MENOPAUSE Your risk for developing osteoporosis increases after menopause because your body’s natural production of the hormone estrogen declines. Estrogen helps keep bones strong. Because post-menopausal hormone therapy increases the risk for breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, and blood clots, your doctor will discuss if hormone therapy is right for you. Women taking estrogen products are urged to have yearly breast exams, perform monthly breast self-exams and receive periodic mammograms.

4. BONE MASS: Without treatment, women lose as much as 25-30%  in the first five to seven years following menopause.  Bone-loss rates can be slowed by regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises. Activities such as walking, gardening, jogging, and playing tennis help to strengthen bones and connective tissue.

5. BONE DENSITY TEST: A bone density test (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry or DEXA) measures the mineral density in your hip bones and spine to determine your risk of developing osteoporosis. This test takes about 20 minutes and is not usually performed until after menopause, unless you have an unusually high risk for osteoporosis. It is quick, painless and a non-invasive procedure (no needles).

6. PREVENTION & TREATMENT: While there is no cure for osteoporosis, it is treatable. Medications are available to help either slow bone loss or increase the rate of bone formation.  Your doctor can discuss medication options with you, but you can help prevent bone loss and fractures from osteoporosis with proper nutrition, exercise, and by not using tobacco products.