NMC Commentary

Are There New Primary Care Providers Arriving In Our Community Soon?

Yes! I am pleased to be able to follow up on an earlier column which discussed the national challenge of recruiting Primary Care providers with more information on the new physicians and advance practice providers who are joining our community. We are fortunate that even with the demand for Primary Care physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants being greater than the supply across the country, we have been successful in attracting these talented, caring providers to our community.  It is important that everyone to have access to a wellness visit with a provider to stay healthy, happy, and active.  Access to Primary Care continues to be an important priority within our region’s Community Health Needs Assessment.  Adding these wonderful new providers to the talented, caring providers already active in our community is an important step forward in ensuring strong access to Primary Care.

It is a real pleasure to welcome Nurse Practitioner Allison Mack to the NMC family. She recently started seeing patients at Northwestern Georgia Health Center. I really liked what Allison said when asked why she chose Primary Care and our community.  She said she went into Family Practice because she enjoys helping people over the course of life’s journeys, both the difficult and the joyful moments and “chose NMC for its feeling of community as I too grew up in a small area.” For more information on Allison and to book an appointment, please call Northwestern Georgia Health Center at 752-1930.

In September, two additional primary care physicians will be joining the NMC Medical Staff.  Dr. Chester Areson will also be joining the team at Northwestern Georgia Health Center. Dr. Areson is a full spectrum family physician who sees all ages of patients, birth through end of life.   Meanwhile, at Northwestern Primary Care, Dr. Erica Monfred will be joining the team having recently completed her training at University of Vermont School of Medicine.

Later this fall we have two additional primary care physicians coming on board who will work in more than one practice. Dr. Judy Fingergut will start in early October and will work in both Northwestern Primary Care and Northwestern Georgia Health Center. Dr. Fingergut is a very experienced family physician who comes to us from an academic residency program. In addition to caring for patients, she joins the team as a Medical Director to facilitate clinical protocols, consistency in practice and quality with a strong focus on the patient experience. Dr. Leah Hillier will be also joining Northwestern Primary Care this fall. She is board certified family physician with a specialty in Sports Medicine. She will work with both NPC and the Northwestern Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Hillier will take advantage of the co-location of NPC and the Northwestern Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Center once the new Medical Office Building opens. She has a special interest in concussion management, which will be a welcome addition to our Orthopaedics services in local schools.

As you can see, this is an exciting group of healthcare professionals that will complement the strong teams we already have in place. Most importantly, these additions help ensure that patients can get appointments in timely way, and get the care they need when they need it. As you may have seen in the media, online, and in a previous edition of this column, NMC has emphasized the importance of Primary Care through our “Right Care, Right Place” communication (visit https://www.northwesternmedicalcenter.org/right-care-right-place/) Having an ongoing close relationship with a Primary Care provider is the foundation of each person’s health care. We are fortunate to be able to expand on the existing core of excellent physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants currently caring for our community in private practices, at NOTCH (Northern Tier Centers for Health), and at NMC-based Primary Care Practices.  If you need help finding a Primary Care Provider, please reach out to NMC’s Community Relations staff at 524-1280.  Please join me in welcoming the new providers to our community!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer