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The magic of prevention: A different perspective from a different kind of survivor

In October, we talk a lot about breast cancer survivors. Patty Donoghue is a survivor of a different kind.

She had a difficult childhood, part of which was spent in foster care. Her last years in high school put her through a lot. She managed to graduate, but from a nonaccredited children’s home.

“Most people don’t pull out of that,” she explains.

But Donoghue was blessed with a few key advantages. For one, she was blessed with an innate optimism that has followed her throughout her life. She also had a few years during junior high and high school when she attended good schools that nurtured her love of art.

“I’d go to a private place and keep up with my art. It made me a survivor,” Donoghue recalls. “I have a strong belief that you keep living and you keep going, and when things get bad, you just have to keep seeing the positive side of life.”

You see that perspective in the art she creates now, including a custom ink painting she created to support the launch of the second mobile mammogram unit through Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation. The painting, titled “Chasing the Pink Bus,” features a bright pink bus — the new mobile mammogram unit — surrounded by dozens of women running, dancing and cartwheeling toward it.

“The women in the painting can’t wait to get to this pink bus, which is not really what women think about when getting a mammogram,” Donoghue says. “I wanted to give the procedure a different twist because the unit is all about prevention, and that’s such a good thing.”

Donoghue understands the magic of prevention. Before she dove headlong into art, she spent her career in healthcare, rising out of a complicated upbringing to get the education and the job she dreamed of. She started as an occupational therapist and later became a healthcare administrator. It was a time of her life when her art went dormant, except for a few pieces she made for herself. Then, a few years ago, she retired from healthcare and committed herself to pursuing art full time. 

“I think for any artist it’s a little scary because you’re very vulnerable. But at some point, you just expose yourself. To be in our space, you have to be bold,” she says.

Donoghue’s work is now part of permanent installations in healthcare buildings and has appeared in more than 20 venues, some of which have been juried by professional curators. It’s also been used to promote events and raise funds for leukemia lymphoma research, suicide prevention and women’s health, among other causes. Her signature whimsical style — a creative expression of Donoghue’s innate positivity — has developed a reputation as art that leaves onlookers smiling, no matter what. 

Inspiration for the piece came to her as part of her work with the Women’s Council, which raised the funds needed to purchase this unit. Now, underinsured and uninsured women across the region will have access to mammograms, and mammograms save lives, Donoghue says.

The same has been true of her piece celebrating the new mobile mammogram unit.

In her piece, women aren’t dreading their mammograms, as so many often do in life. They’re excited — flocking to the bus to take advantage of what it has to offer.

“I’ve had survivors tell me they were really grateful for the positive spin on it. Conversations about cancer tend to get so heavy when we’re talking about survival. But we have an opportunity to prevent, and that’s where this came from,” Donoghue says. “Mammograms shouldn’t be something dreaded. It’s prevention, and that’s something to celebrate.”

“Chasing the Pink Bus” will be on display in Donoghue’s upcoming solo art show at Footnotes in Winston Salem through the end of the year, with a reception on Nov. 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For Donoghue, it’s yet another chance to show the world that mammograms aren’t something to run from, but rather something to run toward, full steam ahead.

Staying positive

The launch of our second mobile mammogram unit comes during our monthlong campaign to increase access to mammograms for women across our region, regardless of their ability to pay. A donation of any amount will go a long way toward making that goal a reality and turning a dreaded conversation into a positive one.

Consider Patty Donoghue our inspiration, showing us the light on the path to prevention.

No more excuses. Just more mammograms.

Click below to join us and pay it forward for a woman in need.

Donate now

‘I went in for that mammogram, and I knew right away that something was up.’

Eight years ago, Susan Pfefferkorn went in for a routine mammogram at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center.

Susan was no stranger to breast cancer. She’d lost a college friend to the disease back in the 1980s, and her mother had been diagnosed post-menopause. As a result, Susan had always been proactive. She had a baseline exam in her 30s, and when she turned 50, she began going back every year.

But the routine mammogram she got in July 2011 was different. Her exam turned up an area of concern, and Susan was called back for a diagnostic mammogram.

“I went in for that mammogram, and I just knew something was up,” Susan recalls. “There was something about the way the nurse rubbed my back. I just knew.”

A few days later, Susan got her diagnosis: She had breast cancer.

The road to recovery

The cancer had been caught early. That was the good news.

But it wasn’t going to be an easy road. She knew she would need surgery. She knew she needed radiation. So, she made an appointment with a surgeon.

Then, she canceled it.

“I put it off, not because I was afraid but because I decided to do something for me that was outside the box,” Susan recalls. “I bought a BMW X5 and picked it up in Spartanburg, South Carolina, so I could take it out on the road course at the BMW facility there. It gave me an outlet to completely take my mind off everything for a couple of weeks.”

When she came back to reality, she rescheduled the meeting with her surgeon, who explained the plan of attack: Susan would undergo a lumpectomy, and during the procedure, the surgical team would remove at least one lymph node to make sure the cancer hadn’t spread. Five to six weeks after that, they would begin a series of 16 daily radiation treatments.

“It was just the unknown. Anytime you hear the word cancer, it’s like ‘Oh God.’ There are so many people who’ve been through so many types of cancer, and it’s not always the same. So, you don’t know where you’re going to fall in, whether it’s going to be something very simple or something that’s a lot worse,” Susan says.

When she came out of surgery, she learned she was going to be one of the lucky ones. Her margins were clean; her cancer hadn’t spread.  

The challenges

Susan isn’t married and doesn’t have children. At the time of her diagnosis, she was the primary caretaker for both her aging parents. Within six weeks of finishing radiation, her mother fell in her home, kicking off a slew of other responsibilities and putting Susan’s focus on someone else’s health, rather than her own.

So, without family to lean on, Susan turned to friends and fellow survivors for support.

A friend took her to the hospital to have the surgery. A fellow survivor in her investment club became a confidant. Another handful of friends in the medical profession were with her on days she needed a sounding board or extra help.

Now, she pays that forward, for the women she already knows and those she doesn’t. Before her final diagnostic mammogram at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, she sat in the waiting room across from a woman who was visibly distraught. The woman told Susan she had come in for a second mammogram, after an area of concern was spotted in her first, and she was scared to death.

“I had been there, too. I knew where she was in her head,” Susan recalls. “So, I turned to her, and I said, ‘I don’t know what the results are going to be, but you’re going to be in a very loving and comfortable place. And as scared as you are right now, you’re going to have a support system here like you wouldn’t believe.’”

The surprises

When she completed her round of radiation, Susan began taking tamoxifen every day for the next five years. It was one small pill a day, but it was also a constant reminder of a time in her life she was eager to leave behind.

“I’ll never forget going to see the oncologist in October three years ago, five years after my diagnosis. He told me we could stop the tamoxifen, and tears welled up in my eyes,” Susan recalls. “To be told that you don’t have to take it anymore because you’ve come through the five years and everything is looking good, I felt like a weight had been taken off my shoulders. I felt, at that point, like I was through.”

Life after cancer

Cancer made Susan take stock of her life, of where she had been and where she wanted to go. And she made a decision to only focus on the things that mattered most.

“It’s like tossing things out of your closet that don’t bring you joy. Now, I’m only going to do the things that I want to do when I want to do them and too bad if you don’t like it,” she says with a laugh.

So, she’s traveled, to India and Sicily, with more trips planned soon. She gardens, taking a particular and therapeutic pleasure in pulling weeds. And she joined the Women’s Council of Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation to help more women get access to life-saving mammograms.

“In my case, there was no lump. There was just a pinhead speck on the mammogram that indicated a tissue change,” Susan explains. “And yet so many women don’t get mammograms. That has got to change.”

Now, we need you…

Stories like Susan’s are our successes. Her diagnosis came early, and she’s now living life to the fullest, cancer-free. Help us create more stories like hers, by giving whatever you can to support our efforts to provide mammograms to under and uninsured women across our region.

Every contribution matters, and every gift to our Think Pink Fund goes directly to a life-saving 3D mammogram to someone in our community.

No more excuses. Just more mammograms.

Click below to join us and pay it forward for a woman in need.

Donate now

2019 Docs that Rock

More than 150 supporters joined Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center Foundation on Sept. 19 for our inaugural Docs that Rock fundraiser raising more than $18,000. Held at Adaumont Farm, attendees celebrated with a reverse raffle and dinner and enjoyed rock-and-roll music by our very own physician band, “Assisted Living.”

Thank you to all who joined us to make this inaugural event such a success! All funds raised went directly to support the Center for Health and Wellness located on the campus of Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center. 

Once completed, the $4 million, 18,000-square-foot Center for Health and Wellness will house the following services:

  • Behavioral health providers.
  • Diabetes education, including a demonstration kitchen.
  • Chronic health disease education.
  • Obesity education for adults and adolescents.
  • Outpatient physical rehabilitation.
  • ConnectionLink for senior citizens.
  • North Carolina’s first certified Baby Café for nursing mothers and their babies.

If you are interested in contributing to the Center for Health and Wellness, please visit https://bit.ly/2n0it5c or call 336-474-7957.


Event photo gallery

Click below to view more photos from the 2019 Docs that Rock event or click here to view the full album.

‘I had no choice but to beat this.’

Dr. Patricia Flowers was religious about her mammograms. She had been since she turned 32.

She’d lost her mother to the disease when she was 5 years old. She knew breast cancer was a possibility. And she was committed to staying as far ahead of it as possible.

Then, in the summer of 2014, she found a lump in her breast. Her annual mammogram was just a few weeks away, but she decided to move it up.

“I knew my lumps, but this was different,” Patricia recalls. “What really stood out was that I felt the nodule in my armpit, in my lymph nodes.”

So, she got a mammogram and follow-up testing. Three weeks after she first found the lump, she got the call from her doctor at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center. She had breast cancer, stage 3. She was 42 years old.

“I was exercising on the elliptical when he called and told me, and I just said, ‘OK’,” Patricia recalls. “And I remember him saying, ‘Do you mind if I ask if you’re alone right now?’ And I said, ‘I am home by myself, but I’m not alone.’”

The road to recovery 

Patricia called her sister first.

“I said, ‘It’s cancer.’ That was the first time I’d said it out loud, and that’s when I cried,” Patricia recalls.

That would be one of just a handful of breakdowns throughout her entire cancer journey. She knew firsthand how hard it was going to be. She also believed she would beat it, and her faith never wavered.

“I had no choice but to beat this. I just never had any kind of moment where I thought I wasn’t going to,” she recalls. “The next day I went to visit my mom’s grave, and I had a conversation with her. Then I just went from there.”

Patricia was assigned a team at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center and forged an instant connection with her doctor, Patricia Zekan of Novant Health Oncology Specialists in Winston-Salem.

“She suggested that I do the genetic testing, especially given my history. And I did have the BRCA2 gene mutation,” Patricia recalls. “She explained that meant the possibility of it coming back was greater if we didn’t really do extensive treatment.”

That’s what she did: Patricia chose to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. She endured 33 radiation treatments and eight chemo treatments over the course of 16 weeks. Because her cancer was estrogen receptor positive, her medical team also recommended a complete hysterectomy, which thrust her into the throes of menopause with no hope of estrogen-induced relief.

She also started on letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, in 2015, a one-pill-a-day commitment she was at first told would last between three and five years. Later, that was extended to seven years. Now, her doctor tells her it may be more like 10.

“Every time she tells me that, I think about how many medications have been spread across my counter, and now I just take this one very small pill. And I’m just really thankful,” Patricia says. “I always say, ‘I’m going to be around to take it. If you say seven years, I’ll be here. If you say 10 years, I’ll be here.’”

The challenges

Chemotherapy can wreak havoc because it is eradicating cancer from your system. Some side effects passed Patricia by, while others hit hard.

She was spared the vomiting and lost toenails. Even the nausea was manageable with medication. But she developed a blood clot in her left arm as a result of her port-a-cath. She also lost her sense of taste, right around Thanksgiving, and developed a serious infection in her mouth, which made it painful to swallow.

That wasn’t all bad, Patricia laughs. She lost a few pounds as a result.

Through it all, she had a strong support system. Her posts on Facebook reunited her with old friends and new survivors to form a community of “pink sisters” who understood what she was going through, more than her husband or sister could.

“My sister has never heard the words ‘breast cancer’ with her name attached to it. She’s never sat in that chair and watched that chemo drip. Even though they’ve gone through a lot of the visits, it didn’t happen to them,” Patricia explains. “It’s nice to talk to people who can relate.”

At the same time, some relationships outside her sisterhood have struggled, including her marriage.

“My husband and I are separated, and I’m good with that. It was for a season. And during that time, it taught me a lot,” Patricia says. “I was most vulnerable with him, so it allowed me to be vulnerable with someone. But it also allowed me to really focus on how to let go.”

The surprises 

Patricia used to say her mother “lost” her battle with breast cancer.

After her own bout with cancer, her perspective has changed and, along with it, her wording.

“I don’t say that anymore. I say that cancer robbed us of this person because no one loses that battle,” Patricia explains. “Every day you get up after you hear the words, ‘You have cancer,’ you’ve survived it.”

Life after cancer 

These days, Patricia has no tolerance for excuses when it comes to mammograms.

“Every excuse that someone can come up with, I promise I can find a way around it: ‘My breasts are smaller.’ ‘It’s uncomfortable.’ ‘It will hurt,’” Patricia says. “And I’m like, ‘You know what hurts and is really uncomfortable? Getting both your breasts cut off.’ I’m very no-nonsense about that because early detection is key.”

Patricia uses her own story as a case in point.

“My cancer was stage 3. That was with me getting mammograms every year. And I’m convinced that it was there in 2013. But because I have dense breasts and got a 2-D mammogram, it was missed. And it just grew,” Patricia explains. “I’m a strong advocate for 3-D mammograms, especially for women who have dense breasts, because that will help with the earlier detection.”

We’re advocates, too…

We’re advocates for the power of mammograms for every woman, regardless of her ability to pay. That’s why we work every day to increase access to mammograms for under and uninsured women across our region. Early detection saves lives, and every gift to our Think Pink Fund goes directly to a life-saving 3D mammogram to someone in our community.

Help us today by giving whatever you can to support the cause.

No more excuses. Just more mammograms.

Click below to join us and pay it forward for a woman in need.

Donate now

Meet Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation’s team

Jennifer Clifford 

Chief development officer, jclifford@novanthealth.org 

Jennifer joined Novant Health in July 2018 as the inaugural Director of Stewardship for Novant Health Foundations focusing on grateful patient initiatives and donor strategies. Prior to joining Novant Health, Jennifer was director of Community Philanthropy for Communities Foundation of Texas, where she was instrumental in developing North Texas Giving Day, which became the largest giving day in the nation. Jennifer and her husband, Joe, relocated to Charlotte three years ago with their son, John, now a senior at Sewanee University, and their daughter, Kate, a sophomore at Appalachian State University. As the NHPMC Foundation leader, Jennifer believes in building a strong team with our board members and clinical teams, which together, will raise funding to save lives and improve the health of the communities we serve, one person at a time.  


Jessica Osborn 

Hemby ambassador, jposborn@novanthealth.org 

As the Hemby ambassador, Jessica Osborn’s role is to advocate for pediatrics at the administrative, clinical and foundation levels. Originally from Pittsburgh, Jessica attended West Virginia Wesleyan College where she played volleyball and studied psychology. She is a certified child life specialist and is clinically trained in the developmental impact of childhood illness and injury. She lives in Charlotte with her husband Matthew and their two great Danes, Hedy and Lamarr.


Misty Santiago 

Development coordinator, mestroupe@novanthealth.org 

Misty has more than seven years of experience in the nonprofit industry. As development coordinator, she manages the foundation’s third-party funds and serves as logistics coordinator for all foundation events. Before joining the foundation team, Misty was the volunteer coordinator for Novant Health Hospice. Currently pursuing her master’s degree in public administration, Misty lives with her husband Dave and their two dogs, Boota and Chloe, in Kannapolis.  


Cullen Jones 

Development manager, cullen.jones@novanthealth.org 

Cullen is an American competitive swimmer, Olympic gold medalist and served as USA Swimming’s Olympian brand ambassador. Currently, he is the development manager for Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital, Matthews Medical Center and Mint Hill Medical Center. Cullen lives in Ballantyne with his wife, Rupi, his son, Ayvn, and his dog Vinny “Chase.” A graduate of North Carolina State University, Cullen plans to pursue a master’s degree in business in the near future.


Justin Trakas 

Development manager, jtrakas@novanthealth.org 

Justin has been with the Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation team for over two years. He currently manages the foundation’s corporate, annual and employee giving programs. Prior to joining Novant Health, Justin was an assistant director of advancement for arts, sciences and engineering at the University of Rochester. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Winthrop University and a Master of Arts from Duquesne University. Justin lives in Charlotte with his wife, Erin Trakas, MD, a physician at Novant Health and their three sons, Jackson, Greyson and Jones.


Sarah Trimmer 

Development manager, sjtrimmer@novanthealth.org 

Sarah has spent her entire career in the nonprofit industry, with roles in fundraising, alumni relations and event management. Currently, she serves as the gift officer supporting Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center and the John M. and Claudia W. Belk Heart and Vascular Institute and Edward I. and Agnes B. Weisiger Cancer Institute. Sarah engages donors and their passions with clinical teams to address priority needs and make a lasting impact. Prior to joining Novant Health, Sarah was a major gift officer with the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore. She graduated with a BA from Dickinson College and earned her MA from Johns Hopkins University. Sarah and her husband, Mark, recently arrived in Charlotte and enjoy exploring the city’s various neighborhoods, along with their two French bulldogs, Kally and Hudson.


We look forward to connecting with you!

“Topping off” the Edward I. and Agnes B. Weisiger Cancer Center and John M. and Claudia W. Belk Heart and Vascular Institute

On Thursday, April 18, 2019, Novant Health celebrated the placement of the final steel beam atop its new Edward I. and Agnes B. Weisiger Cancer Center and John M. and Claudia W. Belk Heart and Vascular Institute. Vannoy Construction broke ground on Novant Health’s new seven-story, $165.9 million, 260,000-square-foot building in late 2018, which is located on the corner of Hawthorne Lane and Fourth Street. 

Topping-off ceremonies — the act of placing the last piece of steel on a building — are an age-old tradition in building construction. They are a moment to celebrate and acknowledge that the project is moving toward completion. 

Saad Ehtisham, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center’s new president, addressed the assembled crowd and shared the importance of Novant Health’s newest facility in attacking resident’s greatest health risks. 

“Two of the major leading causes of death in North Carolina and United States are cancer and heart disease,” said Dr. Ehtisham. “What’s remarkable about this building is it is designed with a healing environment in mind, as well as a holistic approach to bringing modalities between cancer and heart disease under one roof and using research as a conduit to bring the newest trials to our patients in the community.” 

The first floor of the Heart and Vascular Institute houses radiation oncology, a retail pharmacy and café, and the second floor is home to adult cardiology, cardiac and vascular, heart failure and electrophysiology. Rehabilitation is located on the third floor; gastrointestinal, urinary, and head and neck modalities on the fourth floor; breast, high risk, gynecology oncology and integrative medicine on the fifth floor; hematology, thoracic, therapeutic neurology and research on the sixth floor; and an 80-bay infusion center overlooking Charlotte’s sklyine will be located on the seventh floor. An impressive skybridge will connect the new facility to the adjacent Presbyterian Medical Tower and the Presbyterian Medical Center, providing medical staff and patients with direct access to essential resources. 

At the ceremony, Gary Niess, MD, senior vice president of the Heart and Vascular Institute, noted the inherent advantages of offering heart and cancer care in the same building. “We, not long ago, put a pedometer on one of our staff members and had that person follow a patient from one testing site, to the next testing site, to the next to get a valve replacement,” Dr. Niess explained. “They traveled with [the patient] to registration, and then on to one doctor’s office and on to get some testing, and then on to another place where they saw another doctor. The total steps for that patient that day were 7,500 steps.”

“And remember, he said, “the healthy Fitbits tell you to walk 10,000 steps a day. These are people who are so sick they need their heart valve replaced, and their journey was 7,000 steps. Now, they’re not going to have to take 7,000 steps.” 

Another highlight of the new facility will be its integrative medicine services, a patient-centered type of holistic cancer care that addresses the physical, emotional, spiritual and environmental needs of our patients during their cancer journey. 

Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation kicked off its groundbreaking campaign in 2011, raising nearly $30 million in philanthropy. “We would not be standing atop this beautiful building without the support of John and Claudia Belk, Agnes and Ed Weisiger, Tan, Sarla and Raj Ganatra, Bank of America, Sherry Pollex and Martin Truex, Jim and Beverly Hance, the Alex Hemby Foundation, the Philip Van Every Foundation, the Blumenthal Foundation and countless other wonderful businesses, foundations, and people throughout Greater Charlotte,” Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation’s chief development officer, Jennifer Clifford, explained. “Charlotte’s support of this project is a testament to their commitment to improving our city’s heart, vascular and cancer care, while also demonstrating their collective belief in Novant Health’s broader mission of improving the health of the communities it serves, one patient at a time.”

2019 Patrons’ Ball

Novant Health Rowan Medical Center Foundation celebrated its 30th anniversary with the 2019 Patrons’ Ball on Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Country Club of Salisbury. Over 160 individuals attended this year’s fundraiser complete with cocktails, dinner, dancing, and music by “The Entertainer’s Band.”

Thank you to all who attended and helped us raise more than $100,000 to support the new linear accelerator in the Wallace Cancer Center.

The Wallace Cancer Center is a $24 million, 32,000-square-foot center that will open in July of 2020. The center will consolidate all cancer care services and programs in one location. The consolidation will profoundly impact patient quality of life by personalizing patient-centered care, improving accessibility, increasing affordability, enhancing care coordination and providing cutting-edge treatment.

Community members interested in contributing to the Wallace Cancer Center can call 704-210-6880 or visit www.nhcancercenter.org.


Event photo gallery

Click below to view more photos from the 2019 Patrons’ Ball or click here to view the full album.

Driving remarkable care

Thank you to our donors for driving remarkable care

We want our patients and their guests to know your feedback is important to us and through our patient satisfaction surveys, we heard there is a critical need for transportation within and outside of Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center.

You let us know simply getting from the parking deck to the intensive care unit can be a challenge. You shared that after a visit in our Cancer Center, patients receiving treatment could use a lift back to their cars.

For those who require special assistance, we are here for you and are excited for the opportunity to share how our donors are helping us hit the gas pedal and literally driving remarkable care within and outside of our medical centers.

Alisha Hutchens, NHFMC vice president, Jay Crawford, volunteer driver and Chad Setliff, NHFMC president.
NHFMCF team members: Heather Egan, Development officer, LaShonda Hairston, Stewardship coordinator and fund manager and Stephanie Nichols, Administrative Specialist.
Three of our seven volunteer drivers: Jay Crawford, Travis Watson and Scott Bottenus with Calvin Smith, NH supervisor, parking and traffic.

Thank you to each of those generous donors who helped us fund these courtesy carts which include:

  • Six-passenger seating with adjustable bucket seats
  • Six-hinged hard doors
  • Electric/low speed vehicle with a top speed of 25 MPH
  • Headlights, brake lights and turn signals
  • Street-rated tires
  • Regenerative brakes, front disc brakes and rear hydraulic drum brakes
  • Seat belts
  • Automotive-grade windshield and wiper
  • Rugged rear bumper
  • Heater

Where are we driving remarkable care?

At Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, you can grab a seat on one of the courtesy shuttles at our D. L. Davis Cancer Center or on one of the two that run between our curbside assistance and our North Tower decks.

We also are excited to share that soon we will be driving remarkable care in Kernersville at the Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center. More details to come!

Thank you to our generous donors and those who provided critical feedback to support this initiative. The investment in these courtesy shuttles will help increase ease of access in and around our medical centers and enhance the overall patient and guest experience.

Our donors make driving remarkable care possible

You are the catalyst that helps us shrink the gaps between what is and what could be remarkable care. Your gift to support our areas of greatest need allows us to accelerate Novant Health’s mission and our mission to engage and connect donors to Novant Health programs and initiatives that save lives and improve the health of the communities we serve.

With your support, programs and services reach our patients sooner and we are able to provide a more profound impact to the overall patient experience. 

In gratitude

Thank you to all of the generous donors who support the needs of our patients and their families through unrestricted gifts. The courtesy shuttles at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center were supported through unrestricted giving to Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation.  

The courtesy shuttle at Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center will be made possible through the Remarkable Care Fund for Kernersville Medical Center at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation.

To support projects like this, please click here to make an unrestricted gift.

Here’s what’s happening at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital

We are excited to share all of the operational updates taking place at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital.  

  • The murals on the walls of the Hemby unit are complete, and, thanks to the support of one of our families, we were able to provide our team with a respite room on our pediatric floor. You also will notice beautiful updates to our playroom and treatment room.  
  • Thank you to ACE Cash Express associates who raised $20,561 during their annual fundraising event, Give A Little Campaign, for the St. Jude Affiliate Clinic at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital. Pictured below is Justin Trakas, Development manager, Ruby Poulton and Jennifer Clifford, Chief development officer. 
  • We are proud to announce construction will begin in October on a progressive care area for our pediatric unit, which will allow us to deliver intermediate care to our pediatric patients.  
  • Also, keep watch on our progress toward the end of the year as we add an additional 12 neonatal intensive care beds in the NICU.  

Looking forward, our plans include a new outside play area for our families, as well as a much-needed family kitchen for our overnight guests in need of a place of respite.  

Until next time, 

Diana Sutton, MSN
Director of nursing, children’s services 

Stephanie Appling, MPH
Senior director of women’s and children’s services 

‘Doctor’s corner’ with Catherine Ohmstede, MD

Since early summer, Novant Health Pediatrics has enjoyed an explosion of growth, and we remain busy building new clinics and pediatric subspecialties for our community. First, general pediatrics has expanded into thriving areas around the Charlotte region including Harrisburg, Mint Hill, Concord, Denver, Berewick, Highland Creek, Huntersville, Mooresville, Blakeney, Ardrey Kell, Wesley Chapel, Waxhaw, the Arboretum and Symphony Park in South Park.   

Alongside our physical expansion, we have broadened our subspecialty services to include expert care in: 

  • Pediatric cancer and hematology 
  • Gastroenterology 
  • Pulmonology 
  • Endocrinology 
  • Nephrology 
  • Infectious disease 
  • Cardiology  
  • Sports medicine 
  • Development and behavior 
  • Sleep 
  • Neurosurgery 
  • Neurology 

Also, we are proud to announce that our epilepsy program now provides additional treatment for the disorder when medications fail, including ketogenic diet and epilepsy surgery.  

Finally, our St. Jude affiliate clinic continues to provide the latest in pediatric cancer treatment close to home, supported by the resources of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

We look forward to continuing to grow with you and your family as more exciting news is on the horizon! 

Onward and upward, 

Catherine Ohmstede, MD 
Pediatric physician market leader, Novant Health greater Charlotte market