Category Archives: Presbyterian

Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation receives $75,000 from the Colon Cancer Coalition

Randy Brantley, Grants Director, and Kerri Polce, Grants Manager, accepted the $75,000 check on behalf of Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation from local “Get Your Rear in Gear – Charlotte” event director Phillip Sanford at the Rally Party held January 21 at Free Range Brewing Co.

Thanks to a generous grant of $75,000 from the Colon Cancer Coalition to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation, Novant Health Cancer Care will continue to offer colonoscopy screenings, patient living expenses coverage and colon cancer rehabilitation and wellness services for Charlotte-area low-income colorectal cancer patients. This grant is made possible through funds raised during the March 2018 “Get Your Rear in Gear – Charlotte” event.

You can help this year by participating in the 10th annual “Get Your Rear in Gear –Charlotte” held on March 30, 2019 at Independence Park. There will be races for adults and youth, and a fun run for kids 10 and under; as well as post-race refreshments and an awards ceremony. To donate or register for the event, please visit

Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte

John Fitzhugh joins Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte to support Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Program

John Fitzhugh always has been passionate about helping others and channeling his boundless energy to steer many nonprofits. Along the way John has been touched by countless volunteers and organizations who serve the community. However, no person has inspired John more than his wife, Cassell, a two-time breast cancer survivor. Cassell was diagnosed with cancer following the birth of their fourth child. Her fight with breast cancer, coupled with the fear and anxiety that accompanies a life-threatening diagnosis, inspired John to focus on ensuring every individual has access to quality healthcare.

As part of his powerful story, John joined Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation’s board where he currently serves as Board Chair. His hope is that his three daughters and their generation will not have to face the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. John and his family are incredibly grateful for the wonderful care Cassell received at Novant Health. They realize that not everyone has access to the level of healthcare received, and many have no access at all.

John and his wife explain how important this initiative is to their family.

Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte

John Fitzhugh Dancing with the Stars Charlotte

John and Charlotte Ballet’s Elizabeth Truell.

In Charlotte Ballet’s seventh year of the Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala on March 2, John is dancing to raise funds for Novant Health’s Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Center. This program provides critical mammography screenings and diagnostic services to underserved and uninsured individuals in Charlotte and the thousands of Carolinians with limited access to healthcare.

John’s positive impact to the early detection programs will yield increased breast health literacy and access to timely breast health care, which is directly associated with breast cancer survival rates.

Not only has he made incredible impact as a Board Chair—he has been a phenomenal friend and mentor to all. He brings exuberance and unstoppable energy, which touches everyone he meets.    

Cast your vote below and help John raise funds for this important cause.

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Novant Health’s Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Program

Funds raised through Dancing with the Stars will be used to improve access to timely breast healthcare and to reduce breast cancer mortality among low income, under/uninsured, and minority populations in our community. The American Cancer Society states that poverty, education deficiency, and lack of health insurance are associated with lower breast cancer survival rates.

In 2017 Novant Health’s Prevention and Early Detection Program Center provided 650 screening mammograms and 674 diagnostic procedures and diagnosed 26 breast cancers for women who were uninsured in Mecklenburg County. The screenings and subsequent treatment for these patients was completely covered through donations.

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A Private Space for Care, Comfort & Hope

Through a partnership with Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation, John and Ginny Comly have chosen to honor their youngest daughter, Caroline Comly, with Caroline’s Corner, a private area on the pediatric floor of Hemby Children’s Hospital, where families can find a warm, peaceful place to rest, regroup and find hope. Additionally, the Comlys have chosen to show their gratitude for the pediatric critical care team by constructing a respite room within the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), a place of calm for clinicians on the frontlines of patient care to decompress and find new resolve.

Novant Health Fund Caroline's Corner

Please help Caroline’s legacy live on. Your gift ensures her impact will be felt by other children battling difficult odds and the adults who will hold their hands every step of the way.

Caroline’s Corner will bring care, comfort and hope to families with a hospitalized child. Plans are in place to create a spacious, private and peaceful retreat uniquely designed to meet the needs of pediatric patients’ families. The area will be constructed and furnished to make every day spent at the hospital a little more comfortable, enabling families to focus on their child’s healing and recovery.


Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center among six to receive $1.4M state grant for opioid support

Six North Carolina hospitals and health systems, including Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, will receive a grant from the state Department of Health and Human Services to staff emergency rooms with opioid-addiction peer support specialists. DHHS, which is partnering with the North Carolina Healthcare Association on the project, is funding the $1.37 million grant.

In 2016, roughly 42,249 Americans died from opioid-related overdoses, including at least 1,956 confirmed deaths in North Carolina. The state’s death toll marked a 24.7 percent increase from 2015’s confirmed total, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The hospitals and systems participating in the one-year program each will receive up to $180,000 in reimbursements in exchange for hiring at least two so-called “certified peer-support specialists.” To qualify, specialists will have been clean and in drug recovery for at least three years. They will be placed in the emergency departments to connect opioid-addicted patients with treatment and related support resources.

Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex donate $1.2 million to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation

Martin Truex Jr. and Sherry Pollex donate $1.2 million to fund an emergency pediatric department and integrative medicine oncology clinic

Martin Truex Jr., the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, and his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex, have made a $1.2 million gift to fund two health initiatives close to their hearts. The first will establish the Martin Truex Junior Foundation Pediatric Emergency Department at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center. This will be the first pediatric emergency department for the Lake Norman area, one of the nation’s fastest growing markets.

The second part of the gift will establish the SherryStrong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center. Diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2014, Pollex suffered a recurrence in 2017 that required surgery to remove her spleen. In February, she completed her final round of chemotherapy. Throughout her treatment, she used the best of conventional medical care with carefully selected complementary, integrative therapies to help optimize her health. It is her hope that the new clinic will enable others to do the same.

Pollex and Truex said their contributions to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation will provide healthy and positive outcomes for adults and children living with cancer complications.


Making patients’ experiences remarkable

As we celebrate National Healthcare Week (which is the name for National Hospital Week here at Novant Health), here are a few stories we are honored to share that illustrate our team members’ compassion and commitment to teamwork and personal excellence:

  • Mom Heather Haaland reached out to tell us about a connection she felt with an emergency department nurse at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. While at home one night, one of her sons, 2-year-old Brooks, lost his balance and hit his head on a side table. Heather rushed him to the emergency room, where registered nurse Bobby Thames – also a mom who raised a son, now grown – reassured Heather that mishaps will happen. Bobby’s kind words made Heather feel at ease, and not judged.

“She was super sweet,” Heather said about Bobby. “When your kid gets hurt or upset or sad, you feel like you failed as a mom. It was comforting to hear from her.”


  • A team at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center showed a commitment to patients that extends all the way to the parking lot. A patient called to share how he was so ill he couldn’t get out of the car. Someone came and carried him from the vehicle. Once inside, the man said the remarkable level of care continued. The demonstration of teamwork and compassion was especially important to this patient, who works in the region during the week and doesn’t have family members nearby to help.

  • Novant Health Sleep Medicine and Sleep Center locations in the greater Charlotte market hosted a birthday party for kids at Safe Alliance shelter, a shelter for women and families who are victims of domestic violence. Team members donated to provide treat bags, crafts, cookies, cupcakes and more.


  • Certified nursing assistant Darlene Jackson has worked at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center since 1980. She describes her job this way: I am whatever you need me to be.I’m your help to the bathroom. If you are having a hard day, I’m your shoulder to lean or cry on. A wife of a patient sent Darlene roses because she took such good care of her husband. Darlene is a 2018 Mark winner, our program launched last year to recognize team members’ passion in serving our organization and our patients.


  • We heard from one of our own nurse team members about the importance of a key nursing care imperative: bedside reporting, which includes the patient and family in conversations during the handoff of care between nurses. Our team member’s mother was hospitalized at Novant Health Matthews Medical Center. The family member was right there when it came time for discussions on upcoming treatment or how mom fared during the night. “I have never been more impressed with the care my mother received on that floor,” said our nurse. “I have addressed my care to reflect the warmth we felt and received.”

If you would like to share your own remarkable story, please click here


A long-standing connection

The Weisiger family’s relationship with Novant Health spans 75 years and counting

Edward I. and Agnes B. Weisiger Cancer Institute Rendering

The Weisiger family’s story at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center started with the birth of Agnes Binder Weisiger in 1941 and has spanned two generations. The family legacy will now live on for many decades as one of our newest buildings will now carry the Weisiger name.

The family recently announced a gift toward the development of the Edward I. and Agnes B. Weisiger Cancer Institute, an outpatient facility currently under construction. The Cancer Institute will be co-located with the John M. and Claudia W. Belk Heart and Vascular Institute.

Heart disease and cancer are the No. 1 and No. 2 killers in the country. The Weisiger family immediately connected with both the new heart and vascular center as well as the cancer outpatient facility for personal reasons. Agnes is a breast cancer survivor, and her husband, Ed Sr., had atrial fibrillation, a common but serious abnormal heart rhythm.

Diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in the summer of 2011, Agnes received her care at Presbyterian Medical Center. In honor of her cancer battle and in celebration of the remarkable treatment received while a patient at Novant Health, Agnes along with Ed Sr. sponsored the community’s first two mobile mammography units. To further their support, they will fund an overhaul of the breast center located adjacent to the hospital.

Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center is indebted to the Weisiger family, starting from the day Agnes was born here to her tenure of selfless work as a nurse practitioner, and now her family’s remarkable support of the Cancer Institute.


Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation receives $75,000 grant from Colon Cancer Coalition

Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation has been awarded a $75,000 grant from Colon Cancer Coalition with funds raised through the 2017 Get Your Rear in Gear® event held in Charlotte during March, which is colon cancer awareness month. The funding will be used for colonoscopy screenings, patient living expenses, and colon cancer rehabilitation and wellness services for Novant Health uninsured or underinsured colorectal cancer patients.

Since 2011, Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation has been a primary beneficiary of funds raised during Charlotte’s annual Get Your Rear in Gear 5K event, as directed by the local volunteer Get Your Rear in Gear planning board. Over the past five years, Colon Cancer Coalition funding, supported by Charlotte-area fundraising efforts, provided vital services for more than 2,400 colorectal cancer patients in Mecklenburg County.

“Colon Cancer Coalition funding has made a significant difference in the lives of our patients,” says Marcia Lampert, manager of cancer support services at Novant Health Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center. “Many patients are affected by the financial stress that cancer brings, and alleviating this stress by paying for a cancer screening or a utility bill enables them to focus on recovery. We are fortunate to offer this type of assistance to our patients through this grant.”

For more information on obtaining grant-funded services, contact the Novant Health Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center at 704-384-5223 or Novant Health cancer prevention, education and early detection at 704-384-5376.

Registration is open for the 2018 Get Your Rear in Gear – Charlotte event on Saturday, March 3, 2018. For more information or to register visit

Give to the Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation today!

About Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation

The philanthropic efforts of Novant Health’s foundations inspire giving that supports programs and initiatives having direct patient impact. Novant Health’s network consists of more than 1,500 physicians and over 26,000 team members who provide care at over 470 locations, including 14 medical centers and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the health system cares for more than 4.4 million patients annually in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.

Our regional foundations focus on critical needs in five areas: infants and childrencancerheart and vascularstroke and neurosciences and research and education.

Through the generous support of individuals, families, companies and grant-making institutions, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation supports Novant Health in its mission to improve the health of our communities, one person at a time.

 About the Colon Cancer Coalition

The Colon Cancer Coalition is a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness of colorectal cancer. The organization’s signature Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush® events are volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. Since 2004, over $5 million has been granted by the Colon Cancer Coalition to build and sustain programs that promote early prevention, screening, and patient support services for this disease. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, Colon Cancer Coalition members believe they can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit

Novant Health receives $7 million gift from Michael Jordan

Novant Health and Michael Jordan announced a $7 million gift to open two Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics in Charlotte. These comprehensive medical clinics will serve some of the most at-risk and underserved communities in Charlotte and are expected to open in late 2020.

The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics will provide vital access to primary and preventive care to individuals in the community who have little or no health care. By providing an avenue to affordable, high-quality care – including behavioral health, physical therapy, social work, oral health and family planning – children and families will have a stable, integrative medical home to address their health care needs right in their neighborhoods.

“I am proud to partner with Novant Health to bring critical health services to underserved areas of Charlotte and the thousands of North Carolinians with limited access to health care,” said Michael Jordan. “Through my years of working with Novant Health, I have been impressed with their approach and their commitment to the community. It is my hope that these clinics will help provide a brighter and healthier future for the children and families they serve.”

Community wellness and access to affordable and quality health care are some of the biggest challenges facing our nation. According to census bureau data, more than 100,000 Charlotteans do not have health insurance. Families living in underserved communities face barriers including difficulty accessing preventive and primary and mental health services, as well as a lack of an integrative and comprehensive approach to health care. With the opening of two clinics, Novant Health and Michael Jordan will create access to high-quality health care in areas identified by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force as the most at-risk for generational poverty.

“As a longtime partner, we are thrilled that Michael Jordan continues to support Novant Health and our mission to improve the health of our communities, one person at a time,” said Carl Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health. “This gift will transform the lives of thousands of families and children living in poverty-stricken communities. We are thankful to Michael for his generosity. The gift will remove barriers to high-quality health care in some of the most vulnerable communities.”

Over five years, the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics are projected to care for nearly 35,000 children and adults who do not currently have access to primary and preventive care or who use the emergency room for non-urgent medical needs.

The clinics have the potential to decrease emergency room utilization by 68 percent and decrease hospitalization by 37 percent for the residents of these neighborhoods. Resulting benefits from these clinics will include improved patient care, better community wellness, as well as a reduction in the total cost of medical care. Through the opening of these two clinics, Novant Health and Jordan are investing in the health of Charlotte and supporting the ongoing efforts of the larger community to provide access to quality, affordable health care to all Charlotteans.

Give to the Presbyterian Medical Center Foundation today!    

Rachel and Charles Bernheim honored for extraordinary philanthropy by Novant Health Rowan Medical Center Foundation

SALISBURY, N.C., June 9, 2017 – Rachel and Charles Bernheim were presented with the 2017 Wilson L. Smith Philanthropic Award by Novant Health Rowan Medical Center Foundation. The couple graciously accepted the award during the June 8 donor appreciation and recognition dinner held at Catawba College Peeler Crystal Lounge. This award is presented annually to individuals in recognition of their exceptional philanthropy.

The Bernheim’s were presented the prestigious award to honor their extensive charitable work. With a home in New York and the family home in Salisbury, Rachel and Charles support both communities.

Rachel Oestreicher Bernheim comes from a family of generous individuals. The Oestreicher name is well known in Salisbury. Her father, Irvin Oestreicher, owned Oestreicher’s store, which remained a town landmark through the 1960s. He was a charter member of the Rowan Memorial Hospital Board of Directors from 1936 until his death more than 50 years later. A Novant Health MRI unit is named in his memory. Rachel’s mother, Bert, contributed to many hospital auxiliary projects, and together, the couple established the Oestreicher Service Awards, an important hospital employee recognition program.

In Rachel’s own work as founder and chairman of the human rights organization Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States, she continues to keep the memory alive of Raoul Wallenberg, a humanitarian who saved tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. Rachel’s work has taken her all over the world and earned her the Royal Swedish Order of the Polar Star, the highest award a foreigner can receive in Sweden.

Charles, a senior managing director of Bear, Stearns & Co. of New York before his retirement, also grew up in a charitable family. His parents, Leonard and Elinor Bernheim, instilled in Charles the importance of giving back and being involved in the community.

The couple joins an esteemed list of recipients including:

Mrs. Xzantippa “Tippie” Miller (2016); Dr. and Mrs. Chris Agner (2015); Mr. and Mrs. James M. Freeman (2014); Mr. and Mrs. Bill Stanback (2013); Mr. Ralph W. Ketner (2012); Mrs. Frances “Billy” H. Johnson (2011); Blanche and Julian Robertson family (2010); Miles Smith Jr. family (2009); Larry and Susan Cloninger (2008); Rowan Regional Medical Center Auxiliary (2007); Legacy Award – Mr. and Mrs. Wilson L. Smith (2006); Mr. and Mrs. Fred J. Stanback Jr.(2005); Dr. and Mrs. Dennis L. Hill (2004); Dr. and Mrs. James C. Johnson (2003); Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Fisher (2002); Dr. and Mrs. John H. Bumgarner and Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Cook Jr.(2001); Mr. and Mrs. Gordon P. Hurley and Mrs. and Mrs. James F. Hurley III (2000); Mrs. Elizabeth C. Stanback (1999); Mr. and Mrs. Elias A. Saleeby (1998); Mrs. Evelyn F Harrison, Dr. and Mrs. Robert L. Hudson and Mr. and Mrs. Edward T. Taylor (1997); Dr. and Mrs. Wayne A. Cline Sr. and Mr. and Mrs. Arnold H. Snider Jr. (1996); Dr. and Mrs. Glenn A. Kiser, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson L. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald L. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Timothy R. Smith (1995).