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Celebrating our physicians



National Doctor’s Day

March 30 is National Doctors’ Day, a time when we can take a moment to recognize the remarkable care our physicians provide each and every day.

This year’s celebration also comes one year after the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in our community and changed the way we think about healthcare.

We’ve never been more grateful for the care our doctors provide.

Over the course of 2020, we had the opportunity to talk to many of our physicians. Here’s a look at what a few of them had to say about their experiences over this past year.


Eric Deshaies, MD

Senior vice president and system physician executive, Novant Health Neuroscience and Psychiatry Institute 

When I contracted COVID-19, I lost all of my taste and smell, lost 5% of my weight, had terrible, terrible headaches and stiffness in my neck. I usually sleep at most about 4 hours a day and I was sleeping up to 16 hours a day. It hit me hard. I always tell everybody: Take the worst flu you’ve ever had and multiply that by 100. And that’s a mild form. No matter how healthy we are, it doesn’t mean that we are immune to developing a very severe response from the virus. I do have full confidence the vaccine will help normalize 2021.”


Gary Niess, MD

Senior vice president, Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute

“Our dedication to continually keeping an eye on the underserved is another huge piece that is even more important in the COVID-19 world. They are not getting the same level of care as the insured. At Novant Health, we’ve been testing those patients free of charge. That’s a reason to be proud of Novant Health. It’s not cheap providing free care, and at a time when revenues to hospitals are plummeting and the red ink is just flowing, maintaining that dedication to serving everyone equally is so important.”


Russ Greenfield, MD

Director of integrative medicine, Novant Health

“When you have a location, a destination for integrative medicine, it makes it real. The Novant Health Sherry Strong Integrative Medicine Oncology Clinic is one way Novant Health is putting its flag in the ground and saying, ‘We are taking a leadership stance because we understand our patients have an interest in integrative medicine, and if we don’t acknowledge and respond to that and help keep them safe, we’re not providing as remarkable care as perhaps we could.’”


Sandy Charles, MD

Medical director at Novant Health Women’s Heart & Vascular Center

“Last year, Novant Health was very vocal about standing up for social justice, which was encouraging. It was great to know I’m part of an institution that supports it and has a very diverse administrative and executive staff. I’ve always felt like I’ve had not only a voice but support, as well.”


Jonathan Fisher, MD

Cardiologist, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center

“The level of human service and self-sacrifice has been beyond what any of us has seen in our lifetime, and the need to support those who are suffering and currently on the edge is only going to escalate in the coming year. As a society, we need to recognize that if we do not pause for a moment to take care of our caregivers they may not be there for us when we need them.”