Easy access to innovative and state-of-the art health care is important to the quality of life in any community, but health care is particularly significant in Moore County for several reasons:

  •  It is the County’s largest private industry sector employing 30% of our workforce.
  • Our local health care system, FirstHealth of the Carolinas, is the County’s largest private employer.
  • Moore County has 35.1 physicians per 10,000 population, compared to North Carolina at 24.3. Wake County, the most populous county in NC and home of the state capitol Raleigh, has 25.1.
  • Senior adults (65 years and older) make up 27% of our population, and the wide variety of health care options available in Moore County help support the needs of this important demographic and help attract new retirees to locate here.

Recently there have been 2 significant investments related to local health care that will greatly benefit not just Moore County but also the surrounding region:  1) FirstHealth broke ground on its new $68 million, 4-story comprehensive cancer center in Pinehurst; and 2) Sandhills Community College (SCC) broke ground on Foundation Hall, a new 36,000 square-foot facility that will house SCC’s nursing program and other health sciences programs on its Pinehurst campus.

FirstHealth Cancer Center

FirstHealth of the Carolinas is an independent health care system serving 15-counties in central North Carolina.  Its flagship hospital is Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.

FirstHealth Cancer CenterThe Cancer Center will be all-encompassing facility and will represent a major step forward for cancer treatment and patient care, from diagnosis to treatment, and most importantly, survivorship.  The new structure and its adjoining parking deck on Page Road are located directly across the street from Moore Regional’s main hospital campus in Pinehurst.  Construction is expected to continue through late 2022.

The new facility will bring together all of FirstHealth’s outpatient cancer treatments and support services to a single location. The new building will also house the organization’s clinical trials, research program, and a dedicated wellness center.  The fourth floor will exclusively be for patient support services to serve both patients and their caregivers.  A centerpiece for the facility will be a healing garden.

I believe we are building a haven of hope. We are building a haven of healing. We are building a haven of help,” said Art Medeiros, chairman of Foundation of FirstHealth Board.

FirstHealth CEO Mickey Foster added, “This will be a healthcare destination for decades to come.”

For more information, visit www.firsthealth.org.

Foundation Hall

The new home of Sandhills Community College’s flagship nursing program, Foundation Hall, is taking shape adjacent to Kennedy Hall on the Pinehurst campus.

“It is a building that is built to help us perform our core mission. The core mission of Sandhills Community College is to train the workforce, and the workforce in Moore County and Hoke County is very heavily ‘medical.’  So this building is not just the college's building; it is indeed the community's building,” said SCC’s President Dr. John Dempsey.

The project also involves the renovation of Kennedy Hall, where the nursing program is currently based.  In total, the work will create a modern 75,000-square-foot facility for SCC’s nursing program as well as other health sciences programs like radiography, surgical technology, respiratory therapy, and emergency medical science.

SCC Foundation HallThe new building will include a 225-seat lecture hall, offices, skills labs and a large classroom for EMS training. The project will double the program’s capacity to provide space for advanced students to practice on sophisticated training equipment that simulates a real hospital environment.

Nursing graduates are in high demand at FirstHealth and other health care providers throughout the region.  SCC plays a critical role in fulfilling a need for qualified nurses that has never been so apparent as it has in the last year.

With the addition of Foundation Hall, the college anticipates growing its nursing program to 200 students total, or 100 graduates in each class.  With an 18-month construction timeline for the entire project, the new building is projected to be completed in time for the 2022-2023 academic year, followed by the Kennedy Hall renovations.

“Access to health care is of course the foundation to a vibrant community, so we think the graduates from Foundation Hall will assist in the growth and capability of FirstHealth, whose success is indeed vital to this community,” said Stan Bradshaw of the Stan and Jean Bradshaw Foundation that is helping to fund the project.

For more information, visit www.sandhills.edu.

(Original articles from The Pilot)

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