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Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 18, 2019

The Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant honors a nurse practitioner or physician assistant whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers.

 


BARBARA SUZY DIGGLE-FOX

TITLE: Assistant Professor /Ph.D., GNP, ANP, B-C
ORGANIZATION: University of North Carolina Wilmington
WHAT THE NOMINATOR SAID:
“Dr. Barbara Suzy Diggle-Fox (Dr. Suzy Diggle) has earned her Ph.D. in nursing education while raising three children alone. She has her master’s in nursing as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) and an Adult NP. Dr. Diggle has been a volunteer her entire life.
 
“She always helped in her congregation and her neighborhood. One of the classes she taught was Community Health, and she was the college’s student nursing government advisor. Within these roles she was always volunteering, giving health care education and free flu vaccines and raising money for health care charities.
 
“Coming to North Carolina two years ago, she began almost immediately to volunteer at the Cape Fear Clinic for the underserved and she volunteers as a NP, following patients and seeing walk-ins who do not have insurance. She also volunteers at a Parkinson’s Disease Support group.
 
“Last year, for four months she volunteered in palliative care and hospice in her area. Dr. Diggle also serves as one of only two nursing faculty on the University of North Carolina Wilmington Dean’s Community Advisory Council.”
 
- Debra Hrelic
 
 

VICTORIA OXENDINE

TITLE: Manager of Ambulatory Services
ORGANIZATION: NHRMC
WHAT THE NOMINATOR SAID:
“Over her 25 years as a nurse, Victoria Oxendine has mentored nurse practitioner and public health nursing students with UNCW, been an active member of the ACP Leadership Council since 2018 and mentored several ACPs.
 
“In addition to being a published author in the Diabetes Care Journal, she encourages her teammates and fellow nurses to be active members in committees and to strive to achieve the highest level of education and patient advocacy. This leadership, encouragement and support led to the NHRMC Leader of Excellence Award in 2015.
 
“In 2018, Victoria wrote and was awarded the March of Dimes Grant for Centering Pregnancy. This grant provided continued support for the clinic’s Centering program, which has reduced the rates of preterm deliveries, low birthweight and infant mortality. In 2018, Victoria collaborated with East Carolina University to train community and organizational volunteers to conduct classes for patients with chronic disease conditions.
 
“As a leader, Victoria has retained the ability to put herself in her staff members’ shoes, and her empathy and advocacy make her dearly loved.”
 
- Michael Voorheis
 
 

MEGAN WHITLEY

TITLE: PA-C
ORGANIZATION: NHRMC Physician Group-Cape Fear Heart Associates
WHAT THE NOMINATOR SAID:
“Megan is a native of Eastern North Carolina and has been a physician assistant with Cape Fear Heart Associates since its inception. She works full time as a clinical PA, caring for our patients in the hospital as well as in the office. In addition, however, she is also the practice’s lead ACP. She manages 18 ACPs.
 
“As a clinician, she is unparalleled. In one recent meeting, a Cape Fear Heart physician commented to New Hanover hospital administration that Megan is the finest clinician in our practice. I wholeheartedly agree, and I was reminded of this fact last week, when I saw a chronically ill patient of mine in the office. I was trying to convince him that he needed urgent hospitalization. After a lengthy discussion, he agreed to go to the hospital, but only if ‘Miss Megan will take care of me when I’m over there — she is who keeps me alive!’
 
“Megan’s second role as lead ACP is equally demanding. In addition to managing our entire group of ACPs — setting schedules, arranging orientation of new hires, managing disciplinary issues — she works as a liaison to the hospital and hospital administration.”
 
- Frederick Meine
 


Read more about all of the 2019 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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