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Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Physicians

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 16, 2020

Honors a physician whose performance is considered exemplary by patients, peers and other health care providers.


Paul Kamitsuka

Title: Infectious disease expert
 
Organization: Wilmington Health
 
What the nominator said: “Dr. Kamitsuka is a renowned infectious disease expert who has been performing infectious disease consultations in this area for 26 years, and in total 38 years. Not only does he do clinical medicine on a daily basis, he is a lecturer on various topics in infectious diseases in the Harvard System.
 
“He is widely recognized across the country as an expert of the highest order. He serves as the Infection Control consultant at NHRMC and has been pivotal in assisting NHRMC and Wilmington Health along with Dr. Matt Sincock in our preparations and response to the COVID epidemic. Dr. Kamitsuka also provides compassionate state-of-the-art direct care to patients with COVID in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.
 
“There is no question in my mind that his presence and involvement in this medical community has elevated the quality of care in this area. The entire medical community relies on his expertise and his willingness to get involved in the care of our patients. We are all deeply beholden to Dr. Kamitsuka for his contributions to our healthcare system.”
 
- Jonathan Hines, physician

Rebecca Clare Lee

Title: Physician
 
Organization: Lower Cape Fear LifeCare
 
What the nominator said: “Dr. Rebecca Lee, a certified palliative and hospice care physician for Lower Cape Fear LifeCare (LCFL), has been a valued team member of LCFL for over 15 years, caring for some of Brunswick County’s most vulnerable community members: hospice and palliative care patients.
 
“Her skill level and expertise in medicine is matched only by her compassion and respect for everyone she encounters. Dr. Lee is a consummate professional who has risen to the top of her field, exhibiting characteristics that make her a true Health Care Hero, such as …
 
• Dr. Lee treats every patient and family with the same amount of attention, dignity, and respect. Many folks are amazed that a physician would devote an hour or more of her time to not only provide medical advice, but also listen to their thoughts and concerns.
 
• Dr. Lee is a strong patient advocate who is able to have difficult conversations with seriously ill patients and their families …
 
• Dr. Lee is a true educator. She takes the time to explain to patients in detail their disease symptoms, processes and treatment options. “You won’t find a physician that’s more dedicated to her profession than Rebecca Lee.”
 
- Starr Worthington, director of patient care services 

Henry Patel

Title: Electrophysiologist

Organization: Cape Fear Heart Associates
 
What the nominator said: “On August 3, 2020 the Cape Fear Community lost a beloved physician, leader, teacher and friend. Dr. Henry Patel passed away unexpectedly and tragically.
 
“Dr. Patel was a leader of our medical community. He was instrumental in guiding the success of his practice groups, first Wilmington Cardiology and subsequent involvement in the leadership of Cape Fear Heart Associates. He served for years on the Cardiology Council – an advisory group of physician leaders and administrators formed to help guide the direction of the Cardiac Service Line at NHRMC. …
 
“In his practice as an invasive electrophysiologist, Henry earned the nickname ‘Ninja’ in the Electrophysiology Lab for his legendary ability to accomplish the impossible, when a difficult or complicated case arose. He was always ready to lend a hand to his colleagues when a challenge presented itself. Since his passing, we have remembered many of the hundreds, if not thousands of lives that he saved with his procedural skills.
 
“Henry was devoted to his practice at Cape Fear Heart Associates but he was extraordinarily devoted to his patients. ...”
 
- Praful Patel and William Smith, physicians

Read more about all of the 2020 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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