Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Nurse Practitioner/Physician Assistant

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 15, 2021

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


Title: Physician assistant
Organization: Wilmington Health
What the nominators said: “McKenzie is an on-site provider on our company’s campus. She is knowledgeable, listens and doesn’t seem too judgmental. She always goes the extra mile for all of her patients and takes the time to get to know them.”
- Jo Richardson, Live Oak Bank insurance risk manager
“We are so fortunate to have McKenzie Kline as our PA-C at our Tiburon campus. She has always gone above and beyond for our employees. Recently, with the uptick in COVID cases, she has called to check on employees at night and on weekends. She is never too busy to answer questions that we may have. She listens to her patients with compassion, and she is so knowledgeable with her answers.”
- Megan Pratt, Live Oak Bank insurance specialist
“There is no better PA than McKenzie. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis for her patients and their families. I have never had a level of care or felt as comfortable at ease with another provider. She answers the phone before her hours start and follows up with every patient no matter why they went to see her. McKenzie has navigated COVID with true grace. I couldn’t ask for a better provider.”
- Erin Welker, Live Oak Bank VP-marketing events


Current organization: Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians
What the nominator said: “Jen has tirelessly worked in our critical care units and consulting on our COVID floors to [provide] health care for the sickest patients during this pandemic. She works with our critical care physicians, pulmonologists responsible for frontline care of the sick and dying. She never complains and always projects a positive attitude and outlook. She’s taking on extra shifts and additional hours. She puts herself in harm’s way in order to save lives. She is outstandingly intelligent, caring for these patients at the highest level independently. She works with doctors from both Wilmington Health and from New Hanover [Regional Medical Center] in their critical care department. Without her, we would have lost significantly more lives from this tragic pandemic.”
- Matt Janik, Wilmington Health cardiologist


Title: Physician assistant
Organization: Coastal Carolina Care
What the nominator said: “Carrie is the PA at Coastal Carolina Care, a primary and urgent care office in Hampstead. She goes above and beyond with the care she provides for patients. She will see any and all patients from the moment the practice opens in the morning to the moment it closes. She truly listens to what patients have to say – and honestly treats them all like family. I have seen her hold her tearful patients’ hands that have dealt with tragedy and comfort them beyond the level of just a provider. She is a provider that is not in it for the money but for the patients. I remember being amazed the first time I saw how much forgiveness she has when patients are unable to pay for their care. She will call patients personally to see how they are doing. As an employer, she goes above and beyond as well. I have never felt more valued by any other employer. As a hopeful PA as well, I learn something from Carrie every day – both nonclinical and clinical. I aspire to be like Carrie when I become a provider. I believe Carrie is a hero for the Hampstead community.”
- Bianca Skinner, Coastal Carolina Care medical assistant

Read more about all of the 2021 Health Care Heroes finalists here.

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