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Health Care

Health Care Heroes: Physician

By Staff Reports, posted Oct 15, 2021

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


MICHELLE JONES

Title: Family medicine physician
 
Organization: Wilmington Health
 
In August, Jones was named medical director of Community Care of the Lower Cape Fear, which provides locally based care management. She joined CCLCF a year ago as the nonprofit’s associate medical director. Jones graduated from medical school at East Carolina University and completed her internship and residency at Duke University. Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Jones continues to be a practicing physician at Wilmington Health, where she has been department chief of family medicine for the past five years. She has served on the New Hanover-Pender County Medical Society’s executive board and on the N.C. Medical Society’s board. Jones also has served as president of the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians and as a North Carolina delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians.
 
What the nominator said: “Not only does Dr. Jones go above and beyond for her patients, she also goes above and beyond for her community outside of her clientele. She is always concerned for everyone’s well-being and wants to provide her patients and community with the best care, in and out of the office.”
 
- Ally Grafius, Wilmington Health patient representative

PAUL KAMITSUKA

Title: Infectious disease/internal medicine physician
 
Organization: Wilmington Health
 
What the nominators said: “Dr. Kamitsuka consistently demonstrates exceptional care for his patients, people in our community and educating other medical professionals as well as students. I have seldom witnessed such tireless empathetic care in my 40-plus years of nursing. … Perhaps it is his passion for medicine combined with a unique ability to embrace those in his care with kindness, respect and the highest level of expertise. Our community is so fortunate to have a physician with his skills. The pandemic which we face has brought about some frightening events; we see Dr. Kamitsuka on the front lines providing information, care and unwavering guidance to all. It baffles me how he remains steadfast in his commitment to our community all the while treating others with such care, tenderness and the best possible medical knowledge.”
 
- Lynne Rutherford, Wilmington Health former clinical director (retired)
 
“Dr. Kamitsuka is kind, smart and caring. He has been a stalwart through this whole COVID-19 pandemic. He assesses the evidence and research and interprets it into relatable terms. Dr. Kamitsuka provides insight and reassurance in these turbulent times. He is someone I have come to count on to help safely navigate our new reality.”
 
- Beth Mitchell, Wilmington Health dietitian

MAYRA OVERSTREET GALEANO

Title: Chief medical officer
 
Organization: MedNorth Health Center
 
What the nominator said: “Dr. Galeano provides service with patience, empathy and professionalism. She serves as the chief medical officer for MedNorth Health Center and as a faculty preceptor for the residents at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Besides juggling these two demanding schedules, she also serves as a clinical adviser for the CIN (clinically integrated network). Dr. Galeano adds patients to her schedule when other providers are out. Save never taking a day off, she epitomizes a health care leader.” - Althea Johnson, MedNorth Health Center CEO “Watching Dr. Galeano work in her clinical and administrative capacities makes you want to be a better person. I recently had a question about a patient who I was seeing. Dr. Galeano stopped a meeting that she was in to come examine the patient with me. A colleague was struggling to finish her day on time and needed to go pick up her children from daycare – Dr. Galeano stepped in to see some of the patients. She always makes time despite having the most demanding workload. She has a laser-like focus on helping our underserved community members, and as a result, our clinic was a leader in COVID vaccinations for minority populations.”
 
- Shalane Moore, MedNorth family nurse practitioner

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

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