Henderson Fire Department’s Boot Drive Raises $13K+ for Maria Parham Oncology

On Monday afternoon, Chief Steve Cordell and other representatives with the Henderson Fire Department presented the administration and staff of Maria Parham Health with a check for $13,300 to be used for care and resources for cancer patients.

Over a period of three days in October, the fire department held their second annual Breast Cancer Boot Drive to raise money for Maria Parham Oncology Center’s “Angel Fund.”

The “Angel Fund,” according to Hope Breedlove with Maria Parham Oncology, was created to help patients overcome the financial hardships that serve as barriers to cancer treatment and care.

According to Captain Lee Edmonds, the fire department was proud to top last year’s donation amount. “This is our second year doing the boot drive; last year we raised $11,353,” said Edmonds. “We had our pink boots and helmets out on Dabney Drive in front of Henderson Fire Department Station 1 raising money.”

Chief Steve Cordell and other representatives with the Henderson Fire Department present the administration and staff of Maria Parham Health with a check for $13,300 to be used for care and resources for cancer patients. (WIZS Photo)

While the pink boot drive just wrapped up its second year, Edmonds said the idea to raise funds for breast cancer started five years ago with part-time fire department member Ian Arthur.

“Ian came to Chief one day and asked if the department could get pink shirts made for breast cancer awareness, and Chief said yes. He [Ian] had a design made up, and the guys sold the shirts. That’s when we said we had to have something to give the proceeds to and we found the ‘Angel Fund’ at Maria Parham.”

With t-shirt sales only raising $2,500 – $3,000 each year, Edmonds said Chief Cordell had the idea to try a boot drive instead. “We raised so much more money on the boot drive that we felt we should continue,” said Edmonds.

Edmonds said the firefighters are proud to be a part of a fundraiser that allows Vance County citizens to give back to their fellow community members. “We felt that with this money going to Maria Parham Oncology, it would help our own people in the community. In today’s time, everyone is touched by cancer in some way, whether it is family or friends.”

In addition to being a morale booster for the firefighters, Edmonds said the annual boot drive is also a lot of fun. “With 30 members, each shift wants to outdo the other on their daily amount raised. So it’s always fun at the end of the day when all the guys are standing there waiting for the final number to see who guessed the closest.”

The donated funds also mean a lot to Maria Parham. “It’s hard to put into words what this means to us,” said Breedlove. “In our community, we don’t have a lot of resources for patients. It means a lot to have the support of our fire department and we thank them for coming through and making this possible.”

Breedlove also expressed gratitude for all the community support of this drive. “We are very thankful for everyone who came down Dabney Drive those three days and put money in those pink boots. It’s going to stay right here in Vance County and help our patients here at Maria Parham.”

Maria Parham Volunteer Services Announces “In the Bag” Handbag Sale

-Information courtesy Lisa Radford, Volunteer Coordinator, Maria Parham Health

Volunteer Services of Maria Parham Health announces their November “In the Bag” handbag sale will be held in the John T. Church classroom of Maria Parham in Henderson on Wednesday, November 14 from 7 a.m to 4 p.m. and Thursday, November 15 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Save 30% – 60% off regular retail price on brand name designer handbags, briefcases, luggage, wallets, mini bags and small leather goods. Brands include Nine West, Elliot Lucca, Nicole Miller, MK, The Sak, Ivanka Trump and more.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Maria Parham Health Encourages Community to Get Vaccinated

-Press Release, Maria Parham Health

To minimize the spread of influenza this fall and winter, Maria Parham Health is encouraging all employees, medical personnel and community members to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone six months and older, with any age-appropriate flu vaccine. If you are considering a nasal spray flu vaccine, it is important to know that this option is approved by the CDC for use in non-pregnant individuals, ages two through 49, and that there is a precaution against this option for those with certain underlying medical conditions.

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself from the flu this season and, in turn, protect your family and our community from illness,” said Jeana Testerman, director of infection control at Maria Parham Health. “Vaccinations significantly decrease the likelihood of catching the flu and help minimize symptoms if you do get sick. I highly recommend that every person gets vaccinated this season to help stay healthy this fall and winter and fight the spread of influenza throughout our community.”

The best ways to protect against the flu are to:

  • Get vaccinated and encourage your friends and family to do the same, especially those at greater risk for serious flu-related complications (children younger than five, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and those with certain chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart and lung diseases and more).
  • Practice good health habits. Avoid close contact with others; stay home when you are sick; practice good hand hygiene; cover your nose and mouth with a tissue; and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • If prescribed by a physician, take flu antiviral drugs.

In order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients and to help prevent the spread of infection, Maria Parham Health also asks the community to be mindful when visiting friends and loved ones in the hospital. Specifically:

  • If you have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough or runny nose, please do not visit.
  • Remember to wash your hands before entering and exiting a patient’s room and after leaving the hospital.
  • If you are in the hospital for tests or procedures and have a flu-like illness (fever over 100 degrees with cough or sore throat), please ask for a mask.

Maria Parham Health is committed to its mission of Making Communities Healthier by protecting patients, employees and volunteers, and limiting the spread of influenza in our community. For more information about the flu and effective prevention methods, visit

Maria Parham Health Launches Helpline to Assist Medicare Beneficiaries

-Information courtesy the Maria Parham Health website 

Maria Parham Health announced the launch of a toll-free helpline designed to help Medicare beneficiaries select a health plan that fits their needs and budget while also keeping in-network access to the doctors and hospital services they trust.

The new toll-free helpline, run by MedicareCompareUSA, connects callers with local licensed agents who can assist in comparing Medicare Advantage, Supplement and Prescription plans and then facilitate enrollment in the plan selected. Through this program, it will be easier for Medicare beneficiaries to find a plan that is in-network with Maria Parham Health and its affiliated doctors. Patients can access the helpline through a link on the hospital’s website

“Seniors are bombarded with confusing messages from competing health plans and options, and this is especially true for those just turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare for the first time,” said Bert Beard, Chief Executive Officer. “This helpline is a one-stop resource for insurance information, so seniors can be confident in the selections they make.”

In addition to providing assistance throughout the plan application and enrollment process, agents of MedicareCompareUSA can provide an annual review of an enrollee’s Medicare coverage during Medicare’s annual enrollment period. This often includes assisting members affected by Medicare plan network changes that frequently occur on an annual basis. Doing so assures that beneficiaries have the information they need to proactively select a plan that best meets their specific needs, preferences and budget while retaining continuity of care with their providers.

Beard points out that Maria Parham Health is not in-network with all insurance options or health plans, and contractual relationships may change on an annual basis. If a patient enrolls with a health plan with which Maria Parham Health does not have a contract, they may experience increased out-of-pocket expenses for receiving care from the doctors they know and trust.

“Our patients trust us to be their healthcare partner,” said Beard “This helpline will assist Medicare patients in making an informed decision regarding their insurance options at this important time in their life. We urge all local seniors to take advantage of this free service.”

Beard: Maria Parham is Committed to ‘Making Communities Healthier’

-Press Release, Maria Parham Health. Editorial by Bert Beard, CEO, Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health’s mission is Making Communities Healthier. We are proud to partner with the communities we serve to achieve this mission. Our physicians, employees, volunteers, and board members work hard every day to provide the highest quality care possible for our community, collaborating with patients and family members, employers, community leaders and others to create a legacy of care that will last for generations to come.

Because of the strength of our partnership with our region, we have been able to support our shared communities in many ways. The most important contribution we make is providing high-quality care close to home. Quality and service are at the center of how we care for our patients, and we continually invest in our facility to ensure we can meet the healthcare needs of our community.

In 2017, we made $3,594,560 in capital improvements, including new entrance canopies for our cancer and heart and vascular centers, a new telemetry monitoring system for expanded coverage in the hospital, and the addition of Maria Parham Franklin – an emergency department and psychiatric care facility in Franklin County.

Recruiting talented physicians into our community and supporting them also is a key driver of our efforts to ensure that our communities have access to high-quality care and service. During the past year, Maria Parham Health added 50 new providers in interventional cardiology, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, telepsychiatry, wound care, radiation oncology and more.

To create places where physicians want to practice and employees want to work, we strive to create an environment where talent is recognized, job satisfaction is valued and our 700 employees can effectively use their skills in providing high-quality care and service. We provided more than $47,044,014 in salaries, wages and benefits so that our employees and their families can live, play and grow in the place they call home.

Supporting local organizations and delivering healthcare to all of our neighbors, regardless of their ability to pay, are foundational to our commitment to the overall well-being of our communities. In addition to numerous sponsorships and charitable gifts to organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, American Cancer Society, United Way, American Red Cross and many more, we delivered more than $7.74 million in healthcare to those in our community who were in need. And as a fiscally responsible member of our community, we paid a total of $ $5,961,113 in taxes.

It is our honor to serve our communities. We are proud that, in a constantly changing – and increasingly challenging – healthcare landscape, we have been able to continue to expand the many ways we contribute to and serve our communities. This is only possible with your support, and we need your partnership now more than ever to continue the important work that we do in collaboration with you each day.

Healthcare involves many choices, and when you choose a local healthcare provider like Maria Parham Health for your care, you help us to do more for our community. Choosing our hospital over one of the many regional facilities vying for your attention helps us to ensure access to quality care locally, provide care for those in need, ensure local jobs and create opportunities for professional growth regionally, fuel economic development and contribute to the prosperity of our region, and boost support for regional organizations.

On behalf of our dedicated staff, board members and volunteers, thank you for your partnership and for entrusting us with your healthcare, and thank you for your continued support as we seek new ways to work with you to make our community healthier in 2018 and beyond.

Guild Gift Gallery Volunteers Create New VGCC Scholarship

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

The volunteers who operate the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Health have endowed their 13th scholarship to help students enrolled at Vance-Granville Community College. The new award is the second that specifically honors the service of the past and present volunteers who have donated their time to work at the gift shop over the years.

When 10 of the volunteers met last month for a photo in the lobby of the hospital on Ruin Creek Road, they represented more than 100 years of work in the gift shop. Altogether, there are two dozen volunteers who currently staff the gallery with a combined number of 170 years of service.

The new gift continues a tradition of the organization’s support for education. Since 2008, the Guild Gift Gallery has given over $350,000 to the VGCC Endowment Fund to create scholarships that help deserving students who will become the nurses and other health-care professionals of the future.

Above, a group of volunteers gathers at the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham Health with representatives of Vance-Granville Community College’s Endowment Fund to celebrate the creation of their newest scholarship. Seated, from left, are Charlotte Ayscue, Gean Bobbitt, Shaaron Reynolds and Jean Hutchins. Standing, from left, are Kay Currin, Judy Campbell, Vernell Champion, Pat Ayscue, Jimmie Ayscue, Lou Reavis, Sylvia Edwards and Eddie Ferguson. Currin and Ferguson represent the Endowment Fund. (Photo Credit: VGCC)

The latest award is being called the Guild Gift Gallery Past & Present Volunteers Presidential Scholar Award, according to Eddie Ferguson, director of VGCC’s Endowment Fund. The scholarship will award $1,250 each year to a student enrolled in a Health Sciences curriculum program at VGCC.

Of the 24 volunteers who are currently active, the years of service are as follows: Gean Bobbitt, 27 years; Lou Reavis, 22; Louise Bennett, Jean Hutchins, Jean Norwood, and Betty Stevenson, 13 years each; Charlotte Ayscue and Sylvia Edwards, 10 years each; Vernell Champion, 9; Margie Moss and Shaaron Reynolds, 8 years each; Tricia Kleczek, 7; Betty Abbott, 5; Gail Malone, 3; Shannon Clark and Carol Pegram, 2 years each; and Sylvia Anderson, Jimmie Ayscue, Pat Ayscue, Judy Campbell, Fern Ellington, Dave Kleczek, Beverly Parrish, Stephanie Stringer, and Linda Washburn, 1 year each.

“This new scholarship beautifully connects all of the people who worked at the gift shop in the past with those who volunteer today to benefit the students who will help us carry forward into the future,” Ferguson said. “These volunteers have made and continue to make the Guild Gift Gallery such a success.”

Gean Bobbitt, coordinator of volunteers, said, “These women and men go above and beyond to provide the highest level of service to patients and to hospital visitors in a caring and friendly way. It’s so easy to see that they are excited about the work they do and the contribution they make.” She thanked Duke LifePoint and Maria Parham Health for their support of the Gallery.

Dr. Gordon Burns, interim president of Vance-Granville Community College, offered his praises for the work of the volunteers. “This gift shop demonstrates that it is an essential part of the hospital and the community,” he said. “Its local impact is evident as the money that the shop generates stays right here in the local community and it helps local students who are pursuing a career in healthcare at Vance-Granville.”

In addition to the scholarships honoring past and present volunteers, the Guild Gift Gallery volunteers have created presidential scholar awards honoring Bobbitt and in honor of Ann Rose Allen, who is now deceased, and in memory of Leslie Carswell, Dr. J. Franklin Mills, and Dr. W. Beverly Tucker.

The VGCC Endowment Fund and Scholarship Program has now awarded more than 9,000 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been established by individuals, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff to assist deserving VGCC students. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education.

Maria Parham Op-Ed: Support Our Hospital, Patients and Community – Go Vote

Letter to the Editor – courtesy Bert Beard, CEO, Maria Parham Health

On Tuesday, November 6, our country will once again have the opportunity to select the next group of elected officials who will lead our country in Washington, D.C., our state capital and right here in our local communities. I encourage you to take time on that date to exercise your right to vote and also join me in voting for leaders who support community hospitals.

We at Maria Parham Health know firsthand the direct link between success of a hospital and the support that it receives from elected officials. Regularly, our hospital engages with elected officials at all levels of government and across party lines to help demonstrate the work of the hospital and the importance of healthcare to our community. We believe it is important for us to come together as a community to champion the health issues that directly affect the well-being of our citizens.

In this spirit, the time is now to vote for leaders who will tackle the pressing healthcare challenges facing rural hospitals. These include inadequate funding and growing numbers of people in communities, like ours, who don’t have access to insurance. Support from our federal, state and local elected officials is essential for Maria Parham Health to continue advancing our mission of Making Communities Healthier® – and you can help by heading to the polls.

You may be asking yourself, “where do I vote?” or, “am I registered to vote?” If you are unsure, please contact our local county election office. They can inform you of both where you should go to vote and also confirm if you are a registered voter.

As always, thank you for entrusting your health to Maria Parham Health. It is our great privilege to serve you and your family, and we look forward to continuing to serve the health needs of our communities long into the future.

Bert Beard

Chief Executive Officer

Maria Parham Health

(Maria Parham Health is a paid advertising client of WIZS. This letter is not a paid advertisement.)

Volunteer Services of MPH Announces Upcoming $5 Masquerade Sale

-Information courtesy Lisa Radford, Volunteer Coordinator, Maria Parham Health

Volunteer Services of Maria Parham Health announces their ever famous $5 Masquerade Sale on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Thursday, October 18, 2018, from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Everything is $5!  Necklaces, earrings, rings, watches, scarves, gadgets, ties, gifts for children and adults.  The sale will be held in the John T. Church classroom.

Come experience the FRENZY!

(This is not a paid advertisement)

Maria Parham Franklin to Hold Open House on Wed., Oct 3

-Information courtesy Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health, a Duke LifePoint Healthcare hospital, will celebrate the upcoming grand opening of Maria Parham Franklin in Louisburg. The community is invited to join the Maria Parham leadership team on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house from 3:30 – 7 p.m.

Located at 100 Hospital Drive in Louisburg, Maria Parham Franklin will celebrate the grand opening of the emergency room and geriatric behavioral health unit.

For more information, please visit


MPH to Offer Free Breast Exams in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

-Information courtesy Maria Parham Health’s Facebook page 

To celebrate October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, FREE clinical breast exams will be offered at Maria Parham Health on Thursday, October 11, 2018, from 5 until 7 p.m.

Join Maria Parham for:
Free clinical breast exams
Breast cancer resources
Follow up resources if needed
Prevention education
Wellness information
Door prizes

For more information call (252) 436-1605.