Maria Parham Practice Opens Second OB-GYN Office In Henderson

Maria Parham Physician Practices opened a second office in Henderson for women’s care on Thursday, June 3. The new clinic, Maria Parham Women’s Care, is located at 568 Ruin Creek Road, Suite 001. The other office is located in Oxford, and CEO Bert Beard said the new clinic expands the medical group’s footprint for OB-GYN services in the area.

“Maria Parham Health is committed to expanding access to healthcare for women in all stages of life,” Beard, stated in a press release. “Last year, our hospital received national recognition for Newsweek’s Best Maternity Hospitals, and this year, we are excited to expand our footprint for OB-GYN services with our newest practice location in Henderson offering local access to great women’s care.”

Maria Parham Women’s Care provides a comprehensive range of services and procedures including routine checkups, general gynecological care, urinary incontinence treatment, minimally invasive gynecological surgery, prenatal and postnatal care for mother and baby, as well as menopausal management. The providers deliver babies exclusively at Maria Parham Health in Henderson.

Providers are: Kayla Cagle-Colon, MD; Emma White, DO; Janice Martinez, CNM; Karen MacLean, CNM; and Alyson Ringle, CNM.

To schedule an appointment, call 252.492.8576 or visit

(Maria Parham is an advertising client of WIZS Radio and This is not a paid ad.)

Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health Urges Patients to Schedule Cancer Screening

– MPH press release –

Maria Parham Health has joined a nationwide effort to encourage patients to resume appropriate cancer screening to prevent excess deaths.

Maria Parham Health is urging people across the country to talk with their health care provider to resume regular primary care checkup and recommended cancer screening. This has the potential to lessen the negative impact that the pandemic is having on identifying and treating people with cancer.

Throughout the pandemic, many healthcare resources were redirected to combat rising COVID-19 cases and to prevent the spread of the virus. Elective medical procedures, including cancer screening, were largely put on hold at the onset of the pandemic. The impact was immediate as screening related procedures dropped drastically in March and May 2020 according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Estimates also project 35% of Americans missed routine cancer screening due to COVID-19 related fears and service disruptions. ACS foresees that the pandemic-related reductions in health care access and cancer screening will result in a short-term drop in cancer diagnoses and a later corresponding increase in late-state diagnoses and preventable deaths.

“Simply put, regular cancer screening tests can improve and save your life,” said Kimberly Smith, Director of The Cancer Center at Maria Parham Health. “Screening increases the chance of detecting some cancers early, when they may be easier to treat. We’re encouraging everyone in our community to talk to their doctor or a health care professional about getting on track with their recommended cancer screening.”

Screening refers to testing individuals who have no signs or symptoms of disease. It is critical to ensure that patients with signs or symptoms associated with cancer undergo diagnostic evaluation as soon as possible. Breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death among women and colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of death among men and women in the U.S., yet nearly one in three people for whom screening is recommended were not up-to-date with screening prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about cancer screening, visit or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

(Maria Parham Health is an advertising client of WIZS Radio and  This is not a paid ad.)

TownTalk 5-3-21 Dr. Michael Sylvia, Chief Of Pediatrics, Maria Parham Health

Children can safely return to school said Dr. Michael Sylvia, Chief of Pediatrics at Maria Parham Hospital, earlier today on TownTalk.

TownTalk broadcast audio and written story below.

In the past year or so, experts and laypeople have spoken at length about all the complications brought on by COVID-19 and the effects it has had, both in the community and across the globe. But one local pediatrician said Monday he would offer a simple response to the question about children’s safe return to school: Yes.

“The short answer is yes, it is safe to send your child- and kids – back to school,” said Dr. Michael Sylvia, chief of Pediatrics and vice chair of the department of Medicine at Maria Parham Medical Center.

“We know that school is incredibly important, not just for the learning’s sake, but there’s a lot of social skills that kids develop in school, especially in the 6- to 12-year age group, that pre-adolescent range,” Sylvia told John C. Rose on Monday’s segment of Town Talk.

He said children invariably will come home with the everyday, run-of-the-mill germs that cause colds, stomach bugs and other common ailments when they do return to in-person school full-time. But it is important for parents and other adult family members to be able to discern those routine symptoms and not jump to the conclusion that the child has COVID-19.

“Kids share germs – it’s inevitable,” he said. Symptoms such as a high fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills and body aches, and loss of taste or smell could indicate something more than just a standard cold, he said. If a child complains of those symptoms, or has been exposed to COVID-19, a call to the doctor is in order for possible testing.

As children return to group activities like sports, it’s going to be important to be vigilant about hand washing and not grabbing the wrong water bottle.

But not letting young people play sports could have a more negative impact than letting them get back on the fields for practice and games. “Sports is huge for team building and emotional development,” Sylvia said. “I’m all about kids getting out and exercising.”

Parents who notice changes in their children’s behavior – physical or emotional – should talk with their pediatrician. “The one thing that parents can do is just be open,” Sylvia said. “Share your concerns with your child.”

Sylvia commented on the ongoing research around COVID-19 and how it affects different age groups. Teenagers are still far less likely to catch COVID-19 or have symptoms bad enough to put them in hospital, he said. Younger children are even less likely to experience symptoms, he added. But children are still being included in clinical trials, and the research can help health experts target the age ranges that should be vaccinated.

“We’re optimistic that we’ll have some pretty good information about vaccines in kids by summer,” Sylvia said.

The decision to vaccinate young children has yet to be made, but Sylvia said it probably would be a good idea, even if there is a low incidence of infection. Why? “It’s (for) the child or the adult in the community who can’t get the vaccine for health reasons,” he said.

“I’m optimistic that we will be through this in the near future,” Sylvia said. “Parents just have to stick it out just a little longer.”

Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health Visitation Policy Adjustments Made April 6

Maria Parham Health’s visitation policy was adjusted effective Tuesday, April 6th.

Donna Young, coordinator of marketing and communications, told WIZS, “Maria Parham Health is pleased to announce that we are adjusting our visitation policy.”

The list of changes provided includes:

  • Patients are now allowed two visitors per patient per day on the inpatient floor, with no swapping out
  • Patients are allowed to have two new visitors the following day, under the same guidelines
  • ED patients will be allowed one visitor, who must remain at the patient’s bedside at all times
  • Patients will be allowed one visitor to stay overnight
  • Visitors must comply with mask mandate and pass the screening process (no temp, symptoms, recent exposure, etc)
  • All visitors must be 18 years or older, and should not roam the hospital

Young said, “We are continuing our current policy of no visitors for Behavioral Health Units, and no visitors for any COVID-19 positive patients.”

Visiting hours remain unchanged.  You may visit 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Maria Parham Health

Betsy Hunt Named Chief Nursing Officer of Maria Parham Health

— press release from Maria Parham Health

Maria Parham Health announced today that Betsy Hunt has been named Chief Nursing Officer of MPH, effective immediately. Betsy Hunt has been acting as interim CNO since October of 2020.

“We are so excited to have Betsy step into this important leadership role,” said Bert Beard, chief executive officer (CEO) of Maria Parham Health. “She is an exemplary leader with a tremendous amount of clinical experience and expertise. Her commitment to patient care, physicians, employees, and the community is evident in all that she does, and I know that she will help us further advance our mission of Making Communities Healthier.”

“Betsy is a great fit for this leadership role,” Beard added. “We have been so impressed with her experience and knowledge, as well as her genuine care for people. We are looking forward to working with her to lead the hospital forward.”

Betsy Hunt has been with LifePoint since 2013, working at Person Memorial Hospital and then joining Maria Parham Health in 2015. At MPH, her roles, responsibilities, and impact have progressed on the nursing and clinical quality front to position our health system among the safest in the company and throughout the nation as it pertains to process, protocols, and preventable harms.

“Maria Parham Health is such an important part of this community,” said Hunt, and I am really excited to take on this new role with this incredible team of individuals. I look forward to building on the solid foundation that already exists and helping the leadership team look for even more ways to improve the overall health and well-being of this community.”

Betsy Hunt holds a Master’s degree in Nursing with a concentration and leadership and management from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She also has an Associate in Science in Nursing from Nash Community College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and an Associate in Arts degree from Louisburg College in Louisburg, North Carolina. She is a certified professional in patient safety (CPPS).

(Maria Parham Health is a paying advertising client of WIZS.  This is not a paid ad.)

Maria Parham Health

TownTalk 02-22-21 Dr. Jennifer Rymer (Covid and Your Heart)

People with existing or underlying heart conditions could experience worse symptoms if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, and a local cardiologist wants to get the word out to the community to seek medical treatment if symptoms persist.

Dr. Jennifer Rymer, an interventional cardiologist at Maria Parham Health, often sees patients who are having heart attacks when they come to the hospital. Treating heart conditions amidst a global pandemic adds a layer of caution to the work she performs.

“COVID can take all of the heart conditions – pain, fluid retention and shortness of breath with congestive heart failure and just make it worse,” she said on Monday’s Town Talk with John C. Rose. “It can weaken the squeeze of the heart and it can cause clots to form in both heart arteries and lung arteries,” she said.

“The best way to avoid all this is to avoid the virus,” Rymer said, whether by social distancing, wearing a mask or getting the vaccine. “As soon as you can get the vaccine…you should absolutely attempt to get it,” she said.

Side effects of the vaccine, for the vast majority of those who have received the shot, are minimal and short-lived. They include mild flu-like symptoms like low-grade fever and achiness. These usually go away within 48 hours of getting the vaccine. If those symptoms do NOT go away after, say 72 hours, you should get checked out by a medical professional.

The protective properties of the vaccine are especially important, especially those with heart conditions. “The protective mechanism of the vaccine … cannot be underscored enough,” Rymer said. “It is just critical for these patients to try to get immunity to this disease and to this virus.”

That post-vaccine achiness is actually “your body’s attempt at working to develop antibodies against the virus.” Rymer said. Although not particularly pleasant to endure, she said it is “a sign that the immunization is working.”

Dr. Jennifer Rymer audio on WIZS TownTalk.  Story script continues below.

Interventional cardiologists perform catheterizations, and often are able to fix blockages with either the placement of stents or balloons to strengthen a weakened blood vessel wall. Patients with underlying heart disease, who have already had a heart attack or who have congestive heart disease aren’t able to rebound as quickly from other health problems, she said. COVID-19 “puts the body under stress,” she said, and those with coronary disease are more susceptible.

People also can experience a heart attack as a result of their COVID-19 infection, she said, because of the added stress the virus infection places on the body. Additional health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol and being overweight add more risk factors for patients, she said. Patients in these higher-risk categories often aren’t able to fight off infection as well, Rymer added.

Complications of COVID-19 can include the formation of clots in the arteries of the lungs and heart, she said. Symptoms include chest pain that is new for you, and extreme shortness of breath. Increased fluid retention is another symptom to be mindful of, she noted. These symptoms also are associated with congestive heart failure, she said. “COVID can take all the symptoms and make it worse,” she warned.

Rymer said even patients in their 20s and 30s with no underlying heart conditions have experienced heart problems brought on by COVID-19. The virus can attack the heart wall which can mimic congestive heart failure. In such cases, the patients are treated with medications to try to improve the function of the heart wall muscle – “hopefully the symptoms will resolve, but in some cases it doesn’t resolve,” she said.

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

(This post, news and audio is not meant to offer medical advice or to render a diagnosis or treatment options.  Always consult with your physician or a medical professional.  This is an informational broadcast and script only.)

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Your Thyroid Is So Important; January Is National Thyroid Awareness Month

If you’re feeling generally well today, you probably have your thyroid to thank. Dr. Gary Smith, family physician Maria Parham Primary Care, discussed the multiple jobs that this small, butterfly-shaped gland has to keep our bodies functioning normally.

January is National Thyroid Awareness month, and Smith was a guest on Town Talk Wednesday to discuss the thyroid’s role in good health.

The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, and it produces several hormones that help to regulate metabolism and body temperature, among other functions. It is located in the front of the neck, near the middle and below the Adam’s apple. “It has profound effects on the mind and the body,” Smith said. “The thyroid has many functions – it regulates hormones of the body, temperature regulations, stability of organ systems,” he said.

A simple blood test can show whether the thyroid is producing too much hormone or too little, he said. In either case, Smith said, medication is most often the answer. Hypothyroidism, when the thyroid isn’t producing enough hormone, can cause slower heart rate or brittle, dry nails and hair loss, he said. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism, when the thyroid over-produces hormone, could include nervousness, increased heart rate or anxiety, he added. Medication is needed to either stimulate or slow the thyroid. “We like a nice, normal level to be in sync with other parts of the body,” Smith noted.

Click Play to Listen to the TownTalk Interview…

In addition to helping regulate your heartbeat, a healthy thyroid also “helps blood flow to the brain so you can think clearly,” Smith said. It affects the lungs and how we breathe, our intestines and how we process and digest food as well. “We are definitely dependent on the thyroid gland for (healthy) function of our body,” Smith said.

A healthy diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as exercise, serve to support the body’s immune system and increases blood flow throughout the body, including to the thyroid.

The thyroid may be a small gland, but its role in overall health is significant. “We don’t take this gland for granted,” Smith said. “If a patient feels their neck and something doesn’t feel right, a mass or something hard, call your primary care physician. Don’t wait,” he advised.

In cases that diseased or cancerous thyroids are removed, patients would benefit from supplementing with a synthetic hormone to replace what the body no longer naturally produces.

Smith’s advice for anyone with questions or concerns? Consult with their primary care physician. “That’s the best thing to do, to follow up with your primary care physician and let them assist the patient in whatever their concerns are,” he said. We’ll explore it, and we’ll find the cause or the reason for the concern.”

(Maria Parham Health is an advertising client of WIZS.  This is not a paid ad.)

Maria Parham Health

Why I Got the COVID-19 Vaccine by Adrian Ogle

Submitted by Adrian Ogle, Chief of Staff, Maria Parham Health

For most of us, this past holiday season was unlike any other we have experienced. Instead of the typical hustle and bustle of holiday parties, family gatherings and being surrounded by those we love – this year was just different. I know for me personally, I missed seeing my mother and other beloved family members due to the restrictions of COVID-19.

While changing traditions this year was hard, I know there are people here in our community who are facing much greater difficulties because of how COVID-19 has impacted their lives. I see these challenges every single day in my role on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic as a Chief of Staff.

That’s why I’m excited and proud to be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I know many people have questions or concerns about the vaccine – I did too, at first. However, after talking to other clinicians I know and trust, reviewing the facts and being tired of missing so much in 2020, I feel very confident in my decision to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines have gone through the same rigorous process to gain authorization that all vaccines available in the United States have gone through – no steps were skipped, and no corners were cut. Researchers anticipate that the vaccine will be approximately 95% effective. This is significantly higher than other common (and important) vaccines like the flu vaccine, which is typically between 40-60% effective.

You’ve probably heard about the potential side effects, which can include pain at the injection site and sometimes headaches, muscle pain, body aches, fatigue or fever. I personally experienced mild soreness and achiness around the injection site, which were mild and went away within two days. I can tell you from personal experience serving patients and families every day during this crisis that these potential side effects pale in comparison to the challenges that come with a serious case of COVID-19.

For me, I chose to get the vaccine because it is very important that we as a community all take measures to control Covid-19 to allow us to return to a sense of normalcy.

With the COVID-19 vaccine, I believe we are on the right path toward reaching an end to the pandemic and returning to normal life – but it is going to take all of us doing our part by choosing to get vaccinated, continuing to wear masks, maintaining social distancing and practicing hand hygiene until the vaccination is widely administered. I want to encourage every member of our community to step up and be a vaccine hero once it is available to you. Do it for your family, your friends, yourself – and all of us at Maria Parham Health.

While there is much that we all missed last year because of the pandemic, there is now a light at the end of the tunnel. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this community, and I will continue to do my part to help ensure that brighter days are ahead in 2021.

(This is not a paid ad.  Maria Parham Health is a paying advertising client of WIZS.)