Category Archives: MEDICAL

A new generation of nurses: Chelsea Huggins

Huggins practices ‘hands on’ care.

Huggins practices ‘hands on’ care.

WASHINGTON, NC— Chelsea Huggins discovered that everyone is on the same page when they start the nursing program at Beaufort County Community College. The students who have two years of experience as certified nurse aides, and the students who just walked in the door might have the same skills it takes to be a great nurse.

This was a relief to Huggins, who at 18, is the youngest student working toward an Associate Degree in Nursing.

Huggins came to the community college almost by accident. She managed to speed through high school in just three years at New Bern High. Her plan was to attend ECU and become a doctor, following her passion for the healthcare field. After some volunteer experience in a hospital, she decided she was more interested in the hands-on approach of a nurse. Her goal changed to becoming a nurse practitioner.

At 17, she applied for the ‘RIBN’ program at ECU. This program, short for Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses, is a statewide program that hopes to put more nurses with four-year degrees into the workforce. The program is a collaboration between community colleges and nursing schools, like ECU’s College of Nursing.

The program assigned Huggins to Beaufort County Community College, who first thought she was heading to the Town of Beaufort, and nearby beach, in Carteret County. After coming to terms with the fact that she was attending college in Beaufort County, she fell in love with BCCC!

With the growing expense of universities and the limited slots in their programs, many students are turning to community college not just for a two-year ADN, but as a step toward a four-year BSN. Students can also find smaller class sizes and more institutional support at a community college like BCCC. The college has a person on staff, just to help nursing students through the admissions process and with their testing requirements.

Since she began her studies at BCCC, Huggins has had opportunity to transfer to Craven Community College in New Bern and return to her family, but she has enjoyed her experience at BCCC so much that she has stayed in Washington. She found that the support was lacking at larger institutions.

“The faculty go out of their way to care about you,” said Huggins. She was named a BCCC ambassador, a title awarded to the best representatives of BCCC. An ambassador gets their tuition covered for a year in exchange for speaking and helping at community events. She is also the recipient of the James Franklin and Hannah Roberson Bagwell Scholarship and a member of the Beaufort County Association of Nursing Students (BCANS).

She has come to embrace the diversity in the nursing department, including the age range and the lifestyles of other students. She has found that the best study partners are her older classmates and the ones with children. Intergenerational studying not only takes place in the classroom, but in her family as well. Huggins’s grandmother is a retired physician.

“She’s made me a perfectionist about things,” she said.

Her grandmother makes her practice until she has it right. Ultimately she plans to work as a neonatal nurse either at VidantHospital or UNC Health Care. She wants to deal with both parents and infants.

“My heart has led me in that direction,” she said.

This young lady’s fortitude means she can handle the toughest of situations. Huggins has no patience for the cynicism of some of the nurses currently working in the field. Her age will not slow her down! Huggins’ skill, passion and empathy put her on the same level as her classmates. She may have

Seniors recruited to help fight Medicare fraud

SMP-logoALLIANCE – Join us for the ‘Senior Medicare Patrol Workshop’ at Pamlico Senior Services Center at 800 Old Main Street in Alliance on Thursday, Sept. 17, from 10:30 am until 11:30 am. The director of Senior Services in Pamlico County is Violet Ollison.

What is Medicare Fraud and Abuse?

Medicare Fraud occurs when a person or company knowingly tricks Medicare. They do it intentionally to receive inappropriate payment from the program.

Medicare Abuse occurs when providers seek Medicare payment they dont deserve, but they have not knowingly or intentionally done so. Abuse can also involve billing for unsound medical practices.

What is the difference?

The main difference between fraud and abuse is intent – did they do it knowingly or not? Only the authorities may be able to answer that question. Whether it is fraud or abuse, it still wastes billions of dollars every year. It needs to be reported.

Medicare fraud and abuse affects everyone!

Medicare loses billions of dollars to improper claims every year. This affects everyone by wasting billions of taxpayer dollars. This also affects YOU. False information can end up on your medical records, leading to improper medical care later. You may even be denied services you need and deserve.

At this free workshop on Thursday, Sept. 17, you will learn how to read your Medicare Summary Notice, also known as the MSN, which currently comes to you in the mail quarterly.

It has a new look. The new MSN will help to make Medicare information clearer, more accessible, and easier to understand.

Based on comments from people like you, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has redesigned the Medicare Summary Notice to help you keep track of your Medicare-covered services. An explanation of services covered by Medicare A and B will be discussed, and you will be able to make the most of your Medicare services.

This should be a fun and informative event. It is open to everyone. For more information, please contact Violet Ollison at (252) 745-7196.

Ambulance snafu funny, but serious too!

By Betty Murphy | News Analysis

car-movie-301690648BEAUFORT COUNTY — Reminiscent of the old TV series ‘Car 54, Where Are You?’ Vidant Medical Center put out an ‘Ambulance Missing Alert’ on Saturday Jan. 3 that was broadcast across the state to law enforcement agencies.

The story was also picked up by news media across the nation.

While this incident may provide comic relief, it presents some serious concerns. Ambulances are eye candy to drug dealers, former psych patients hooked on drugs, or even pranksters just wanting a joyride. An ambulance is a compact emergency room with expensive equipment and dangerous drugs.

This type of ride does not belong in the hands of the wrong people.

Just GOOGLE “Ambulances Missing” and you will be surprised at the number of similar cases reported nationwide.

Vidant’s policy is posted inside the Emergency Room’s entrance at Vidant Medical Center with instructions to leave the engine running and doors unlocked so ambulances can be moved should another emergency vehicle need access.

This policy could put Vidant Medical Center in the unenviable position of being liable for any loss or damage to, or caused by, the ambulance.

What was a preventable incident could have ended up being one of Vidant’s worst nightmares.

It is not certain if this policy is consistent throughout the dozen or so other Vidant medical facilities that dot eastern North Carolina.

Law enforcement is aware of how serious the consequences of such an incident could have been. They are quick to react in their efforts to protect the general public from harmful activities.

Chocowinity Emergency Medical Service is considering changes to its protocol in order to avoid any future problems. Maybe Vidant should consider doing the same!

Although Vidant has brought charges against the driver who hijacked the ambulance, authorities have yet to divulge the accused person’s identity.

Is it possible that fingering the culprit would result in a very embarrassing situation or maybe worse, yet another visit from the Federal Government?

Plastic surgeon offers Christmas gift

Dr. John Zannis

Dr. John Zannis

NEW BERN – The region’s best-known plastic surgeon, Dr. John Zannis, recently announced his donation of surgical services to a deserving area resident, who may not have the financial wherewithal to pay.

Zannis calls this a ‘give back’ to the community from his practice, the Zannis Center for Plastic Surgery.

“We have been very blessed here in New Bern and just want to give something back to a deserving member of the community,” said Zannis.

Nominations are being accepted for a friend, coworker, spouse or relative who has a significant plastic surgery problem and is in need of a self-esteem boost.

“We’re looking for someone who has been selfless in their life, and deserves to have someone focus on them for a change. I see every day how what we do affects individuals’ self-image and quality of life,” explained Zannis. “This is what motivates me on a daily basis.”

Nominations will be accepted until Dec. 1 and the lucky patient selected by Dec. 8. Photographs are required with the nomination. Dr. Zannis will meet and examine the selected patient to determine medical eligibility for the procedure.

To make a nomination, send your letter or email to:

Christmas Makeover
Zannis Center for Plastic Surgery
2021 Neuse Boulevard
New Bern, NC 28560

Greed, not need, main factor in hospital closing

pungo closed
By Editorial Team | Special to the County Compass

BELHAVEN — Pungo District Hospital closed its doors Tuesday. Whether it will be forever, or whether the community will be successful in saving their hospital, remains to be seen.

University Health System, now Vidant, took over the Pungo Hospital nearly two years ago when the local management was unable to make a go of it. Vidant promised to not only provide continuing health care through Pungo, but also to expand services. Now, two years later Vidant is closing the facility.

Technically, a group of investors in Pantego Creek LLC own the hospital—at least the physical assets including the land and building. That group’s governing board recently decided to not participate with the Town of Belhaven, Beaufort County and interested citizens in taking the operation back from Vidant and continuing to operate the Pungo Hospital. They reportedly propose to tear the building down. The hospital’s doors remain closed.

Vidant, on the other hand, proposes to open a 24/7 clinic that they contend will provide adequate health services. But that facility will not have an emergency room capable of treating emergency cases such as stroke victims, heart attack or trauma patients. Vidant proposes as an alternative to provide some funding to upgrade the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to have paramedics on ambulances to respond to emergency calls to take patients to Beaufort Vidant in Washington. The hospital’s doors remain closed.

Concerned citizens fear the long ambulance ride to Washington, or even to Greenville, and want to keep an emergency room in Belhaven. Vidant claims it cannot make enough money to do that. The hospital’s doors remain closed.

“Saving our Hospital” has now become the battle cry for many concerned citizens in Hyde and northeastern Beaufort County. Lead by Belhaven Mayor Adam ONeal they have formed a non-profit corporation named Pungo District Hospital Corporation and have been trying to negotiate with Pantego Creek LLC and Vidant to take over the hospital. That’s where the fog rolls in. The hospital’s doors remain closed.

The principals have been “negotiating” for weeks and have not been able to come up with a plan to keep the hospital operating. There is one group, the Pungo District Hospital Corporation, led by Mayor ONeal and community leaders, who want to at least try to operate Pungo to keep its designation as a hospital with an emergency room and thus qualify for Medicare and Medicaid funding. Others, including the LLC and Vidant say it can’t be done. The hospital’s doors remain closed.

So Vidant announced that it would close Pungo July 1, and it has now done just that. Only now the lawyers have ridden into town. Vidant’s got a gaggle of lawyers and the NAACP has now sent in a legal team and the NAACP has filed a formal Title VI complaint with the Justice Department asking the federal agency to intervene under complex Federal regulations and to obtain injunctive relief to enable the hospital to continue to operate. The Department of Justice did get a mediation process going but it has obviously not been successful at this point. The hospital’s doors remain closed.

The NAACP contends that the closing of Pungo will have a disparate impact on minorities and the Federal government must therefore intervene to protect access to health care for the poor people in the region. It remains to be seen if, or when the Department of Justice will act. The hospital’s doors remain closed.

Here’s where the fog gets really bad. It’s not clear why the LLC and Vidant don’t just let the newly formed group have the existing hospital and its resources and see if they can make a go of it. When you listen to the “insiders” at this point it gets terribly complicated and virtually impossible to ferret out the answer to the question: “What’s the problem here?” Meanwhile, the hospital’s doors remain closed.

So, in summary, what you have is two groups saying the hospital can’t make a go of it and a third group saying they want to give it a try. The first two groups won’t let the third group try. While the groups throw rocks at each other—you’ve got it: The hospital’s doors remain closed.

We have been told by a number of people that there really is an explanation for why this mess exists. What we have been told is that Vidant does not want Pungo to continue to operate as a hospital simply because it would be a competitor. They prefer, under this theory, to funnel patients that would be served in Belhaven to their Vidant Beaufort facility in Washington or to their home facility in Greenville. A clinic would do just that. Under this theory, Vidant exerts control over Pantego Creek LLC, although Vidant disavows any link. The hospital’s doors remain closed.


We don’t pretend to know anything about all these Federal regulations on health care. But what we do know is that the people of northeast Beaufort County and Hyde County need quality health care. And adding an hour’s additional ambulance ride does not, in our opinion, provide as good health care as an emergency room in Belhaven.

So Vidant can’t make the bottom line work at Pungo. If you accept that Vidant has the right to divide its organization into whatever cost centers it chooses, and if in doing so, Pungo does not breakeven, we accept Vidant has a right to walk away.

But we don’t accept that Vidant can hold Pungo responsible for being financially self-sufficient. Vidant is a huge conglomerate. Its elements, which make millions of dollars, do so because of the region’s support. In fact, we would contend that Vidant sucks millions of health care dollars out of Hyde and Beaufort counties and those dollars show up on the books of Vidant Greenville.

Look at it this way. If Vidant’s bottom line were adjusted for only what it takes in from Pitt County it would certainly be a different picture. So if that is true, why does not Vidant channel some of those dollars that show up on its Greenville financial reports back to the communities from which the money came in the first place?

We know! Much of the actual money comes from Washington, D.C. but that misses the point. The federal revenue Vidant takes in at its Pitt county facilities comes in part because patients in Beaufort and Hyde counties choose to seek health care with Vidant. Thus, Vidant has, we feel, a duty to “give back” what it sucks out of the rural, poor regions.

Secondly, we think the Pantego Creek LLC and Vidant should simply walk away from this mess and let the Pungo District Hospital Corporation see if it can make Pungo work. Forget all the obfuscation and haggling over legal mumbo-jumbo. Either run the place or walk away and let somebody else give it a try. At least the doors would not remain closed.

Increased travel time may well spell doom when Belhaven hospital closes

By Betty Murphy, News Analysis | Staff Writer

BELHAVEN — On Monday, Feb. 24, standing room only might have discouraged some, but not residents of this small community. This wasn’t the first meeting on the proposed closing of Pungo Hospital, and probably not the last. The first speaker was Dr. Charles Boyette (former medical director of the hospital, and nationally recognized) who gave an honest assessment of how Pungo Hospital has survived in the past and, with careful guidance, might well continue in the future.

With an occasional ‘amen’ interjected from the audience, one could feel the positive energy as the meeting progressed.

Pungo Hospital was originally privately owned and operated under the charter of Pungo District Hospital Corp. Founded and financed over 60 years ago by a group of citizens who saw the need for a rural hospital, the service area of the small facility evolved to cover more than 20,000 people in Beaufort and Hyde Counties.

After surviving one bankruptcy, the hospital was once again facing financial difficulties. At the same time — just 30 miles away — Beaufort County Hospital was in negotiations with Vidant Health. Following the lead of Beaufort County Hospital, Pungo’s Board of Directors approached Vidant and entered into a Confidentiality Agreement in January of 2011.

By the end of September 2011, Vidant Health had acquired both hospitals.

Before the Pungo Hospital deal could be finalized, the Pungo District Hospital Corp. established a Limited Liability Company to protect the investments of the entity’s 106 members. The new LLC was named Pantego Creek and the Pungo District Hospital Corp. (now owned by Vidant) was added to the membership, increasing the total to 107.

Pantego Creek LLC was formed to address any issues that might arise from Vidant’s compliance with the final agreement between the three parties: Vidant Health, Pungo District Hospital Corp. and Pantego Creek LLC.

This arrangement gave almost everyone a false sense of security, which ended abruptly on September 5, 2013, with an unexpected announcement by Vidant of its intent to close the renamed Vidant Pungo Hospital within in six months.

Apparently, Vidant put its plan in motion without giving notice to Belhaven municipal officials, Pantego Creek’s members, or even managers of the LLC.

One insider made a call to the state agency that grants Certificate of Need status to medical facilities, asking if agency officials were aware of this surprise action and if something could be done.

Vidant owns it and they can do anything they want to do,” was the curt response.

After months of failed attempts to communicate with Vidant Health, Belhaven officials concluded Vidant Health never intended to keep Pungo Hospital. Plans remain in tact to close the Belhaven facility on April 1.

In recent months, Belhaven officials and residents have become proactive, reaching out to Rural Community Hospitals of America. Following a presentation by RCHA — which offered some glimmer of hope — further open discussion was conducted to assess the numerous conditions, requirements, and needs to pursue such a path. Fortified with the unanimous vote by the town council members and the resounding support from citizens present at the town meeting, the next move for Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal was to present the plan to members of Pantego Creek LLC .

Pantego Creek managers set a membership meeting for Feb. 25 to consider the plans supported by the town people. O’Neal had planned a 15-minute presentation on the business plan voted on by the town people but he was only allowed three minutes. Since Mayor O’Neal is not a member of Pantego Creek LLC, he was asked to leave.

O’Neal and Rev. William Barber, head of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, stood at the door peacefully asking to be admitted – only to be told “this is a controlled meeting” and the door was shut.

Fortunately, this “behind closed doors” scene was captured on video by the Story of America, a non-profit organization, filming and documenting the efforts of a small rural town facing a life or death health crisis. The Story of America has posted coverage of the past six months on its website:

The meeting concluded with a majority vote of the members (78–24) “to decline the acquisition of Pungo Hospital and operating it as a hospital.”

In a letter dated Feb. 26, the four Pantego Creek LLC managers advised members of formal action to begin conveyance of the Vidant Pungo Hospital campus to the LLC.

The four managers of Pantego Creek LLC voted against RCHA’s management proposal, preferring to accept Vidant’s offer to convey the hospital property to the LLC, which portends demolition of all existing hospital buildings.

Nearby, Vidant Health has purchased 19-plus acres, ostensibly to build a health care clinic – without any type of emergency room. Residents of Belhaven and the surrounding area will soon face a dramatic increase in travel time to a full-fledged hospital.

For many, the chance of surviving a stroke or heart attack within the critical ‘Golden Hour’ may well time out.

‘Playing game where they hold all the cards’

News Analysis

By Betty Murphy | Special to the County Compass

Vidant Health, officially known as University Health Systems, is no stranger to closing rural medical facilities. Since 2010 Vidant Health has closed three medical clinics in the following counties: Dare, Pitt and Beaufort. Apparently these three clinics were not making enough money to satisfy Vidant.

Now Vidant is closing Pungo Hospital in Belhaven. Pungo was the last hospital acquired by Vidant in 2011 and now the first Vidant hospital to be shut down.

THEN (2010)

In 2010, Hatteras Medical Center (Dare) was one of two Vidant clinics located on the Outer Banks. Only 18 miles separated the Hatteras Clinic from the Avon Clinic but Hatteras Clinic was the closest clinic to Ocracoke Island residents. Living on an island reached only by ferry, a trip to Hatteras Clinic could take more than an hour (ferry runs every half hour in the summer and hourly in the winter). During the high season, both clinics experienced increased patient load.

In July of 2010, Vidant informed Dare County Officials that it was not financially feasible to continue operating both clinics. One had to go. But which one?

Among the choices offered by Vidant: Find a new health system or increase the subsidy payment to $300,000 to keep both clinics open. Even if one or both clinics continued, Vidant planned to reduce the facility’s after- hours nursing care.

Many discussions were held by Dare County officials and the general public as the months passed. Finally, Vidant announced that the Hatteras Clinic would be shut down by December 31, 2010.

This decision to close the Hatteras Clinic was puzzling to county officials and residents as Vidant was operating not only rent free, but the county was paying some utilities and upkeep.

The Hatteras Clinic was located on property owned by the National Park Service, deeded to Dare County years ago with the provision that if the property were ever used for anything other than health care, the land reverts back to the Park Service.

NOW (2014)

Hatteras residents did not give up. They formed a private, non-profit community based corporation. Their determination and hard work was rewarded last year. The new (non-Vidant) Hatteras Village Medical Center opened its doors in November 2013. Hats off to Hatteras residents!

THEN (2012)

In 2012, the only healthcare clinic located in Bethel (Pitt County) was closed on Sept. 1,2012. The Bethel Family Medicine Center was operated by the ECU Brody School of Medicine (BSOM), which is affiliated with Vidant. Due to an aging facility and other financial losses, operating the clinic was no longer profitable. ECU announced that closing the clinic would save them money.

To soften the blow, ECU relocated the doctor and three staff members to the new ECU Family Medicine Center in Greenville. For many patients the new facility might just have well been on the moon. ECU suggested that patients could use public transportation. Apparently the fact that there is no public transportation available to Bethel was overlooked. With a “Build it and they will come” attitude, how did ECU expect elderly patients to get there?

The new ECU Family Medicine Center opened September 2011 at an approximate cost of $38.1 million. More than $36 million was appropriated by the General Assembly. The new Family Medicine Center has 52 exam rooms plus another 12 exam rooms in the geriatric center. It has sports medicine, minor surgery, medical procedure and urgent care clinical areas. Administrative staff members also have offices at the center.

Vidant is playing a game where they hold all the cards. Their game rules change from one meeting to the next. They are consistently inconsistent. Vidant owns the game, writes the rules, and you can take it or leave it.

As a town, Bethel had been struggling to meet the needs of their residents. Like many rural towns in North Carolina, some residents have lived in Bethel their entire lives as did their ancestors. The majority of the clinic’s caseload are elderly, cannot drive, and cost of transportation is prohibitive.

With less than 90 days notice, Bethel residents banded together and swung into action holding town meetings and prayer vigils in an effort to stop the closing on Sept. 1, 2012. These Pitt county residents were left out in the cold.

NOW (2014)

The following year 2013 the town of Bethel reopened the town health clinic which is staffed by a team of non-Vidant employees from the Greenville Healthcare Center.

THEN (2011)

Innerbankx Urgent Care facility’s fate was determined by being too close (within walking distance) to Beaufort County Hospital. It was acquired along with the hospital. Almost all local physicians and their practices have been gobbled up by Vidant. Don’t bother to try to find the name of your physician on the roadside signage, all doctors’ names have been removed.

NOW (2014)

The building is now occupied by a Vidant physician.

Belhaven mayor lambastes Vidant over hospital closing

“Savage assault on health care in our town,” says O’Neal

By Adam O’Neal, Mayor, Town of Belhaven | Special to the County Compass

TBO-PAGE-23-PUNGO-PIC-1BELHAVEN — Recently, Vidant Health has been conducting a campaign to appear more community friendly, to the extent of airing a commercial on local TV during the Super Bowl. I believe this new effort is attempting to minimize damage to their public image created by their savage assault on health care in our town.

Our community has had a hospital for over 60 years and has always found a way to survive through good and bad times.  A couple of years ago our local hospital board was looking for a way to secure a solid foundation for our hospital in the coming years. Vidant was asked to look at our facility and determine if they would consider taking it over due to their tremendous resources.  Vidant told the community they were willing to take our hospital over and would, according to their agreement:  “SERVE TO MAINTAIN THE IDENTITY AND VIABILITY OF PUNGO DISTRICT HOSPITAL IN PUNGO’S SERVICE AREA; MAINTAIN AND STRENGTHEN PUNGO’S COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY IN PROVIDING HEALTH CARE SERVICES WITHOUT REGARD TO ABILITY TO PAY.”

Less than two years after acquiring our hospital, I received a call from WITN-TV requesting comments on Vidant’s closing of our local hospital. I was shocked!  I originally thought a horrible mistake had been made. I then learned that Vidant had indeed decided to close our hospital with absolutely no notice to the communities they serve. They didn’t ask for any community assistance with issues at the hospital. There are two counties and several towns that rely heavily on the services provided at our hospital. I am certain our community would have worked with Vidant to remedy any problems they were having.

We have had meetings to explain the necessity of our hospital to Vidant. Our hospital serves people up to 70 miles away, and now those people will have another 30 miles to survive before emergency room care is available.  It saddens me to tell you Vidant has displayed absolutely no concern for the certainty that this extra 30-plus minutes will cause many deaths. They seem more concerned with financial issues than emergency medicine.

The Town of Belhaven now has a business plan prepared by experts that shows our hospital can break-even if run properly. The business plan was done after town officials expressed grave doubts about numbers Vidant shared in meetings concerning losses at our hospital.  The company who prepared the business plan asked Vidant if they would consider working with the community if shown a way for the hospital to be financially feasible.  VIDANT SAID THEY WOULD NOT BE INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY AT ALL.

Lastly, Vidant came to our town of 1,700 people (plus a service area of 20,000 people) and they are trying to cut our heart out.  The want to close our biggest employer, shut down our largest town utility customer, and devastate the quality of our healthcare by removing our hospital and emergency room facility. All of this has been done without any communication with the community. They are also trying to divide our community with implied threats to leave our town with no healthcare if we don’t go along quietly. Does this sound like a community oriented organization?  I am writing this letter to ensure your community is aware of how Vidant does business. I do not want to see any more communities potentially ruined by the Vidant Health way of doing business.  An extra 30 minutes is a long time when you’re dying.

Firefighter suffers severe injury

County rallies to support native son

Freddie Sadler Jr.

Freddie Sadler Jr.

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

REELSBORO – Freddie Sadler Jr., age 23, is slowly recuperating from a broken back, suffered when he slipped from a ladder Saturday morning during a routine training exercise in New Bern. Dwayne Croom, Chief of the Reelsboro Volunteer Fire Department, said this week that Sadler’s spirits are good, but the young man – now confined to hospital room at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville — faces two long and difficult challenges: Physical and financial recovery.

Reelsboro Volunteer Fire Department

Reelsboro Volunteer Fire Department

“Freddie is our Assistant Chief,” said Croom, “and he has played a really big role in bringing this department up in the world. We are asking every Pamlico County resident to donate to a fund we have set up at the State Employees Credit Union on Hwy. 55 in Grantsboro, that will go directly to Freddie to help pay some of the huge expenses he will face.”

Bank officials said Wednesday that the account is in the name of: John Frederick Sadler, Jr. Donations and contributions are easy to make. Just consult any teller or the branch manager.

Plastic surgeon offers new liposuction technique

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer
Dr. John Zannis meets with a patient to discuss the SAFElipo™ process.

Dr. John Zannis meets with a patient to discuss the SAFElipo™ process.

NEW BERN – A physician known for his “body contouring services” will offer an innovative liposucution process, minimizing the use of heat and eliminating lumpiness and waviness that often results from traditional procedures.

Dr. John Zannis of the Zannis Center for Plastic Surgery is a big believer in SAFElipo™, developed by Louisiana doctor Simeon Wall Jr.

“I am proud to add SAFElipo™ to my body contouring portfolio as an effective option for clients struggling with specific problem areas,” said. Zannis. “Very often, my clients are eating right and exercising, but have isolated pockets of fat on their abdomen, back, hip, knees, or thighs.”

‘SAFE’ is an acronym for a three-step process: fat Separation, fat Aspiration, and Fat Equalization. Zannis says the procedure is gentle and provides less bruising and recovery time. According to the veteran surgeon, patients marvel at equalization (the last step), which leaves skin smooth and natural looking.

“SAFElipo™ is perfect for targeting stubborn areas,” said a smiling Zannis.

The phone number for his New Bern-based practice is (252) 633-1197.