When the Orthopaedics department was formed at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic, it brought the total number of departments to three. The next department formed came shortly after which increased the total number of providers and staff to meet the ever-developing needs of the community and its population. That department was the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialty. Not only was it a new specialty, but the doctor that created it just so happened to have family ties to one of the most important doctors in Pinehurst Surgical Clinic’s history as well.
This strong family connection came in that the doctor, Dr. John Monroe, was the nephew of Dr. Clement Monroe, one of the founders of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic. “When I was in high school, I would hang around with him (Dr. Clement Monroe) in the hospital and watch what he was doing,” Dr. John Monroe was quoted saying. He grew up around Pinehurst Surgical Clinic working as a surgical technician while also observing.
Eventually, Dr. John Monroe followed in his uncle’s footsteps. Dr. Clement Monroe served as his mentor and many credit him with playing a huge part in why Dr. John Monroe decided to pursue medicine. While his uncle may have played a part in this decision, it was also known that Dr. John Monroe’s career was built on his outstanding abilities and Pinehurst Surgical Clinic was very lucky to have him back.
After an upstanding career in the military as a flight surgeon, he then attended the University of Virginia for his head and neck residency. This set the path for him to return to Moore County in 1969 and become the first ENT surgeon at Pinehurst Surgical Clinic. Not only did his arrival mark the beginning of the ENT department, but it also marked a period where Pinehurst Surgical Clinic added at least a surgeon a year.
It was a time of exponential growth and the ENT department brought a wide range of aid to the community. Not only did Dr. John Monroe and his colleagues, Dr. Cox and Dr. Henderson pioneer surgeries like using the endoscope for sinus surgery, but they also brought facial plastic surgery to the community which was later expanded to the Plastic and Facial Plastic Surgery Department. They also continued advancements in open rhinoplasties, laser surgeries, and outpatient procedures that both reduced costs and recovery time.
It was even more clear after the fourth department was formed that Pinehurst Surgical Clinic was becoming the area’s only elite specialty practice.
Dr. Henderson later expanded on the idea of how much of an impact the specialists not only the ENT department, but all departments brought. “The first surgeons and the founders of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic wanted to bring in specialists. In some of the surrounding areas, you have the general surgeons who want to do everything. They want to do Orthopaedics, ENT, and Urology, but the surgeons here were willing to get the specialists in,” he detailed.
Now, the ENT department has grown to include Drs. Carl Berk, Jefferson Kilpatrick, Wyman McGuirt, Waldemar Riefkohl, Matthew Grafenberg, and Justin Miller. The ENT department now offers Audiology and Hearing Care services, provided by Leslie Whitlock, AuD, Sarah Rose, MS, Hannah Olliff, Aud and Heather Evans, AuD, along with allergy services managed by Rita Maness, LPN.
They continue to bring new surgeries and new techniques to the clinic including office based balloon sinuplasty, office based general anesthesia procedures, and a revolutionary treatment for sleep apnea, Inspire, which was performed for the first time in the Sandhills region on March 2, 2020 at Moore Regional Hospital. These groundbreaking procedures continue to be brought to the clinic by the incredible ENT department team, which is now named the Ear, Nose, Throat, Head & Neck Surgery. Stay tuned as we continue to highlight the tremendous history behind Pinehurst Surgical Clinic and celebrate every pivotal moment in Pinehurst Surgical Clinic’s history.