We are a family of caregivers, here to improve the health and happiness of all children and families across our Sandhills community. Our pediatric specialists include 11 pediatricians, 6 nurse practitioners, 2 child and adolescent psychiatrists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a PhD psychologist, 2 licensed professional counselors, a licensed clinical social worker, and a Master’s level school liaison. We have over 180 years of combined pediatric experience caring for the children of our Sandhills community!
Andrea Bennett-Cain MD
received her undergraduate degree with honors in Biology from Wake Forest University. She graduated from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 1999 and then attended the University of Alabama Children's hospital for residency. She has been certified by the American Board of Pediatrics since 2002. She promotes healthy living gained through a balanced diet and exercise and advocates for mental well being. Dr. Bennett-Cain is proficient in Spanish. She is married and has 2 children. She enjoys running, swimming and reading.
Joseph Boals, MD is from Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and the University of Tennessee- Memphis School of Medicine. Dr. Boals completed his Pediatric Residency in Memphis at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and LeBonheur Children's Hospital/ St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and joined the practice in 1996. His areas of interest include asthma, infectious disease, well infant care and cooking up the best ribs this side of Memphis.
Christoph Diasio, MD is from Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with Honors in Biology and graduated from the University of Alabama School of Medicine (Birmingham). He completed his Pediatric Internship and Residency at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis at LeBonheur Children's Hospital/St Jude Children's Research Hospital/The Med. Dr. Diasio earned his Board Certification in Pediatrics in Oct 2001. Dr. Diasio is married and has three children. He is a big proponent of breastfeeding and correcting misinformation regarding vaccine safety. Dr. Diasio was on the American Academy of Pediatrics Vision 2020 Task Force and is Co-Chair of the North Carolina Pediatric Council, which seeks to smooth relationships between Pediatricians and insurance companies. He has professional interests in pediatric practice management and is on the executive committee of the AAP Section on Practice Management (SOAPM). He is also the SOAPM representative to Patient Centered Medical Home issues, particularly the NCQA PCMH program. Dr. Diasio was elected Chair of SOAPM in 2014. Dr. Diasio joined the practice in 2001.
Natalee French, MD is from Columbia, South Carolina. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Wake Forest University and completed her medical school and residency at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Dr. French is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a big advocate of breastfeeding. She also has special interest in obesity, nutrition, and exercise. She is married and has two little boys. In her free time she enjoys anything outdoors and spending time with family. She joined the practice in September 2012.
Nicole Jacobs, MD Nicole Jacobs, MD is from Maxton, NC and relocated to the Southern Pines area following completion of her training at UNC Healthcare. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and completed medical school at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. She completed her general psychiatry residency at UNC Hospitals followed by completion of the child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at UNC in June 2018. Dr. Jacobs joined Sandhills Pediatrics in 2018. Her interests include psychoeducation to parents, patients and the community about behavioral health, and the assessment and treatment of a wide array of mental health disorders in the pediatric population. She is available to established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Lindsay Johannes-Monroe PhD is a Licensed Psychologist from Boulder, Colorado. Dr Johannes-Monroe received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill. She completed her Masters in Science and Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology at Ohio University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Johannes-Monroe specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents, and their families. Her clinical interests include ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, adjustment issues, autism spectrum disorders, and behavioral management training with parents. Her clinical services include individual therapy, group therapy, consultation, and cognitive and psychological assessment for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Gwendolyn ("Wendy") Jones, MD is from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She graduated from Barnard College in New York City, went to medical school at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and completed a combined residency in Pediatrics/Psychiatry/Child Psychiatry in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is married and has one son. She joined Sandhills Pediatrics in December 2013. Her interests include the prevention of psychiatric and behavioral problems and the integration of behavioral health into primary care. She is available to established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Sarah Locklear Brewington, MD is a member of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina and is from Pembroke, North Carolina, where she grew up in a family of educators, carpenters, and healthcare providers. She graduated summa cum laude with a BS in biology and chemistry from UNC- Pembroke in 2002. She attended medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill and completed pediatric internship and residency at UNC Hospitals in June 2009. Dr. Brewington is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Brewington is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Association of American Indian Physicians. Dr. Brewington has a special interest in adolescent medicine and decreasing health disparities and care of Native American children. Dr. Brewington's ultimate goal, however, is to "give back" to her community through delivering high-quality care to all patients. She joined the practice in August 2009. She is married and has one little girl.
Jenny Mabry, MD is from Fayetteville, North Carolina. She received her undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and her medical degree from The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University where she met and married her husband Harrison. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of Virginia and joined Sandhills Pediatrics in August 2011. Dr. Mabry is the proud mother of two children and three dogs and is excited to be back in North Carolina near friends and family.
Harrison Mabry, MD received his undergraduate degree at Presbyterian College and his medical degree from The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. He completed his pediatric residency at the University of Virginia. He and his wife Jenny have two children. Dr. Mabry enjoys hunting and fishing. He joined the practice in August 2011.
Cate Mason, MD is from Greenville, North Carolina. She attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and completed her medical degree at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society at UNC and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society at Wake Forest. Dr. Mason completed her Pediatric Residency at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado, before returning to North Carolina for proper barbeque and UNC basketball. Dr. Mason is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. She particularly enjoys caring for children with hematologic and oncologic problems and providing well child care for all children, especially premature infants. Dr. Mason joined Sandhills Pediatrics in 1999.
Becky Simpkin, MD is a Wisconsin native brought to the South by her North Carolinian husband. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for both undergraduate and medical school training where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa and Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Societies. She completed pediatric residency training at UNC and lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, dog, and pet rabbit. Dr. Simpkin enjoys all aspects of general pediatrics, and is especially interested in preventative medicine, community pediatrics, and children's advocacy. Dr. Simpkin is board-certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics. She joined Sandhills Pediatrics in 2014.
Brian Sherrington, MD is from Glasgow, Scotland. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California-Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine and completed his Pediatric Residency at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. Dr. Sherrington joined Dr. David Bruton and Dr. William Clarke at Sandhills Pediatrics in 1976 and was instrumental in establishing a Level 2 Neonatal Unit at Moore Regional Hospital. He is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a past President and Honorary Member of the Moore Regional Hospital Medical Staff. Dr. Sherrington and his wife Jeanette have three grown children and are the proud grandparents of four. Dr. Sherrington is an avid swimmer and is particularly interested in well child care, physical fitness, and acute care pediatrics.
Bill Stewart, MD is from Concord, North Carolina. He graduated from North Carolina State University with high Honors in Chemistry and received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill. After completing his Pediatric Residency at the University of Alabama Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, he joined Sandhills Pediatrics in 1982. Dr. Stewart is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Stewart and his wife Ellen have three daughters and two wonderful grandchildren. Dr. Stewart is on the Board of Trustees for First Health and chairs the Moore County Child Protection Team. He is the medical director of Community Care of the Sandhills. He has special interests in the areas of Attention Deficit Disorder and Child Abuse and Neglect.
Melissa Andrews, CPNP is from Ohio and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with distinction from the University of Rochester. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner training from Case Western Reserve University. She is certified by NAPNAP, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. She joined the practice in 1995. Melissa is married and has two grown children and two grandchildren. Melissa is particularly interested in dermatology and childhood behavioral issues.
Gwendolyn Garcia McKinnon, CPNP is from Vass, North Carolina. She received her Associate of Science in Nursing from Sandhills Community College. She worked at Sandhills Pediatrics as a registered nurse for eight years and spent some time caring for hospitalized pediatric patients at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center prior to completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Winston-Salem State University. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner training at Duke University. She is certified by NAPNAP, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International (Honor Society of Nursing) and the NC Pediatric Society. She joined the practice as a Nurse Practitioner in 2014. Her special interests include care of the adolescent patient and vaccination advocacy. Gwen has one daughter and is enjoying her new role at Sandhills Pediatrics!
Elizabeth Hodgin, CPNP is from Hoke County, North Carolina. She received her Associate of Science in Nursing from Sandhills Community College. She worked at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in the newborn nursery, postpartum and labor and delivery units for over 10 years prior to completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UNC-Pembroke. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner training at Duke University. She is certified by NAPNAP, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and joined the practice in 2013. Special interests include care of the newborn and promoting community health. Elizabeth is married with two children She is excited to have the opportunity to provide healthcare to members of her hometown community.
Nikki High, CPNP is from Richmond County, North Carolina. She received her Associate of Science in Nursing from Sandhills Community College. She worked at First Health Moore Regional Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatrics for over 17 years prior to completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UNC-Greensboro. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and Nurse Practitioner training at Drexel University. Her special interests include care of the newborn and care of the child with Attention Deficit Disorder.
Amy Ivey, CPNP is from the Sandhills area. Amy graduated from UNC-Wilmington with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner degree from Duke University. Amy is certified by NAPNAP, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and joined the practice in 1996. Amy is married and has 3 grown children. She is an advocate of breastfeeding and has a particular interest in infectious diseases and metabolic diseases.
Lauren Massey, FNP Lauren Massey, FNP is a Southern Pines native and well known to us: she is a former patient! She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with distinction from the UNC-Chapel Hill. Before earning her Master of Science in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, she worked as a nurse at UNC in the pediatric intensive care unit and the children’s specialty clinic. Lauren has particular interests in caring for children with asthma, health promotion, and disease prevention.
Liz Watson, MSN, PMH-NP, CS is a board-certified Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and board-certified Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. Ms. Watson attended Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked with children and families for over twenty-four years providing mental health services. Her areas of interest include anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, adjustment problems, and behavioral problems, including ADHD. Ms. Watson provides individual therapy, family therapy, and medication management services for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Laura Colas, MA, LPCA is from Thomasville, North Carolina. She graduated from the UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and then from Liberty University with a Masters degree in Professional Counseling. She has worked with adolescent girls in a group home setting and in a maternity home for teen girls, teaching social skills, activities of daily living, and parenting classes. Ms. Colas has several years experience serving children and families in both day treatment and intensive in-home settings. Her areas of interest include behavioral problems, school-related behavioral concerns, impulse control and conduct disorders, as well as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and adjustment disorders. Ms. Colas provides individual therapy, family therapy and case management for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Renee Sheppard, MSW, LCSW-A is from Montgomery County, NC. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology and her Master's degree in Social Work from UNC-CH. Ms. Sheppard has several years experience serving children and families in both day treatment and intensive in-home settings. Her areas of interest include behavioral problems, impulse control and conduct disorders, as well as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and adjustment disorders. Ms. Sheppard provides individual therapy, family therapy, advocacy and case management for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Katie Tucker, M.Ed. is from Eagle Springs, NC. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and then fromCampbell University with a Master's degree in Education and School Counseling. Prior to joining Sandhills Pediatrics in March 2017, she was a National Board Certified School Counselor in M oore and Montgomery Countyschools for 10 years. Mrs. Tucker assists families with school communication and advocates for school-related behavioral and mental health needs. Mrs. Tucker provides school liaison services and case management for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Portia Purcell MA, NCC, LCAS, LPC was born and raised in Pinehurst, NC. After graduating from the Moore County School system she earned a Bachelors degree in Art Education from UNC Greensboro and later a Masters degree in Community Counseling from UNC Charlotte. Since that time Ms. Purcell has been serving Sandhills area families in the area of mental health and substance abuse counseling as well as through related workshops, consultation, and trainings. She has a special interest in working with adolescents and their families who are dealing with concerns around emotional dysregulation, self harm, mood disorders, impulsivity, disruptive behaviors, and interpersonal problems. Ms. Purcell provides individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, consultation, and case management for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.