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 13 pediatricians, 8 nurse practitioners, 1 physician assistant, 2 child and adolescent psychiatrists, a PhD psychologist, 3 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!
Lindsey Bellamy, DO Lindsey Bellamy, DO grew up in Louisiana. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. She graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed pediatric residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Bellamy is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. She enjoys fostering long-term relationships with families and is a strong supporter of the Reach Out and Read Program. Dr.Bellamy is a proud Army wife and mom to 3 girls.
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.
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.
Sarah Carr, MD Sarah Carr, MD grew up in Carmel, Indiana. She received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Saint Louis University. She completed her pediatric residency training at St. Louis Children’s Hospital at Washington University. Dr. Carr is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. She has special interests in breastfeeding, foster care, and first time parents. Dr. Carr met and married her husband in medical school and has followed him in the Air Force. She previously worked as a general pediatrician in Texas before moving to North Carolina. Dr. Carr has two young kids and enjoys running, hiking, and finding the best playgrounds.
Laura Chesley, MD Laura Chesley, MD is from Atlanta, Georgia. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Georgia. She completed medical school at the Medical College of Georgia and completed her pediatric residency at The Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia. Dr. Chesley is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. She met her husband in medical school and has followed him in the Army. She worked in Texas and Washington prior to returning to the southeast. She enjoys all aspects of pediatrics but takes a special interest in breastfeeding and preventative medicine. She loves being home with her husband and four children exploring the outdoors and playing sports
Christoph Diasio, MD 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 October 2001 and is board certified by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Diasio is married and has three children. He is a 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 was on the executive committee of the AAP Section on Practice Management (SOAPM). Dr. Diasio was Chair of SOAPM from 2014-2018, was elected Vice President of the NC Pediatric Society October 2018 and was president of North Carolina Pediatric Society from 2020-2022. Dr Diasio is currently on the AAP Payor Advocacy Advisory Committee. Dr. Diasio was a site sub-investigator for Pfizer Phase 3 maternal RSV vaccine trials to protect babies against RSV, in partnership with Firsthealth and Dr John Byron. Dr Diasio became the Chair of the Board of Managers of CCPN CIN in 2023. Dr. Diasio joined the Sandhills Pediatrics 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 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 trauma, anxiety, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, adjustment issues, autism spectrum disorders, and behavioral management training with parents. She is rostered in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Her clinical services primarily include individual therapy and psychological assessment for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Gwendolyn ("Wendy") Jones, MD 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 board certified in child/adolescent psychiatry and adult psychiatry. 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 also has additional training in caring for patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is available to established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Scott Sexton, MD Scott Sexton, MD is from Cartersville, GA. He attended undergraduate school at the University of Georgia and medical school at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He completed his pediatric residency at Duke University. He lives in Southern Pines with his wife and two children. While he enjoys the breadth of community pediatrics, he focuses on behavioral health, breastfeeding, complex care and healthy living. Dr. Sexton is board certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics. He joined Sandhills Pediatrics in 2020.
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.
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.
Madison Broadwell, PMHNP Madison Broadwell, PMHNP is from Charlotte, NC. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from UNC Chapel Hill. After graduating, she joined the Army and was stationed in Washington state as an inpatient nurse. She worked on palliative care, oncology, and psychiatric units, and as a free clinic nurse volunteer. She went on to study at Duke University where she earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification. Her interests include managing a variety of psychiatric conditions, preventing youth suicide, and reducing mental health stigma through education. She joined the practice in 2023 and looks forward to caring for children and their families. Madison moved to Southern Pines in 2021 and now calls Moore county home.
Laura Colas, MA, LPCA LAURA COLAS, MA, LCMHC is from Thomasville, North Carolina. Ms. Colas graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and from Liberty University with a Masters degree in Professional Counseling. Ms. Colas has more than 10 years of experience in mental health. Ms. Colas has training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused Congitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). Ms. Colas provides individual therapy for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Tessa Davis, MSW Tessa Davis is from Washington State where she attended the University of Washington for her Bachelor’s degree in Law, Societies & Justice. After college she joined the United States Army as a Signal Officer. In 2012, after she finished her time in the Army, she pursued her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Tessa has worked in child welfare, adoptions, and the school system as a social worker before joining Sandhills Pediatrics. Mrs. Davis is a proud Army wife with two children.
Megan Fread, FNP-C Megan Fread, FNP-C was born and raised in Iowa. After completing Air Force basic military training and tech school, she moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she met her husband and served 7 years in the Nebraska Air National Guard. She earned her BSN at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2015 and became an NICU nurse. When her husband’s career moved the couple to the Pinehurst area in 2016, Megan continued working in the Women’s and Children’s Unit at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and UNC Children’s Newborn Critical Care Center. She received her Master’s degree in Nursing from Winston-Salem State University in 2022 and joined Sandhills Pediatrics with 7 years of experience in newborn care. Megan is inspired by her daughter, making caring for and advocating for newborns and young children with special needs one of her special interests.
Jessica Haywood, FNP Jessica Haywood, FNP-C grew up in Laurinburg, North Carolina. After graduating from Scotland High School, she went to East Carolina University where she played collegiate tennis and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She worked for 9 years as a registered nurse in many settings, including pediatrics, med-surg, post-partum and neonatal intensive care. She graduated from Winston-Salem State University in 2020 with her Master's Degree in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. Jessica is married with two children and enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends.
Nikki Eteo, 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.
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.
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.
Gwen Garcia-Leach, 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!
Michelle Leitheiser, FNP-C Michelle Leitheiser, FNP-C was born and raised in Moore County. She completed her undergraduate nursing degree at Sandhills Community College in 2009. Michelle spent 11 years of her career working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit taking care of preterm and term infants with complex medical needs. Michelle graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2020 with her Master’s Degree in Nursing in the Family Nurse Practitioner program. Her special interests include care of the newborn and breastfeeding. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and two kids.
Kim Niemeyer, CPNP Kim Niemeyer, CPNP was born and raised in Massachusetts. She completed her undergraduate nursing studies at the University of Rhode Island in 2011 and worked at Hasbro Children's Hospital for 5 years before relocating to North Carolina in 2015. She joined Sandhills Pediatrics in 2015 as a Nurse Manager before pursuing her graduate degree. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing from Duke University in 2020. She and her husband have two children and two dogs that keep them busy. Her special interests include breastfeeding and health promotion through nutrition and exercise.
Melissa Pierce, M.Ed., LPC-A is from Fairfax, Virginia. She graduated with her undergraduate degree from St. Andrews University and received her Masters from UNC-Pembroke. While working on her Master's degree, Ms. Pierce completed both of her internships at Sandhills Pediatrics. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate as well as the Mental Health Case Manager. With experience in individual and family therapy, her areas of interest include autism, behavioral problems, anxiety and depressive disorders and interpersonal problems. Ms. Pierce provides individual and family therapy, care coordination and case management for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Portia Purcell MA, NCC, LCAS, LPC PORTIA PURCELL, MA, LCMHC, NCC, LCAS was born and raised in Pinehurst, NC. After graduating from the Moore County School system she earned a Bachelor's degree in Art Education from UNC Greensboro and 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 training. She has a special interest in working with adolescents and their families who are dealing with concerns around emotional dysregulation, past trauma, self harm, mood disorders, impulsivity, disruptive behaviors, and interpersonal problems. Ms. Purcell uses a variety of modalities to best fit her patients. She is trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). Ms. Purcell provides individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, consultation, and case management for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.
Emily Smith, LCMH Emily T. Smith is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor with 23 years of experience working with children and families. She is also a Licensed School Counselor, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a Certified Grief Professional. Mrs. Smith received her master's in clinical and school counseling and her education specialist degree in marriage and family counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Walden University. Mrs. Smith has worked in outpatient settings, group homes, psychiatric residential treatment facilities, and school settings. Her specialties include disordered eating, anxiety and depression, and grief and loss.
Kameron Sperduto, CPNP Kameron Sperduto, CPNP is from Savannah, Georgia. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgia Southern University in 2014, and was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau. Kameron worked in the pediatric emergency department, pediatric oncology and intensive care units, and pediatric sedation before joining Sandhills Pediatrics as a registered nurse. Kameron trained as a Nurse Practitioner from Duke University and graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing in 2019. She is certified by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Her areas of special interest include pediatric mental and behavioral health, children's advocacy, and pulmonary disease. Kameron has one daughter and enjoys spending time outdoors watching her daughter grow and explore the world around her.
Matthew Thompson, MSN, FNP-C Matthew Thompson, MSN, FNP-C is from Rockingham, North Carolina. He received his Associate in Science in Respiratory Care Technology from Sandhills Community College in 1992 and worked for four years as a registered respiratory therapist before completing an Associate Degree in Nursing at Richmond Community College. He later obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He worked 17 years as a registered nurse in many settings including critical care and emergency nursing. He earned a Masters Degree in Nursing from the University of South Alabama in 2013 and has been working as a family nurse practitioner since that time. Matthew is married and has two daughters. His special interests are care of children with asthma and diagnosis and control of eczema.
Rachel Willms Rachel Willms is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She moved to North Carolina in 2011 and attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke in Professional School Counseling. She has diverse experiences, working in private practice, residential treatment facilities, and school counseling. Rachel works with children aged 2-10 years old and their family/caregivers who are struggling with adjustment disorders, anxiety, ADHD, emotional disturbance/regulation, anger/aggression, social awareness, grief, and trauma. She offers a safe, non-judgmental environment to help clients process emotions and thoughts. She primarily utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). She is rostered in Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT). These models provide individuals and family members the ability to reduce stress and develop coping skills. Rachel assists in behavior modification and parental behavior training when working with toddler-aged patients. Her approach to therapy is strength-based and person-centered. She addresses each individual's strengths and needs across multiple domains: emotional, behavioral, cognitive and social. Ms. Willms provides therapy for established Sandhills Pediatrics patients.