ROCKINGHAM – A family medicine physician and U.S. Army veteran has joined the staff of FirstHealth Family Medicine, 921 Long Drive, Rockingham.

Joseph E. Gillham, M.D., recently retired as a major in the military after serving in multiple posts from Fort Bragg to Afghanistan. Immediately before joining FirstHealth of the Carolinas, he was family medicine clinic officer-in-charge/executive medicine clinic officer-in-charge at Fort Bragg’s Womack Army Medical Center, where he supervised a clinic providing primary care to more than 14,000 active-duty service members and Department of Defense beneficiaries.

At FirstHealth Family Medicine, he joins a medical practice – also including Gleybis Sanchez Lobaina, M.D.; Emily N. Phillips, PA-C; David Emmons, FNP; and Brianne Evans, PA-C, — that focuses on the health care needs of the entire family.

“My transition to civilian practice has been great so far,” Dr. Gillham says. “FirstHealth has really been supportive.”

Dr. Gillham received a B.S. degree in health services from California State University in Fresno and his medical degree from Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. From 2010 to 2013, he was a family medicine resident at the National Capital Consortium, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, where he was chief resident from 2012 to 2013.

He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

While in the military, Dr. Gillham spent two years as a brigade surgeon with the Third Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, where he later served as residency clinic officer-in-charge/assistant professor with Womack Family Medicine Residency.

During a deployment in Kabul, Afghanistan, as part of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Operation Resolute Support, Dr. Gillham served as medical director, chief of administration and chief of logistics for multiple clinics, providing primary, urgent and emergency care and advanced trauma-life support for NATO personnel and native residents of the area.

“Taking care of service members in Afghanistan and native Afghans was, so far, the most rewarding experience I have had as a physician,” he says. “Upon providing primary care and trauma services to NATO forces, I also was able to provide some humanitarian medical services to Afghans in different places in Afghanistan.”

Dan Barnes, D.O., president of the FirstHealth Physician Group, who is himself a military veteran, believes that Dr. Gillham’s military background brings a unique perspective to FirstHealth Family Medicine.

“We are excited to have Dr. Gillham join us,” he says. “I expect that the experience and leadership skills he acquired as a physician through the military will help him to be a huge success and add a lot of value to the delivery of care in Richmond County.”




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