PINEHURST – Gynecologic oncologist Michael Sundborg, M.D., calls physician assistant Adara Starr, PA-C, a “true partner” in his FirstHealth of the Carolinas practice.

“As a low-density specialty taking care of women with cancer, we are the only providers providing this sub-specialty of cancer care in this area,” Dr. Sundborg says. “Adara’s ability to assist me will allow us to distribute our care more effectively for these women. It’s a real blessing to have her, because she adds that human touch for our patients.”

Starr recently joined Dr. Sundborg at FirstHealth Gynecologic Oncology, where services cover the full scope of gynecological cancer care – diagnosis, traditional and robotic surgery, medical oncology, surveillance and supportive care – except for radiation oncology. She says she is eager to help care for a “unique and dear patient population.”

“GYN cancer and caring for these women has been close to my heart since I first had the opportunity to be involved with gynecologic oncology and Dr. Sundborg while in my physician assistant school training,” she says. “I will be an extension of Dr. Sundborg in all aspects of the practice, seeing patients in the clinic and hospital settings, assisting in surgery, and meeting any and all emergency needs for our patients. I hope to make our services even more readily available to the women in our community who need us.”

A native of Moore County, Starr received her B.S. degree from North Carolina’s High Point University and her Master of Medical Science degree from Wingate University, also in North Carolina. She worked in gastroenterology for 16 months before joining FirstHealth Gynecologic Oncology, and she is a member of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants.

As the region’s only provider of gynecologic oncology care, FirstHealth Gynecologic Oncology serves an area extending from Pinehurst to Sanford toFayetteville to Laurinburg and Rockingham and surrounding communities.  The service is not only unique to this area, but also rare throughout the country.

According to Matt Sherer, administrative director of FirstHealth Cancer Services, there are only 984 practicing gynecologic oncologists in the U.S. as opposed to more than 12,000 who practice medical oncology.

“Our patients do not have to travel to large academic centers to get this sub-specialty care since Dr. Sundborg can provide their evaluation, surgery, chemotherapy and follow-up care all right here in Pinehurst,” Sherer says. “He and Ms. Starr are vital to our program and its success.”

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