Dr. David Rinehart Elected President of the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians
GASTONIA, NC –Dr. David Rinehart, family care physician with CaroMont Health, was recently elected President of the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians (NCAFP). A 35-year member of the organization, Dr. Rinehart served as vice president in 2018 and president-elect in 2019. This prestigious position sees Dr. Rinehart leading more than 4,200 members of the NCAFP who are committed to improving the health of North Carolina communities through high-quality primary care.
A graduate of the University of Virginia Medical School, Rinehart completed his residency in the Charlotte area in 1985 and has practiced in North Carolina since, spending 34 years in Gaston County. A lead physician at South Point Family Practice and valued member of the medical leadership at CaroMont Health, Dr. Rinehart sees the role of family physicians as critical to the health of any community.
"Family physicians are at the heart of the important changes that must be made in our current healthcare system," says Dr. Rinehart. "We are our patients' first point of contact on matters of health -- routine and complex. From preventive medicine to the management of complex, chronic disease, our role requires we recognize and diagnose serious and sometimes, urgent illness."
As President, Dr. Rinehart wants to help members focus on the core values of family medicine that were established at the inception of the specialty. At the heart of these values are comprehensive, cost-effective and compassionate care, and establishment of strong, healing relationships with patients and families. The NCAFP assists family medicine physician members by providing educational and support resources, helping them provide the best care possible to their patients.
“Healthcare systems across the country are quite complex, and we are beginning to understand that the sicker the patient, the more they need a team approach,” said Dr. Rinehart. “Family physicians can be instrumental in bringing together clinical experts, pharmacists, social workers, dieticians, behavioral health specialists and other subspecialists. Patients need trusted advocates to not only treat their primary care needs, but also help them navigate the complex medical system.”
The NCAFP also advocates on the behalf of their members to recommend policy change at the state level. These efforts have been especially successful in recent years.
“The NCAFP has been out front of the opioid crisis,” says Dr. Rinehart. “Our organization was a founding member of the North Carolina Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Committee and has worked with the state legislature to enact meaningful policy reform, including increased funding for substance abuse services. We have long worked to improve access to high-quality healthcare for all of the citizens of North Carolina.”
While Rinehart’s duties as President of the NCAFP will include directing the organization’s priorities at the state level, many of the benefits of his work will be felt close to home.
“I have enjoyed the wonderful opportunities to develop relationships with patients, families and colleagues in this community,” said Dr. Rinehart. “I value those long-term connections the most in my daily work, which is very common for family physicians. It is an honor and a privilege to care for people every day, to share with my patients the times of healing and comfort and health, as well as the times of deep sorrow and grief and depression. We take this calling very seriously. It’s a complex medical world, but family medicine physicians can help the people in our offices receive better care and achieve improved health.”
Dr. David Rinehart practices at South Point Family Practice in Belmont, NC.