Dr. Adrienne Deupree Fehr, DO, will begin seeing patients at the Pender County Health Department starting on April 22.
“I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was little, and I’ve always wanted to be in public health,” she said. “At the health department, I will be able to fill a needed gap by providing access to primary care for patients with chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. I will also be seeing adults for sick care, and pregnant women with high risk needs.”
Dr. Fehr grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, where she was the oldest of three girls. “One sister is a registered nurse, and the other sister is a pharmacist,” she said. Fehr is married to Patrick McCarthy, a doctor of physical therapy with a private practice, Allied Physical Therapy, in Wilmington.
“I wanted to get back to this area because I did my residency at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, and I’m familiar with providers in the area,” she said. “It just makes it easier to provide appropriate referrals for your patients when you know the area and can network among colleagues.”
Dr. Fehr enjoys taking care of families, and even folks who don’t like doctors or haven’t been in for care in years. She takes a warm and sensible approach and encourages her diabetic patients to check their blood sugars even when they “cheat” on their diet. “Diabetic patients react differently to foods, and each patient is different. Pasta may cause one patient’s blood sugar to increase, while another patient may be more sensitive to sugar in a certain cookie they are eating. Then they can adjust their diet based on what causes their blood sugars to spike.”
Dr Fehr’s past experience includes starting her own practice, Timber Commons Family Practice in Garner and working at Campus Health Services at UNC- Chapel Hill and, most recently, with Wilmington Treatment Center. She is board certified in family medicine.
Dr. Fehr’s position was supported by both the Pender County Advisory Board of Health and the Pender County Commissioners due to a shortage of physicians in Pender County, which was identified as a community health priority in relation to access to health care concerns in the 2010 Community Health Assessment. Pender County has 2.9 physicians per 10,000 population, compared to the NC state ratio of 9.0 physicians per 10,000 people.
Dr. Fehr will be seeing patients at Pender County Health Department four days a week. The health department is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call the Pender County Health Department at 910-259-1230 for more information and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fehr.
Elisabeth Weaver is a registered nurse with the Pender County Health Department.