Jawanda Named MRH Physician of Year
Dr. Paul Jawanda, an infectious diseases specialist, has been named Physician of the Year at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.
Candidates for the Physician of the Year award are nominated by nurses, therapists, pharmacists and other non-physician members of the hospital's clinical staff. Nominations are sought for physicians who "demonstrate compassionate patient and family care, recognize all health care disciplines as partners in care, help educate and develop other patient care providers, and support team efforts in patient care."
Jawanda excels in all of these areas, according to Jayne Lee, director of infection control and patient safety at Moore Regional.
"He takes the time to sit down with patients and their families and really explain things to them and answer their questions," Lee says. "He has a wonderful ability to communicate with them, as well as with nurses and the rest of the staff, on their level."
Jawanda says he enjoys the informal teaching that is part of being a doctor, and he thinks that's important.
"Patients tend to do better if they understand what's going on with them and why we are treating them in a certain way," he says.
A native of Michigan, Jawanda received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Michigan. He went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his residency training in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases.
He was an attending physician in the Infectious Diseases Clinic at UNC Hospitals before joining the medical staff at Moore Regional in 2005. He is the hospital's first full-time infectious diseases specialist.
At least 80 percent of the patients Jawanda sees are hospitalized patients. He sees the rest in an outpatient clinic.
He works with physicians in other medical and surgical specialties to diagnose and treat complicated infections of virtually every organ system. Those include chronic pneumonia, meningitis, blood and bone infections, heart valve infections and foot infections in people with diabetes.
He also treats Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other tick-borne infections.
This is the seventh year that Moore Regional has selected a Physician of the Year. According to Linda Wallace, the hospital's vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer, the purpose of the award program is "to show outstanding physicians that we recognize and appreciate what they do."
"Dr. Jawanda works collaboratively with the whole staff," Wallace says. "He helps them grow by educating them on a daily basis and constantly involving them in his patients' care."
Nominations for the Physician of the Year award are submitted anonymously. One member of the hospital staff who nominated Jawanda wrote: "His patience and compassion are never in question, as they fairly ooze from him."
"He values each area of patient care and makes them all feel valued," the nominator continued. "He answers every question with a thoroughness that is amazing, while making sure you understand what he has explained."
Another hospital staff member who nominated Jawanda wrote: "He has upon occasion paid out of pocket for medications when the patient couldn't afford them and he knew the patient would not achieve optimum results without them."
Jawanda is active in the community and welcomes opportunities to educate people about important health issues.
"He recently taught a class for high school students on HIV prevention," Lee says. "He did a really good job of communicating at the teenagers' level."
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