BISCOE – Dave Buckland, P.A.-C, had a pleasant thought as he glanced through the crowd of graduating seniors at East Montgomery High School during their recent awards ceremony.
“I realized how many of these graduates I took care of over the past 18 years,” he says.
Buckland has been caring for Montgomery County children, their parents and grandparents since 1995. He and Christine Cowell, P.A.-C., will continue their care of Montgomery County residents with the July 22 opening of FirstHealth Family Care Center-Biscoe (formerly the Montgomery County Community Health Center and more recently Robeson Health) at 104 Professional Dr., Biscoe.
Buckland was a member of the FirstHealth network of primary care providers from 1996 to 2003, when he was a physician assistant with the FirstHealth Family Care Center-Star.
“I am excited to be back as part of the FirstHealth family,” he says.
Cowell, who has been working in Biscoe since late October 2012, is also excited about the FirstHealth affiliation.
“I’m new to the area, but I look forward to becoming as involved in the community as I can,” she says. “I also look forward to providing the best patient care possible and working to help the community become healthier as a whole.”
Beth Walker, president of FirstHealth Montgomery Memorial Hospital, says she is pleased about FirstHealth’s return to primary care in Biscoe. “Having Dave return to FirstHealth is a great asset to FirstHealth,” she says. “So is having Christine, who is eager to become a part of the community. The addition of these two professionals and their plan to offer extended clinic hours will better serve the needs of the east side of Montgomery County.”
Although the FirstHealth Family Care Center-Biscoe will operate in the same Biscoe location as Robeson Health and the Montgomery County Community Health Center, the telephone number will change to 910-428-1544. Patients wanting to set up appointments with Buckland or Cowell should call the new number effective immediately.
The renovated clinic will open on July 22 and then operate five days a week at the following times: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In order to serve the needs of the entire community, the clinic will accept commercial insurances, Medicare and Medicaid.
Buckland’s health care background began with his service with the U.S. Army. He retired from the military as a chief warrant officer 3, having served first as a licensed practical nurse and later as a physician assistant.
He began his civilian health care career as a family practice physician assistant in New York, where he also worked in several emergency room settings. He moved to Montgomery County in 1995 as a physician assistant with Montgomery Medical Group-Star Family Practice and joined the FirstHealth Family Care Center-Star a year later. His professional background also includes seven years as owner/physician assistant with CNC Family Medicine in Star and his service as founder and board chair of the Montgomery County Community Health Center.
Buckland received his physician assistant training with the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences in conjunction with Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. A member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants and the Association of Family Practice Physician Assistants, he was named North Carolina Physician Assistant of the Year in 2002.
Cowell received a B.S. degree in medical studies in 2011 and an M.S. degree in physician assistant studies in 2012 from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where her physician assistant master’s project focused on breast cancer risk factors and prevention. A member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants, she moved to North Carolina in 2012 after earning her physician assistant degree.
– from FirstHealth