Office Recommendations

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT POLICY:

Consistent with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, Brunswick Family Medicine will require all individuals who visit the office to wear a face covering of some sort. Visitors and patients who arrive for their appointment without a cloth face covering or mask will be provided with one, if supplies are available. If supplies are not available or masks are refused, a patient visit will be converted to a telehealth appointment if possible. If not, the appointment will need to be rescheduled. 

 

Due to nationwide shortages of PPE (personal protective equipment), medical practices are operating with limited supplies. In order to continue operations, PPE must be conserved. Therefore, if able, we ask patients to bring their own face coverings. For additional resources, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

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MAY 13, 2020 UPDATE (Phase I)

As we enter Phase I of our Governor’s plan to reopen the state, we wanted to reach out in order to let you know what this means and what our plans are moving forward.

 

First, we want to stress that the shelter-in-place order remains in effect and is still our number one defense to slowing the spread of COVID-19. This is most important for those of you with one or more chronic conditions given your heightened risk of infection. During Phase I, businesses that are able to follow social distancing guidelines are now allowed to operate. Safely engaging in low risk activities, like spending time outside, moving, and staying 6’ away from others is possible. When you are in public, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask. With such a large percentage of infected people presenting without any symptoms at all, it is not worth the risk of infecting yourself or others, if you are an unknowing carrier of the virus. As before, do not touch your face and wash your hands frequently.

 

Next, given the relaxing of restrictions, we would like to begin annual wellness exams for asymptomatic patients beginning June 1st. We also hope to bring back in-office lab services in our Southport Office at the same time pending the return of Michelle, our Quest Diagnostic Phlebotomist who has been on furlough. In the meantime, independent lab options, most of which have online scheduling, include: 

  1. Dosher Memorial Hospital
  2. Dosher Wellness Center
  3. Quest Patient Service Center (PSC)
  4. LabCorp Patient Service Center (PSC)
  5. Brunswick Novant Hospital

Testing for COVID-19 is now widely available. If you have any symptoms or if you know that you have been exposed, get tested. Tracking this virus is one more important tool for understanding and fighting this pandemic. 

If you have labs scheduled between now and June 1st, and are comfortable going to an outside lab facility, please advise our office where you would like your order sent.  Labs will need to be completed at least 4 business days prior to your scheduled appointment. We will call to confirm scheduled wellness exams and begin to reschedule those missed during quarantine. Please be patient with us.

For the foreseeable future, even after June 1st, we will continue our Wait in Your Car protocols for labs and in-person visits. Routine follow-ups will continue to be conducted via telehealth and as before we will reserve the morning slots for wellness visits and do acute visits in the afternoon in order to limit exposure. We ask that you please wear a facial covering and no more than one person is allowed in the exam room with you and only if absolutely necessary. 

Brunswick Family Medicine is continuously monitoring the most current recommendations from state and local officials, our ACO, and other affiliated organizations, to keep our operations up to date. We are observing and implementing every protocol to keep you safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing your faces in person once again but we must do so in the safest way.

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APRIL 14, 2020 UPDATE:

We wanted to reach out to you directly to impress upon you the importance of keeping your scheduled appointments during these admittedly strange times. In following the American Medical Association and Center for Disease Control guidelines, we are conducting telemedicine visits.  By seeing you, even virtually, we are able to continue to manage your chronic conditions and identify signs and symptoms of potentially worsening disease states. Pursuant to the North Carolina Medical Board, routine and regular follow up is also required for the continuation of prescription refills. While regular labs are usually part of your visit, they are not the only metric providers use to monitor your care. Therefore, while we are not doing labs prior to your appointment during this time, we will order them if we deem them necessary during your telemedicine visit or for any acute issues as they arise. We understand this is not business per normal but we must all adapt, as we have in so many aspects of our lives these days, to a “new” normal. 

Finally, keeping patients out of and away from the hospital is more important now, than ever. In order to minimize your risk of exposure, staying at home is your very best bet and seeing your provider virtually to manage conditions or if you aren’t feeling well, is even better. Help us do this by keeping your appointments. We are doing everything we can to keep you healthy and stay informed. We know you have concerns. Let us be your source for COVID-19 related questions and information. 

Your visits to your health care provider have never been more convenient. Please keep your appointments so we can keep in touch and know you are doing well. If you have new questions, concerns or symptoms, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment. We are still here for you.

Warm regards,

Slade A. Suchecki, DO & Sherrie G. Cass, MS, FNP-C

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APRIL 6, 2020 UPDATE:

Hello, Everyone! 

As we all adjust to this new normal, the reality of COVID-19 is truly beginning to set in. We now have confirmed community spread within Brunswick County and at least one COVID-19 related death. “Community spread” means that a patient has contracted the virus from an unknown infected person or thing with whom he/she had come into contact. As a result, we have yet more changes for your protection:

Changes in volume have necessitated we reduce our office hours in order to maintain our staff and care for patients. The new hours for our Southport office are 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Thursday and our Wilmington office will be Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 8:00am to 3:00pm. 

Because it is absolutely crucial that we keep healthy people healthy and take no undue risk, beginning April 6,2020 and thirty days thereafter, we are no longer offering routine injections (like B12 and testosterone) or lab draws. If acute tests must be conducted, we will either draw in the office or refer to a draw center. 

We strongly encourage you to keep follow up appointments even without labs. This will allow your provider to continue to assess and manage chronic conditions, discuss medications, identify signs and symptoms of worsening disease, prevent hospitalization if at all possible, especially during this time, continue medication refills, and answer any questions you may have, to include those about COVID-19 and how it affects you.

If you have not done so already, sign up for our patient portal.  This is a great way to communicate with our office and your provider.  If you need assistance signing up please let us know.  We also encourage you to like us on Facebook where we post helpful information and videos!

It is imperative that you adhere to the statewide shelter in place order. If you must go out in public, it is important to wear a mask. If you are wearing a mask and/or gloves, it is imperative that you do so properly to ensure your safety. The following video demonstrates how. https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-doctors-dos-donts-wearing-masks-gloves/ It is our recommendation that you exercise thorough hand washing over the use of gloves that can give a false sense of security. Germs can spread just as quickly wearing gloves than without them when you are touching various surfaces and your face without washing.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home and remember we’re here for you.

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MARCH 24, 2020 UPDATE:

LATEST UPDATE FROM THE NC DHHS AND OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR:

As many of you are aware, yesterday brought yet more changes in testing protocol. Per the new recommendations:  People with mild symptoms consistent with COVID-19 do NOT need testing and are instructed to stay at home to recover. Mild symptoms are defined as fever and cough without any of the following: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest discomfort, altered thinking, cyanosis. The rationale behind these latest changes is to decrease acceleration of spread in the community and exposures in healthcare settings, to preserve resources, alternate surveillance tools can be used to track the spread and the management for most people will not be impacted given a test will not change the supportive, symptom focused treatment. 

If you DO have severe symptoms, please call for further instruction. As always, however, if a true emergency, call 911.

See https://www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus for more information.

Brunswick Family Medicine remains available for acute care and routine follow-up care, however we have switched over to a telemedicine platform allowing for video conferencing for these visits.  The goal is to decrease exposure to patients that still need to come in and/or our staff.  Please keep your lab appointments and continue to follow the CALL FROM YOUR CAR protocol when you arrive.  For the telemedicine visit, our staff will be in touch with you to verify the time and date of your virtual appointment, as well as determine how you wish to be provided the link for your visit (by text or email).  The requirements for telemedicine visits are a device that has camera and a microphone capabilities such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer.  If you have an upcoming appointment, please be prepared to advise us which you will use. 

While we understand that some face to face, in office, visits will be necessary we have designated the afternoons from 1pm – 3pm for symptomatic patients.  Again we will continue the CALL FROM YOUR CAR protocol when you arrive.           

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MARCH 20, 2020 UPDATE:

Another update from Brunswick Family Medicine with some very important announcements given the ever evolving protocols surrounding COVID-19.

Pursuant to the CDC advice to reschedule non-urgent outpatient visits, all annual wellness exams must be delayed and rescheduled. These visits will be redesignated as regular follow up visits to discuss labs and manage chronic conditions. Scheduled appointments will be converted to a telemedicine format as much as possible. You can expect to hear from our office prior to your next visit to arrange for the appropriate platform.

Some face to face visits will be necessary. Beginning March 23rd, face to face morning appointments will be allotted for healthy, asymptomatic patients only. If you have respiratory symptoms or an acute issue and it is determined that you should be seen and/or tested, we will schedule you in the afternoon between 1pm and 3pm. For all in office appointments we will continue to follow the CALL FROM YOUR CAR protocol as described in previous emails.  

We understand that this is very, very different and changing our lives in this manner is not a simple undertaking. It is imperative that you take these precautions to heart.  We do not say this to be alarmist but many of you are considered among at risk populations. Your best defense is to STAY HOME. Go out only as absolutely necessary. 

As always, we will continue to update you as necessary.  THANK YOU for being so patient with us and understanding during these uncharted times.

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MARCH 16, 2020 Update:

Given the current information surrounding COVID-19 is changing literally by the hour, please bear with us as we strive to adapt and share information as it comes in. As we are sure most of you are aware, COVID-19 is a virus and there is no treatment for it. To protect vulnerable populations and attempt to suppress its spread, social distancing is among the very few things we can all do to do our part. For that reason, Brunswick Family Medicine is taking our protocols very seriously and we ask that all of you do as well. 

Therefore, BEFORE ENTERING THE OFFICE please call us from your car:

If you do not get through to the front desk, you may text your INITIALS and DATE OF BIRTH to 910-363-6107 and someone will call you right back. If symptomatic, our clinical staff will triage you from there, otherwise we will place you in the cue and notify you when it is time for you to come inside.

It is important to keep regularly scheduled appointments for chronic disease management and other acute issues. BFM staff is observing all universal precautions and by keeping interactions among patients limited, will help keep all of us that much less likely to spread COVID-19.

While we are doing everything we can possibly do within our offices to protect all of us, it is imperative that you also do your part which means staying home as much as possible and exercising extreme caution while in public spaces: avoiding symptomatic persons, touching as few surfaces as possible, avoid touching your face and washing your hands or disinfecting them as soon as you leave a public space. 

While we are all likely to experience cabin fever, there are things in which you can participate that might help alleviate some of the boredom: 

The Metropolitan Opera will stream operas for free: https://www.vulture.com/2020/03/coronavirus-the-metropolitan-opera-to-stream-free-operas.html?fbclid=IwAR19uVKQSg5p1nX4istQJTkh6pXS1kst1vbbcDRQ207vkc0G-caQbMsOrlg

Tour Yellowstone National Park: https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm

Travel to France and visit The Louvre virtually:

https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne

Visit the zoo by checking out live cams at places like the San Diego Zoo, Monteray Bay Aquarium, the Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta, 6 different animal cams at the Houston Zoo, visit the belugas at the Georgia Aquarium… you get the idea!

Stay tuned. We will give you more information as we have it and THANK YOU for helping all of us do our part during these uncharted times.

Contact Us

Thank you for considering Brunswick Family Medicine. You can reach us via phone where we are happy to answer any administrative questions. Healthcare questions will not be discussed on the phone if you are not an established patient. Furthermore, requests regarding specific healthcare needs will not be discussed when an office visit is more appropriate.

Southport Office

(MDVIP & Traditional Practice)

3960 Executive Park Blvd, Ste 600
Southport, NC 28461

Traditional Practice Phone: 910-454-4343

MDVIP Practice Phone: 910-457-6757
Fax: 910-457-9209

Wilmington Office

(MDVIP Practice Only)

5106 Wrightsville Ave.
Wilmington, NC 28403

Phone: 910-395-6400
Fax: 910-395-5953

 

Medical Aesthetics

3960 Executive Park Blvd, Ste 600
Southport, NC 28461

Phone: 910-454-4343
 

 

Map & Directions

Southport Office Office Hours

Office Hours
Monday:8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday:8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday:8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday:8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday:Closed
Saturday:Closed
Sunday:Closed