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
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
Dr. David Rinehart practices at South Point Family Practice in Belmont, NC.