Women to Watch Awards Finalists-Health

Meet the 2021 finalists
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Bradshaw 30Brittany Bradshaw
Nurse Manager,
The Pediatric Center

Brittany Bradshaw first began working at The Pediatric Center as a CNA. She went back to school while still working to become a registered nurse and assumed the charge nurse rule with her new position. Now she is a Duke University student, working toward a pediatric nurse practitioner degree and plans to become a provider for the practice when she graduates. “Some of my career highlights include watching my patients grow up from babies to adolescence and building lasting relationships with so many families,” Bradshaw says, adding that she also enjoy easing first-time parents’ anxiety and helping them navigate the journey of new being a new parent. “By far the most rewarding is always advocating for patients.” Bradshaw’s grandmother also was a nurse at The Pediatric Center, a practice in Wilmington since 1967. “Brittany has walked with our family through more medical traumas than any family should have to endure,” says one family Bradshaw has worked with. “She’s been by our side the entire time. She’s always been there to talk to, to cry to, to trust, to hug, and to literally hold my hand when things were scariest. We wouldn’t have survived the past three years without her.”

Clemmons 42Kristina Clemmons
Assistant Director of Brunswick County,
Coastal Horizons Center

Kristina Clemmons has played a key role in helping expand the delivery of mental health services in Brunswick County. Coastal Horizons Center’s office there had a staff of fifteen a decade ago and now has over forty employees as programming has been added such as school-based therapy in Brunswick and Columbus counties, for example. The growth of services for children has led to Coastal Horizons renting additional office space to meet the demands. “Though there have been many highlights over the past decade in mental health, one of the biggest highlights came this year in 2021 when we opened our own child and adolescent facility in Brunswick County,” Clemmons says. “Mental health for children in this county was lacking when I first began my career, and I heard from many people that it would never take off and be successful. Being part of opening a new facility where our school clients and just children and adolescents in the community can come to access help has been the most fulfilling part of my journey in mental health so far.”

Clemmons also has become a trainer of several evidence-based treatment models. She also is an active member of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council in Brunswick County. While Clemmons is dedicated to her growth, she is also dedicated to the growth and success of others. This is seen, according to those who work with her, through the success of those seeking counseling as well as the success of those she supervises. “I’m looking forward to continuing to grow our new office and my team here. Some of my therapists began their clinical supervision with me years ago, and I have gotten to watch them grow and develop into such a great team, so I can’t wait to see what comes next for all of us,” Clemmons says. “I continue to look for gaps in service for any children in our community and try to find the best ways to help get care to those who may not have a chance at it through the normal processes. Up next, I’m focusing on growing our school-based services to open additional services for all of those clients.”

Corbett 4Claire Corbett
Director Performance Excellence,

Claire Corbett has worked for NHRMC for nineteen years. During that time, she has been a driving force behind the hospital’s award-winning stroke program as well as several award-winning cardiology initiatives. In her current role as director of clinical excellence, Corbett leads a program that brings best practices to the bedside to improve outcomes for patients. “I had the opportunity to serve as faculty on the National STEMI Accelerator Project that worked with twenty-two different cities across the country establishing and improving heart attack care,” Corbett says. “I worked with dedicated and passionate health care providers from all over the United States. Collectively, we changed the way heart attack patients are cared for on a national scale and impacted thousands of lives.” Corbett also has played a key role in NHRMC and the area’s response to the pandemic. “Operation Warp Speed was the nation’s operational mission to make vaccines and end the pandemic,” she says. “We were the final leg of that mission, dedicated to get vaccines to all in our community who wanted them.” The North Carolina Healthcare Association this year honored Corbett for her work in leading NHRMC’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout and efforts. She and a colleague led a team that quickly established a clinic for vaccine distribution in the then-shuttered movie theater at The Pointe at Barclay. In only thirty-six days at the site, over 21,000 people were vaccinated. That idea was replicated in five other theaters including two in Europe. NHRMC has administered more than 100,000 vaccines in the community. Corbett found out in late September that the team’s work on eliminating racial and ethnic disparity gaps in vaccine administration was selected for a presentation at the national Institute for Healthcare Improvement forum in December. “My goal is to take learnings from successes – and from failures – and translate them to future work on a larger scale, improving the health of as many people as possible,” she says. “Additionally, one of the greatest opportunities I have is in working with my team. I am committed to leadership development for others; creating environments and opportunities for leadership growth, development, and opportunities to shine.”

Lago 14Angela Lago
Clinical Nutrition Manager,

Angela Lago has ten years of experience in health care management and twenty years of experience in providing clinical nutrition support in acute- and long-term health care and rehabilitation facilities as a registered dietician. In the fall of 2020, she started a website and blog called The Mental Wellness Dietician (angelalagonutrition.com) focused on women’s gut health and mental wellness to help normalize the conversation around mental wellness and to teach women holistic ways to improve the way they feel and function using nutrition, lifestyle changes, and targeted supplementation. She leads an initiative that bridges the gap between hospital and home for malnourished, food-insecure patients being discharged from the acute-care setting, work that has been published and presented at national conferences. “One of my career highlights was having the opportunity to take the stage at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Food & Nutrition Conference in 2019 and sharing the work that we have done here locally at NHRMC to drive impact and improve outcomes in our community through our malnutrition and food-insecurity programs,” she says. “Several executive leaders from NHRMC attended that conference with me, and it was a true testament to the value that is placed on nutrition and quality patient care in our organization.” Lago also is working with a physician colleague on an initiative to improve the overall care for morbidly obese patients who come to the hospital by reducing clinical variations of their care. “Moving forward, I plan to continue growing my Mental Wellness blog and using it as a tool to educate people across the world on natural ways to improve mental wellness without the use of prescription medications, when possible,” she says. “So many individuals are struggling with anxiety, stress, burnout, brain fog, low resilience, and more. If I can help just one person get to a better place mentally, physically, and emotionally, then it’s all worth it.”

Pica 7Laura Pica
Behavioral Health Clinical Manager,
MedNorth Health Center

Laura Pica is a licensed clinical social worker at MedNorth Health Center, a federally qualified clinic that offers a range of services to low-income, uninsured, and under-insured patients of all ages and backgrounds. Pica practices therapy and case management for children and adults and specializes in treatment for Spanish-speaking patients. She also is trained in treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders for pregnant and post-partum women. MedNorth Health Center also partners with First Year Cape Fear, an organization dedicated to eliminating racial disparities in birth outcomes and to provide resources, referrals, and direct services to women of color. She serves on the American Red Cross Cape Fear Chapter’s Mission Committee and has served on New Hanover County Senior Resource Center’s Master Aging Plan Committee. Pica also finds time to mentor other young professionals through virtual coaching and panel talks.

To view the Women to Watch Awards Finalists main page, click here.

Photos by: Chris Brehmer

Categories: Women to Watch