CommWell Health Announces New Vice President and Chief Behavioral Health Officer

Brandi BurchettCommWell Health is pleased to announce Brandi Burchett , LPCS, NCC, LCAS, CCS, ACS, CCTP, MAC has been appointed as the new Vice President and Chief Behavioral Health Officer.

Ms. Burchett joined CommWell Health in 2012 as the Outpatient Supervisor for Behavioral Health Services. Prior to joining the CommWell Health team, Ms. Burchett worked in a vast and diverse work force before landing in the field of Behavioral Health services with CommWell Health. Since joining CommWell Health, Ms. Burchett was named the 2016 Colleague of year and has played a significant role in the success of the Behavioral Health Department.

Ms. Burchett earned her Master’s degree from Webster University and holds a Bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University. She is currently working on her PhD from Capella University for Advanced Studies in Human Behavior. Ms. Burchett is currently on the Eastpointe Provider Council, and a member of the Licensed Professional Counselors Association of North Carolina and the American Counseling Association.

Ms. Burchett hopes that her recent coursework in research methods for her doctoral program will enhance the behavioral health departments qualitative and quantitative data reposting on outcome measures. “I am very excited to be entering into this new role and tackling the new responsibilities. I believe that I will bring a different perspective to the behavioral health department due to my varying personal and professional experiences”, says Burchett.

Ms. Burchett currently resides in Seven Springs, NC with her family and takes pleasure in considering herself a lifetime learner. She enjoys learning, singing, acting and teaching.

$1M Mobile Dental Clinic to Bring Care to JCPS Students

1MDental care is rolling out to students in Johnston County Public Schools via a million dollar mobile dental care unit through CommWell Health’s Kids in School Health Initiative and Partnership (KINSHIP).

The Community Mobile Dental Clinic Program KINSHIP was officially opened at Four Oaks Elementary on Oct. 25. The mobile clinic will provide JCPS students access to dental care at their school.

“KINSHIP was developed six years ago as a vision to bring mobile dental care to schools for children who would otherwise be challenged to go to the dentist,” said Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp.

Dental services will include primary oral health services, such as dental examinations, cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, dental hygiene instructions, restorations, extractions, and stainless steel crowns. Referrals will be made for advanced dental care at one of CommWell Health’s dental practice locations or another dental specialist as determined appropriate by the treating dentist.

The mobile dentist office is currently slated to visit students at Four Oaks Elementary, Four Oaks Middle, Meadow School, Polenta Elementary, Selma Elementary, Smithfield-Selma High, South Johnston High, and West Smithfield Elementary. CommWell Health representatives said care could eventually be provided at all schools, but they want to be sure to address those with the largest need first.

“It’s a dentist office on wheels. Most anything they can do at a brick and mortar dentist, they can do right here,” said Johnston County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Renfrow. “We’re glad we’re part of this collaborative effort.”

CommWell Health purchased the million dollar mobile clinic with the assistance of a $500,000 grant, according to Tripp.

“This will benefit Johnston County students because students may not always have an opportunity to receive dental care,” said Tripp. “Children can’t learn if they’re hurting. We’re so happy that we’ll be accessible to the children and hopefully help them get more A’s in school,” said Tripp.

Tripp added that CommWell Health plans to assess the demand for services in Johnston County Public Schools, and they will provide a report card to the Board of Education on the data and the number of students who are impacted by the mobile care unit.

“A lot of the times people put off going to the dentist because they’re so busy and preoccupied. This will minimize distraction, so it doesn’t impede student learning, and we’re partnering with families as well,” said Renfrow. “Any time we can help our parents put our students in a position to be successful, it’s our responsibility to do it. We made that happen today.”


VIDEO: $1M mobile dental clinic to bring care to JCPS students

Four Oaks Elementary third grader Amelia Vann (right) has her teeth checked by Jawanna Murphy (left) during a tour of the CommWell Health dental mobile unit.

Four Oaks Elementary students (from left) Katie Stanley, Victoria Doremus, Beth Stanley, and Carla Florido sit in the waiting area of the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit. Sitting with the students is CommWell Health representative Cheryl Stanley (right).

The CommWell Health dental mobile unit visits Four Oaks Elementary on Oct. 25.

Sarah Florido (right) poses with her mother Paloma Florido (left) for a dental exam during a tour of the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit.

Standing together at the opening of the CommWell Health dental mobile unit (from left) are Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten, Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp, Four Oaks Elementary Principal Kathy Parrish, and JCPS Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow.

Joining hands to cut the ribbon for the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit (from left) are Four Oaks Elementary Principal Kathy Parrish, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow, and Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp. Standing with them to the far left is Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten.

A crowd of Four Oaks Elementary students and staff, along with several JCPS administrators and CommWell Health representatives, gather for the ribbon cutting of the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit.

CommWell Health Celebrates 30th Anniversary of its Positive Life Program

3anniversaryThrough tears and smiles Debra Stephens shares her journey of drug addiction and living with HIV. She was one of many patients and colleagues who celebrated the 30th anniversary of CommWell Health Positive Life Program.

Established in 1987, the Positive Life Program provides patient-centered HIV Care to patients like Ms. Stevens. Under the leadership of Dr. Makondo Shimukowa, Positive Life Medical Director, the Positive Life Program cares for over 400 patients of all ages.

Stephens, a North Carolina native, contracted HIV in 1989 while living in New York. A few years later, the virus affected her spine, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. “They told me I’ll never walk again,” she said.

But she proudly expressed how God had another plan for her when she began her therapy. After her return to North Carolina, her struggles involved a battle with cocaine, harsh living conditions and overcoming a coma, while living in Raleigh. She later discovered CommWell Health’s Positive Life program decided to get clean on April 23, 2010.

“The program has grown rapidly over the last 30 years, and we love caring for Ms. Stephens and all of our patients. We have a compassionate team that our patients call their family.”

Ms. Stephens lives in Fayetteville, but she comes to “the country” to receive her care. She recommends the Positive Life Program for anyone who is going through the challenges of living with HIV or drug addiction. She says the people in the Positive Life Program value her as a person and don’t see her as another number.

The Positive Life Program now serves 451 patients and has been recognized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services best practices HIV medical and dental care integrations. More recently, the program received the National Rural Health Association’s 2017 Outstanding Rural Health Program.

“We are proud of our Positive Life program colleagues in their work to provide the best care to persons living with HIV,” says Pam Tripp, CEO of CommWell Health. “These people could work anywhere else in the world, but they chose to be here.”

CommWell Health Colleagues Wobble for Wellness

birdCommWell Health joined Community Health Centers across North Carolina to participate in a movement, literally, by doing the wobble!  The CommWell Health team believes being healthy is a choice, and the more opportunities colleagues have to become healthier, the more likely they will adopt a healthier lifestyle.

In keeping with CommWell Health’s core competency of “Holistic Community Health”, on Friday, October 20th, CommWell Health highlighted its colleague wellness initiative at its campus in Newton Grove Spivey’s Corner with the “Wobble” line dance.  Colleagues and members of the Leadership Team wobbled in conjunction with the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS).  The show plays the Wobble at the top of the 8 a.m. hour every Friday.

Activities like the Wobble have many positive results:

  • studies have shown direct health benefits of doing line dances like the “Wobble”, and;
  • the sense of well-being and camaraderie participants have with one another also positively impacts health

The Tom Joyner Morning Show is nationally syndicated in 132 markets across the country.  Mr. Joyner gave CommWell Health a “shout-out” during the Friday morning broadcast!

(Click Here to see CommWell Health colleagues in action on YouTube!)

If you have questions about how CommWell Health has enhanced their culture of wellness by introducing the Wobble, please contact Sarah Parker, Chief Talent Officer at CommWell Health at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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