PINEHURST — FirstHealth of the Carolinas and Pinehurst Medical Clinic are welcoming two new hematologists and medical oncologists, Laura Hanson, M.D., and Saritha Ravella, M.D.
Hanson and Ravella join Pinehurst Medical Clinic’s oncology team and an expanding cancer care team at FirstHealth with additional oncologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurse navigators and clinical trials professionals.
Hanson earned her bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in philosophy from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. She went on to earn her medical degree from Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. She completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Virginia and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Hanson credits her father as her inspiration to pursue medicine. “I grew up in a relatively small town where my dad was a physician,” she recalled. “I remember feeling incredibly proud when patients would approach us to say hi when we were out as a family. I knew I wanted a career that allowed me to focus on helping people and giving back to the community.”
Hanson said it’s also important for her to have close interactions and build relationships with people. It is that sense of community that attracted her to Pinehurst.
Ravella has spent the last several years caring for cancer patients at Penn State Health Medical Group in Pennsylvania. Ravella, who is ABIM board-certified in medical oncology, hematology and internal medicine, completed a hematology/medical oncology fellowship at Lankenau Medical Center in 2014 and earned her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree from Gandhi Medical College in India.
“I am excited to move to North Carolina and join Pinehurst Medical Clinic’s team. We all have similar goals and I look forward to practicing hematology and oncology care in a community setting with patient-oriented care,” Ravella said. “My patient care philosophy is that I treat my patients as I would treat one of my family members. I believe that everyone should be empowered with the knowledge about their diagnosis and treatment options to make a well-informed decision. Every day, I feel humbled and privileged to help my patients heal.”
As part of FirstHealth’s growing Cancer Services team, Hanson, Ravella and the rest of the PMC team will soon care for patients under one roof in the FirstHealth Comprehensive Cancer Center. In addition to state-of-the-art treatment facilities, the four-story, 120,000-square-foot center will house palliative care services, research and clinical trials, navigation and support services for patients and caregivers, nutrition services and a dedicated wellness center.
Construction work began on the center in May 2021 and the center is expected to open to patients in early 2023.
To learn more about cancer services offered by FirstHealth of the Carolinas and Pinehurst Medical Clinic, call (888) 520-0694 or visit www.nccancercare.org.