PINEHURST — Fellowship-trained interventional pulmonologist Adam Belanger, M.D., joined FirstHealth Specialty Services and Pinehurst Medical Clinic on May 1. Dr. Belanger joins Michael Pritchett, D.O., MPH, at the Pinehurst practice.
Originally from Vermont, Dr. Belanger earned his undergraduate degree from Boston University and attended medical school at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He completed an internal medicine residency at Washington University in St. Louis. Recently at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Belanger completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine as well as additional training in interventional pulmonology.
Dr. Belanger said he has been warmly welcomed by patients and staff during his first month of practicing in the Sandhills.
“The area offers a lot of opportunity for improved lung health,” he said. “This has been a great experience so far.”
While he treats all lung diseases, Dr. Belanger subspecializes in interventional pulmonology or the treatment of lung disease with procedures. He shares Dr. Pritchett’s interest in research and bringing new procedures and advanced treatments that were once unavailable to patients.
“Dr. Pritchett has such a well-regarded program that we have the opportunity to bring trials here that don’t exist in a lot of other places in the country, much less in the state,” he added.
Dr. Belanger is currently starting a program to offer bronchoscopic treatment to improve lung function for patients with severe emphysema, a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. The procedure uses a bronchoscope to place tiny valves in the patient’s airways. The valves allow the healthier parts of the lungs to expand, thereby lifting pressure off the diaphragm and helping patients breathe easier. This new treatment is an alternative to surgery that requires incisions.
“It’s an exciting time to be in interventional pulmonology,” he said. “A lot of our work has traditionally focused on lung cancer, but interventional pulmonology has really expanded itself.”
Dr. Belanger is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine, pulmonary and critical care medicine and also holds certification by the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Belanger join the interventional pulmonology program at FirstHealth and Pinehurst Medical Clinic,” said Dr. Pritchett, who also serves as director of the Chest Center of the Carolinas at FirstHealth. “His advanced training with new procedures and the latest technology helps ensure our program remains at the forefront of medical innovation.”
Dr. Belanger and Dr. Pritchett recently worked together to publish international guidelines for bronchoscopy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While hospital protocols changed rapidly with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, our core priorities remain at the forefront,” said Dr. Pritchett. “The worldwide protocols Dr. Belanger and I worked on to develop ensure patients continue to receive necessary care while outlining measures to protect health care workers, specifically during bronchoscopy and airway management, amid a global health emergency.”
Dr. Belanger and his wife have a son who is 10 years old. When he’s not caring for patients, Dr. Belanger enjoys cooking and gardening and recently started studying the martial art of kung fu.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Belanger, call 910-295-9359.