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Rural Health Group, Halifax Regional Medical Center, and Drugco Discount Pharmacy are working together to improve healthcare for Roanoke Valley residents.  

Rural Health Group recently purchased Halifax Medical Specialists in Roanoke Rapids with plans for DrugCo to open a pharmacy in the building for patient convenience.

“Primary care has always been our main focus — helping patients manage their diabetes, and treating other chronic illnesses,” said Rural Health CEO Yvonne Long-Gee. “By collaborating with the local hospital to maintain these services and partnering with Drugco Pharmacy to provide primary care and pharmacy service under the same roof, it’s a win-win for the patient.” Specialty services — cardiology and pulmonology — previously offered at Halifax Medical Specialists will now be offered by Halifax Regional Medical Center with doctors Somasekhara Balla and Narayanachar C. Sekaran.  

Rural Health Group providers at the newly named Rural Health Group at Halifax Medical Specialists include doctors Gerardo Maradiaga, Mario Fiorilli, Meena Sekaran, Issac Miller, Jonathan Jack, and Wayne Tamberelli, PA-C.  

Rural Health Group also partnered with DrugCo to open a clinic in the new DrugCo Express at the corner of Tenth Street and Park Avenue in Roanoke Rapids.  

A clinic open house was held today where the two organizations cut the ceremonial ribbon.  


“One of the main reasons for the collaboration is to help customers achieve their health goals through convenience,” said Drew Huggins, DrugCo COO. “We are going to be there as the pharmacy to encourage patients to be adherent with their medicines and if they have medication side effects, we’re in the same building so it’s easier to communicate with the provider.”

Rural Health Group has also expanded services in the Weldon community.  

RHG has had a longstanding collaboration with Halifax Community College.  

The latest venture was to open a primary care clinic on the campus to serve people who live in that area, the college’s students and staff,and the college’s daycare.  

“This is a full scope practice. We’re seeing patients from birth to geriatric and offering behavioral health, case management, and pharmacy services at the HCC location,” Long-Gee said.  

Audrey Hardy, regional community health coordinator for Halifax Regional, who also serves as coordinator for the Roanoke Valley Community Health Initiative, said having improved access to healthcare has been one of the main goals of her committee since its inception. “The steering committee for the Healthy People Healthy Places Initiative in Weldon has been working to improve access to healthcare in Weldon, access to healthy food opportunities and to improve the physical spaces by making Weldon a more walkable community with improved sidewalks and trails and spaces for increased activity.”

HCC President Michael Elam agrees. “We’re delighted to have Rural Health Group on our campus. This is great for not only our students and staff, but also the community as a whole.  Transportation is a major issue for many residents and locating this service on our campus makes primary medical care more accessible.”

With the addition of these clinics, Rural Health Group now operates a total of 18 medical clinics, three dental and three onsite pharmacies with relationships with community pharmacies in every community it serves.   

Rural Health employs more than 350 staff with medical, dental, pharmacy, and behavioral health providers caring for more than 38,000 patients in six Northeastern North Carolina counties.