Dr. Claire Moree Joins Highland Medical Center

There’s a new doctor in the house – I mean the station – I mean the Highland Medical Center. Dr. Claire Moree will be adding her wisdom to Allegheny Mountain Radio’s Prescription for Your Health feature, and we took some time after recording her first segment to get to know Highland’s newest resident health provider.

“I’m Claire Moree – I’m the family practice doc here in Monterey, and I am from the Bahamas, which is, yes, a long way away. It’s about 180 miles off the coast of Florida, and, yes it is paradise.”

So how does one get from the paradise of the Bahamas to the paradise of Highland County?

“Well, you can thank Debbie Perdue, our CEO here at the Medical Center. I was looking for a rural medicine opportunity when I was finishing residency, and I found Highland Medical center, essentially online. I sent out several applications and e-mails of interest, and Debbie was the most persistent. She said “Just come on out, come and see us”, and she had the stroke of fortune of putting me at Jim and Lorraine White’s house, which is, if you haven’t been there, one of the most incredibly beautiful places on Earth up at Laurel Point.

“Residency is training time for doctors who have obtained your medical degree, or MD, from a medical school, and then you choose a specialty. Mine is family practice, which means I get to see everyone from newborn babies, right up to the elderly and dying. My residency training was three years long, that was in Oklahoma City, and I finished that in July of last year – and so, I have essentially been practicing for, now four months, since I started in January here in Highland.”

And how do those two paradises compare?

“That’s a good question. I certainly think there are many different types of paradise, and this is one of them. And so, coming from an island, I’ve essentially now moved to another island, in that we’re kind of isolated up here in the mountains, but I absolutely love it.”

Dr. Moree talked about her off-duty pursuits, and even issued a challenge.

“I’m pretty easy going – I like just about anything that’s going to be outside. I’m not much of a hunter, I will confess, but I do certainly love fishing – I consider myself to be a fishing aficionado, and yes, that is a personal challenge, if anyone thinks they can beat me. I will also say that I love reading, it’s probably one of my favorite things to do when I’m not at work, and just kind of exploring new places, which I’ve had a lot of opportunity to do here in Highland – getting out and about – meeting people is always great.”

She also challenges residents to be pro-active in their health care needs.

“Well, we certainly do encourage patients who have risk factors to meet with your primary care provider, and talk about “how can we control these risk factors?” So, if you’re an uncontrolled diabetic, and your diabetes number, or your A1C, is over seven, you’re at risk for stroke. If  your blood pressure is not controlled at home, and you’re consistently above 140’s on your top number, that’s times to see your primary care physician.

People think “Oh, I’ve got diabetes, I’ve got high blood pressure, these are numbers that only matter to physicians, and I feel amazing” – well, those two are the biggest silent killers in the U.S., in that you will feel amazing until you don’t. And when you stop feeling amazing, with blood pressure and diabetes, it’s usually a loss of significant amount of your daily living, in that you have a stroke or you have a heart attack or you lose your sight, or you suddenly have neuropathy. So we’re too late, if we’re reaching you at those times, and so I always encourage patients to be pro-active about getting those things under control.

“I think my parting words of wisdom is just, make sure you’re taking care of your body – you only get one.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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