Carolina Arthritis Physicians
John L. Harshbarger, MD
Dr. John Harshbarger was raised in Lewistown, PA and received his undergraduate degree in biology from Bucknell University.
He is an honors graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. and was a member of the honors fraternity Alpha Omega Alpha. His internship and residency in Internal Medicine was completed at Lankenau Hospital also in Philadelphia. His fellowship in Rheumatology was completed at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill, NC. He is board certified in Rheumatology and a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology.
Dr. Harshbarger is proud to have cared for patients with rheumatic diseases in southeastern NC for the past three decades, having lived in Wilmington since 1985. He along with Dr. Gregory Schimizzi founded Carolina Arthritis Associates in 1991. Dr. Harshbarger likes the fact that the practice of Rheumatology has allowed him to develop long term relationships with his patients. He has a special interest in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. He has also been at the forefront of adopting new therapies for arthritis patients as a principal investigator in over 25 clinical trials over the years. He is a past board member of the North Carolina Rheumatology Association. He and his wife are the proud parents of two adult children. The excellent climate of southeastern North Carolina has allowed him to pursue his love of golf.
Gregory F. Schimizzi, MD
Dr. Gregory Schimizzi was born and raised in metropolitan Detroit Michigan.
He received his undergraduate and medical school education at Wayne Sate University. Dr. Schimizzi was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a minor in mathematics and ultimately a Doctor of Medicine degree.
Dr. Schimizzi completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the Detroit Medical Center Affiliated Hospitals including Detroit General, Hutzel, Harper, Grace and Detroit Veterans Hospitals. Immediately following his internal medicine training, Dr. Schimizzi began rheumatology fellowship training at the University of California, Irvine which included patient care at the Orange County Medical Center, Long Beach Veterans Hospital as well as participation in bench research in the early years of disease associated HLA typing.
After completing his fellowship training, Dr. Schimizzi joined the Associated Physicians Medical Group in suburban metropolitan Detroit as a clinical rheumatologist and Clinical Instructor in Rheumatology at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan for six years before moving to Wilmington, North Carolina.
Dr. Schimizzi has been dedicated to caring for adult rheumatology patients and cofounded Carolina Arthritis Associates in 1991. He has been an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Coastal AHEC. He has been involved in advocating for access to care for rheumatology patients in North Carolina and across the entire country. He is responsible for restarting an inactive North Carolina Rheumatology Society (NCRA), which is now the third largest society in the United States, presiding as president of the NCRA for three years.
Dr. Schimizzi also cofounded the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO) in 2003, which is now comprised of 30 state and regional rheumatology professional societies whose mission is to advocate for excellence in Rheumatology Care and ensuring access to the highest quality care for the management of rheumatologic diseases. He and the other CSRO directors formed the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers to assist rheumatology practice executives in day-to-day problems specific to the specialty.
As past president and a long time Director of the CSRO, Dr. Schimizzi has had the opportunity to speak or testify before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Health and Human Services (HHS) / Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Congressional Committees and Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MEDPAC). Dr. Schimizzi, together with other CSRO Directors, was influential in informing Congressional Committee Staff of the importance of Rheumatology patient access to care during the writing of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. He continues to maintain an active role in the CSRO national activities by participating in meetings with United States Administrative and Congressional groups as well as speaking at numerous Rheumatology State Society meetings across the country.
Dr. Schimizzi is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. His hobbies include hunting, wine collecting, cooking, playing piano, and cycling.
David W. Puett, MD
Dr. David Puett was raised in Tennessee and is a graduate from Dartmouth and received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University.
My wife and I chose to settle in Wilmington back in 1993. It seemed the perfect mix of a small town that also offered big-city or advanced medical care. I am proud of the fact that I have spent my entire professional career with CAA, and I believe that this fact speaks to the excellent care provided here.
I grew up in Tennessee, but I have lived in many places on the long path to becoming a rheumatologist.
I went to college in New Hampshire (Dartmouth, Phi Beta Kappa – 1984) and medical school in Nashville (Vanderbilt, Alpha Omega Alpha – 1988) and traveled to Seattle (University of Washington, 1988-1991) for an internship and residency in internal medicine. I finished with a fellowship in rheumatology back at Vanderbilt (1991-1993), under the guidance of Dr. Pincus, whom many credit with shedding light on the true toll of autoimmune disease on patients and society, and Dr. Sergent, president of the American College of Rheumatology at the time.
Healthcare is woven into the fabric of my family. My wife is a medical transciptionist, and we are excited that our careers have encouraged the next generation. As I write this, one son is training to be a physician assistant in Charlotte and the other is in a combined MD-PhD program in biomedical engineering at UNC.
Although most of my time is spent providing direct patient care, I have an interest in the links between hormonal problems, autoimmune illness, and cancer. I have co-authored several recent papers with a local endocrinologist on autoimmune thyroiditis and thyroid cancer.
We are now collecting data looking at the relationship between thyroid problems and systemic autoimmune disease. My experience has taught me that autoimmunity is not only complicated but must also be viewed in the context of the entire medical picture.
Mark D. Harris, MD
Dr. Harris was raised in Ilion, New York and is a graduate of Siena College.
He attended the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts and completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Rheumatology while serving as a Major in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps in California and San Antonio, Texas.
Dr. Harris joined Carolina Arthritis in 2004 and is actively involved in multiple clinical research studies as part of the Carolina Arthritis Associates Clinical Research Division, involving all forms of rheumatic diseases with emphasis on Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. As a function of his work in clinical research, Dr. Harris has co-authored several publications covering various areas of Rheumatology. Dr. Harris clinical practice covers all areas of Rheumatology with a special interest in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Gout and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
Dr. Harris was the past president of the North Carolina Rheumatology Association and has served on advisory boards for the Arthritis Foundation and Lupus Foundation of America. Dr. Harris is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys spending his leisure time with his wife and their two daughters.
Gregory Borstad, MD
Dr. Borstad was raised in Staples, MN and is a distinguished graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He attended medical school at the University of North Dakota then completed his internal medicine internship, residency, and rheumatology fellowship at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.
He served as a Major in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps at Travis Air Force Base in California, and was the sole Air Force Rheumatologist in the Pacific region during his service.
Prior to joining Carolina Arthritis, Dr. Borstad practiced at a large multispecialty group in Bend, Oregon (Bend Memorial Clinic) where he was director of rheumatogy and rheumatology infusion services. He managed one of the largest arthritis and arthritis infusion practices in the Pacific Northwest.
Dr. Borstad has served in various leadership roles, including service on the North Dakota Medical Association Committee on Socio-Economic Affairs while in medical school, and the Board of Directors at Bend Memorial Clinic. He has active interest in clinical research and was the lead author of a landmark study related to the management of gout.
Dr. Borstad enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, fishing, duck hunting, and being a sports dad.
Wendy Wright Simmons, PA
Wendy Wright Simmons, Physician Assistant was raised in Oakville, Ontario and is a graduate of UNC-Wilmington with a BSc in Chemistry.
She attended Wake Forest University Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and graduated from the Physician Assistant program. She is board certified with the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
Wendy completed two years in Internal Medicine and six years in Allergy and Immunology prior to joining Carolina Arthritis in 1997 at which time she was actively involved in developing the Carolina Arthritis Associates Clinical Research Division, participating as a study coordinator, sub investigator, and continues involvement in clinical trials, currently certified as independent joint and psoriatic skin assessor. In addition, Wendy holds certification from the physician assistant post graduate rheumatology training program through The American College of Rheumatology. She has a special interest in Osteoporosis and completed training through the International Society of Clinical Densitometry. Wendy has a great passion for evaluating and helping her patients in all areas of rheumatology, practicing closely with the rheumatologists at Carolina Arthritis Associates.
Wendy was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants for exemplary achievement in service to the physician assistant profession, in the advancement of health care for all people and dedication to the community. Wendy enjoys sports with her two sons, enjoys gardening , cooking and playing USTA tennis.