Carolina Arthritis Physicians

John L. Harshbarger, MD

Dr. John Harshbarger was raised in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, and received his undergraduate degree in biology from Bucknell University.

He is an honors graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and was a member of the honors fraternity Alpha Omega Alpha. His internship and residency in internal medicine was completed at Lankenau Hospital, which is also in Philadelphia. His fellowship in rheumatology was completed at the University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill. He is a board-certified rheumatologist and a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology.

Dr. Harshbarger has been caring for patients with rheumatic diseases in southeastern North Carolina since 1985 along with Dr. Gregory Schimizzi and founded Carolina Arthritis Associates in 1991. 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 more than 25 clinical trials over the years. He has served as a board member of the North Carolina Rheumatology Association. Dr. Harshbarger likes that rheumatology allows him to develop long-term relationships with his patients. He and his wife are parents of two adult children, and the excellent climate in the Wilmington area makes it easier for him to pursue his love of golf when he isn’t in the office.

David W. Puett, MD

Dr. David Puett was raised in Tennessee and graduated from Dartmouth College before earning his medical degree from Vanderbilt University.

After completing an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, he finished a fellowship in rheumatology back at Vanderbilt under the guidance of Dr. Pincus – whom many credit with shedding light on the true toll autoimmune diseases take on  patients and on society as a whole – and Dr. Sergent, the president of the American College of Rheumatology at the time.

Although most of his time is spend providing direct patient care, Dr. Puett is also interested in the links between hormonal problems, autoimmune illness, and cancer. He has co-authored several recent papers with a local endocrinologist on autoimmune thyroiditis and thyroid cancer and is in the process of collecting data to examine the relationship between thyroid problems and systemic autoimmune disease.

Dr. Puett has spend his professional career with Carolina Arthritis Associates. To him, Wilmington is the perfect mix of a small town with big city medicine.

Mark D. Harris, MD

Dr. Harris was raised in Ilion, New York, and graduated from Siena College. He attended the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as a 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 the practice in 2004 and remains actively involved in multiple clinical research studies as part of the Carolina Arthritis Associates Clinical Research Division. This facet of the practice involves all forms of rheumatic diseases, with emphasis on rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition to his work in clinical research, Dr. Harris has co-authored several publications covering various areas of rheumatology. Dr. Harris’s clinical practice covers all areas of rheumatology with a special interest in rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Dr. Harris has served as the president of the North Carolina Rheumatology Association, and 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 two daughters.

Gregory C. Borstad, MD

Dr. Borstad was raised in Staples, Minnesota and is a distinguished graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He attended medical school at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences via the Air Force Health Profession Scholarship Program. He completed his internal medicine internship, residency, and rheumatology fellowship at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He served as a Major at David Grant USAF MC (Travis Air Force Base, California) and was the sole practicing military rheumatologist in the region during his service.

He is board certified in rheumatology and a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. His clinical interests include all areas of rheumatology, with a particular interest in rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, spondyloarthropathy, and crystalline arthritis.

Prior to joining Carolina Arthritis, Dr. Borstad practiced at a large multi-specialty clinic in central Oregon (Bend Memorial Clinic) where he was director of rheumatology infusion services and also served on the Board of Directors. He was served in various leadership roles throughout his career. He has active interests in clinical research and was the lead author of a landmark study related to the management of gouty arthritis.

Dr. Borstad moved to Wilmington to join Carolina Arthritis in 2014. He was drawn to Carolina Arthritis by the opportunity to practice rheumatology in a groundbreaking, yet patient-centered environment. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, fishing, boating, and being a sports dad.

Daniel L. DeLo, MD

Dr. Daniel DeLo was raised in Morgantown, West Virginia. He obtained an undergraduate degree with honors from West Virginia University. He then obtained a medical degree from West Virginia University School of Medicine.

Dr. DeLo continued training with an internship at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital, affiliated with the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. He finished an Internal Medicine residency at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. He then completed a rheumatology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), in Pittsburg, PA. He practiced rheumatology at UPMC for eight years as a clinical professor of medicine. While there, he served as an outpatient clinical site director as well as a medical director for UPMC East Hospital.

Dr. DeLo is comfortable treating a wide variety of rheumatologic ailments, but has particular interest in significant autoimmune disorders such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, connective tissue diseases (such as lupus), vasculitis, and various other inflammatory conditions. He strives to obtain proper diagnosis, provide excellent service, and formulate sensible treatment options for patients. He also enjoys building long-term relationships which can often occur in the field of rheumatology.

Dr. DeLo moved to the Wilmington area in 2017 with his wife (an Ob/Gyn physician), and his two sons. He enjoys playing the drums, basketball, exercise, and watching his young children grow.

Wendy Wright Simmons, PA

Wendy Wright Simmons, Carolina Arthritis Associates’ physician assistant was raised in Oakville, Ontario, and graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a BS in Chemistry.

She attended Wake Forest 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.

Simmons completed two years in internal medicine and six years in allergy and immunology studies prior to joining the practice in 1997, at which time she was actively involved in developing the Carolina Arthritis Associates Clinical Research Division. Participating as a study coordinator and sub investigator, she continues her involvement in clinical trials and is certified as an independent joint and psoriatic skin assessor as well as through the physician assistant postgraduate rheumatology training program at the American College of Rheumatology.

She has a special interest in osteoporosis and completed training through the International Society of Clinical Densitometry. Simmons has a great passion for evaluating and helping her patients in all areas of rheumatology, and works closely with the rheumatologists at Carolina Arthritis Associates for optimal patient care.

Wendy was named a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants for exemplary achievement in service to her profession, in the advancement of health care for all people, and dedication to the community. Wendy enjoys playing sports with her two sons,  gardening , cooking, and playing USTA tennis.

Gregory F. Schimizzi, MD

Dr. Gregory Schimizzi has been dedicated to caring for adult rheumatology patients throughout his career and cofounded Carolina Arthritis Associates in 1991. Dr. Schimizzi retired from patient care in 2018 but remains as the lab director at Carolina Arthritis.

Born and raised in Detroit, he received his BS in biology with a minor in mathematics, and completed his medical school education at Wayne State University. Schimizzi completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the Detroit Medical Center’s affiliated hospitals, including Detroit General, Hutzel, Harper, Grace, and Detroit Veterans. Immediately following internal medicine training, he began rheumatology fellowship training at the University of California in Irvine, which included patient care at the Orange County Medical Center and the Long Beach Veterans Hospital, as well as participation in bench research.

After completing fellowship, Schimizzi joined Associated Physicians Medical Group in suburban metropolitan Detroit as a clinical rheumatologist, and then the clinical instructor in rheumatology at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan, for six years before moving to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1987. He was responsible for restarting the North Carolina Rheumatology Society (NCRA) – now the third largest society of its kind in the country.

Dr. Schimizzi also cofounded the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO) in 2003, and as its president and director he and other leaders in the field advocated the importance of rheumatology patient access to care during the writing of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. He continues an active role in the CSRO by participating in meetings with national administrative and congressional groups, as well as speaking at numerous engagements across the country. When he isn’t influencing the rheumatology field, his hobbies include hunting, wine collecting, cooking, playing piano, and cycling.