Our Staff

Robert W. Seligson, Chief Executive Officer

In his role as CEO, Bob directs a variety of advocacy efforts designed to serve the physician community in North Carolina in the areas of managed care, professional liability and promoting the expansion of existing and development of new programs to provide access to care for the state’s uninsured population.He is on the boards of Boy Scouts of America, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Executive Committee, North Carolina Institute of Medicine, Assistant Treasurer of the Centennial Authority, serves as Chairman of the North Carolina State Film Council, President of Physicians Advocacy Institute and Treasurer of the Physicians’ Foundation for Health Systems Excellence. He is past president of the American Association of Medical Society Executives. A graduate of the University of Georgia, with a BSA in Economics, Bob earned an MBA from the University of North Florida and a Master of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies at North Carolina State University with a concentration in film in May 2003.

Melanie Phelps, Deputy General Counsel, NCMS & Associate Executive Director

Ms. Phelps accepted the role as Associate Executive Director of the NCMS Foundation in December 2011. She also serves as Deputy General Counsel for the North Carolina Medical Society. In her work, she has focused on a wide variety of health policy issues and represented the interests of the physician community in public and private forums. Melanie is a Past President of the NC Society of Health Care Attorneys. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association and serves on the NC Bar Association’s Medico-Legal Liaison Committee. Prior to joining the Medical Society in 2000, she worked in the Government Affairs Department of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Franklin Walker, Director of Programs & Practice Management

Mr. Walker is the former CEO of a medical/surgical practice and a adjunct faculty member at the UNC School of Public Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. He holds an undergraduate degree from UNC - Chapel Hill and an MBA from Xavier University. Franklin manages the PractEssentials program, which provides medical practice management services to North Carolina community based and specialty medical practices. He provides financial management consultative services to the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) Regional Extension Centers (REC) medical practices as these practices purchase and implement Electronic Health Records (EHRs) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Pam Highsmith, Director of Development

Ms. Highsmith is a native of Burgaw, NC and a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and holds a Masters Degree in Education from The Citadel. She served in the NCMS Foundation from 1996 to 2008. During this time, she worked with physicians to carry out their vision for leadership development by designing and implementing the NCMS Leadership College. She was also instrumental in securing permanent funding for the Foundation's Community Practitioner Program with a $10 million grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. Ms. Highsmith returned in January 2012 to become Director of Development, and her responsibilities include fund raising for the Foundation, management of the NCMS Leadership College and NCMS projects. From 2008 to 2011, she served as President and CEO of the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education and as Administrator with United Hospice, a division of the UHS Pruitt Corporation.

Terri Gonzalez, Director of Practice Improvement

In her role as the Practice Technical Assistance Coordinator, Terri provides assistance to the CPP practices with EHR selection, training, interface coordination and upgrades needed to meet Meaningful Use and Patient Centered Medical Home criteria. Terri is also coordinator of the EHR Loan Fund program offered to primary care providers in tier 1 counties throughout North Carolina. The EHR Loan Fund provides much needed financing for new EHR systems, upgrades to current systems and training to meet Meaningful Use measures. Terri has worked in several clinical settings as a nurse and has also worked training over 500 providers and 1500 staff members throughout North Carolina on a BCBSNC sponsored prescribing system. She has worked with the AMA, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Michigan and Massachusetts as well as United Healthcare on electronic prescribing projects in several states. She managed product integration with MD Anderson, Intermountain Health and US Oncology prior to coming to the Foundation.