AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties
Christina Powers, DDS

Christina Powers, DDS (seated), with Dr. Sharon Harrell and a young patient.


Photo credit: Don McKenzie

Moore and Hoke Counties | Southern Regional AHEC

Christina Powers, DDS, pediatric dentist at FirstHealth Dental Care Centers, serving underserved populations

After two AHEC rotations as a dental student with Dr. Sharon Nicholson Harrell’s dentistry practice at FirstHealth Dental Care Centers, Christina Powers, DDS, recently joined the practice.

FirstHealth is a regional dental office with three sites established to provide comprehensive dental care for low-income children up to age 18 – Southern Pines in Moore County, Raeford in Hoke County (both Southern Regional AHEC counties), and Troy in Montgomery County, which is located in the Greensboro AHEC region.

“I am from a small community in northern Moore County,” Powers said. “My father is a dentist in Robbins, NC. I did not choose dentistry as a profession until college. When I started dental school, my plan was to practice general dentistry with my father.

“I became involved with AHEC as a dental student when I spent two summers at FirstHealth Dental Care Centers on community health rotations between my 2nd and 3rd and 3rd and 4th year. I really enjoyed my time at FirstHealth and decided to change my career path based on my experiences there. I have great respect for Dr. Sharon Harrell and her vision for FirstHealth dental centers. I chose pediatric dentistry because I enjoy working with children and parents. I also believe that my skills are most useful treating underserved children. I value my past experiences at FirstHealth and am very excited to work there presently.

“I am a pediatric dentist now because of my association with AHEC. I am working at FirstHealth now because I had such a positive experience during rotations there as a dental student. I would love to help other dental students in the future and continue to support AHEC.”