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Meet the NCMSA Leadership Team 

Meeti Nigam, President

I an Elected Membership Council member of AMA Alliance and Membership Committee board member for 2019-20.  We recently moved to North Carolina. My husband is a physician with Atrium Health Pineville  Charlotte.  We have 3 sons. Our oldest son is a Plastic Surgery resident (Georgetown), Middle son Aradhya Nigam is General surgery resident (Georgetown) and youngest is undergraduate at UVA. Our Daughter in law is JD -MPH Harvard law school and practicing Law in DC medicines. We have a granddaughter Shreya, 2 yrs old.

I am determined to continue along this path to foster stronger bonds between our community, its physicians and their families.  My work is well recognized in local Community as member of the Cancer Task Force of southern Virginia, Secretary of Haven Board for domestic violence victims shelter, and work with local Sheriff, Mayor, Common wealth attorney and city treasurer as our Board members.  Being DPAMA Committee chair I worked with local hospital to get help for Physicians supporting events including upcoming Doctors day, and encourage other Physicians spouses like me to join our Alliance.

Gina Becherer, Immediate Past President 

Originally from  Boston, Massachusetts,  I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy from Northeastern University.  Following graduation, I completed a post-graduate Pharmacy Residency at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.   After working in Illinois and Iowa, I moved to North Carolina  in search of warmer winters. While working at North 

Carolina Memorial Hospital (now UNC Healthcare) I completed a Master’s degree in Public Health Policy Administration from the UNC- Chapel Hill. After 15 years as a practicing pharmacist and the completion of my graduate school training, my  career turned  toward pursuits in healthcare administration. I have been involved with the Alliance for a short time but look forward to the work of advocating for North Carolina communities. 

Barbara Lupton,  Secretary |Treasurer 

Originally from Charlotte, Barbara Lupton lives in Greensboro with her husband, Fred. She worked as the Practice Administrator in her husband’s dermatology practice for 17 years. They have 2 grown daughters, one who lives in North Carolina, the other in New York City.  She has served as a volunteer through her church, Junior League, Girl Scouts as a troop leader for both daughters and as an active volunteer in her children’s schools. Barbara has served in her local alliance, Greater Greensboro Medical Society Alliance for many years in a variety of leadership roles, including serving VP of Membership, Treasurer, President Elect, Local Alliance president and editor of the newsletter for several years.  She is in her fourth year on the NCMSA Board serving as Membership VP for 2 years and currently serving her second term as Treasurer.  She enjoys travel, tennis, hiking, reading, bridge and Mah Jongg. 

Kirby Sheridan, VP of Program Development

Kirby Sheridan, of Concord, North Carolina, is a past president of the North Carolina Medical Society Alliance as well as the Cabarrus County Medical Society Alliance. She has served on the NCMSA board in several capacities over the years in efforts to improve the health of North Carolinians. Kirby earned degrees in English and in Radio/Television/Motion Pictures from UNC-Chapel Hill and enjoys working on communications efforts for the Alliance, particularly the NCMSA Tarheel Tandem and the AMAA LINK online newsletter. Kirby and her husband, Dave, an interventional radiologist, have four children, the youngest of which is a senior in high school.

Sandra Pagano, VP of Membership Development

Susan Hammer

Susan was raised on a farm in Fayetteville, NC. Raleigh was her first move and is her current home. She attended Hardbarger Business School and then worked in the Rex Hospital Radiology Department as a medical secretary for nine years. The last four of those years, she attended NC State University for a B.A. in Business Management. Over the years, she worked for personal family business entities, served on nonprofit boards and as a church officer, and volunteered in the community. At the current time, she delivers Meals on Wheels and serves as recording secretary for her county Medical Alliance, serves on the boards of NCMSA and her church women's group, and is a Stephen Minister. She loves to read, garden and travel. She has been a member of the Wake County, North Carolina and American Medical Association Alliance since 1983 and has served on her county and state alliance boards for several terms over the years. While serving on the State Alliance board, she always enjoys meeting and visiting with members across the state and learning of the activities in their local alliances. Also, over the years she attended several AMAA annual meetings in Chicago where she benefited from meeting Alliance leaders from across the United States - learning about the programs they support in their states.

 Cathy Ingram

Cathy has lived in Greensboro for 37 years with her husband Haywood who recently retired from a general surgery     practice. They have three grown children, two granddaughters and a grandson. Cathy has been a member of the       Greater Greensboro Society of Medicine Alliance for all of those 37 years, serving as co-president one year and     maintaining the database of members for 25+ years. In addition to her involvement with the local Alliance, she has   volunteered for several non-profit agencies through her church, volunteered at the schools her children attended, and   served as a Girl Scout leader for both daughters. She works part-time at a law firm providing IT support. This is her   second year on the NCMSA board and she is charged with updating the website. Cathy enjoys pickleball, biking, hiking and reading.

Tia Opyd

Tia Opyd is Co-President of the Greater Greensboro chapter of Alliance. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Winston Salem State University and is currently practicing in the operating room at Moses Cone Hospital.  She was a first career cosmetologist for 10 years, and a former family manager (homemaker), who after 3 children had the crazy notion to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. She is the doting wife to a Greensboro area family medicine physician currently practicing as a hospitalist in the Cone Health system. Her passion lies in integrating beauty and wellness, but she also enjoys traveling, tennis, and listening to audio books. Since 2017, the Alliance has helped her to foster lifelong friendships and mold her leadership abilities, all while allowing her to be an advocate and active member in the community.


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