Cover Story: Cornerstone Health Care Kernersville – It’s All About the People


by Patty Jo Sawvel  ~  

By the time Victoria Nnadi was six years old, she had already lived in two countries—Nigeria and France.  Though polar opposites in traditions, pace of life, and formality, she adored the people from both cultures.  Deciding that she wanted to help all people, this joyful child set a goal to become a doctor.

Five years later, her access to world culture exploded as her father—a Nigerian Ambassador—moved his family to the United States.  Victoria, one of seven children, was enrolled in a rigorous private boarding school for nine months out of the year, where she made friends with people of many backgrounds.  In the summers, she joined her family in Cuba where a local abuela (grandmother) embraced her family.

“I did not just learn the languages (English, French, and Spanish),” Victoria reminisced.  “I learned the people.  I came to love what they loved—their food, their families, their values— and to care about them as individuals.”

At the same time, Victoria’s worldview changed.  She came to see herself, not as a defender of a particular country, but as caretaker of humanity.  Victoria also gained flexibility and internal harmony as she saw the value of seeing life through the eyes of many cultural experiences.  It was with this open mind and open heart that Victoria entered medical school.

After earning her Doctorate of Medicine at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore and completing her residency in 1999, Dr. Victoria Nnadi finally realized her dream.  She was a doctor making a difference in the lives of her patients.  However, it was not until she joined Cornerstone Internal Medicine at Kernersville in 2013 that Dr. Nnadi felt like she had found her home.

“Cornerstone is all about wellness and prevention and that is my passion.  We place a high value on listening to the patient, capturing their complete history, and then putting them on the path to being as healthy as they can be,” Dr. Nnadi said.

According to Cheryl Oliver, Dr. Victoria Nnadi is also a motivator.  She was able to help Cheryl to do something that she had wanted to do for years—lose weight—and that resulted in an unexpected blessing.

“When I lost my first 30 pounds, I began noticing some pressure in my abdomen.  Even though Dr. Nnadi could not feel anything, she followed her instincts and insisted that I have an ultrasound that same day.  Two weeks later, when the surgeon removed my ovarian tumor he told me that I was fortunate to have a doctor that caught this so early,” Cheryl said.

Cheryl added, “Dr. Nnadi listened to me and she makes me a partner in my health.  That can save my life.”

Mabel Wing has enjoyed a long life—93 years so far—and she is not ready to call it quits.  However, like many aged patients, she sometimes feels that the older she gets, the less doctors can hear and see her.  Remarkably, this is not the case with Dr. Nnadi.

“Dr. Nnadi is my favorite doctor.  She listens to me and laughs with me.  She tells me what I need to know in the way that I need to know it.  She is also more knowledgeable than my past doctors and she was able to take me off medication that I did not need.  She is exactly what I want in my doctor,” Mabel said thankfully.

Right across the hall from Dr. Nnadi’s office is another Cornerstone Health Care practice led by Dr. Leslie Smith.  Dr. Smith brings this same hallmark quality—patient centered medicine—to Cornerstone Pediatric Associates of Kernersville.

“This office was the answer to my midlife crisis,” Dr. Leslie Smith said with a laugh.  “My former practice had grown so large that I was not able to give everyone the attention that I wanted to.  So here, I have made a deliberate attempt to provide old fashioned care where we have time to talk.”

Lindsey Kidd, a second generation patient, liked the way that Dr. Smith made her feel as a child and now she likes the way Dr. Smith makes her feel as a parent.

Lindsey shared, “When I was having a hard time in high school, I could talk to Dr. Smith about stuff that I did not want to tell my mom and she was wonderful.  Now, my own daughter is building a bond with Dr. Smith.”

True to Cornerstone’s values, Dr. Leslie Smith encourages parents to trust their instincts.  So when Olivia Tyndall, mother of four, felt that one child had a learning disability which the school was unable to confirm, Dr. Smith referred her to a specialist.

“I am so grateful that Dr. Smith respected the fact that I just might know something about my own child.  After seeing the specialist and getting needed support at school, my daughter gradually went from a struggling second grader to a straight A eighth grader,” Olivia said triumphantly.

Less than two miles up the road from these two Cornerstone practices on Old Winston Road is a third practice—Ford, Simpson, Lively & Rice Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine on Harmon Lane.

Speaking for the three doctors at this office, Dr. Gwyn Kooy said, “We all have experience in pediatrics, but we also all have children.  In addition to that, one of my five children had childhood cancer, so I know what it feels like to be a parent facing that challenge.”

Karen Wise calls this practice her “Little House on the Prairie” doctor’s office.  Her children have seen all three doctors and she feels that each of the doctors treats the whole child and not just the body.  This was put to the test when her 17-year-old daughter, Allison, was hit head on by a drunk driver and suffered traumatic brain injury.

“Dr. Kooy coached me constantly when my overachieving daughter wanted to get back to school before her brain healed.  She also coached my daughter.  In just 18 months, my daughter—who still suffers with headaches, mental fogginess, and processing problems—was able to say, ‘I have learned to find joy in my new normal, in spite of my challenges.’  That healthy viewpoint has allowed Allison to continue to blossom,” explained Karen.

Shannon Hamilton, who was cared for at Ford, Simpson, Lively & Rice Pediatrics as a child, brags about this practice and said, “I am a working mom and they are open seven days a week.  I have never called and been told that they could not see my children that same day.  And, when we go in, we always see a doctor, rather than support staff.”

While many Cornerstone practices offer extended hours, Cornerstone recently teamed up with FastMed Urgent Care for those occasions when a visit with your regular doctor is not possible and an emergency room visit is not warranted.  Cornerstone and FastMed coordinate care so your doctor is made aware of your urgent care visit.  FastMed is located at 1024 South Main Street in Kernersville.

Cornerstone Health Care Group not only contributes to the health of individuals in town, it also supports a healthy community by making itself a part of hometown traditions such as Spring Folly (sponsoring the Harmon Park Stage in 2014), Healthy Active Adult Days, Healthy Kids Day, and Kernersville Cares for Kids.


Cornerstone Internal Medicine at Kernersville

Dr. Victoria Nnadi

861 Old Winston Road Suite 101 / 336.904.0043

• Fluent in English, Spanish, French

• Emphasis on Prevention and Wellness

• Accepting Patients 16 and Older

• Online & Mobile Patient Portal


Cornerstone Pediatric Associates of Kernersville

Dr. Leslie Smith

861 Old Winston Road Suite 103 / 336.802.2300

• Old-Fashioned Personal Care

• Open 7 Days a Week

• Accepting Patients Birth to College

• Online & Mobile Patient Portal


Ford, Simpson, Lively & Rice Pediatrics

Dr. Carrie Erickson  Dr. Gwyn Kooy

Dr. Amy Yoder / Dr. Kathleen Coman, 

Clinical Psychologist

110-A Harmon Lane / 336.992.3414

• Prevention, Wellness, & Education

• Opened 7 Days a Week

• Accepting Patients Birth to College

• Online & Mobile Patient Portal

For more information about Cornerstone Health Care visit or call 336.802.2700.

Award-winning author/writer Patty Jo Sawvel lives in Kernersville and can be contacted at


One comment on “Cover Story: Cornerstone Health Care Kernersville – It’s All About the People

  1. Today I was very fortunate and BLESSED to have finally located THE WORLD’S GREATEST DOCTOR,Dr. V.Nnadi. I was devastated and heartbroken when Dr. V. Nnadi left her former location. I inquired numerous times re; her new location,searched the internet voraciously to no avail. I was told that she was no longer practicing medicine,she was out of the country and that her location was not known.Finally by word of mouth followed by an article in a Kernersville magazine, I was able to locate Dr. V.Nnadi. I was in need of a knowledgable physician ,one that I felt comfortable with and one that I trusted.I was given an appointment the very day I called. Dr. V. Nnadi takes the time to listen to her patients and genuinely cares about her patients.Much heartfelt gratitude to Dr.V.Nnadi. May God Bless all your footsteps. Also much thanks to Dr. V.Nnadi’s office staff.

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