2017 NC Doctor of the Year Finalists

Lydia Wright, M.D.

Lydia Wright, M.D.

A Medical Director who is a recognized champion for women’s healthcare

Dr. Lydia Wright serves as medical director at Wilmington Maternal-Fetal Medicine, which she began in 2007. She is also affiliated with New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Dr. Wright completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency and maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Why Dr. Wright was nominated:

  • For years Dr. Wright served women’s needs as the only MFM specialist in the Wilmington area.
  • She has been a regional champion for the NC Medicaid OB program and served as the Medical Director of Obstetrics at New Hanover Regional Medical Center overseeing safety and quality.
  • She has worked on multiple committees to help to decrease preterm birth rates and decrease elective induction of labor.
  • She has superior communication skills with patients and treats each patient like her family.
For at least the last twenty years, Dr. Wright has led efforts to improve patient care at our hospital and around the region from the physician side, often carrying the load by herself. Her work as Medicaid regional champion has been outstanding, and her efforts as quality and safety director at NHRMC have helped our hospital to be recognized nationally as a leader in women’s healthcare. We also have some of the best statistics in the state for obstetric outcomes, and she has been integral in helping to achieve this.”

– Nominator
Lydia Wright, M.D.

In Dr. Wright’s own words:

What does being a doctor mean to you?

I was a nurse before I went to medical school. I admired what doctors did and felt inspired to become one myself. This profession gives me the opportunity to provide comprehensive care and the best care that I can for every patient. It’s very much a team effort and I’ve enjoyed tremendously being a part of a great team. My vision is that doctors are also responsible for mentoring new learners, helping to develop the next generation to take care of women in the future. It’s about being a good family member and partner in the community. It’s a chosen life, one that I am proud of.”

Can you tell us about your community involvement or volunteer work?

I work in various ways to promote hospital safety, having been the Medical Director of OB and responsible for quality and safety at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Through my association with the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina (PQCNC) and Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), I work within teams to provide all patients with high quality OB care. Within CCNC we focus on helping Medicaid patients who are high risk in the Cape Fear region. I participate in programs that send doctors and nurses into smaller communities to advise physicians and help them get resources they need. We are working together to reduce deliveries under 39 weeks, decrease preterm births, and addressing other problems during pregnancy such as hypertension management and care of with patients with obstetrical hemorrhage. In addition, I mentor students. Not just medical students and residents, but college, high school, and community college students as well. I’ve had several of them go on to graduate from medical school, which is very exciting.”

How would you use the award money?

I have worked with an antepartum nurse who has written and now is trying to get a children’s book published. The book is designed to help children understand being separated from their mother when she is having a difficult pregnancy, and has to go to a hospital far away. I would like to support this project and help get the book published for use in all the hospitals in North Carolina, because it would benefit a lot of families.”


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