Published on April 25, 2022

Gala to enhance local healthcare workforce

Foundation Gala 2022 Chairs Josh and Farrin Freeman Josh and Farrin Freeman 
Foundation Gala 2022 Chairs Emily and Channing Jones Emily and Channing Jones 

The UNC Health Southeastern Foundation will host their 29th annual gala fundraiser, this year themed, An Enchanted Evening Gala of Grateful Giving. This year’s event, which is presented by Robins & Morton, will benefit the Foundation’s Equip. Empower. Enrich. campaign to provide direct resources for UNC Health Southeastern employee advancement through continuing education, advanced training, and certifications.

Josh and Farrin Freeman of Lumberton, and Channing and Emily Jones of Pembroke, are co-chairing this year’s event.

For the Freemans, who both hold degrees as advanced practice providers, education equals quality.

“When staff feel that their organization is investing time and money into their education and furthering their skill set, it improves our patient care and our organization as a whole, and, in turn, allows us to provide better care to the community,” said Farrin Freeman, who currently works as an oncology nurse at Gibson Cancer Center but plans to transition to a family nurse practitioner with UNC Health Southeastern in the near future. She completed a master’s degree in nursing with family nurse practitioner training from UNC Wilmington in December 2021.

“Reinvesting in our staff is going to reinvest in our community,” added Josh Freeman, UNC Health Southeastern director of Surgical Services, who is currently completing a master’s degree in business administration. He holds a doctor of nursing practice and a master’s degree with family nurse practitioner training. “It will also make our health system stronger, helping us recruit and retain our employees.”

Both Farrin and Josh have utilized programs through the Foundation to fund certain levels of their educational pursuits, working for the healthcare system as repayment for those scholarship loans.

“I feel like this is different than any other gala as this cause could potentially impact every employee or every department,” said Farrin Freeman.

“Anyone that wants to pursue a certificate or an advanced degree or get that first degree, this is really going to help,” added Josh Freeman.

Channing and Emily Jones are life-long residents of Robeson County and are not only personally but also professionally invested in the success of the county, both working in county government—he serves as the executive director for economic development and she serves as the county’s public information officer in addition to running her own web design company, Webelated.

“The services that the hospital provides the citizens of Robson County and the surrounding countries is so important to providing quality healthcare to our community,” said Channing Jones. “You’re not just investing in an organization but in the welfare and wellbeing of our community and our loved ones as they visit the hospital. It’s important that we continue to support our providers in this area and this region as they could be caring for one of our loved ones one day.”

Emily Jones added, “It’s important that our community knows who our local hospital is and what services they provide. They also need to be aware of the connection to the community they serve. When I have been asked why someone should support the gala, I have responded that it shows support and a connection between the local hospital and the people it serves. Also, our nurses and providers need specialized training to stay on top of the technology and innovation that comes along with healthcare.”

Through collaboration and philanthropic funding, UNC Health Southeastern and the UNC Health Southeastern Foundation are working to ensure healthcare professionals in any position throughout the system attain their future goals by providing access to a variety of education and resources that will help cultivate an even stronger healthcare community.

“For not-for-profit health care organizations, delivering high quality, compassionate health care is more than a job--it’s the mission,” said UNC Health Southeastern Foundation Executive Director Sissy Grantham. “To execute the mission, a team effort is required. Knowing that each patient touched by UNC Health Southeastern team members goes on to touch the lives of their friends, family, and neighbors, allows us to truly feel the impact of care.”

The gala will be held Friday, May 6, from 7-11 p.m. at Southeastern Agricultural Center, 1027 Highway 74 East, Lumberton. Entertainment will be provided by The Java Band sponsored by Robeson County Board of Commissioners. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be provided by Two Brothers Catering and UNC Health Southeastern Food and Nutritional Services. The Lounge Tent is sponsored by Robeson County Board of Commissioners. Beverages are graciously provided by Healy Wholesale Company & Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated. An array of delicious desserts will be provided by SR Originals and Top That Dessert Bar.

Tickets are now available for purchase online at To learn more, call UNC Health Southeastern Foundation Office at (910) 671-5583 or email