Burgaw welcomes first Black female owned private practice

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — On Sunday, Tonia Whitley Gray achieved a dream she’s had as long as she’s remembered. She opened her own private practice, and became the first African American woman in the area to do so.

“It’s essential for people of all color,” says Kim Hall, a resident, “to see and witness an African American woman taking such a tremendous stance in such a small area and doing great things.”

Gray says she’s offering to help and educate the people she grew up around in a community that traditionally doesn’t prioritize personal health:

“All my life, I lived in a rural area. I lived in Wallace. Back when I was young, there was no such thing as going to the doctor. Unless you had—I used to have strep throat a lot. And we would go maybe sometimes.”

Gray says she worked in a crowded E.R. for years, helping patients who let small issues go untreated for too long.

“And now with COVID, that’s definitely not the place to go. If you have a condition that can be taken care of at a primary care, come to your primary care.”

And that’s why she finally opened this facility, to help her community get affordable treatment without visiting crowded E.R. units during a pandemic.

“If you keep yourself healthy the whole time you get maintenance, when something big happens your body can fight. But if you’re sick to begin with, you don’t have a chance.”

The homegrown nurse says Destiny Total Healthcare opens November 2, and she plans to help both insured and uninsured patients stay healthy.

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