Beth Cooper

Beth Cooper, Executive Director

Beth brings over 30 years of management experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, Beth served as Executive Director of Family Promise Metrowest, a nonprofit in Natick, MA providing shelter and transitional housing to families who are homeless.

A hearty New Englander, Beth and her husband, Ramon, moved south to North Carolina in July of 2014 – and boy was it hot! They soon fell in love with the mild winter climate, the beauty of Eastern Carolina’s diverse wildlife and the active sailing community and welcoming people of New Bern. Beth is an active member of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary New Bern Flotilla 20-04 and the Coastal Women’s Forum.

Bridget O’Connell,
Clinic Manager

Bridget O’Connell, Clinic Manager

Bridget joins MERCI staff as Clinic Manager, January 2018.  Many of you are already familiar with Bridget’s professionalism, can do spirit and true dedication to MERCI through her many months as a MERCI volunteer. Since June of 2016, Bridget has volunteered as both a charge nurse and as head of MERCI’s quality improvement and quality assurance initiatives.

Bridget brings to MERCI Clinic a vast array of experience and qualifications. A licensed Registered Nurse with a masters in Health Care Management, Bridget has served in a variety of capacities from Clinical Operations Manager to Director of Patient Services and Director of Nursing. A Brooklyn, New York native, Bridget migrated to New Bern, NC in 2009.

Cindy Burrows,
Pharmacy Manager

Cindy Burrows, Pharmacy Director

Cindy started at MERCI Clinic as a volunteer pharmacist. She served on the board and is currently the pharmacy manager. Cindy graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and has been a pharmacist for 35 years. She has worked in the retail setting in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and North Carolina. She relocated to New Bern in 2003 after living for 18 years in New Rochelle, New York. She currently works at Realo Discount Drug Store on MLK Blvd as their compounding pharmacist.

Cindy has been married for 32 years to her husband Richard. They are both certified beekeepers and currently have 2 bee hives and 3 cats. Cindy has many interests-traveling (went to Antarctica and Israel last year),her “retreat” house in Maine, kayaking, biking, reading, sewing, and knitting.

Sharon Johnson, RN, CDE

Susannah Hall, Pharmacy Manager, PharmD, RPh

Sue started at MERCI Clinic as a volunteer pharmacist in 2016 and she is now Pharmacy Manager.  Previously, Sue spent 13 years working as a clinical pharmacist and in clinical research and publications for hospice patients in the Philadelphia area.  She also has worked as a community pharmacist locally at Bayboro Pharmacy and internationally at Pacific Health Pharmacy in the Northern Mariana Islands.  She graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia and completed her residency in pharmacy health system population management at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, WA. 

Sue relocated from Philadelphia to New Bern in 2012 to purchase a home for her and her parents to share.  She enjoyed fixing up her historic home and now lives with her father and her pathologically disobedient dog Quincy.  Sue enjoys international travel and has visited countries throughout Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

Sharon Krise,
Laboratory Supervisor

Sheila Stith, Certified Diabetes Educator

Bio coming soon!

Patsy Nolan,
Clinic Assistant

Patsy Nolan, Clinic Assistant

Patsy is a retired Registered Nurse. The latter part of her career was in Occupational Health Nursing for the Boeing Company in Seattle. Patsy graduated from nurse’s training in Utah and has held licenses in Nevada, California, Hawaii, Colorado, Massachusetts, Washington and North Carolina. She started as a volunteer at the MERCI Clinic in 2013 and in 2014 became a part time employee as a Clinical Assistant. That means she does whatever needs to be done.

Patsy was born in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of 7 children in a town of 3,000 souls. Everyone knew everyone. She has three daughters, 1 son, 2 sons-in-law and 1 daughter-in-law, and 5 beautiful, talented granddaughters.

Donna Reece,
Clinic Assistant

Donna Reece, Clinic Assistant

Donna has worked her entire professional career for the federal government, in a multitude of administrative positions, at various Defense organizations in the DC area. She retired in 2011 and soon after moved to the New Bern area to be closer to her sister and take on the challenging role as primary caregiver to her ailing mother.

After moving, Donna quickly determined that she needed stimulation away from the caregiver role and became a volunteer with the Colonial Capital Humane Society. Through this organization, she has been able to fulfill her dream of “giving back” in a way the complements her lifelong love of dogs and cats. In addition to this, she accepted  a second volunteer position with the MERIC Clinic. This gave her the opportunity to fulfill another dream of helping people less fortunate in life’s circumstances. Later, she was hired as a paid employee at the clinic and continues to enjoy meeting, greeting and assisting clients with their medical needs.

Sil Swindell,
Pharmacy Technician

Sil Swindell, Pharmacy Technician

Sil works in the pharmacy as a tech, starting first as a volunteer in October of 2012. A year later she became a part time employee. She enjoys working in the pharmacy, especially enjoying  trying to help people as much as she can, as she would one day like to become a nurse.

Sil is a single mom of 4 – Amari (19), Ty’Shianna (16), Damiaja (12) and Zhy’Kel (3). For Sil, these children are her world and she is a very involved mom. Sil also assists with taking care of her mother. Their household also includes a dog named Mocha. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her kids, going to church and singing.

Judy Rafson, FNP, Primary Care Provider

Judy was born in Minnesota, but grew up in Mexico where she became fluent in Spanish. After graduating from a diploma nursing school in Minnesota in 1970, Judy went to Frontier Nursing Service in Eastern Kentucky and received a certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

She met her husband, Cliff, in Kentucky and they were stationed with the U.S. Forest Service in Kentucky and Pennsylvania until 1996. In 1998, Judy graduated from UNC-CH School of Public Health with an MPH in Occupational Health Nursing. In her 40 years as a Nurse Practitioner, Judy has worked in the fields of Rural Health, Women’s Health, Family Primary Care, Urgent Care, and Occupational Health. She and Cliff have lived in New Bern since 2001.