Our Staff

What differentiates one skilled nursing & rehabilitation center from another? The answer is... the people who work and reside there! The people set the tone, the atmosphere, and the expectations. At The Laurels of Pender, we take great pride in ensuring that everyone feels like part of our family and that they are treated as special "guests" in our home.

The Laurels of Pender employs a team of highly qualified medical professionals, including a Medical Director, Registered Nurses, Restorative Care Nurses, a Wound Care Nurse, state tested Certified Nursing Assistants, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and a Speech Therapist. Our on-site Rehab, Dietary, Social Work, and Activities departments provide personalized and compassionate care to each guest. From the moment you walk through the front doors, the warmth and caring of the staff will begin to gain your trust and confidence, as they strive to exceed your expectations.

Unlike other facilities that use "contracted" staff members, each member of the team at The Laurels of Pender is directly employed, not "contracted". Each Team Member takes great pride in portraying "The Laurel Way of Caring", as they strive for excellence in providing only the highest standard of care and services to every guest, and to every family member and visitor. Come on in! Visit a while! Let us show you our very best... let us show you The Laurel Way.

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Robert Woodie


Robert Woodie is from a small community in the mountains of western North Carolina. His career in healthcare began there as he transitioned from a previous career in agriculture. He is a graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Auburn University, where he obtained an MBA. His greatest interests are quality patient care and innovative ways to care for guests at The Laurels of Pender.

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Melinda Garrison

Director of Nursing

Melinda grew up in Duplin County and resides in Wilmington, NC.  She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from James Sprunt Community College in 1992.  She has worked in long-term care since 1993 after gaining a year of hospital experience and has over 10 years of experience as a Director of Nursing.  She joined The Laurels of Pender in 2017 as 100 Hall Unit Manager when the facility was purchased and became Director of Nursing in May, 2018.

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Olivia Moore, PTA

Rehabilitation Services Director

Olivia Moore was named rehabilitation services director at The Laurels of Pender in December 2020.

After receiving her degree as a licensed physical therapy assistant, Olivia quickly began her career in long term care at The Laurels. Her dedication and love for the skilled nursing community is evident in her current pursuit to obtain a higher degree in healthcare management. She brings both passion for treatment as well as a positive attitude to her role that helps not only our guests, but our talented and energetic group of therapists as well.  

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Tara Everett, BSW, MHA

Director of Marketing

Tara is excited to be a part of the team at The Laurels of Pender! A social worker by trade, Tara received her Bachelors of Social Work from Winston-Salem State University and her Master of Health Care Administration from Pfeiffer University.

Tara has extensive experience in the health care industry working specifically with the aging population. Her work ethic and eagerness to go the extra mile for her patients awarded her the honor of being selected as a 2015 Health Care Hero finalist by the Greater Wilmington Business Journal. 

Tara's passion of giving effortlessly extends beyond the guests at The Laurels of Pender. She participates
on various community boards and volunteers throughout the local area. In her free time, she enjoys kickboxing and being active with her children.

Tara resides in Atkinson with her children, Isaiah, Kailee, and Kara.

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