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Program Leadership

  • Laura Helmly, DO

    Laura Helmly, DO
    Program Director

    Medical School: Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Blacksburg, VA
    Residency: East Tennessee State University, Bristol, TN
    Career Interest: Osteopathic manipulation, lifestyle medicine, preventative care

I grew up in Daytona Beach, FL and still love the sunshine. I ran Division 1 Cross Country and Track and Field for the Florida Gators at the University of Florida, while majoring in Biology and preparing for my career in medicine. From a young age helping my mother study for her nursing exams, I knew I wanted to study medicine and how to help people lead healthy lives. I attended Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, VA, and then went on to complete residency in Family Medicine at East Tennessee State University in Bristol, TN.

I am board certified in Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment. After graduating residency, I took my love for teaching into a career in academic medicine by joining the faculty at ETSU Bristol, where I stayed for four years. In that time, I became the Director of Osteopathic Education, Associate Program Director and then Program Director for the residency program before moving to Fredericksburg, VA in April of 2022 with my family for new opportunities. I am excited to build and develop the Mary Washington Healthcare Family Medicine residency program alongside a stellar crew!

In my free time I enjoy running, traveling, cooking, baking, and doing all the above with my two daughters and husband.

  • Nora Hassan, MD

    Nora Hassan, MD
    Associate Program Director

    Medical School: Ross University School of Medicine, St. Michael, Barbados
    Residency: St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center
    Career Interest: Women’s health, resident wellness, patient centered care

I grew up in Haymarket, Virginia on a farm with horses, sheep, cows, goats, dogs, and cats. I was always voted "biggest animal lover" in my school superlatives for as long as I could remember. I always helped my parents on the farm and even assisted sheep deliver their little lambs! This was my first encounter with anything medical. I appreciate my first, furry patients as they taught me so much, I now realize. I always thought I would be a veterinarian; however, life took me elsewhere.

With the love of science and English and knowing I wanted a career involving both, I started my education at George Mason University. I love to talk and travel so journalism was one of my favorite classes. So, why not incorporate journalism and biology and voila, you've got a physician! I figured I would spend my days interviewing patients from all parts of the world and learning about them and their health, without having to travel.

I attended Ross University School of Medicine and met my loving husband there (who was a major city boy). Somehow this country girl ended up in Queens, NY for medical school rotations. I decided the city was not for me, (sorry, husband!) and therefore we moved to beautiful Central New York to complete my Family Medicine residency at St. Joseph's Hospital. There, I fell in love with a new-found hobby of hiking. I convinced my husband, again, to move back to my lovely home state of Virginia, where I decided to join Mary Washington Healthcare.

I felt that Mary Washington Healthcare incorporated the most important aspects of family medicine, which is to be at the front line of patients' health, while also understanding and respecting other important aspects of their lives. I loved that Mary Washington Healthcare really cares about the communities it serves.

I have always had a passion for teaching and so I embarked on an amazing journey to work alongside fantastic physicians to build the Mary Washington Healthcare Family Medicine Residency Program as Associate Program Director. I am so proud of the outcome, and I am excited to see Mary Washington Healthcare serve as a source of education for our future physicians.

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