Patient-Centered, World-Class Care

Meet Dr. Heckman & President Jim Nobles of Laurel Health Center

by Gordie Dunlap – June 29, 2018

Home Page President John Vogt spoke with two highly motivated men who are raising the bar for the care provided through the Laurel Health Centers—Jim Nobles, newly appointed President and CEO; and Dr. Matthew Heckman, family physician and Chief Medical Officer.

Nobles joined the Laurel team in March of 2018, bringing with him over 30 years of healthcare experience. Prior to that, he served as Director of Operations for Guthrie Medical Group where he was responsible for the Western New York Region, which generated over $116 million in annual patient service revenue.

Originally from Sayre, PA, Nobles served in the navy for over 25 years, retiring in 2012 and returning to Pennsylvania with his wife Maria and son Joshua. Throughout his naval career he held a variety of senior leadership positions and proudly served in many challenging assignments, which culminated in serving as Chief Administrative Officer and Deputy Director of Operations at the nation’s first and oldest Naval Hospital, the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. He holds a Master of Science degree in Public Health, a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences, and a Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management from Trident University International.

“I’ve always been impressed by the Laurel Health Centers and their commitment to high-quality, community-based care; when the opportunity presented, I jumped at the chance to be part of their operations,” he says. “I take a partnered—or dyad—approach to leadership, working hand in hand with our Medical Director Dr. Matthew Heckman. When administration and clinicians work closely together, health systems make better patient-centered decisions, which drives success. We are all responsible for elevating the patient experience each day. Our key priorities are to introduce additional services, recruit and retain top physicians, and to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve by providing world-class care in a compassionate, patient-centered environment.” Nobles also plans to continue working closely with UPMC Susquehanna to expand access to specialty care close to home, ensuring high-quality, affordable healthcare is accessible to all Laurel Health Center patients. “Knowing I have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of our patients is what gets me up and motivates me every morning.”

Dr. Matthew Heckman strongly believes in “care of the caregiver,” as he calls it—for instance, considering the care of a new mom as being of equal importance to care of her newborn. This is part of his holistic approach to medical care for patients of all ages, although he specializes in maternal/child health, with expertise in community-based pediatrics and obstetrics. He delivers and cares for newborns at UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors in Wellsboro.

Having grown up locally in Troupsburg, NY — raised on a multi-generational family farm in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains near Corning, NY — he describes himself humorously as an “Organic and Local product.” From the University of Rochester, where he received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, Dr. Heckman went on to attend medical school at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine, with the goal of returning to this area to practice family medicine. He has been providing care at the Elkland Laurel Health Center since September of 2016. Dr. Heckman and his wife, Bethany (his high school sweetheart), now live in the area with their four children.

For more information about the Laurel Health Centers, please visit or call 1-833-LAURELHC. You can also find them on Facebook at

Idea/Concept: Gordie Dunlap
Videography: Andrew Moore
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Gordie Dunlap
Anchor: John Vogt

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Laurel Health Centers

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