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Dr. Helton was born in Atlanta, Georgia and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University. He completed medical school and was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha honor society at the University of Miami Medical School in Miami, Florida. Dr. Helton then traveled to Minnesota where he completed his internship and residency in general surgery at the University of Minnesota Hospital. He remained at the University of Minnesota to complete his thoracic and cardiovascular residency, was a surgical research fellow and then Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Helton served as chief resident of both general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery while at Minnesota.
Dr. Helton and his family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina where he founded Carolina Cardiovascular Surgical Associates in 1979. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors. Dr. Helton's skill, determination, steadfast care and excellent surgical outcomes helped build the practice and make it the top quality program that it is today. Dr. Helton actively supports Project Health Leone, a non-profit organization that seeks to bring quality health care to the residents of Leone, Nicaraugua. He has performed numerous life-saving heart surgeries through this organization. Dr. Helton practices all aspects of adult cardiac and thoracic surgery at both Wake Medical Center and Rex Hospital.
Dr. Helton is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Cardiology. He is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgeons and is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association.
Dr. Helton and his wife, Barbara, have two children.