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Originally published: 2013-12-23 14:52:08
Last modified: 2013-12-23 14:52:53

Avery care center given $150,000

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation has received a gift commitment of $150,000 from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation.  

The funds will be used to build and sustain the physician staff serving the Baker Center for Primary Care, located in the Sloop Medical Plaza, on the campus of Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville.

"In our first meeting with the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, they immediately recognized the tremendous need to recruit and retain primary care physicians to Avery County," said Rob Hudspeth, ARHF's senior vice president for advancement.  "Ultimately, these funds will ensure that patients have a first point-of-contact, medical home in their community."

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System established the Baker Center for Primary Care in order to improve access to primary health care for all residents of Avery County, one of the poorest and most medically underserved counties in the state, according to Hudspeth.

 The Baker Center has been designated a Level 3 patient centered medical home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. It also features a training program for medical students, designed to expose them to primary care in a rural setting.  The center is one of five statewide full-time teaching practices, as designated by the UNC School of Medicine, Family Practice Department.

"We know that primary care is vital to improving individual's health outcomes," said Damon Circosta, executive director of the Fletcher Foundation.  "We are excited to partner with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in order to improve the lives and well-being of Avery County residents."

For more information on the Fletcher Foundation, visit

For more information about the Baker Center for Primary Care, visit