Boone Urology Center Moving to New Location

Boone Urology Center Moving to New Location

Boone Urology Center is excited to share that the medical practice will be moving to a new location in July. The current State Farm Road location will close on July 22 and the practice will reopen at their new location, 400 Shadowline Drive in Boone, on Monday, July 27.

new urology location

Urologists Dr. Charles Miller and Dr. Anthony Schlake combine skill and experience in the compassionate treatment of urological conditions including impotence, urinary tract infection, kidney stones, urinary incontinence, urologic cancer and more. For those who live in Ashe County, Boone Urology Center also offers services at the Jefferson Specialty Clinic in Jefferson, NC.

If you have questions about medications, treatments, insurance, billing or appointments, please call at 828-264-5150 or visit

Watauga Medical Center named among America’s 100 Best in Orthopedic Surgery

Watauga Medical Center named among America’s 100 Best in Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Surgery Staff with Award

Watauga Medical Center is recognized among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery™ in 2020, according to a national study by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for information about physicians and hospitals.

This achievement is part of findings released in the Healthgrades 2020 Report to the Nation. This report demonstrates the importance of hospital quality to both hospital leaders and consumers, and recognizes Watauga Medical Center’s commitment to quality patient outcomes with multiple Orthopedics Awards and Achievements:

  • America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery™ in 2020
  • Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ & Top 10% in the Nation for 2 Years in a Row (2019-2020)
  • 5-Star for Hip Fracture Treatment for 2 Years in a Row (2019-2020)


Americas_100_Best_Orthopedic_Surgery_Award_ Five_Star_for_Hip_Fracture_Treatment Orthopedic_Surgery_Award


“I am extremely proud our orthopedic service has been recognized in this way. These awards represent the culmination of vision, cooperation, passion, and hard work by every member of our orthopedic team. We have all worked tirelessly to provide the best care possible to those patients who place their trust in us for their orthopedic care, said Dr. Steven Anderson, orthopedic surgeon for AppOrtho. “Our goal for the last few years has been to build orthopedics at Watauga Medical Center into a service providing the highest quality joint and musculoskeletal care but with an element of hometown or small-town convenience and compassion that often isn’t found at larger “big city” medical centers. These awards reinforce we are headed in the right direction.”

Variation in hospital quality can have a significant impact on the quality of care a patient receives.

Healthgrades Orthopedic Surgery Excellence AwardHealthgrades compared 2020 Award Recipients as a group, to all other hospitals, & found that on average:

  •  Patients have a 39.7% lower risk of complication if treated at hospitals that received the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery™ Award, versus hospitals that did not receive the Award.*
  •  Patients have a 37.7% lower risk of complication if treated at hospitals that received the Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™, versus hospitals that did not receive the Award.*
  •  Patients have a 46.6% lower risk of complication if treated at hospitals that received the 5-Star for Hip Fracture Treatment, versus hospitals that received a 1-Star Rating.*

“As consumers navigate their health, it is important to consider a number of factors, including hospital quality, before deciding where to access care,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Healthgrades. “Healthgrades’ America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery recognizes those hospitals that have proven their dedication to quality care and exceptional outcomes over time and we applaud their efforts and achievement.”

Watauga Medical Center also received national recognition for the following clinical areas:

  • Patient Safety Excellence Award™ & Top 10% in the Nation in 2019
  • Coronary Intervention Excellence Award™ & Top 10% in the Nation in 2020
  • 5-Star for Treatment of Heart Attack for 2 Years in a Row (2019-2020)
  • 5-Star for Treatment of Heart Failure in 2020

Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 32 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions using Medicare data, and outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 15 states.

For its analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 45 million Medicare inpatient records for nearly 4,500 short-term acute care hospitals nationwide to assess hospital performance in 32 common conditions and procedures, and evaluated outcomes in appendectomy and bariatric surgery using all-payer data provided by 15 states. The Healthgrades 2020 Report to the Nation and detailed study methodology, can be found at

For more information about orthopedic services, please visit

Cannon Memorial Hospital Opens New Medical Surgical Unit

Cannon Memorial Hospital Opens New Medical Surgical Unit



After three years of planning and a year of construction, Cannon Memorial Hospital’s new Medical Surgical Unit is officially open. Hospital staff moved patients into the beautiful healing space on Thursday, June 25th.

The ARHS-funded renovations to create the 8-bed acute care unit Cannon Memorial Hospital began on June 4, 2019. The spacious, family-friendly rooms allow for family members to comfortably stay with loved ones overnight. Rooms are also equipped with the latest technology which enable the medical care team to access the patient’s medical records and discuss care plans with the patient and their family.

Upon completion of phase one, Cannon Memorial Hospital immediately began construction on phase two – a 27-bed Behavioral Health Unit – funded by a $6.5 million grant from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (NCDHHS).

Cannon Hospital’s existing 10-bed inpatient behavioral health unit can accommodate only a fraction of the referrals the facility receives.

The funding for the grant originated from the Dorothea Dix Hospital Property Fund, which was created by the North Carolina General Assembly from the sale of the Dorothea Dix Hospital in 2015. The Dorothea Dix Hospital Property Fund was established as a part of NCDHHS’s plan to expand the number of beds that provide crisis stabilization and inpatient behavioral healthcare. The plan calls for 150 new behavioral health inpatient beds across the state.The new behavioral health unit is expected to be complete in the fall of 2021, according to Cannon Memorial Hospital President, Carmen Lacey.

For more information about behavioral health services, visit



ARHS allows one designated visitor per patient within specific guidelines

ARHS allows one designated visitor per patient within specific guidelines

Emergency EntranceEffective June 10th, each patient at Watauga Medical Center (WMC) and Cannon Memorial Hospital (CMH) will be able to designate one visitor/advocate to accompany them during their hospital stay between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The designated visitor must be the same person for the duration of the patient’s hospital stay, and another visitor cannot be substituted if the designated visitor is unable to come on any given day. The designated visitor is encouraged to bring any required medication and personal hygiene items with them.

“We are closely monitoring those coming in and out of our facilities to ensure the utmost safety for our patients and staff,” said Amy Crabbe, Chief Operating Officer for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.

Patients and visitors should enter Watauga Medical Center through the Emergency Entrance for temperature check and registration.

Each designated visitor must:

• Be age 13 or older.
• Have their temperature checked by ARHS staff at the facility entrance.
• Bring their own face covering and wear it at all times.
• Stay at the facility in the patient’s room.

Visitors may not come and go from the facility multiple times in a day. Once here, they should remain here for the duration of the approved visit. Upon leaving, visitors will not be able to return until the next day, or receive special permission of the House Supervisor on duty. Visitors should not be in common areas such as hallways. Cafeterias are closed for visitors; however, the visitor may request a complimentary guest tray for each meal from our nutrition department.

“ARHS values family members and caregivers as part of each patient’s care team,” said Crabbe, “We feel it’s important, with necessary safety precautions, to allow a visitor to support each patient during their stay.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly developing situation and visitor restrictions may be subject to change based on current data as well as state and local guidance or regulations.

For more information about ARHS’s response to COVID-19, visit

How to protect yourself from COVID-19:

  • Stay home
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Maintain six feet apart from others
  • If you must go in public, wear a mask
  • Cover coughs or sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces


ARHS allows one designated visitor per patient within specific guidelines

BE FAST isn’t just a saying for Watauga Medical Center’s nationally recognized stroke program

The Stroke Center of Watauga Medical Center was recently recognized by the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines® program and awarded the Silver Plus and Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll quality designations for 2019.

A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. Brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs. Abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost, i.e. speech, movement and memory. How a stroke patient is affected depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged.

Time is of the essence in treating stroke patients, and the most important factor in successful treatment is early intervention. Watauga Medical Center Emergency Department staff are trained to recognize the signs of stroke and spring to action immediately to implement stroke treatment protocols.

The acronym BE FAST can help people recognize the signs of stroke and quickly get the help needed.

Balance: Sudden loss of balance and coordination
Eyes: Sudden trouble seeing, or blurred vision in one or both eyes
Face: One side of the face droops or is numb
Arm: Sudden weakness or numbness of any arm or leg
Speech: Sudden Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
Time: Call 911 immediately, and note the time symptoms started

Through the Telestroke program, patients have 24/7 access to acute stroke experts via two-way real time video consultation. Thanks to this network, emergency room physicians are able to receive on demand consultation to help diagnose strokes, develop care plans, and take action if necessary.

Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll quality designation from the American Heart Association certifies that stroke patients receive Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital – 30% quicker than the national average.

In order to receive the Silver Plus quality award, Watauga Medical Center met or exceeded 15 criteria set forth by the American Health Association covering early and thorough treatment, patient education, follow-up treatment and more.

The Stroke Center at Watauga Medical Center is also certified by The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center following a detailed, on-site re-certification review of the hospital in March 2019. The certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements/guidelines for stroke care.

For more information about stroke services at Appalachian Regional Healthcare system, visit

Emergency Entrance