ARHS announces changes for The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge

ARHS announces changes for The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge

Photo: FoleyCenter-Entrance-Night

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) is pleased to announce that effective October 1, 2019, Liberty Healthcare Properties of Watauga County, LLC and Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Watauga County, LLC (Liberty) became the owner/operator, respectively, of the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge, located in Blowing Rock, N.C.

ARHS President and CEO Chuck Mantooth commented on the ownership change by saying, “the future of healthcare delivery, particularly in rural areas will be about leveraging partnerships. Over the last year, as we worked with Liberty to plan the development of a senior living campus at Chestnut Ridge it became clear that the skilled nursing and assisted living services should be integrated within their care continuum. Liberty can now take the next steps forward to evaluate the nature of and develop the retirement community that we have been working toward for the last 10 years.”

In addition to the 112-bed skilled nursing and assisted living facility, the acquisition also includes the 10.002 acres where the Foley Center is located.

Mantooth said, “The Foley Center will continue to be an important facility to ARHS in terms of providing post-acute care services for our aging population.” ARHS will continue to work collaboratively with the Foley Center to ensure access and quality of care.

Mantooth concluded by saying, “this change is part of a broader partnership agreement with Liberty to develop a senior living community on the entire 68-acre tract. Our contract has incentives which are intended to accelerate the study and development of a senior living community and we will be working with Liberty to help it proceed.”

Jeff Wilson, Chief Operating Officer for Liberty commented on the acquisition by saying, “we are extremely grateful to ARHS for working with us to help make Chestnut Ridge a high quality, comprehensive senior living community in the future.”

To learn more about Liberty Senior Living visit

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System opens new pulmonology location

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System opens new pulmonology location

Photo: Pulmonology providers

[L-R] Dr. Edmisten, Dr. Graham, Callie Crump, Dr. Wolfe

Boone, N.C. will soon have a new location for pulmonology services, beginning October 1, 2019. Appalachian Regional Pulmonology, a practice of Appalachian Regional Medical Associates, will be home to pulmonologist Donald Graham, MD.

Dr. Graham will see patients by appointment at Appalachian Regional Pulmonology, located at 870 State Farm Road, Suite 100, in the lower level of Blue Ridge Medical Office Building. Patients should park and enter in the back of the building.

In order to better coordinate care for pulmonology patients who are treated in the hospital, long-time High Country Pulmonologist, Dr. Kevin Wolfe will provide pulmonology care exclusively to patients admitted at Watauga Medical Center, and will not be available by appointment.

Previously, Dr. Graham and Dr. Wolfe shared space at Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists.

“Relocating Dr. Graham and Dr. Wolfe to separate locations will allow us to ensure integrated and timely pulmonary care across acuity levels,” said Dr. Danielle Mahaffey, Chief Physician Executive for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.

Other members of the ARHS pulmonology services team include thoracic surgeon Timothy Edmisten, MD, FACS, of Watauga Surgical Group and pulmonary navigator Callie Crump, RCP.

“This change will increase access for patients, utilize a team approach to managing care and provide for prompt follow-up appointments,” Mahaffey added.

The pulmonology team specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary (lung) conditions and diseases that affect the respiratory system. Patients are often referred to a pulmonologist if they suffer from shortness of breath or complicated chest infections.

Pulmonologists use lung function tests to diagnosis lung diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Once the breathing issue is diagnosed, the pulmonologist works with the patient to determine a treatment plan.

Treatment plans are customized for each individual patient and can vary from simple lifestyle changes and rehab to advanced thoracic surgery available right here in the High Country.

To learn more about Appalachian Regional Pulmonology, visit

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Graham, patients can call (828) 386-2200, or request an appointment online at

More about Pulmonology, Lung, and Chest Services:

Cannon Memorial Hospital Expansion Update (Photos)

Cannon Memorial Hospital Expansion Update (Photos)

Significant progress has been made in the addition of a medical acute care unit at Cannon Memorial Hospital. David E. Looper & Company is onsite providing general construction supervision. Click to enlarge photos

Current updates

  • The steel frame for the drive-thru canopy has been placed
  • Walls continue to be framed and sheathed
  • Roof trusses have been completed

In Progress

  • Continued exterior wall sheathing
  • Waterproofing begun on walls
  • Shingle roof will be installed soon

Latest Progress and News

Cannon Memorial Hospital Renovation and Expansion

Together We Fight Breast Cancer in the High Country: Several Community Events Planned

Together We Fight Breast Cancer in the High Country: Several Community Events Planned

Together We Fight - Feature

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the second year, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) along with many other High Country businesses and organizations, have adopted a Together We Fight approach to breast cancer.

The collaborative approach took shape after several community organizations discussed ways to join forces to support breast cancer patients on a local level.

The Together We Fight collaborative includes the following community events and fundraisers.

September 28: Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock Black, Gold, and PINK Festival

Tanger Outlets Blowing Rock will host a Black, Gold and Pink Tailgate Party for the whole family on Saturday, September 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Enjoy live entertainment, food trucks and family activities, located in the Courtyard near Tanger Shopper Services!   And to launch the annual Tanger PINK campaign, their PINK beneficiary, High Country Breast Cancer Foundation, will be on-hand selling PINK cards. And then hang around for a live Concert in the Courtyard from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Don’t miss THE community party of the season where we’ll serve up great deals, great food, and great fun! 

Learn More

Since 2014, more than $96,000 has been donated through Mining for a Purpose to support the Cancer Center.October 5: Mining for a Purpose

Longtime owners of Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine Randy and Trina McCoy along with their son, D’Artagnan, will host their 8th annual “Mining for a Purpose” event at the gem mine. The McCoys donate 100 percent of the proceeds from this event to the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center patient emergency fund. Since 2014, more than $96,000 has been donated through Mining for a Purpose to support the Cancer Center.

Learn More

October 11: Pink Day

Back by popular demand, ARHS will host its 16th annual Pink Day celebration at both Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital. The breast cancer awareness event and fundraiser is free and open to the public.

  • 10 a.m. to noon at Cannon Memorial Hospital lobby in Linville, NC.
  • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Watauga Medical Center auditorium in Boone, NC.

Participants are encouraged to wear pink, purchase raffle tickets, schedule a mammogram, and hear remarks from a breast cancer survivor.  Light refreshments will be provided.

Each year Pink Day raises money through raffle items and donations, 100 percent of which will support the Cancer Center.

Learn More

October 12: Kilograms for Mammograms

This year CrossFit Boone, Seven Seals CrossFit, CrossFit Postal, and Ashe CrossFit are working together to support the cause through a program called Kilograms for Mammograms. This fitness oriented fundraiser will celebrate survivors and help remove the cost barrier for those in need of a mammogram – all proceeds will go to the Wilma Redmond Mammography Fund. The 2nd annual event will also include a silent auction and kid-friendly exercise challenges. Kilograms for Mammograms will take place at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center. To learn more visit

Learn More

October 26: High Country Walk/Run for Breast Cancer

The 3rd annual High Country Walk/Run for Breast Cancer will take place in Blowing Rock, NC. The event is hosted by the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation and 100 percent of the funds raised are used to provide for the needs of breast cancer patients, survivors and their families in the High Country.

Learn More or Register

Bras for a Cause: A seriously uplifting fundraiser

Bras for a Cause: A seriously uplifting fundraiser

Photo: Gardening Theme Bras for a CauseHelp support Breast Cancer Services in the High Country! Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center invites local businesses, and community organizations to design and create a themed bra that celebrates the stories of the survivors and the spirit of those working to promote breast health!

  • September 16: Registration form due
  • September 30: Completed bra creation due
  • November 4: Deadline to pick up your bra

Local businesses and community organizations will have their creations displayed at Together We Fight events.

  • Doc’s Rocks Mining for a Purpose
  • Kilograms for Mammograms Crossfit Competition
  • High Country Breast Cancer Foundation Walk/Run
  • Patients Night Out at Chetola


Download Registration Form


Photo: Flower theme Bras for a CauseSubmission Guidelines


  • All entries are to be created on a new 38C back-closure, underwire bra. The front, back and sides should be completely decorated. Strapless bras cannot be accepted. Please do not sew the bra closed.
  • The inside does not need to be decorated.
  • Bras should be well constructed, as they will be moved and mounted in various locations. Appliques and other applied objects should be firmly attached. Sewing is preferable, but strong glues and other mechanical fastening methods are acceptable. Tape is not acceptable.
  • Bras are to be constructed of materials that are not soiled, perishable, or in any way inherently dangerous or offensive. Please do not use food or food products.
  • Bras must be constructed in a manner that allows for mounting or transfer to a display mannequin/hanger. No backing panels or plaques.
  • Each entry must include a registration form, name tag with the designer’s name/business and bra name. Bra entries may include a short paragraph of 500 characters or less describing the inspiration for the piece.




  • If the bra fails to meet submission rules and guidelines or is offensive and/or disrespectful, we reserve the right to remove the bra from display and judging.
  • All bras that meet submission guidelines will be posted on Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s Facebook page. The bra that gets the most “likes” will be the winner. Be sure to share your creation with friends, family, and patrons.


Submitting your entry


  • Please drop off (and pick up) your creation with Angie Del Nero, Social Worker at Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center by September 30th. Feel free to display your creation at your business or organization until Sept. 30th to help raise awareness.


Howard E. Covington Jr.’s new book brings to life ‘The People and Hospitals that Became Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’

Howard E. Covington Jr.’s new book brings to life ‘The People and Hospitals that Became Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’

Covington Book Photo For generations the mountainous region of Western North Carolina was referred to as the Lost Province. Due to The Great Depression, World War I and the natural geographic barriers that prevented the development of connecting roads and infrastructure, lowlanders in the state often joked that the only way to reach the mountains of North Carolina was to be born in them.

But being born safely in the High Country in the first half of the twentieth century was no joking matter. As author Howard E. Covington Jr. points out in his book “Caring for One Another,” through the efforts of selfless and dedicated individuals, access to quality healthcare in the landlocked High Country became a reality.

In 1897, Rev. Edgar Tufts’ mission field brought him to Avery County where he found a dire need for education and medical access. He recruited Dr. William C. Tate to Banner Elk and eventually Grace Hospital, which was built on the campus of Lees-McCrae Institute (now Lees-McCrae College) opened in 1924. Inspired by Tufts’ work, Drs. Eustace and Mary Sloop opened Garrett Memorial Hospital just 20 miles away in Crossnore five years later. Both Avery County hospitals received Duke Endowment funding and were bustling places as they served neighboring counties as well as their own.

In Boone, Blanford B. Dougherty cobbled together money and land from the State of North Carolina and a grant from The Duke Endowment to erect Watauga Hospital on the campus of the Appalachian State Teachers College (later Appalachian State University) in 1938. It was there that students could receive rudimentary nursing care, which was paid for by a $1.50 health fee collected at the beginning of the school year. The hospital also served as a place for local patients to deliver babies or to recuperate from illness. In place of payment, compensation for said services often consisted of a basket full of fresh produce or a ham.

During the 1930s and 40s, Dr. Mary Cabel Warfield was making house calls and maintaining a modest clinic in Blowing Rock for the year-round and seasonal residents. Building her practice on free, well-baby clinics, she was ahead of her time and educated her patients about preventive medicine and prenatal care. When her medical career ended due to an automobile accident in 1948, Dr. Charles Davant, Jr. stepped in as a replacement. Shortly after, the community rallied to gather the resources to build the 20-bed Blowing Rock Hospital, which opened in 1952.

In captivating detail, Covington goes on to reveal the innermost thoughts, dreams and struggles of the High Country’s most influential healthcare visionaries. Thanks to people like Isaac “Ike” Garfield Greer, Richard Sparks, Dougherty, Tufts, and countless others, patients no longer need to leave the mountain for their healthcare needs. These brave men and women laid the foundation for what is today the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.

To receive a free copy of “Caring for One Another” by the award-winning North Carolina native and history author, Howard E. Covington Jr., visit the lobby at Watauga Medical Center, Cannon Memorial Hospital or send an email to