Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

D’Artagnan’s Gifts Help Pediatric Patients at Watauga Medical Center

Three years ago, at age eight, D’Artagnan (Tanion) McCoy came to the conclusion that he had too many toys – more than he needed. So in June 2012, he decided that he wanted to give someone else the toys he would get for his birthday. He and his parents spoke with Jessica Powell, Development Officer at Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation, and she suggested that the toys could be donated to the pediatric patients at Watauga Medical Center.

D'Artagnan McCoy with the toys for pediatric patients

D’Artagnan McCoy with the toys for pediatric patients

Tanion, now age eleven, is the son of Doc and Trina McCoy, owners of Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine, a local business who has been a huge supporter of the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center.  Since 2012, more than 5,300 pediatric patients have been able to enjoy Tanion’s gift.

By hosting events and raffle drawings, the McCoy’s have donated more than $19,000 to the cancer patient emergency fund. Each year in October Doc’s Rocks hosts Mining for the Cure, an event in which 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Cancer Center.  October 10th will be the 6th year of this event. The McCoy’s also serve on the Cancer Resource Alliance Board and donate pink gems for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s annual Pink Day event raffle – also held in October.

To continue the tradition this year, Tanion had a pool party with more than 25 guests – all bringing presents for the pediatric patients at Watauga Medical Center.

“Tanion is a different child; he is special.  He has an old soul in a young body, shared his grandmother, Marsha DeWeese.  “He has a compassion for others that not many have, especially at his age.”

When asked why he keeps giving, Tanion stated, “It’s just a good thing to do.”
For more information about how you can help patients in the hospital, call (828) 262-4391.

New Telestroke technology available at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center recently partnered with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) to provide Telestroke services at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital.

The Wake Forest Baptist Telestroke Network serves in approximately 24 counties in western North Carolina and southern Virginia. Its goal is to assist community hospitals in their efforts to prevent death and reduce disability caused by strokes. By collaborating with the Telestroke Network, ARHS now has access to 24/7 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.

What the patient can expect

RP-Lite® Telestroke robot used at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital.

RP-Lite® Telestroke robot used at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital.

The majority of stroke patients enter the hospital through the emergency department where they are treated by a team of skilled nurses and physicians. Thanks to Telestroke technology, a robot known as RP-Lite® has joined the care team. The technologically advanced robot allows stroke expert physicians, located in the Wake Forest Baptist Stroke Center, to have remote access via two-way live video and audio capability with patients and the medical team at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital. In addition, the stroke experts at Wake Forest Baptist have access to the patient’s medical records and diagnostic test results.

“The RP-Lite allows the Wake Forest Baptist stroke physicians to interact directly with patients, family members and hospital staff just as if they are standing at the bedside,” said Debbie Shook, Stroke Coordinator at ARHS. “Think of stroke as a brain attack – it is an emergency and every minute counts. Traditionally, the hospital would have to call in a neurologist to evaluate the patient which took time. Now, thanks to Telestroke, stroke patients can receive treatment much faster.”

Warning signs and symptoms of stroke include:

• Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg, usually on one side of the body.
• Difficulty speaking or understanding language.
• Decreased or blurred vision in one or both eyes.
• Sudden, severe headaches.
• Unexplained loss of balance or dizziness.

If you or someone around you notice one or more of these warning signs, seek immediate medical attention – Call 911.

Watauga Medical Center has earned and maintained The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for certification as a Primary Stroke Center since 2011.

To learn more about The Stroke Center or Appalachian Regional Healthcare System visit

Hound Ears Open Committee visits Construction Site of The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge 

On Wednesday, July 1, members of the 14th Annual Hound Ears Open committee toured the construction site of The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge. Hound Ears Club has partnered with the healthcare system on numerous funding projects, two of which are the Cardio Room at the Paul Broyhill Wellness Center and Emergency Room in the Watauga Medical Center.
“Over the years, Hound Ears Club has been a wonderful contributor, not only to this Chestnut Ridge project, but towards the Healthcare System as a whole,” Rob Hudspeth, Senior Vice-President of Advancement for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) stated. “We are so grateful for these past five decades of support and look forward to working with them in the future to help patients in our community,” he added. This year, Hound Ears Club set a goal to raise $500,000 towards the new post acute care facility.
Hound Ears Open Committee

Hound Ears Open Committee

“We, here at Hound Ears, are so proud to be a part of the work that’s being done by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. ARHS is looking towards the future and we are so excited to be a part of this vision. Chestnut Ridge, the new post-acute care facility, is being built right here in Blowing Rock and will be a vital asset for the community. This modern 87,500 square-foot facility will provide the most modern care possible for us all,” Hound Ears Open Co-Chair Libba Gaither said.

The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge is approximately 50% complete and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016.

For more information about the project, visit

Foley Family provides lead gift for post-acute care center in Blowing Rock

Throughout his successful career in manufacturing, Dennis Foley always had a knack for identifying problems and developing solutions. No one has benefited more from this positive outlook on business and life than his wife of 51 years, Diane. In 2002, while living in Boone, NC, she was diagnosed with lymphoma. Dennis utilized his problem solving skills in researching the best options for his wife’s treatment. The initial choice was a world renowned cancer institution halfway across the country. Although the institution was well-equipped to treat the disease, it fell short in terms of treating both body and mind with compassionate care. Unsettled by their experience Dennis, after further research, opted to move his wife closer to home, to the Seby Jones Regional Cancer Center in Boone. It was there that the Foleys met oncologist Dr. Herman Godwin. And the rest, as they say is history.

Diane and Dennis Foley.

Diane and Dennis Foley.

It soon became apparent to the Foleys that Dr. Godwin, provided the caring, warm spirited, and calming demeanor that had been missing from the larger facility. Thankfully, Diane was officially declared cancer free after two years of chemo and radiation. The respect and appreciation both Diane and Dennis feel toward Dr. Godwin are a large part of their decision to donate.

Although the Foleys have homes in Florida, Maine and NC, they have developed a love for the area from 18 years of having a second home in the beautiful North Carolina Mountains.

Both Foleys agree, “We have roots here. Our children and grandchildren live in the area. To have been able to avail ourselves of such wonderful care, and be in an area that we enjoy so much, is priceless.”

Over the years, the Foleys have enthusiastically remained close to and in support of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). They were intrigued, when a community needs assessment revealed that it would be in the best interest of the region to replace the existing Blowing Rock Rehabilitation and Davant Extended Care Center with a modern post-acute care center.

Future rendering of The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge.

Future rendering of The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge.

In need of donor support, the Foleys graciously agreed to provide the lead gift of $3.75 million to construct The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge. This state-of-the-art, 112-bed post-acute care center will be located on a 68 acre tract of land alongside US 321 in Blowing Rock, NC. The facility will enhance the region’s access to short and long-term post-acute care for medical services. In addition, the Center will provide services for memory support, palliative care, rehabilitation, skilled nursing and an on-site medical clinic and pharmacy. Thanks to the generosity of the Foley’s and other private donors, the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation is well on the way to reaching its capital campaign goal of $11.5 million. The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge is scheduled to open during the summer of 2016.

When asked why he was contributing, Dennis shared, “Like I have always said, no one wants to get sick. Different from finding a job or pursuing your education, getting sick is something over which you have very little control. After going down this road ourselves, we consider it a privilege to support the ever improving continuum of care that the healthcare system provides.”

To learn more about The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge visit To learn more about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System visit

CHESS and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Partner to Implement Value-based Healthcare Delivery Model

HIGH POINT & BOONE, NC – CHESS (a population health management company based in High Point) and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) announced Monday that they have joined into a long-term partnership that will assist the Boone-based health system in changing its healthcare delivery model from one based on fee-for-service (volume-based) to one rooted in pay-for-performance (value-based).

“As healthcare reimbursement methods migrate to payment models based on quality, outcomes and cost, we are excited to join CHESS, a proven leader in the industry,” said Richard Sparks, President and CEO of ARHS. “We believe in partnering with CHESS, we can better adapt to a healthcare delivery model that will improve the quality of care and reduce the cost of caring for our patients.”

CHESS has assisted Cornerstone Health Care, a 350-provider multi-specialty group based in High Point, NC, in making the move to value by implementing innovative care models and establishing value-based contracts with insurance carriers. All of Cornerstone’s commercial insurance plans are set up to share savings with the insurer, or are risk-based (meaning Cornerstone is responsible for keeping the cost of care below a portion of the premium dollar). In addition, Cornerstone participates in the federal Medicare Shared Savings Program as an ACO, recently receiving recognition as one of the top 25 performing ACOs in the country on quality measures in 2014.

John Walker, MD, CHESS Business Development Officer said, “The partnership with ARHS will focus on analyzing data to identify populations of patients, particularly those with chronic conditions (such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease), then developing targeted programs designed to improve the health and quality of life of these patients. We also will use data to identify patients with gaps in care (those requiring check-ups and screenings), and assist ARHS in fine-tuning its outpatient model of care to focus on early intervention, prevention and reduced hospitalizations.”

ARHS and CHESS are beginning the process of developing programs and initiatives at ARHS’s outpatient practices to make an immediate and sustainable impact on the delivery of care at these facilities. “We look forward to working with the providers and staff at ARHS, and achieving positive outcomes for the patients of the High Country,” said Walker. “Patients receiving high quality care at a lower price is a win for them, the health system and the community.”



CHESS is a physician-managed healthcare services company that empowers physicians and health systems to make the transition to value-based medicine, a model where they are financially rewarded for improving the quality of care and reducing the cost of care they deliver to patients. Using advanced analytics to build and measure the success of targeted care models, along with payer contracts that enable physicians to share in cost savings, CHESS creates a healthcare environment that is both patient-centered and clinician-friendly.

CHESS is a joint venture of Cornerstone Health Care, Wake Forest Baptist Health and LabCorp. CHESS is committed to helping healthcare organizations throughout the United States prepare for the future, one in which fee-for-service reimbursements continue to dwindle. Led by a team of medical, technology and business experts who have a deep understanding of what it takes to transition clients into this new value-based world, CHESS offers a single solution that incorporates ALL elements required to successfully make the move to value. For more information about CHESS, visit


Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS), the healthcare leader in the High Country, is comprised of two hospitals – Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville and Watauga Medical Center in Boone – a physician practice management group – Appalachian Regional Medical Associates (ARMA) – the Blowing Rock Rehabilitation & Davant Extended Care Center in Blowing Rock – and Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System stays committed to promoting health in the High Country, enhancing quality of life and simply “making life better.” This charge makes Appalachian Regional Healthcare System the premier healthcare system in this region.