Watauga County

Salthouse to become CEO of High Country Community Health

Longtime community service advocate will lead effort to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services…

Alice Salthouse, the Director of Community Outreach for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) has resigned her post in order to accept a position of Chief Executive Officer with High Country Community Health, Inc.

Alice Salthouse
Alice Salthouse

High Country Community Health, a nonprofit organization that formed in 2010, recently received a $608,333 grant to establish a new federally qualified health center that receives funding under the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Health Center Program.

In her new role as CEO, Salthouse will operate centers that will provide comprehensive primary healthcare services, as well as supportive services (education, translation and transportation) that promote access to health care. The services provided by the clinic will be available to all, with fees adjusted based on ability-to-pay.

On Salthouse’s new appointment, Chuck Mantooth, President of Watauga Medical Center commented, “Alice has dedicated her life toward serving others in our community. While I am saddened to see her go, she is a perfect fit for this new position. She will most certainly make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in Avery and Watauga Counties.”

Formation of the new centers has been a collaborative effort involving the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, district health departments, and other local individuals – in order to provide healthcare to patients without insurance.

Salthouse is a native of Morganton, NC and has served in various healthcare leadership roles since 1990. She was CEO of Blowing Rock Hospital before the ARHS merger in 2007. Salthouse holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University and a master’s in healthcare administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Salthouse’s responsibilities with ARHS included organizing and obtaining a variety of grant funding for programs such as the Migrant Farmworker Program, Watauga County Healthy Carolinians and Appalachian Healthcare Project. All of these projects offer services to low-income, uninsured residents of Watauga and Avery counties.

Gillian Baker, Vice President of Corporate Communications of ARHS, will add oversight of the community outreach department to her current role with the healthcare system.

To learn more about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, visit www.apprhs.org.

Emergency Exercise August 27th

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) will be participating in an Emergency Exercise on Saturday, August 27, 2011.  This is ONLY a practice exercise and will involve the following local agencies… Blue Ridge Parkway Rangers, Blowing Rock Police Department, Watauga County Emergency Management, ARHS Police, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Watauga County Rescue Squad and Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue.

Residents and visitors in the high country may see emergency vehicles entering the property (via Summit Meadow, between Hwy 321 and the Blue Ridge Parkway), but otherwise the exercise should not interfere with the normal Saturday morning activities in the area.

Gillian Baker, Vice President for Corporate Communications for ARHS shared, “Practicing our hospitals responses during a disaster is a requirement from the Joint Commission, but also a necessary part of what ARHS does to ensure that our staff are always ready for the unthinkable.”

This Emergency Exercise will provide exercise participants the opportunity to evaluate current emergency response concepts, medical surge response operations and law enforcement response to a location.  The exercise will also emphasize emergency response coordination, resource integration, problem identification and resolution between agencies.

Click here to read the Watauga Democrat article by Kellen Moore, “Training to grapple with manhunt, meth, mayhem”.