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Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation Takes Leap of Faith to Fund a Solution to Expand Primary Care Access

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation (HCHF) is excited to announce a formal agreement to expand access to primary care on the Highlands-Cashiers plateau by funding a new  practice that includes a rural teaching program in conjunction with UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC. The partnership is with HCHF, Blue Ridge Health (BRH), and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC). This collaboration exemplifies the fulfillment of the HCHF’s mission to improve the health and well-being of Highlands, Cashiers, and surrounding communities.

“We acknowledge from the outset this project’s scope is wide and our goal and related objectives are ambitious requiring significant contributions of time, talent and treasure from the partners and members of the community,” stated Dr. Walter Clark, Chair of the Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation. “However, we know with the determination of these partners along with the philanthropic passion of this community, we are on the road to a true success.”

The partnership will work toward the goal of opening a primary care clinic in the Highlands-Cashiers area that will provide universal access to healthcare for the population of Highlands and Cashiers as well as the workforce that travels from other communities throughout Macon and Jackson Counties. The long-standing problem of access to primary care in the area was among the primary drivers in the formation of this partnership and its dual focus on immediately and directly expanding primary care access, while simultaneously increasing the long-term stability of the communities on the plateau. 

More details will be announced in the coming months surrounding the timeline and physician team that will serve the area. In the meantime, residents can be assured that we are working toward access to universal, integrated healthcare and an increased supply of healthcare providers for the area. If you would like to support this endeavor, please do not hesitate to contact HCHF at 828-482-6510 or visit www.hchealthfnd.org.

About Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation was established on February 1, 2019 as an independent public charity with a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of Highlands, Cashiers, and surrounding communities. As the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital successor foundation we are committed to continuing a several-decade legacy of generosity and vision to ensure vibrant and healthy living for our year-round, seasonal and visiting families and individuals. Through partnerships with organizations, key stakeholders and caring donors, the Foundation aims to make positive and lasting change through investing in projects and programs that advance innovative solutions and improvements in peoples’ health and well-being. For more information please visit the website: www.hchealthfnd.org or call 828-482-6510.

About Blue Ridge Health

Blue Ridge Health (BRH) is a nonprofit healthcare system that works closely with communities to meet the ever-changing healthcare needs of our region with high-quality, comprehensive, and accessible healthcare services. With 28 locations throughout western North Carolina, BRH offers primary care, dental, pharmacy, behavioral health and nutrition services that prioritize the patient care experience. For more than 55 years, BRH has served as the leader in community-focused healthcare, providing services to communities in Henderson, Buncombe, Transylvania, Rutherford, Polk, Jackson, Haywood and Swain Counties. If you would like more information about Blue Ridge Health, call 828.692.4289 or visit brchs.com.

About MAHEC

Mountain Area Health Education Center was established in 1974 and is a leader in healthcare, education, and innovation. Located in Asheville, MAHEC serves a 16-county region in Western North Carolina and is one of nine Area Health Education Centers in North Carolina. MAHEC’s mission is to recruit, train and retain the workforce needed to create a healthy North Carolina with a focus on primary care in rural communities and those with less access to resources. MAHEC’s Biltmore campus is also home to UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC, an academic health center in partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill that includes programs from the UNC School of Medicine, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.