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Salthouse to be CEO of High Country Community Health

Alice Salthouse

Sept. 27, 2012. Alice Salthouse, the director of community outreach for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System has resigned her post in order to accept a position of chief executive officer with High Country Community Health, Inc.

“Alice really has her finger on the pulse of what is going on in the community,” said Gillian Baker, vice president of corporate communications of ARHS. “That is why this new role is going to be so good for her because she has a real heart for the people of the High Country, the needs that they have and what needs to be done to meet those needs.”

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.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. 

On Salthouse’s new appointment, Chuck Mantooth, president of Watauga Medical Center said, “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.”

Baker echoed Mantooth’s sentiments, saying, “She has been an asset to our healthcare system and we are sad to see her go but glad to see this opportunity for her. It’s an opportunity for the community as well. It’s a professional growth opportunity for her but it’s also an opportunity for the community to get served with a federally qualified health center.”

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.

Baker will add oversight of the community outreach department to her current role with the healthcare system. She had previously served in the capacity that Salthouse did in proir years. 

“I’m familiar with community outreach work and I’m anxious to get back in there and see what we need to do to make sure we are serving the needs of the community — and in collaboration with the new services that are available out there in the community that weren’t there when I was in that role before, like the federally qualified health center,” said Baker. “It’s an exciting opportunity for me to step back into a previous role I have had with the healthcare system and be able to do more of the community outreach focus that I’ve kind of stepped away from while I’ve been in the corporate communications role.”

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