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Task Force Commissioned to Study Retirement Community Options at Blowing Rock’s Appalachian Place

Aug. 24, 2012. Plans for a retirement community on property purchased by Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) are still in the works. Richard Sparks, president and CEO of ARHS, has commissioned an 11 person task force to study retirement community options that will complement ARHS’ new state-of-the-art Post-Acute Care Facility, Appalachian Place at Chestnut Ridge. Appalachian Place, a 112-bed facility, will be located between Boone and Blowing Rock on a portion of the 68-acre tract along U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock. The new facility will allow Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to offer rehabilitation services, extended care, memory support, palliative care and primary care in a beautiful neighborhood setting adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Construction will begin in the Spring 2013. 

“The High Country presents a unique situation and culture,” said Sparks. “Finding the right match for a retirement community provider is critical. The task force will explore retirement living options for residents of our region and play an important role in determining which can successfully operate on the campus of Appalachian Place at Chestnut Ridge.” 

The Task Force, chaired by Jerry Hutchens, Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation Board Member and former Sr. Vice President of the Foundation, is comprised of Dr. Lorin Baumhover, Retired Provost – ASU; Dr. Lori Gonzalez, Provost – ASU; Mr. Rob Hudspeth, Sr. Vice President, ARHS Foundation; Mrs. Reba Moretz, Owner, Appalachian Ski Mountain; Mr. Larry Nance, Retired Director of Human Resource – ASU; Mr. Dennis Quinn, Chairperson, Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation Board; Mr. Keith Tester, ARHS Board of Trustees member; and Dr. Ted Waller, retired Physician. Dr. Kenneth Peacock, Chancellor – ASU, and Mr. Richard Sparks will serve as ex-officio members of the task force.

Sparks has charged the Task Force with determining a retirement community model that will:

  • Serve the retirement needs of residents of the High Country — related to their lifestyle desires, healthcare needs and financial resources.
  • Fully complement the ARHS post-acute care facility, Appalachian Place at Chestnut Ridge.
  • Allow ARHS to partner with Appalachian State University and their College of Health Sciences in fostering a learning environment for students studying geriatrics, rehabilitation, memory support and palliative care.
  • Allow ARHS to focus entirely on its mission to provide compassionate, high quality healthcare for the people of our region.
  • The Task Force will meet over the next six months to review retirement care models and partnerships that will serve the High Country well into the future.

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