Clinic opening marked Friday
What was once a vacant field between Huddle House and Dollar General became a helicopter landing pad for awhile Friday, Aug. 2. Having a Life Force medical chopper land beside Hayesville’s new state-of-the-art Erlanger Primary Care, Express Care and Specialty Care clinic seemed appropriate for the transformed Dollar General store. The clinic officially opened Monday, Aug. 5, but it was open for the community to enjoy Friday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Mark Kimball, CEO of Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital, welcomed several dozen attendees to the official ceremony. “Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital’s goal is to provide our community with more access to exceptional healthcare, closer to home,” Kimball said. “These new Hayesville services will help do just that by offering extended hours, a fast and efficient walk-in clinic and a primary care medical home, all in the same facility and with local Hayesville providers.”
Kimball also introduced Dr. Karen Davis, who will join the practice in early September. She spoke briefly, explaining how her family used to visit the western North Carolina area with her family when she was young. Davis has about 30 years of experience as a physician and is excited to move to the area she visited so frequently as a child. The other main providers at the clinic will be Nancy Lynae Cheeks, FNP-C; Kay Hayes, FNP-BC and Dr. Brent Davis, board certified orthopedic surgeon.
The ceremony had officially begun with an invocation by Pastor Chris Rumfelt, of Hayesville’s First Free Will Baptist Church. Rumfelt thanked God for the new clinic and the opportunity for the clinic to be in Hayesville. Dr. Rob Peck, chairman of the Clay County Board of Commissioners, also expressed his gratitude on behalf of Clay County residents. He said he had seen the need for more healthcare options as soon as he took office and is glad Erlanger has brought the new healthcare clinic. Both Clay County’s Manager Mark Pullium and Hayesville Mayor Harry Baughn echoed Peck’s sentiments. The Quality of Life Study done by the Hinton Center a couple of years had shown the need for accessible healthcare, Baughn said.
A press release from Jean Wenn Luce, marketing brand manager for Erlanger Health System offered these details. Over the next three years, 12 new jobs will be created at the new facility, which has been a $1.5 million investment. Grants provided to subsidize the cost of the facility include a $150,000 North Carolina Department of Commerce, Rural Division Building Reuse and Renovation grant, with a $7,500 match from Clay County and $100,000 from the Golden LEAF Foundation, an organization committed to increasing economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities.
Erlanger Primary Care Hayesville is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The hours for Erlanger Express Care Hayesville are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The clinic is located at 146 Highway 64 East in Hayesville. Walk-in appointments are available, call 389-3608 to schedule and appointment. For orthopedic appointments, call (828) 837-9181. Visit: www.Erlanger.org/WesternCarolina.