The Duke Endowment Awards $350,000 for Primary Care Center

Boone, NC (July 16, 2013) Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation recently received a generous grant from The Duke Endowment for $350,000. The funds will support the Baker Center for Primary Care, located in the Sloop Medical Plaza, on the campus of Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville, NC.


The Baker Center provides access to quality primary care for residents and visitors of Avery County. It has been designated a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The Baker Center also features a training program for medical students, designed to expose them to primary care in a rural setting. The Center is one of five statewide full time teaching practices, as designated by the UNC School of Medicine, Family Practice Department. 


“By expanding access to quality primary care and increasing training opportunities, this project will play a critical role in improved health care services for a medically underserved county,” says Mary Piepenbring, vice president of The Duke Endowment. “This partnership is a great example of health care and academic organizations coming together to produce better health outcomes for more people.”


In order to insure long-term sustainable primary care for the residents and visitors of Avery County, Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation has set a fundraising goal of $1,500,000 for this vital project. With the $350,000 grant from The Duke Endowment, total gift commitments currently exceed $900,000.


The Duke Endowment, located in Charlotte, N.C., seeks to fulfill the legacy of James B. Duke by improving lives and communities in the Carolinas through higher education, health care, rural churches and children’s services. Since its inception, the Endowment has distributed more than $3 billion in grants.


For more information, please contact Gillian Baker, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System at (828) 268-8958.


For more information about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, visit

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