BLOWING ROCK — If Blowing Rock is the “Crown of the Blue Ridge,” as the old saying goes, that crown has a brand new jewel.

The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge, the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s newest facility, held a grand opening on Sept. 16 in Blowing Rock. More than 100 people turned out for tours, speeches, a luncheon and the official ribbon cutting for the post-acute health care facility.

“The Foley Center will do much to improve the health and quality of life in the High Country,” said Richard Sparks, president and CEO of ARHS. “That tradition of quality health care began in Blowing Rock with Harriet and Charles Davant. This will be a place of caring for and about the patient. We all have ownership of this project and its three pillars of sharing, catching the spirit and passion.”

Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence thanked Sparks for working diligently to find a replacement site for Blowing Rock Hospital that would remain in the town.

According to officials, patients will move into the new facility from Blowing Rock Hospital and elsewhere in the next month.

Rob Hudspeth, senior vice president of ARHS, said the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge hosted an event for donors Dennis and Diane Foley on the evening before the grand opening.

Chestnut Ridge sits on 63 acres located on U.S. 321 near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It consists of the Foley Center, the Harriet and Charles Davant Jr. Medical Clinic and the Village Pharmacy, a division of Boone Drugs Inc.

The Davant Medical Clinic will open on Oct. 3, and the Village Pharmacy is scheduled to open in November.

The main level of the Foley Center will house areas for short-term rehab (34 beds), assisted living (20 beds) and skilled care nursing (14 beds). The lower level will be for long-term care (44 beds).

The Foley Center will employ 135 people, including nurses, technicians, office administrators, cooks and groundskeepers. It has 24-hour RN coverage, meaning there is always a registered nurse on site.

Nathan White will serve as the administrator for the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge. Dr. Kevin Clark is the medical director, and Jamey Ellison is the director of nursing.

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