“Community Health Centers have a reputation of being humble within the field of healthcare, though they are leading in decreasing socioeconomic barriers and improving health outcomes,” Simpson says. “It is my vision to continue being an advocate for those patients with limited resources to allow them the opportunity to receive the high-quality, low-cost care that they all are deserving of.”
Check out the rest of our conversation with AMCHC’s new President & CEO Shantelle Simpson below…
Tell us about your business and the role you play in it.
Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers (AMCHC) is a premier source of healthcare in Asheville, North Carolina, and surrounding counties such as Buncombe, Cherokee, Graham, Jackson, Murphy, Robbinsville, and Sylva. AMCHC is a federally qualified community health center focused on providing quality, yet low-cost healthcare to community residents. At AMCHC’s six locations, patients can receive primary care for adults and children, comprehensive behavioral health services, women’s health, pharmacy services (to include mail-order delivery soon), hands-on case management, peer support, health education, transportation to and from appointments, and other enabling services. All AMCHC providers are licensed, credentialed professionals working within their scope to improve the health of North Carolina, one patient, at a time.
As the President and Chief Executive Officer of Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers, it is my mission to enhance access to healthcare and provide the community with quality services and excellent customer service. We will continue to grow our organization to provide new and additional services that ensure patients have the resources they need to improve their wellbeing across all areas of their life.
Where did your vision begin? How has it grown?
My interest in health centers began over ten years ago when I worked as the nurse manager of a primary care department within a community health center. I quickly grew a passion for health centers and the patients served. Community Health Centers have a reputation of being humble within the field of healthcare, though they are leading in decreasing socioeconomic barriers and improving health outcomes. It is my vision to continue being an advocate for those patients with limited resources to allow them the opportunity to receive the high-quality, low-cost care that they all are deserving of.
What made you choose the Asheville area?
I chose the Asheville area because I previously had a strong interest in visiting Asheville due to its beauty. When I visited the area and learned more about the strong community partnerships related to improving healthcare for residents, I knew I had found a place where I could grow and help advance healthcare.
Who are your key partners?
Our key partners are community organizations focused on improving healthcare and decreasing socioeconomic barriers. The North Carolina Community Health Center Association, under the leadership of Ms. Crystal Shank, is instrumental in ensuring AMCHC has educational resources and support to keep improving as a health center. Mountain Area Health Education Center offers provider education and recruitment in addition to partnering with AMCHC on grants focused on decreasing substance abuse and barriers to care in North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust has proven to be dedicated to the advancement of healthcare and plays a crucial role in financial support that creates the capacity for AMCHC to keep advancing healthcare services.
AMCHC is ready and willing to partner with local community foundations, agencies, and associations that share our mission.
What is a little-known fact about your organization?
AMCHC is ready and willing to be there when and where you need us. Our providers serve patients outside of our facilities, bringing quality healthcare to the patient. Additionally, our strong peer support program meets the patient where they are, connecting them to their provider via telehealth services.
If you had to give one piece of advice to someone just starting in the non-profit realm, what would it be?
Non-profits are not for the faint of heart. Choosing to lead or work for a non-profit is deciding that you are in it for the people and led by your passion. The non-profit world requires you to be impactful with limited resources, therefore you must be resourceful and willing to create key partnerships that advance the work and meet the goals.
What does the word “community” mean to you?
Neighbors. Connected. Together.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
I appreciate the warm welcome to Asheville. I am ready and willing to do the hard work to continue advancing healthcare and Asheville.