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Dr. Jeffrey Viar is 2020 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year

Jeffrey Viar, DO, has been named 2020 Rural Health Practitioner of the Year by the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). This is the first time a practitioner in North Carolina has won this national award.

A rural health clinic physician for Foothills Medical Associates in Columbus with more than 20 years of experience, Viar also provides care at Tryon Estates, a local retirement community and at a substance abuse clinic on a weekly basis. He serves as a trustee on the Board at St. Luke’s Hospital and has been voted “Best Doctor” in the Tryon Daily Bulletin Best of the Best survey.

The NRHA recently announced its 2020 Rural Health Award recipients. The awards are given each year to individuals and organizations in the field of rural health who have dedicated their time and talents to improving the health and well-being of others.

“We’re extremely proud of this year’s winners,” says Alan Morgan, NRHA CEO. “They have each made tremendous strides to advance rural healthcare, and we’re confident they will continue to help improve the lives of rural Americans.”

A champion for education, Viar partnered with Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) to bring a family medicine residency program to Foothills Medical Associates, inspiring the next generation of providers to stay in their rural community.

He was instrumental in the launch of an innovative approach to provide additional access to care for patients by launching a rural pharmacy fellowship in partnership with MAHEC. This allows patients to have a consult with a pharmacist for wellness visits and review of medication regimens. “The patient feedback has been impressive,” says Michelle Fortune, St. Luke’s Hospital CEO. “We are beginning to see fantastic results from this new model of care. St. Luke’s is proud of Dr. Viar’s accomplishments and honored to have him on our exceptional team of healthcare practitioners.”

“I truly believe that no one receives an award like this based solely on their own merits, but on the hard work, dedication and collaboration offered by many knowledgeable and compassionate individuals who support them daily,” says Dr. Jeffrey Viar. “Without my exceptional staff at Foothills Medical Associates, my family, colleagues at St. Luke’s Hospital, and my Heavenly Father, I certainly would be not be capable of effectively serving the needs of our community.”

Since 1999, Foothills Medical Associates has been dedicated to providing Polk County residents with exceptional care, close to home. Under the direction of Jeffrey Viar, DO, Foothills Medical Associates prides itself on providing patients with highly skilled, dedicated practitioners who focus on personalized attention for patients in all stages of life, from infants to the elderly. Foothills Medical Associates is located on the campus of St. Luke’s Hospital at 130 Forest Glen Road, Suite B in Columbus. For more information, call 828-894-5627.

Submitted by Becky Rickenbaker