Watauga Medical Center Becomes North Carolina Baptist Hospital Affiliate

April 29, 2005

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Watauga Medical Center, Boone, North Carolina, and North Carolina Baptist Hospital, part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, have entered into an Affiliation Agreement which will allow the two Medical Centers to develop and enhance medical services for their patients.

Watauga Medical Center provides health care services to citizens of Watauga and surrounding counties, and has a Medical Staff of more than 90 members. This Medical Center developed the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, which includes the Charles A. Cannon Jr Memorial Hospital in Linville, North Carolina.

Richard G. Sparks, President of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System said, “Watauga Medical Center and North Carolina Baptist Hospital have had a strong relationship for decades and we are pleased to acknowledge such with this agreement and to also show the commitment of both organizations to provide high quality patient care and services to the residents of northwest North Carolina.”

The Affiliation will enable the two health care organizations to develop programs and services beneficial to the patients they serve. The Agreement may include local health promotion and wellness educational programs, physician recruitment, specialty clinics and consultations. The medical centers are currently members of the Northwest Area Health Education Center which maintains a health care library at Watauga Medical Center.

North Carolina Baptist Hospital has Affiliate Agreements with twenty hospitals in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia. "We are pleased to have Watauga Medical

Center join our network of hospitals and look forward to developing strategies to better serve our patients,” said Ralph Holthouser, Director, Hospital Affiliations, North Carolina Baptist Hospital.

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Media Contacts: Jonnie Rohrer, jrohrer@wfubmc.edu , Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. It is licensed to operate 1,282 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.

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