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WNC Business

New health center opens in McDowell County

Apr 26, 2023 12:06PM ● By WNC Business
MARION - Western North Carolina Community Health Services opened the first Federally Qualified Health Center in McDowell County on April 11. FQHCs are important safety net providers in rural areas with sliding fee programs available for both insured and uninsured patients.

"At WNCCHS, we believe everyone deserves access to high-quality, life-enriching health care, and we’re excited to bring that mission to the residents of McDowell County,” said Kim Wagenaar, CEO of WNCCHS. "We're honored to be part of this community and look forward to serving it for years to come."

In addition to primary care and behavioral health, McDowell Health Center offers a wide range of services, including immunizations, chronic disease management, work/school/travel exams, specialty referrals, substance abuse services, minor ambulatory procedures, and more. Patients also have access to discounted medications through WNCCHS’s 340B Pharmacy, as well as WNCCHS Support Services, which help address social determinants of health (such as food insecurity, housing instability, unmet transportation needs, etc.). Patients with health-harming legal needs can also be connected to WNCCHS’s Medical Legal Partnership with Pisgah Legal Services.

The health care team at McDowell Health Center includes Natali Cabrera, FNP, a family nurse practitioner with 12 years of experience who is fluent in Spanish and English and Heather Cook, FNP, a family nurse practitioner who has worked in public health, family practice and internal medicine for 20 years. “I am extremely happy to be able to care for the McDowell County community, providing full family medical care and increasing access to primary care in this county,” said Cabrera.

McDowell Health Center, located at 136 Creekview Court, in Marion is open Monday and Tuesday from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and closed on Thursdays. In addition to McDowell Health Center, WNCCHS has health care locations in Asheville (Minnie Jones Health Center) and Candler (Hominy Valley Health Center), as well as a traveling Mobile Clinic.

To schedule an appointment, patients can call 828-583-6733. There will be an open house for the new health center on Wednesday, May 24, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.

For more information, visit

Western North Carolina Community Health Services