Celebrating 20 Years of
For over a century, Appalachia has been defined as a region with severe poverty and limited health care. C-Health founders Dr. Brian Easton & the late Dr. Samuel Hughes Melton wanted to provide broad-spectrum family medical care that addresses patients’ emotional and spiritual needs, plus make a long-term commitment to be with and care for the people of this region. It was through this need that C-Health was born.
Today, their vision provides vital services for more than 17,000 patients at facilities in Lebanon, St. Paul and Honaker, Va. As C-Health—now a part of Holston Medical Group’s “Family of Care” – celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we’re proud to look back on the ways in which the practice has transformed care and improved health outcomes for the Southwest Virginia community.
A Long-Lasting Commitment— and Measurable Impact
When Dr. Easton and Dr. Melton met at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, they realized they shared a common dream: to strengthen access to care for people in need. They found an opportunity to make a difference in the Appalachian region, where mortality rates for heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, suicide and more are higher than the national average, yet availability of physicians to treat patients is 65% lower.
From a small mobile office located across the street from the local hospital, C-Health sought to provide not just a full spectrum of family medicine services, but also treatment for substance use disorder and chronic pain. To combat the rate of deaths from overdose and the need for chronic pain management, these services were vital to creating a healthy community. C-Health opened the region’s first buprenorphine treatment program, and Dr. Melton shared lessons learned in treatment of the condition with physicians throughout the region.
Medicine is always changing, but for more than 20 years, C-Health has been well-positioned to adapt to those changes and make a deep impact for those we serve.
To make it easier for residents to receive care, C-Health offered same-day
appointments—a rarity two decades ago—with evening and weekend hours. C-Health
also enabled patients to pay for their care on a sliding scale according to their
needs. In 2003, the team opened a second clinic in Honaker, Va. In August of 2010, the St. Paul location was started.
Today, C-Health has grown, launching three practices across Russell County and
establishing a partnership with Holston Medical Group in 2017.
The team of 8 providers and 33 staff is regionally and nationally recognized for
innovations in rural care:
- In the past two decades, C-Health has won three Healthcare Heroes awards for its commitment to the Southwest Virginia community
- One of the founding members of C-Health, Dr. Melton, received the 2011 Family Physician of the Year Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians
The well-being of the communities we serve is at the heart of C-Health’s commitment to service. So, too, is our deep desire to make a global impact on care.
C-Health continually gives back to the communities we serve. In 2010, we established a not-for-profit foundation to formalize C-Health’s charitable giving efforts. Some of the initiatives funded through this foundation include financial support for flood and disaster relief, scholarships for area students pursuing medical careers, monetary support for the m, and paying for medications for medical mission trips. Several of our providers and nurses also have gone on medical mission trips to Central America.
“Our work in a third-world country as well as the relationships we’ve built at C-Health reflect our commitment to strengthening care for underserved communities,” Dr. Easton says. “We’ve been excited to see God use C-Health in a third-world setting as well as in Southwest Virginia.”
The commitment to improving the health of Southwest Virginia residents continues to fuel C-Health’s team.
Our work in a third-world country as well as the relationships we’ve built at C-Health reflect our commitment to strengthening care for underserved communities.
We invite you to join us in celebrating C-Health’s tradition of community-focused care!
Thank you for trusting us with your care!