Unique Features

Rural Focus
The MAHEC Hendersonville rural program is a unique rural residency program, as residents live all three years in one location, unlike many other 1+2 rural-training tracks. This allows interns to begin building a continuity practice right away, and they are able to maintain a close connection to the residency during their first year. As listed in http://www.traindocsrural.org/, there are 26 such programs, and this program is one of two in North Carolina. Time is spent at both Pardee Hospital and Mission Hospital, separated by 19.8 miles, a short commute for residents.

In close partnership with Pardee Hospital, Dr. Steven Crane spearheaded a grassroots effort in 1992 to found the Hendersonville residency as a rural track for MAHEC's Asheville family medicine residency, with the goal of attracting family medicine physicians to rural Western North Carolina. The program accepted its first residents in 1996 and celebrated its first graduation in 1999. Initially designed for two graduates per class, the residency since has expanded to its current census of four residents per class. The program has had three program directors: Dr. Wail Malaty, Dr. Steven Crane and then its current director, Dr. Geoff Jones. It initially was located exclusively at the Hendersonville Family Health Center next to Pardee Hospital but expanded in 2013 to include another practice, Blue Ridge Health Center. Together, both community health centers are part of Blue Ridge Community Health Services, Inc. a federally qualified health center and migrant clinic.

P4 Project—Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice

MAHEC’s Hendersonville Residency Program was part of a five-year initiative from 2007-2012, the P4 Project. The program coordinated an EHR system with practice redesign in several rural practices in collaboration with the main teaching practice. The American Board of Family Medicine, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors and TransforMED sponsored the project, and the residency was chosen as part of select group of 14 training programs across the nation to spur innovation across residencies to better prepare family physicians for the future. The P4 programs have contributed a proud legacy of residency innovation that has impacted training environments everywhere and stimulated discussions about how residency education should change to meet the needs of future physician leaders. Click here to read more about the P4 Project.

Information Technology
Residents receive $300 to go towards the purchase of a smartphone or tablet.  The program has full online access to the University of North Carolina’s medical library. In addition, three iPads are available in Pardee hospital for inpatient rounding, and laptops are used for outpatient clinic. All electronic records can be accessed at home on a desktop or tablet.

Community Medicine

During their second and third years, residents work on a community project, which is considered their main scholarly activity. They collaborate with local organizations and have an impact on their community.  
Examples of prior projects:

  • Creating an online database of community resources
  • Managing a chronic-pain group
  • Building a community garden in a low-income area
  • Installing additional sinks in the hospital to reduce C.diff infections
  • Creating a mobile migrant clinic
  • Improving bicycle safety and education
  • Improving diabetic care with an information kiosk at a grocery store

Flexible Curriculum
At the MAHEC Hendersonville rural program, resident experiences are tailored so the resident acquires exactly the skills and knowledge that match their career goals and personal interests. Four months of the third year are set aside as electives, allowing residents the opportunity to direct their own training.


Surrounded by majestic mountains, Hendersonville is known as “The City of Four Seasons” and is nestled atop a 2,200-foot scenic mountain plateau between the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is just a short distance down the Blue Ridge Parkway from Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. Nearby Dupont, Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests attract hikers and bikers to miles of mountain trails. Area streams and rivers, such as the Green and Nantahala, offer many activities, from trout fishing to whitewater rafting and kayaking. The area’s economy is fueled by manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and retirees. While still retaining its small town charm, Hendersonville conveniently is located near larger cities, such as Asheville, Charlotte and Greenville, SC. With a mean temperature of 71 degrees in the summer and 41 degrees in the winter, the climate is conducive to year-round activity.

Some recent presentations and articles by faculty:

Hayes, M. UNC Grand Rounds:  Evaluation of Post-Menopausal Bleeding.

Hodge, B. Presentation STFM Conference on Practice Improvement 12/2012 Bridging Healthcare: An Innovative Model to Improve Outcomes and Decrease Cost for Difficult Health Care Cohorts

Morris, A. “Clinica en el Campo: Migrant Farmworker Outreach” Presentation at the 2012 Migrant East Coast Stream Forum, Virginia Beach. 11/2012.

Shaker H, Stigleman S, et al. “Clinical Inquiry: Can calcium supplements cause serious adverse effects in healthy people?” The Journal of Family Practice 61.10 (2012): 620

Tanios M, Shaker H, Mansi IA. “A Case Report of Embolic Retinal Artery Occlusion: The Lost Measurement of Healthcare Quality.” The Journal of Louisiana State Medical Society. 164.2 (2012): 87.