Medwest affiliation will benefit patients

By Kate Queen • Guest Columnist

At the beginning of December, Mountain Medical Associates, an established, multi-specialty internal medicine practice in Clyde, joined the MedWest Physician Network. Our new affiliation with MedWest is a continuation of Mountain Medical Associates’ longstanding commitment to provide high-quality healthcare in this community.

Mountain Medical Associates grew out of a practice founded in 1964 by Dr. Ralph Feichter, a Haywood County native whose medical training included work at the Mayo Clinic. That experience inspired him to develop a clinic here where physicians could collaborate to meet the needs of patients with complex medical problems, a model we believe has enhanced care as well as physician satisfaction.

Over the past nearly 50 years, Mountain Medical Associates has supported community healthcare initiatives throughout Haywood County. Dr. Feichter led the effort to relocate the hospital to its current central location in Clyde. The members of Mountain Medical Associates also played key roles in the development of the hospital Health and Fitness Center and the Osteoporosis Center, and continue to strive to build innovative programs on the hospital campus.

Mountain Medical Associates has 12 providers who specialize in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, gastroenterology, rheumatology and neurology. The current environment for recruiting new physicians with the level of knowledge and training we believe our patients deserve is challenging. Most recently trained physicians want the benefits of a formal affiliation with a health care system.

Becoming part of the MedWest Physician Network will help to attract high-quality health practitioners to serve this region and secure the presence of a multispecialty practice like ours in this community.

One of the other benefits to becoming part of the MedWest Physician Network will be the opportunity to use a unified electronic medical record system which will enhance our ability to offer seamless care and avoid the fragmented transfer of information and at times unnecessary duplication of testing that unfortunately has been part of usual care in this country

We want to assure our patients that our commitment to them will not change and that we will all continue to provide care in our current long-term location. We are welcoming patients seeking internal medicine providers and will continue to embrace our commitment to securing excellent health care for all of Haywood County.

(Dr. Kate T. Queen, M.D. has practiced rheumatology at Mountain Medical Associates for 25 years. She  received her M.D. from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where she also did her residency in the Department of Medicine. Call 828.452.0331 or visit for more about the practice.)

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