Effective July 1, Vaya’s Sylva office will move from 44 Bonnie Lane to 20 Sylva Plaza. Based in Asheville, Vaya manages publicly funded services for mental health, substance use and intellectual/developmental disabilities in 23 western N.C. counties, including Jackson.
“Our members will see no changes in access to care, benefits or choice of healthcare providers due to the new location,” said Vaya CEO Brian Ingraham. “No staff reductions are expected in connection with the move. We remain dedicated to maintaining a strong presence in our westernmost counties and to our members, healthcare providers and community partners.”
The new location will house about 22 Vaya staff members from multiple areas of operations, including care coordination, finance and human resources. Additionally, Vaya maintains home-based employees throughout the region, as well as a regional office in Waynesville.
Founded in 1972 in Sylva under the name Smoky Mountain Center, Vaya moved its administrative headquarters to Asheville in 2015. In light of a changing healthcare landscape, the organization announced its administrative consolidation plan in February 2017.
The plan aims to increase cost-effectiveness to best serve Vaya members, providers and partners. An earlier review, conducted as part of the consolidation, found the Bonnie Lane facility was underutilized.
Vaya values its roots in far western North Carolina. Vaya’s leadership looks forward to continuing to serve Jackson County while modernizing the organization’s workforce and increasing its efficiency as a public agency.
As of July 1, 2018 the former Vaya office building located at 44 Bonnie Lane in Sylva will be available for lease through The Evergreen Foundation. The 20,800 square foot building was built back in 1999 to house the administrative offices of mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability services for the counties of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain. As the mental health system in North Carolina has changed it has been necessary for Vaya to move its administrative operations to a more central location within their expanded service area.
The building is in a prime location for health and human service providers and was the first building to be built in the office park across from Southwestern Community College in Sylva. It is a two story building, with ample parking and access on both levels. It also has an elevator, numerous offices, small and large conference rooms, a large board or meeting room, and a large kitchen.