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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication

May 20, 2003 -- No. 296

Local angles: Madison County

Tar Heel Bus Tour faculty to learn of rural health program, visit farm

Thursday, May 22
Thirty-two new faculty and administrators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will visit Madison County on the fourth day of the 2003 Tar Heel Bus Tour. The visit will start with a discussion on the Hot Springs Health Program, a comprehensive, countywide rural health system serving citizens of Madison County; the UNC School of Medicine and the N.C. Office of Rural Health assisted in its creation.

Afterward, participants will visit Blue Hill Farm, where they will talk with owner Wayne Uffelman and Gary Gumz, director of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. The project is a community-based collaborative focused on sustaining farms and rural communities in western North Carolina through an integrated program of farmland protection, sustainable production systems, policy development and promotion of several different markets.

Tour background:

The 1,040-mile tour’s 13 educational stops from May 19 through May 23 are designed to teach new faculty about North Carolina’s people, geography, economy, culture, history, education system and health and social issues. The privately funded tour, which began in 1997, aims to help new faculty better understand the cities and towns where 82 percent of Carolina undergraduates grow up. They also see UNC outreach projects already under way and have opportunities to learn how their own research, teaching and public service activities tie in with the state’s needs.

Michael Smith, dean of the UNC School of Government, serves as tour leader.

Thursday’s Carolina connections: Madison County is home to 15 Carolina students and 126 UNC alumni.

Thursday’s highlight:
9 a.m. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Madison campus

Among those scheduled to participate in the session on Hot Springs Health Program are Dr. Marianna Daly, a family physician at the program – frequently recognized as a model for comprehensive rural health-care delivery – and medical director for the Madison County Health Department.

Anita Davie, Madison County manager, and Daly will discuss the difficulties facing rural communities in meeting citizens’ needs in social services and health care in Madison County.

Afterward, participants will board the bus for Blue Hill Farm. Those participating in this part of the visit are Gumz, Uffelman and Rob Amberg, an award-winning photographer and writer who has documented the changes in the area during the past 20 years.

Leslie Anderson, first director of the Asheville Downtown Development Office, is scheduled to participate in the Madison County bus tour visit, as well.

Interviews: Tour leader Michael Smith, dean of the UNC School of Government, and participants are expected to be available for print and broadcast interviews at stops. Media access will be unrestricted except where otherwise noted above. During the tour, call Deb Saine of UNC News Services at (919) 962-8415 with questions about coverage, directions to tour stops or interviews. Or call News Services in Chapel Hill at (919) 962-2091.

More information is available at

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Contacts: For print inquiries, call Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or For broadcast-related inquiries, call Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595 (office) or (919) 218-2467 (cell).