Serving You in Any Way We Can

A Letter From the Toe River Health Director

What is the true purpose of public health? Our Health Director, F.M. Gardner, offers a unique perspective that you may not expect. Read on for more insight into our public health philosophy and why we “work hard with integrity, honesty, and to treat each of you like family.”

F.M. Gardner
Interim Health Director, REHS

To the Citizens of Avery and Mitchell Counties,

As the Interim Health Director for the Toe River Health District, I would like to introduce myself to you and, in time, I hope to get to know each of you.

I grew up in western North Carolina where my family has lived for several generations. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina State University and am currently pursuing my Master of Public Administration through Montreat College. I have worked for the great state of North Carolina for over 21 years, most of that has been with local health departments across our state. I have been working here at Toe River Health District since 2019.

Growing up in Western North Carolina, I received most of my health services from the local health department. I knew most of the staff and trusted them. They always treated my family and me with respect and dignity while offering the highest quality care at an affordable cost.

The world in which we live seems to be changing at a rapid speed, but some things should never change. When you come to the Avery or Mitchell County Health Campus, and I hope you do, you will be treated with respect and dignity. We will offer as many services as we can for you and your family and will do so with the highest quality of care possible at an affordable cost.

You are the reason we are here, and we take that seriously. If we can serve you, we will. We do not discriminate or turn anyone away regardless of sex, creed, color, or vaccine status. We keep your private health information exactly that, private.

Some of the most important lessons I have learned from my family and growing up in the mountains of North Carolina are also my mission here at Toe River Health: to work hard with integrity, honesty, and to treat each of you like family.

It is my honor to serve each and every one of you as the Interim Health Director for Toe River Health. We look forward to serving you and your family in any way we can. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at Toe River Health District.

F.M. Gardner, Interim Health Director, REHS

We Don't Treat Symptoms, We Treat People


Reach out to Toe River Health today to make an appointment at the location most convenient to you.


Toe River Health offers a wide variety of public health services in both Avery and Mitchell counties.


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