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Kathey is founder and owner of Avery Health – Education and Consulting and the CEO and community nurse for the Institute for Preventive Healthcare & Advocacy (IFPHA), which she founded in May 2020.
She has nearly 40 years of nursing experience in Asheville, 15 of those in community nursing. Kathey initiated a community health worker model of care as the contracted nurse for the Asheville Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement (ABIPA), a nonprofit founded in 2004 by Dr. Charles Blair and dedicated to eliminating health disparities in the region. From 2008 to 2020, she directed ABIPA’s clinical and community connections and played a key outreach and health education role in its popular PRAISE program with area churches.
Born in Bat Cave, NC, Kathey graduated from Western Carolina University in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She worked at Mission Hospital System for over 30 years where she specialized in oncology nursing and neurology. In 1995, she was instrumental in helping form the hospital’s first Diversity Committee and served on the committee until 2011. She was awarded the prestigious Martin Luther King Award by Mission Health in 2011.
UNC Asheville and Buncombe County Health & Human Services recognized Kathey in 2016 with an Unsung Heroes award. She received the Lillian Carter Award for Exemplary Nursing from Modern Healthcare Magazine in 2017.
Kathey worked with, and served as a co-chair of Building Bridges, a 25 year-old program designed to address racism in the region. Currently she is active in the Racial Justice Coalition, Dementia Friendly WNC, PEAK Academy, and the Health Equity Coalition.