Amanda MartinAmanda Martin
Executive Director

As Executive Director, Amanda helped establish and grow the school-based telemedicine program from three pilot sites to a 22-site program in three rural school districts, which she now supervises. Amanda's areas of expertise cover a wide range: from day-to-day equipment troubleshooting to program design and implementation. With an extensive background in medical office management, she understands the importance & challenges of expanding healthcare access in rural counties. Prior work experience includes International Market Development for a Johnson & Johnson company, and four years managing Burnsville Family Medicine for Dr. Joseph Antinori, MD. Amanda served on the Health-e-Schools Advisory Board and the founding Board of the Center for Rural Health Innovation before becoming the Executive Director in 2011. Amanda is also currently pursuing her Masters in Healthcare Administration through the executive program at the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina.


Dr. Steve NorthDr. Steve North Founder & Medical Director

Steve North grew up in Wisconsin, and was frequently told that he would be a great doctor, like his dad. Despite strong encouragement from his family and community, Steve was unsure why he was applying to medical schools. Steve was selected to be a Teach For America teacher following graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He turned down medical school and decided to pursue education. He taught 5th-8th grade exceptional education in Edgecombe County, NC for two years. While teaching in this rural area, Steve began to realize that his students were not reaching their academic potential due to medical problems that were not being addressed because they lacked access to appropriate medical care. At the same time he was introduced to the concept of school-based health centers.


Steve had found his passion. He returned to school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to pursue medicine. He completed his residency in family medicine, a fellowship in adolescent medicine, and then earned a Masters in Public Health at the University of Rochester. He then moved to North Carolina to practice family and adolescent medicine at the Bakersville Community Medical Clinic, as he continued to look for innovative ways to further help children in this community.


A door opened when The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Health awarded him The Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership fellowship, allowing him to develop the Health-e-Schools program and launch the Center for Rural Health Innovation. Steve is the Founder and Medical Director of the Center for Rural Health Innovation, and currently sees patients three days a week at the Blue Ridge Medical Center. Additionally Steve is the Medical Director for the Mission Center for Telehealth and an Adjunct Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the North Carolina Multidisciplinary Adolescent Research Consortium and Coalition for Health at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill.


Tonya Hensley, Nurse PractionerTonya Hensley, Nurse Practitioner

Tonya is a Madison County, NC native. She has been a nurse since 2000 and worked primarily in family practice and home health. She obtained her Masters of Science in Nursing from East Tennessee State University in 2008 and has worked in School-Based Health since 2009. Tonya completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree at ETSU with a focus in childhood obesity in May 2014.

Tonya works tirelessly to provide quality, comprehensive healthcare to the students, faculty and staff at the Health-e-Schools sites. She provides primary care services via telemedicine to the entire Health-e-Schools network.


Christy Lewis, Program DirectorChristy Lewis, Program Director

A native of McDowell County, NC, Christy has spent half of her 18 years in nursing working in pediatrics. Helping children is her true passion, and this shows in the way she communicates with them. Her goal is to always gain a child's trust and provide them with the same standard of care that she would give her own children. She is a wife and mother of two boys. 2014 was a year of changes - one son started middle school while the other started college.


She loves the Outer Banks and UNC Tarheel basketball. Christy serves on McDowell County's Relay for Life Committee and is also a professional photographer.


Lacey Jones, Program DirectorLacey Jones, Program Director

Lacey was raised in Mitchell County, NC where she has worked in healthcare management since finishing her BS in Business Administration at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Lacey has been engaged in planning community events and fundraisers for many years. This close connection to her community drives her passion for helping to improve access to healthcare services through the Mitchell & Yancey Health-e-Schools program.

Lacey and her husband are expecting their first child in 2015. Lacey continues to be involved with Relay for Life and is a committee member for the annual Rhododendron Festival in Bakersville, NC.


Anna Grindstaff, Clinic CoordinatoAnna Grindstaff, Clinic Coordinator
A native of Avery County, NC, Anna attended Mayland Community College to complete her Medical Assistant certification as well as her Associates degree in Business Administration. Anna’s smiling face greets students and faculty in the Health-e-Schools clinic at Mayland Community College where she presents them to the medical provider for care. Anna also serves the entire Health-e-Schools network as a “virtual front office” – managing schedules, insurance and referrals. She also invites the current Health Science students into her office for first-hand exposure to the newest telemedicine technology that many new healthcare workers are likely to encounter.


Contacting Us

Center for Rural Health Innovation

120 Oak Avenue,
Spruce Pine, NC 28777

Phone: 828-467-8815
Fax: 828-367-7827