Serving Polk County, North Carolina


Polk Wellness Center is committed to empowering those it serves, along with the general public, by offering workshops and participating in events in the community. We also want to keep the community informed as we reach service milestones. On this page, you will learn more about recent news regarding Polk Wellness Center and its upcoming events.


Polk Wellness Center receives $50,000 in grants from community foundation

Tryon Daily Bulletin, Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Polk Wellness Center's "Journey to Wellness" column is published the first and third Wednesdays of each month in the Tryon Daily Bulletin.


Columbus, NC—July 22, 2011—Polk Wellness Center (PWC) is now offering full medical services with the addition of Physician Assistant Amanda S. Hovis to its integrated care staff.

Hovis will work alongside Polk Wellness Center Medical Director Dr. Jeffrey Viar. The Center uses a comprehensive, integrated model to provide family medical care, mental health, substance abuse, prevention, education, wellness, and recovery support services. Polk Wellness Center is located at 801 West Mills Street in the Columbus Professional Building and serves Polk County and surrounding areas. Hovis will be accepting new patients starting Monday, July 25, 2011.

Hovis—a Physician Assistant with a Masters in Health Science from Duke University—brings to Polk Wellness Center extensive experience in family practice and pediatrics. Five years ago, Hovis worked in Polk County treating patients with neuromuscular conditions, but moved with her family to the Charlotte area where she focused on providing preventative and acute medical care.  Currently, Hovis resides in Boiling Springs, SC with her husband, a vascular surgeon at SRMC, and their three children.

“I am really excited about coming back to this wonderful community, and working with a truly integrated staff. Treating the whole person, recognizing the mind-body connection, is the future of medicine and the best way to approach our patients’ total health,” explains Hovis.

Polk Wellness Center participated with other local organizations in the N.C. Farm Bureau's Healthy Living for a LIfetime health screening at Bi-Lo in Columbus, N.C. The community awareness event brought out residents who wanted to learn more about health services available in the area, as well as those who wanted to receive health screenings. PWC members were on hand to educate attendees about the specific services available at the Center.


Board members also set up a booth at the Older Americans Fair at the Senior Center in Columbus, N.C. to help bring about awareness of the scope of services available to all at Polk Wellness Center.

Columbus, NC—December 13, 2010—On Monday, December 6th at 5:30 p.m., Polk Wellness Center presented a “Handling Holiday Stress” panel discussion at ICC-Polk in collaboration with  Steps to HOPE and St. Luke’s Hospital. This community awareness event is the first in a “Wellness Series” that Polk Wellness Center will present in the coming year.

The public event included a complimentary dinner, childcare and health screenings such as glucose and blood pressure checks performed by Allied Health students at ICC. Participants enjoyed pizza, fruit and vegetables in the festive lobby of ICC. Many of the refreshments were donated by Bi-Lo (Columbus), IGA, Nature’s Storehouse, and Food Lion. After dinner, attendees moved to the auditorium where the panelists began an informative and informal presentation about holiday stress triggers and ways to manage them.

Polk Wellness Center panelists included therapist and administrator Jim Nagi, LCSW; therapist and clinical director Dr. Gordon Schneider; therapist Rob Fuller, LCSW-P; and Dr. Jeffrey Viar, physician and medical director.

Jim Nagi started the discussion by posing a question: “If you could change one thing this Christmas, what would it be?” Some audience members said “money” and “having my son home for Christmas.” Those answers led to Dr. Gordon Schneider’s helping attendees identify causes of holiday anxiety and depression (such as what we are missing at this time of year—money and family). He offered ways to prevent or lessen those symptoms that included the simple act of volunteering and helping others less fortunate to bring about a positive meaning to the holiday experience.

PWC Therapist Rob Fuller focused on children and depression, specifically how parents can recognize the symptoms of depression in children and teenagers that often differ from those of adults. Symptoms include irritability, anger, and sleep difficulties.

Dr. Jeffrey Viar discussed the impact of stress on the body, especially at holiday time when people have less sleep and eat carbohydrate-rich, sweet foods that can impact cholesterol, glucose levels and mood. Making healthier food choices, finding a minimum of a half hour three times of week to exercise; as well as getting in the sun were suggested as the best ways to stay healthy during this time of year.

Steps to HOPE case manager Cherie Wright offered insight about domestic abuse during the holiday season. She explained that while domestic abuse usually increases during the holidays,  statistics show that most domestic abuse victims tend to stay with their abusers during the holidays in an effort to create the “perfect holiday” or minimize stress on the family by leaving the home.

Dr. Mark Cornelius, a hospitalist with St. Luke’s Hospital, wrapped up the discussion with hopeful insights for the New Year. Dr. Cornelius offered ways to start physically and mentally healthy habits once the food, drink and fatigue in December is over. He also explained how the medical community is embracing the idea of a “three-legged stool” in which physicians not only treat the body and the mind, but also emphasize the importance of individuals nurturing the spirit. All three “legs” work together to create the best possible medical outcomes.

Clinical Director of Polk Wellness Center Dr. Gordon Schneider says of The Center, “As clinicians, our goal is to have clients recognize the mind-body-spirit connection so they can eventually manage their own wellness.”






Appointments Available 8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

Crisis services are also available during these hours Monday through Friday