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Family Physician

Kelly Rothe, DO

Family Physician

Kelly Rothe, DO Family Physician

Practice Areas


Mountain Medical Arts PLLC, A Private Practice
Established with support of the National Health Service Corp as an underserved rural health clinic by Dr. Rothe. My vision remains a continuous evolving community resource and comprehensive family practice integrating osteopathic, behavioral, emotional, spiritual and nutritional modalities. In 2008 I hired PA-C Malinda Achard who practiced at MMA until 2018. I continue to supervise her at her own Vital Roots in Asheville. In 2009 my husband Jeff Polgar MD joined MMA from the local hospital after a large merger took us local doctors out of the decision making process. Dr Polgar also came to Yancey County under the NHSC. In 2015, after much consideration, we pulled out of insurance and converted to a Direct Primary Care practice, focused on – as it reads- patient care. Dr. Polgar and I run the office together with a wonderful staff and lower overhead. We have fallen in love with medicine again, it is wonderful to be able to help and advocate for our patients in an affordable way. In 2018 we hired our brother, Jonathan Polgar PA-C. We work cooperatively with local specialists, doctors and myriad integrative healers in our community.


Appointed Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Family Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Volunteer faculty to teach two week intensive rotations in Integrative Medicine to medical students. Sharing a whole new approach to helping patients navigate health, discussions in ethics in medicine and community health, how to access resources, local foods, exercise, and an extended team of healers, wherever they may practice.


Inpatient Medicine
Attending, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, Spruce Pine, NC. I maintain my privileges, but only use them for outpatient orders, infusions, IVF, observation and coordination of inpatient care. We have good working relationships with Blue Ridge, and Mission Hospitals for direct admissions and coordination of care with hospitalists and specialists.


Medical Director, Hospice of Mitchell County
I stepped down to make more time for my outpatient practice, doing less administrative work.


Associate medical director
Integrative palliative care consultations and face to face visits through formerly Hospice of Mitchell County


Child Medical Evaluations, Ally’s House, Yancey County Child Advocacy Center
Together with DSS and the Yancey County Sheriff Department, we volunteered our time to found a Child Advocacy Center that served four counties for six years. When it became sustainable, assumed management and I resigned when they found an experienced replacement.


Nursing Home Care
Privileges at Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation
Skilled Nursing Facility, Spruce Pine, NC, and Brookside now Smoky Ridge in Burnsville NC, also see patients at other local assisted living facilities.


Doc House
A side building on our historic property that we sublet space to acupuncturists, massage therapists, mental health therapists, and others, we also donate space to community organizations like Carolina Literary Festival.


Cottage on the Square
We converted this building into an Airbnb, out of town patients stay here for individual medical consults coordinating myriad treatments.

Board Certifications/Licensure/Credentials


Passed Integrative Medicine Boards

2010 – present

Board Certified in Hospice and Palliative Care, required every ten years

2007, 2010, 2013

Certification in Child Abuse and Neglect

April 2004—Present

DEA License, renews every three years


Board Certified in Family Practice Medicine, renewed 4/2013, every 10 years


Board Certified in Family Practice Medicine, last recertification 4/2013


North Carolina Medical License to practice Medicine and Surgery renews annually


Moonlighting Privileges, Emergency Room Physician, Highland Hospital Rochester, NY


Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Oklahoma State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Tulsa Oklahoma

New York State Medical License to practice Medicine and Surgery



Family Medicine Residency, University of Rochester, New York


Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Oklahoma State University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Tulsa Oklahoma


Bachelor of Science, Pre-medical student, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York


Culinary Arts, Johnson and Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island


Finger Lakes Community College, Canandaigua, NY


Marcus Whitman High School NY

Continuing Education


Writing Workshops including Interlochen, Flat Iron, Herstry, The Duke Creative Writers’ Workshop, Great Smokies Writing Program UNC, numerous classes and private study with, and


Hospice and Palliative Care, ongoing CME


Child Abuse and Neglect, ongoing CME


Family Practice Medicine, ongoing CME 300 every three years see AAFP/ABFM sites for log of courses


iMosaic Conference bringing together American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) and International College of Integrative Medicine (ICIM)


Addiction Medicine Conference, Asheville NC


Psychotherapy Evaluation and Management with mentor Dr. David Sperber, University of Rochester, New York


Advanced Cardiac and Basic Life Support

October 2001

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field, advanced training, 22-hour CME, Biddeford, Maine

July 1999

Certified Yoga Instructor, White Lotus Yoga Foundation, Santa Barbara, California


Licensed Massage Therapist, instructor and therapist, Tulsa, Oklahoma

May 1999

Basic Longevity, American College for Advancement in Medicine Spring, Conference, Orlando, Florida

June 1998

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field, Cranial Academy 40-hour CME, San Diego, CA

April 1997

Osteopathy in the Cranial Field, Southerland Cranial Teaching Foundation, 40-hour CME, Long Island, NY

Teaching Experience

2010 – Present

Established Mountain Edible Arts through to mentor individuals interested in organic sustainable farming

2003 – Present

MAHEC and UNC Chapel Hill Medical Students and Residents

2003 – Present

Various school programs through the public schools, Tar Wars, County health and wellness fairs etc


Personal and Group Yoga Instructor, specializing in Iyengar and Vinyasa Hatha Yoga, mentors Ganga White and Tracy Rich


Canandaigua City Schools, substitute teacher in math and science


Teaching Assistant, Department of Family Practice, Manual therapy and Osteopathy in the Cranial Field at OSU-COM, Tulsa, OK, mentor Kenneth Graham, DO


Teaching Assistant, Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Cornell University, Supervisor, Dr. Carol McFadden

Community Wellness Outreach, Publications, Awards and Honors


The Great Smokies Review Issue 16

2015 Fall 

Kelly Rothe DO and Jeff Polgar MD “Let Food Be Thy Medicine” Plough to Pantry Vol. 1 issue 3 page 22

April 21st 2018

BBC interview “What Men Think – USA” about cultural expectations of men and when they can’t live up to them it leads to addiction, depression, abuse. The whole series is interesting but my actual interview is about 14 seconds in

October 26th 2017

Our organic farm and teaching World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming to interns. Interview

February 22nd 2017

Interview with one of my Veteran patients, move to allow them community doctors to integrate into their communities instead of continue isolated. 

May 2003

Guest speaker, YMCA Canandaigua NY “Keeping Your Mind Working” lecture series for the elderly

June 2003

Honorary speaker, “Preventing and Controlling Asthma,” National Conference on Asthma


Meeting the Challenge of Healthy People 2010, Washington DC, National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute

November 2002 

Guest Speaker, “Grief” Palliative Care Series, Strong Memorial Hospital

April 2002

Guest speaker, University of Rochester Medical School, Complementary and Alternative, Medicine Conference


Honorary speaker, American Lung Association 2nd Annual Asthma and Lung Disease, Research Dinner


Travel/Tuition Scholarship for a 40-hour Cranial Osteopathy course granted by the Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation, Long Island, NY


Stevens, C.W. and Rothe, K.S. Supraspinal administration of mu, delta, and kappa-selective opioids produces analgesia in amphibians, European Journal of Pharmacology, 331:15-21,1997


Rothe-Skinner, K.S. and Stevens, C.W., Distribution of opioid-expressing neurons in the frog: an in situ  hybridization study. Proc. International Narcotics Research Conference, Analgesia 1:683-686, 1995


Travel Scholarship to the College on Problems of Drug Dependence annual conference, Puerto Rico


Travel scholarship for a poster presentation at the International Narcotics Research Conference in St. Andrews, Scotland


Research grant to explore the tolerance, dependence, withdrawal and analgesic effects of various opioids using an amphibian model, awarded by Gardner Industries, OK


Academic scholarship from the Cornell Tradition

Research Experience


Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology: Molecular and Behavioral Studies in Opioid Expression and Tolerance in Amphibians, Supervisor, Dr. Craig Stevens


Research Assistant, Department of Neuroscience: Molecular and Genetic Research in Cell Adhesion Molecules and Transcription factors in Neural Development and Degeneration, Supervisors, Dr. Stuart Lipton and Dr. Dana Leifer

1988 – 1990

Research Assistant, Department of Biopsychology, Cornell University, Neuro-anatomic Analyzation of Thalamo-ablation Studies on Neuronal Migration Patterns in Rodents, Supervisors, Dr. Martha Windrem, Dr. Barbara Finlay


Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Molecular Studies on a Sexually Dimorphic Acetylcholine Receptor in Mice, Supervisor, Dr. Tom Podleski

Abstracts Presented

1.  Rothe, Kelly, DO “Community Medicine: A grassroots asthma camp for teens”, power-point presentation, National Conference on Asthma 2003-Meeting the Challenge of Healthy People 2010

2.  RotheSkinner, K.S., and Stevens, C.W., Analgesia produced by intracerebroventricular injection of morphine in amphibians, College on Problems of Drug Dependence, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1996.

3.  RotheSkinner, K.S.,  and Stevens, C.W., Distribution of opioid-expressing neurons in the frog: an in situ hybridization study, International Narcotics Research Committee, Scotland, 1995.

4.  RotheSkinner, K.S., and Stevens, C.W., Dynorphin Expression in amphibian brain and spinal cord: in situ hybridization studies, Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 20 (465.7), Miami, Fl. 1994.

5. Leifer,D.,Dreyer,E.  Rothe, K., Heng,J., Neve,R., Lipton,S., “Identification and Analysis of Thy-1

Receptor cDNA clones from Brain and Muscle”. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 17 (10.7), Anaheim, California, 1991

6. Leifer, D., Dreyer, E.,  Rothe,  K., “Characterization of Thy-1 Receptor Protein and cDNA Clones”. Annual Neurology Conference 41 Boston March 1991

7. Windrem, M.,  Rothe, K., Schwartz, J., Finlay, B. “The Role of Thalamic Afferents in the Development of Cerebral Cortex”. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 15 (417.4), Phoenix, Arizona, 1989


References available on request