Celo Health Education Corporation Dr. Elpenor Ohle Scholarship Fund

Celo Health Center

The Celo Health Center is closely tied with the history of the Celo Community, Inc. This was an intentional community established in the South Toe Valley in Yancey County. Arthur E. Morgan, a community activist and Clarence E. Pickett, Executive Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, were interested in creating a community where people could make their own living and simply raise their families. In 1937, land was purchased in the South Toe Valley of Yancey County and a non-profit corporation was formed to develop the community. In 1945, the group decided to build a health center to attract more members to the community. The Celo Health Education Center was formed and construction was completed by 1946. At that time, Dr. Elpenor Ohle accepted a salaried position there and moved with his family and remained there until his final retirement in 1988. Throughout the years a variety of doctors and staff worked at the center from 1974-2002 when the new health center was built across the road. The old health center was remodeled and is now the Celo Community Center.

Dr. Ohle wearing a left-over uniform from the USPHS in front of the Celo Clinic. The Ohle family lived upstairs in this building until 1950. They built a house which was damaged by fire 24 November 2011.

Dr. Elpenor Ohle

Elpenor Rudolf Ohle was born 17 August 1914 in Keifersfelden, Germany to Dr. Rudolf Friedrich Ohle and his wife Friedericke "Friede" Hoffmann. He began studying in Germany; however, the turmoil in the German universities in 30’s caused him to transfer to Harvard. After the death of his physician father in 1929, he and his mother moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. They left from London on the American Trader and arrived in New York on May 13, 1935. He completed medical school in 1938. He met Mary Wheeler, a Vassar graduate as well as a graduate of the Yale School of Nursing. They were married in 1942 in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In 1944, they took positions with the U.S. Public Health Service with their last post in Charlotte, NC. In 1946, they moved to Celo and began building what was to become the Celo Health Center. In 1947, he opened Celo Health Center and on the first day he delivered babies, treated fractures and a gunshot wound. He enjoyed a long career at the Celo Health Center until his final retirement in 1988. After his retirement, Ohle moved to Green Bank, Pocahontas County, West Virginia and remained there until he passed on May 25, 2003.

Celo Health Education Corporation has dissolved and the funds were transferred to this scholarship. This scholarship was created in honor of Dr. Ohle for the employees of Mountain Community Health Partnership, Incorporated who desire to further their education in health related services.


One-time $1,000

Number Of Awards

One Award


Mar. 1, 2024


a) Corporation: Staff employees of Mountain Community Health Partnership, Incorporated that have been employed at least two years. Executives, Officers and Management-level employees, Board members and medical providers (Medical Doctors, Family Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and other such supervisory providers) shall not be eligible for a scholarship award.

b) Students must plan to study: Course curricula related to healthcare services via certificate
programs, two year, or four year degrees.

CFWNC ensures that all scholarship recipients are selected on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis and that selections are based on specific guidelines and criteria for each fund.

Selection Criteria

  • Staff employees who seek to further their education to advance their knowledge and skills to provide care to patients of Mountain Community Health Partnership, Incorporated.
  • Seniority of employment with Mountain Community Health Partnership, Incorporated will be considered as a factor in award decisions.
  • Staff employees must express a commitment to remain employed by Mountain Community Health Partnership, Incorporated upon completion of education.
  • Staff employees may re-apply two years after receiving a scholarship and one year after not being selected for a scholarship.

To Apply

To apply, students must complete an application online. The application, with required attachments, must be submitted online on or before the deadline. Award Year 2024 closed.

Application Procedure

The scholarship program is administered by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Please direct any questions about this scholarship to the Foundation's Scholarship Officer, Lezette Parks, at parks@cfwnc.org.

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