FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                         

Contact: Melissa Stanz

M (828) 768-1202


Asheville, NC (June 10 2019)—Harold Schutte, M.D., served the Asheville community for more than 50 years until his retirement. Thousands of Asheville children called him Dr. Schutte, and parents of those children depended on him to help their children get well and stay well.


Dr. Schutte recently received the Commodore Funderburk Visionary Award presented by IFB Solutions, the largest U.S. employer of people who are blind. The award is named for the late Commodore Funderburk who was blind, deaf and mute, and who worked at IFB for 40 years without missing a day of work.


Dr. Schutte, also the former State Medical Examiner for Buncombe County, became involved with IFB Solutions in October of 2005 as a member of the IFB Asheville Advisory Board. He’s been instrumental in IFB’s growth over the past nearly 15 years, including the nonprofit’s 20/20 Capital Campaign that raised nearly a million dollars to add a cafeteria and the Community Low Vision Center at the Asheville facility. Dr. Schutte serves on the IFB Solutions Asheville Advisory Board, and he and his wife Margie continue to be involved in IFB’s fundraising and community awareness events in the Asheville area.


“Harold Schutte exemplifies the spirit of Commodore Funderburk. Both men dedicated themselves to their cause and both men never, ever considered anything less than total commitment,” said Randy Buckner, Director of Operations, IFB Solutions Asheville. “One of the greatest gifts Dr. Schutte and his partner Dr. Bryan gave us was donating a building on South French Broad adjacent to our former location. That enabled us to sell our facility there and buy the one on Sardis Road.”


“Since we were next door to each other on South French Broad I made friends with Randy Buckner and he showed me what they were doing. I believe strongly in their cause,” said Dr. Schutte.


Dr. Schutte has a long tenure in the Asheville community. For decades he taught physicians as head of MAHEC family practice teaching program. He was also on the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill and at Duke University. He also spent years at Mission Hospital, where he was Chief of Staff for a time—a rare honor for a pediatrician. He retired from practicing pediatrics in 2002, then trained for and became State Medical Examiner for Buncombe County until 2018.


“Receiving this award was very emotional and totally surprising,” said Dr. Schutte. “I’m just so proud of what they do there and continue to support them in any way I can.”