Our Story: A Legacy of Service
The story of Mission Hospital’s beginnings in downtown Asheville in 1885 is a beloved tale repeated many times over. The story goes like this: A small group of women--Anna Woodfin, Fanny Patton, Rose Chapman and Lily Carmichael--had opened a hospital in a five-room house. The space was rented; the furniture and materials, donated; the staff was hired on a shoestring budget. All they lacked was a patient.
According to author Nancy Marlowe’s “120 Years of Caring: The Legacy of Mission Hospitals,” days passed after the hospital opened. The late Rose Chapman recalled: “When all was in readiness, we were perfectly wild for a patient. We heard of a woman about to have a baby. She lived down on Church Street. A steep lane made a shortcut to the hospital. Through this lane this procession passed: Mrs. W. on a stretcher carried by two men; Lily, my sister; and Mrs. Hilliard walking at her head reciting scriptures: I holding a parasol over her, and Ida Chunn fanning her to keep the flies off. We got there in time!”
The patient was admitted Oct. 17, 1885, and Mission Hospital was officially in business.
Since that time, Mission has grown to a hospital system serving the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina. Mission Hospital, licensed for 763 beds, serves as the flagship facility. Clinical services include five member hospitals:
- Angel Medical Center, Franklin
- Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, Spruce Pine
- Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, Highlands
- McDowell Hospital, Marion
- Transylvania Regional Hospital, Brevard
The system is also comprised of post-acute care provider CarePartners; an independent long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital; the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center; a network of over 500 directly employed physicians and advanced practitioners, and a health plan. In April 2017, Mission Health was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics for an unprecedented fifth time in six years. Mission is the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition.
Mission Health is certified in more than 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. It is home to seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health.
Every new day at Mission Health is rooted in its heritage, and is a step in the journey to become a Great Place to Work and Practice™. Its team members collaborate to get every person to their desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and always with an exceptional experience for each person, family and team member.