Rathbun Center to Join Mission Health

Asheville, N.C. (December 4, 2012) - The Rathbun Center, a hospitality house for the families of patients receiving medical care in Asheville, will join Mission Health in early January, 2013. Designed to ensure the sustainability of The Rathbun Center, the agreement calls for Mission to assume responsibility for The Rathbun Center. The announcement was made jointly by Adelaide Key, founder of The Rathbun Center and Ronald A. Paulus, MD, president and CEO of Mission Health.

"The Rathbun Center has been a driving force in my life for over twenty years," said Ms. Key. "I am very proud of its operation - and I know that The Rathbun Center will be in good hands with Mission Health."

As part of the agreement, Mission Health will employ The Rathbun Center staff and merge its volunteers into the Mission Volunteer program. The physical facilities will be contributed to the Mission Foundation.

"As the only locally owned and governed health system in our region, Mission Health exists solely to serve the residents of western North Carolina," said Dr. Paulus. "The Rathbun Center is the embodiment of that purpose, and we are happy that Mission Health will play a role in the continuation of such a wonderful facility."

Since its opening in 1994, The Rathbun Center has been offering overnight and short-term accommodations to people from throughout western North Carolina who have loved ones receiving care in Asheville-based medical facilities, including CarePartners, the Charles George VA Medical Center and Mission Hospital. Those services will continue under this agreement.

"Having known Adelaide since the inception of The Rathbun Center, I know how passionate she is about keeping Rathbun a strong first class facility for everyone in western North Carolina," said Bruce Thorsen, president and CEO, Mission Foundation. "Adelaide's legacy is a precious one to this region and we are honored that Mission can play a role in sustaining her vision."

Mission will continue The Rathbun Center policy of not charging for the accommodations, but relying on donations to help defray the costs of operating the 36-room facility that is much like a big comfortable home versus a hotel. Mission Foundation will assume the fundraising responsibilities for the center and is establishing The Rathbun House Fund so donors can be assured their contributions will go directly to support the center.