Posted on: March 10, 2021 Posted by: Sarah Giavedoni Comments: 0

Last Updated on June 9, 2023

The refreshing air, cleansing waters, stimulating altitude, and desire to enjoy the outdoors have always attracted those seeking good health to the mountains of Western North Carolina. That history continues today, giving the Asheville area one of the highest concentrations of physicians in the state.

Because the area is so attractive and has such a high quality of life, Asheville has more doctors per capita than most cities of its size. But the wealth of talent and commitment isn’t confined to our region’s largest city. WNC has many fine hospitals that practice the latest techniques in treatment, surgery, and preventive care.

Keep reading for a comprehensive description of health care options across WNC.

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Mission Health System

A comprehensive description of health care options across WNC must include Mission Hospital.
Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC

Leading the way in local health care is the region’s largest hospital system, Mission Health. Mission Health traces back to the 1880s when the local women of the “Little Flower Mission” made weekly house calls to the needy. Since then, it has been recognized for delivering world-class care to the people it serves.

Today, Mission Health operates six hospitals in Western North Carolina, along with numerous outpatient and surgery centers. These include the flagship Mission Hospital in Asheville, along with:

  • Angel Medical Center in Franklin.
  • Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine.
  • Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands.
  • McDowell Hospital in Marion.
  • Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard.
  • Post-acute care provider, CarePartners.
  • Long-term acute care provider, Asheville Specialty Hospital.

Mission Health employs approximately 10,000 team members, including more than 1,000 physicians trained in the latest developments in health care, medicine, and technology. The hospital’s focus is, has been, and will always be to ensure that high quality, convenient, accessible, and affordable care is available to everyone, while ensuring the ability to meet the region’s population health needs for decades to come. Mission Health’s ultimate goal is to support all people to “Be Well, Get Well, and Stay Well.”

About Mission Hospital

Mission Hospital, located in Asheville, serves as the region’s tertiary and quaternary care center. Its brand new, 630,000-square-foot North Tower is the region’s most sophisticated emergency department and critical care facility with 94 emergency beds and 220 acute beds. It is the region’s only Level II trauma center, a comprehensive stroke center, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, and the only children’s hospital in Western North Carolina. Mission Hospital is also a Magnet® designated hospital for nursing excellence. Just five hospitals in the U.S. have been named to the Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital list more times than Mission Heart (10 times). 

About Mission Children’s Hospital

Mission Children’s Hospital is a member of Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare. The hospital’s 60 board-certified pediatric subspecialists are experts in more than 20 different specialties. Its services include pediatric and adolescent specialty care, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, and pediatric and adolescent psychiatric care. Mission Children’s Hospital has 130 beds. It averages 3,100 patient admissions to its pediatric inpatient units, 3,900 outpatient pediatric surgeries, and nearly 12,000 pediatric emergency department visits annually. Each year, approximately 750 ill and premature newborns receive life saving care in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Babies admitted to the NICU at Mission Children’s Hospital go home 13 days earlier than the national average.


Staff of the Pardee Cancer Center

AdventHealth Hendersonville has been providing whole-person care—body, mind, and spirit—to people across WNC for more than 100 years. Its network of care serves Buncombe, Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania counties with a full range of medical-imaging services, cardiac care and rehabilitation, state-of-the-art surgical care, nationally awarded cancer services, and full-service orthopedic care. AdventHealth Hendersonville is also a proud member of the AdventHealth family of more than 50 exceptional not-for-profit, faith-based hospitals located across the country.

Leading the way in firsts for health care in the region, AdventHealth now offers enhanced CT imaging to patients with its GE Healthcare Revolution* Apex CT Scanner. The scanner provides 4D Imaging so physicians can see an entire organ, such as the heart, including its blood flow and motion. It is also the first health system in the region to implement the Age-Friendly Health System evidence-based practices for addressing health and wellness best practices for older adults. AdventHealth Hendersonville is now designated as an Age-Friendly Health System Participant and Committed to Care Excellence organization. AdventHealth’s whole-person care promise includes a commitment to delivering safe, high-quality health care. AdventHealth is proud to be recognized as a Leapfrog Safety Grade “A” Hospital and a CMS 5-Star Hospital.

Angel Medical Center

Created in 1923, Angel Medical Center in Franklin is under a management affiliation with Mission Health System of Asheville. Angel is a 59-bed hospital with seven operating rooms and an 80-person medical staff, the majority of them board certified. Its emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day by nurses and physicians. Among the hospital’s most recent additions is a digital mammography system that spots abnormalities to help doctors diagnose breast cancer in its earliest stage. Angel provides a safe patient experience through its patient safety team, medication usage review group, and environment of care team. It emphasizes exercise as a way for patients with cardiac and pulmonary problems to regain strength and health.

Blue Ridge Regional Hospital

Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, a member of Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare, is a community hospital serving Mitchell, Yancey, lower Avery, and upper McDowell counties. Located in Spruce Pine, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital operating 25 beds.

Blue Ridge Regional Hospital offers medical specialties including emergency services, prenatal and postnatal obstetrical care, wound clinic, cardiac stress testing, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs, nuclear medicine, 3D mammography, endoscopy services, critical care, rehabilitation services and fitness center, cancer services, orthopedics, general surgical services, pediatrics and family medicine, and walk-in, non-emergency care at Mission My Care Now Spruce Pine.

CarePartners Rehabilitation Hospital

CarePartners Rehabilitation Hospital in Asheville is an 80-bed regional referral center with programs for those suffering from stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple trauma, amputation, joint replacement, and neurological disorders. The only licensed rehabilitation hospital in Western North Carolina, it is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. That designation means that it has met or exceeded rigorous standards. Its therapists have an average of 14 years of experience, and its patient-to-nurse ratio is 6 to 1. It participates in a national database that compares its patient outcomes to similar rehabilitation hospitals around the country. This participation allows it to continually assess and improve the quality of its rehabilitation programs.

Charles George VA Medical Center

Charles George VA Medical Center is a 116-bed acute care facility with a separate 120-bed extended care and rehabilitation center. The facility serves more than 31,000 veterans from WNC and portions of South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. It provides primary, tertiary, and long-term care in areas of medicine, surgery, mental health, neurology, oncology, dentistry, ophthalmology, geriatrics, women’s health, spinal cord injury, physical medicine, and rehabilitation. Because it is a teaching hospital, the center provides a full range of patient care services, with state-of-the-art technology and programs in education and research.

Harris Regional Hospital

Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva was established in 1925. Today, it is an 86-bed acute and specialty care facility serving WNC. More than 100 physicians practice in locations throughout a multi-county region, including Harris Regional Hospital Medical Park of Franklin, an outpatient facility in Macon County. As a part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, Harris Regional Hospital is supported by Duke University Health System’s world-renowned leadership in clinical excellence and quality care, as well as LifePoint Health’s extensive resources, knowledge, and experience in operating community hospitals.

Haywood Regional Medical Center

Haywood Regional Medical Center is a 154-bed hospital serving Haywood and surrounding counties with 160-plus physicians on its medical staff. The hospital offers a comprehensive array of services, including imaging, orthopedics, spine services, cardiology, general surgery, women’s care, birthing center, wound care center, emergency medicine, behavioral health, and 12 multi-specialty physician clinics.

The campus, located in Clyde, is also home to the 54,000-square-foot Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center and the 44,000-square-foot Haywood Regional Outpatient Care Center. The latter offers an outpatient surgery center, laboratory, and imaging center, including women’s imaging and physician practices. Haywood Regional Medical Center also operates two urgent care centers in the county, in Hazelwood and Canton. Haywood Regional Medical Center is also affiliated with Duke LifePoint.

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital is a member of Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare. It is a community hospital serving Macon, Jackson, and the surrounding counties. Located on Highway 64 between the towns of Highlands and Cashiers, the hospital offers 24/7 emergency care, acute inpatient care, rehabilitation, and long-term care through the Eckerd Living Center. Highlands-Cashiers Hospital has 24 beds for acute care services and 80 beds in the Eckerd Living Center. 

Its board-certified physician staff covers 14 areas of health care in specialties usually found only in much larger facilities. The hospital provides general surgery, as well as hand, orthopedic, ophthalmology, gastrointestinal, dermatology, and plastic surgery. Ambulatory services are also available, including therapy services and primary care practices serving both Highlands and Cashiers.

Mission Hospital McDowell

Mission Hospital McDowell, a member of Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare, is a community hospital serving McDowell, Burke, and Rutherford counties. Located in Marion, Mission Hospital McDowell operates 30 beds, including 5 labor and delivery suites. Medical specialties offered include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, general surgery, orthopedics, urology, obstetrics and gynecology, and walk-in, non-emergency care at Mission My Care Now McDowell. Five of Mission Hospital McDowell’s primary care practices have been recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as Rural Health Clinics.

Pardee Hospital

Tracing its history back to 1913, Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville is a not-for-profit hospital managed by UNC Health Care. Pardee is home to a state-of-the-art cancer center, a comprehensive physician practice network, four urgent care locations, three rehabilitation and wellness centers, and six orthopedic clinics with a medical staff representing more than 40 specialties.

The hospital recently expanded its cardiac service by becoming a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) designated hospital, able to treat heart attack patients around the clock. Pardee is one of only two hospitals in WNC able to provide this level of care. The designation formally recognizes the collection of personnel and procedures Pardee’s Emergency Department and Cath Lab have in place to handle these most serious heart attacks, further enhancing the continuum of cardiac care available 24 hours a day.

Committed to meeting the broader community’s growing needs, Pardee continues to expand its primary care, urgent care, and specialty services throughout Henderson, south Buncombe, Transylvania, and Haywood counties. In 2020, Pardee added a new urgent care, orthopedics, and physical therapy practice in Pisgah Forest, offering convenient care to Transylvania County residents. In early 2021, Pardee will open new primary care facilities in Brevard and Arden.

Pardee UNC Health Care has been honored with a number of awards and accreditations for patient safety, service, quality, and value. These well-known organizations include the American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Healthgrades, American College of Cardiology, and Great 100 Nurses, among others.

St. Luke’s Hospital

St. Luke’s Hospital is a highly-rated, critical access, not-for-profit, independent, community-owned hospital serving Polk County and the Carolina Foothills since 1929. The hospital is nationally accredited by The Joint Commission and the Better Business Bureau. It is one of only 266 hospitals nationwide to earn 5 stars for patient experience from Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. 

St. Luke’s services include a 24/7 emergency department, world-class orthopedic and rehabilitation care, and a state-of-the-art, regional-leading cancer and infusion center. St. Luke’s also offers top-rated services in pain management, urology, radiology, and surgical services. Imaging services available include MRI, CT, bone densitometry, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and sensory-surround digital mammography. Each of these services is supported by a full-service laboratory and other ancillary services.

Swain Community Hospital

Swain Community Hospital was established in 1950. Today, it is a 48-bed Critical Access Hospital serving a multi-county region. The hospital offers primary care, emergency medicine, and subspecialty care, including a pain clinic and a transitional care unit. Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital began an affiliation in 1997 and joined Duke LifePoint Healthcare in 2014.

Transylvania Regional Hospital

Located in Brevard, Transylvania Regional Hospital offers 25 inpatient rooms and 10 transitional care unit rooms. Transylvania Regional Hospital offers comprehensive services representing a full spectrum of specialties. It opened the 4,000-square-foot Brevard Cancer & Infusion Center at the hospital in 2009 and has treated hundreds of patients. That same year it launched “The Joint Experience,” enhancing its joint replacement surgery services. The hospital also has a digital mammography system that allows images to be archived. This way, they can be easily recalled for comparison with future tests.

Transylvania Regional Hospital is also a member of Mission Health, an operating division of HCA Healthcare. It is a full-service community hospital serving Transylvania and the surrounding counties. The hospital was recently named one of the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States.

This post is adapted from our annual Welcome to Western North Carolina magazine. Request your free copy today!

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