Highlands Cashiers Groundbreaking-f


Opening Summer 2017, New Emergency Department to Feature Improved Technology, Private Patient Rooms, State-of-the-Art Trauma Room


HIGHLANDS, N.C. (APRIL 26, 2016) – Mission Health and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital officials joined members of the community today in breaking ground on its $6.7 million Emergency Department expansion at a ceremony.

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, a certified Critical Access Hospital (CAH), will replace its existing Emergency Department with a 6,800-square-foot addition, including a 1,350-square-foot renovation. The new Emergency Department will open in summer 2017.

“We are pleased to join more than fifty generous donors and invest in this important expansion that will benefit so many North Carolinians in the region. This expansion is rooted in Mission Health’s BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. “We are excited to help Highlands-Cashiers Hospital build upon its already excellent healthcare services and community involvement.”

“This is a groundbreaking day for Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, in more ways than one. This expansion will raise our services and capabilities to a new level and ensure that we are able to continue providing members of this community with top quality care in an inviting and caring environment,” said Jackie Ring, CNO and President of Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. “The Emergency Department expansion is rooted in Mission Health’s commitment to the communities it serves. On behalf of the patients and local communities who depend upon Highland-Cashiers, we are grateful to the many donors who made this expansion possible.”

With 110 employees and an annual economic impact of $30 million, Highlands Cashiers Hospital sees approximately 12,000+ outpatient visits and 4,800 emergency department visits annually. Mission Health, through Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, also provides X-ray and lab services for the Community Care Clinic of Highlands-Cashiers, a nonprofit organization that provides primary medical care for uninsured, low-income families in both Macon and Jackson Counties. In 10 years, the clinic has served more than 3,000 patients, all of whom are uninsured or at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.

The expansion plans feature a Triage Room and four exam rooms, one of which will be designed for isolation patients. Another exam room will be designed to safely accommodate behavioral health patients, and all exam rooms will be clustered around a central nurse workstation and medication station. A large, state-of-the-art Trauma room and a new ambulance canopy are also planned.

In addition to improved patient areas and workspaces, the expansion plans also call for a new, mountain-themed main entrance to the hospital that includes a reconfigured main lobby that is physically and visually connected to the new Emergency Department. A beautiful semicircular waiting room with views of the surroundings will be provided for patients and family members to foster a welcoming environment.

The project was made possible through $5.6 million raised from 56 philanthropic donors as well as a commitment of $1 million from Mission Health.

About Highlands-Cashiers Hospital
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital (HCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital serving Highlands, Cashiers and the surrounding North Carolina mountain communities. Located on Highway 64 between the two towns, HCH offers diagnostic and acute patient care through on-site professional services or provides a referral to other regional healthcare systems. Emergency care is physician-staffed 24/7. HCH has 24 beds for acute care services and 80 beds in the Eckerd Living Center, a skilled nursing facility. There are four hospital-owned physician clinics in Highlands and Cashiers. HCH is a member of Mission Health, a Top 15 Health System. For more information, please visit hchospital.org.

About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. Mission Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems 2012-2015 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters. Mission Health is the only health system in the nation to receive this recognition four year in a row, and the only health system in North Carolina to achieve Top 15 recognition. In 2015, for the fifth-consecutive year, Mission Hospital was named one of the nation’s Top 100 Hospital by Truven Health Analytics.

Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center.

Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in more than 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. Mission Health has seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health.

Mission Hospital, located in Asheville, is the system’s flagship hospital and is licensed for 763 beds. It is the regional referral center for tertiary and quaternary care. It also includes Mission Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. Other Mission Health member hospitals include Angel Medical Center in Franklin, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard.

With approximately 10,700 employees and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina.