Mitchell County, Mission Health open new EMS station


Mitchell County, Mission Health open new EMS station


BAKERSVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 29, 2016) – State and local officials joined Mission Health leaders in the grand opening of a brand new, $1.2 million county emergency medical services station. The new EMS station, at 121 Forest Service Drive, will replace the shared base at Ledger Fire Department crews use during the day and the space at Spruce Pine Fire Department they use at night.

National research shows an increasing demand for emergency medical services and Mitchell County is right in line with that trend. The increase is due to many factors such as an aging population, the growing behavioral health crisis, a lack of access to primary care doctors and the economic factors that challenge the capacity at rural hospitals.

“For Mission Health, every decision we make and every investment we support is rooted in our BIG(GER) Aim: 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,” said Mission Health President and CEO Ronald A. Paulus, M.D. “That is why – despite ongoing payment reductions from Medicare and Medicaid – we are continuing to invest heavily and proudly in our communities.”

Vern Grindstaff, chairman of the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners, said the new station is a testament to Mission Health’s commitment to the community.

“On behalf of the residents of Mitchell County and the Board of Commissioners, I want to personally thank Mission Health’s leadership – not only for this most recent investment, but also for day to day management of our county’s EMS and the many and ongoing investments in our local hospital,” he said. “To be a part of the Mission Health enables us to connect to the resources, leadership and innovation of a best-in-class health care system, all while maintaining our community roots and care close to home. Mitchell County is also fortunate to have what I consider world class Paramedics who genuinely love and care for the citizens of our great county.”

Kathleen Culhane Guyette, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Mission Health Senior Vice President of Patient Care and President, Regional Member Hospitals for Mission Health, said: “increasing demand for emergency medical services in rural areas can cause issues including increase in response times of EMS. The demand can strain local government budgets.”

“But, we can mitigate the impact with increased funding for personnel and equipment to reduce response time among other efforts,” she said. “That’s what we’ve done here in Mitchell County, and we are also working with County leaders to add a third ambulance.”

The new EMS station is among many investments Mission Health is making across Western North Carolina. To learn more, go to

About Mission Health

Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system and was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems from 2012-2015 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters, becoming the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health 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. 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. For more information, please visit or @MissionHealthNC.


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