McDowell Hospital Replacement Project Reaches Milestone

Hospital, community leaders sign final steel beam

MARION, N.C. (Sept. 30, 2016) – A $45 million project designed to replace McDowell Hospital with a brand McDowell Topping Off_1new, state-of-the-art expanded facility reached a critical milestone today with a topping off ceremony.

Community members, hospital and Mission Health staff, and local leaders gathered outside the hospital’s main entrance to sign the final steel beam to be used in the new construction.

“Every decision we make at Mission Health is guided by 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, MD. “We are proud to make this important investment in McDowell County.  The quality and compassion of care provided at McDowell Hospital is remarkable and we need to be able to support the increasing number of patients from McDowell, Burke and Rutherford counties who understandably choose to receive care here, close to home.”

The hospital and medical office building is being built directly in front of the existing hospital, which will be demolished once the new facility is complete.  The new hospital will feature expanded emergency room services, larger inpatient rooms with sleep-in sofas and state-of-the art imaging and surgical equipment.  The campus will provide a consumer-friendly focus on outpatient care and a continuation of important inpatient health care services that support Mission’s coordinated, regional network of care; Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems in four of the past five years.

Project details:

  • 69,703square-foot hospital
  • 38,615 square-foot medical office building
  • 30 inpatient beds will include 5 designated labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum suites and 25 medical –surgical universal rooms
  • 3 inpatient/outpatient operating rooms
  • 12 pre-and post-operative bays, with 1 C-section room
  • Expanded Emergency Department with 15 bays including 2 state of the art trauma rooms
  • The parking area will be flat allowing more convenient patient access.

Mission Health broke ground on Oct. 27, 2015. Construction is schedule to be complete in late 2017.

“These are incredibly exciting times for our community and for McDowell Hospital,” said McDowell Hospital President Carol Wolfenbarger, MSN, RN, FACHE, “and, this construction represents the significant commitment Mission Health as made in our community to provide exceptional care in a state-of-the-art facility close to home.”

Kathleen Culhane Guyette, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Mission Health Senior Vice President of Patient Care and President, Regional Member Hospitals for Mission Health, said the investment in McDowell County is part of Mission’s commitment to a healthier western North Carolina.

“With this new hospital, we are doing everything to ensure that future generations always have access to exceptional, local care,” she said. “Mission Health’s commitment to the regional communities we serve and our intense focus on safety and quality has been and continues to be what guides all of our regional planning.”

For more information on this and other Mission Health investments in western North Carolina, go to

About McDowell Hospital

McDowell Hospital, a member of Mission Health, is a not-for-profit community hospital serving McDowell County. Located in Marion, N.C., McDowell Hospital is licensed for 65 beds and has more than 400 employees, including 120 RNs. Medical specialties offered include surgical services, imaging services, pain management, infusion services, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, orthopedics, urology, and obstetrics and gynecology. Currently, five of McDowell Hospital’s primary care practices have been recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as Rural Health Clinics. For more information, please visit

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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