Mission Hospital McDowell Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Official Opening of the New Facility, Set to Begin Serving Patients Spring of 2018

Marion, N.C. (February 21, 2018) – Today, McDowell County’s newest healthcare facility was introduced to the community during a grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration. The hospital’s new name, Mission Hospital McDowell, reflects its valued place in the Mission Health system while honoring its community roots. The first day of patient care in the new facility is planned for the spring of 2018.

“We are so proud to celebrate the opening of the new Mission Hospital McDowell,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. “The new Mission Hospital McDowell was designed to serve this community’s unique and growing healthcare needs now and in the coming decades. It represents one of the largest investments in McDowell County and one of the largest we’re making in western North Carolina. It is a testament to the very significant commitment that we have made in McDowell County to provide exceptional care in a state-of-the-art facility, close to home.”

“For Mission Health, every decision and investment that we make 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,” added Dr. Paulus.

Mission Hospital McDowell is part of the broader Mission Future Ready initiative, a nearly half a billion dollar investment in the future of regional healthcare that Mission Health has initiated to ensure that the communities of western North Carolina continue to receive superior care far into the future.

The groundbreaking for this three-floor, 105,000 square-foot facility took place a little over two years ago, and the $48 million project was designed to provide the most current technology, effective care, and customized, easy-to-access care for patients and families. Enhanced operating rooms, five dedicated birthing suites, and family zones that prioritize the comfort of families and loved ones comprise just some of the many improvements the hospital will offer. Its Emergency Department will now have 15 rooms, with three “safe” rooms designated for patients with behavioral health needs, as well as two trauma rooms. The pharmacy will be centrally located, and the new medical office building, Mission Health Center – McDowell, will now be adjacent to the facility so that patients have easy access to their primary care physicians and specialists in one central location.

Telehealth, one of the newest and most important types of care technologies, will allow clinicians at Mission Hospital McDowell to consult in real time with specialists and peers at Mission Hospital in Asheville. A state-of-the-art imaging services department is another important feature of the new facility, which includes a new MRI machine that will provide greater comfort, reduce the scan time and deliver higher resolution images that will result in greater accuracy and definitive diagnosis.

These improvements have significant implications for the patients served at Mission Hospital McDowell, and make for a safer and more positive patient experience overall. ED patients, for example, will be served faster as a result of improved departmental layout and additional space when compared to the former facility. The inpatient area on the second floor of the hospital will better serve the community, as it responds more effectively to the trend toward increased ambulatory care and same-day surgeries.

The hospital is currently engaged in re-routing traffic to patterns that conform to Mission Hospital McDowell’s new layout, based around a design with four primary building entrances. New wayfinding signage and shuttle bus service are filling the gaps until the new parking lot is completed. Demolition of the old hospital is expected to be complete in August, 2018, which will be the site of an additional and more conveniently located, flat parking lot.

Carol Wolfenbarger, MSN, RN, FACHE, President of Mission Hospital McDowell, has overseen the project throughout its nearly two-and-a-half-year duration, and is firm in her belief that it will enhance the patient experience in many ways. “The game changer about our new facility is that it is designed around the patient, rather than our patients having to search and travel for the services, specialists, and clinicians that they need. This is truly the definition of patient-centered care. Our membership in Mission Health also means that the residents of McDowell and its surrounding counties can count on receiving sophisticated, system-strengthened, prompt, and safe care in a facility designed from the ground up to meet the needs of our patients and families,” Wolfenbarger said.

Mission Hospital McDowell, a member of Mission Health, is a not-for-profit community hospital serving McDowell County. Located in Marion, N.C., Mission Hospital McDowell is licensed for 30 beds and has more than 400 employees, including 120 RNs. Medical specialties offered include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, orthopedics, urology, and obstetrics and gynecology. Currently, five of Mission Hospital McDowell’s primary care practices have been recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as Rural Health Clinics. For more information, please visit mcdowellhospital.org.

Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system. For the fifth time in the past six years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics, an IBM Company and part of IBM Watson Health in 2017. We are 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 12,000 team members 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 mission-health.org or @MissionHealthNC.

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