Eckerd Living Center Receives 5-Star Rating

HIGHLANDS, N.C. (September 19, 2018) – Eckerd Living Center (ELC) at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, a part of Mission Health, has earned a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Eckerd Living Center is the only 5-star skilled nursing facility in the 6 western-most counties of North Carolina. Additionally, ELC is one of 85 5-star facilities out of the total 429 facilities in North Carolina, putting it in the top 19 percent.

Eckerd Living Center is an 80-bed skilled nursing facility in the mountains of western North Carolina. It is physically attached to Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, so emergency and acute care are just a few steps away.

ELC uses an interdisciplinary team approach to ensure administrators, physicians, nurse managers, nurses, certified nursing assistants, activity personnel, social workers, dieticians, along with therapists and special consultants work together to provide the highest level of care for each member of our Eckerd Living Center family.

“This is a recognition of the high quality care, services, and resources we offer our treasured residents. Our ELC staff is exemplary, and we’re fortunate to have this wonderful facility where loved ones can be safe, well cared for, and right next to the hospital should they need emergency care,” said Jackie Medland, President and CNO of Highlands-Cashiers Hospital.

CMS creates the overall star rating for nursing homes from 3 parts: 1) health inspections, 2) quality of resident care measures and 3) staffing. Star ratings for each part and for the overall rating range from 1 star to 5 stars, with more stars indicating better quality. These ratings can be viewed on Nursing Home Compare on the CMS website.

Nursing Home Compare allows you to find and compare nursing homes certified by Medicare and Medicaid. This website contains quality of resident care and staffing information for more than 15,000 nursing homes around the country.

The information on Nursing Home Compare can help you learn:

  • How nursing homes have performed on health and fire safety inspections
  • How the nursing home is staffed with nurses and other healthcare providers
  • How well nursing homes care for their residents

“The exceptional care and skill of our staff is reflected in this 5-star rating, and we are incredibly proud of this recognition. We are honored to be a part of the lives of the residents at ELC,” said Ava Emory, RN-C, LNHA, Eckerd Living Center Administrator.

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, a member of Mission Health, is a not-for-profit 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, as well as long-term care through Eckerd Living Center. Highlands-Cashiers Hospital has 24 beds for acute care services and 80 beds in the Eckerd Living Center. Ambulatory services are also available, including therapy services and primary care practices serving both Highlands and Cashiers. For more information, please visit

Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system. In 2018, for the sixth time in the past seven years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by IBM Watson Health. 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 or @MissionHealthNC.

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