By Samantha Kappalman
On June 28, Mission Health celebrated a significant milestone on the progress of the new Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine. The Topping Out Ceremony commemorated the structural completion of the facility. The final two steel beams, signed with love by our team members and community, rose high in the sky as they were placed atop the new hospital that will care for our community for years to come.
But the beams weren’t the only thing to be carried to the top of the new hospital.
Team members and our community tuned in online and from nearby locations to admire the raising of the beams. Many noticed an American flag and a tree on top of one of the beams and wondered what this meant.
This symbolic celebration has roots in Scandinavian culture and it lives on today in countries around the world. In this tradition, an evergreen tree is placed on the topmost beam, often with flags and streamers tied to it. Even the beam painted white for team members, our neighbors and construction workers could sign, is a part of that tradition.
The tree is usually kept on top of the building until the building is completed, but it was planted in the memorial garden in front of the Heart Tower at Mission Hospital so that our community and construction workers can enjoy the tree.
There are nearly 700 construction workers helping bring the new Mission Hospital for Advanced Medicine to life. Mission Health and Brasfield & Gorrie, the general contractor building the facility, honored and thanked the construction team and our team members at the Topping Out Ceremony.
“I have been a nurse for over 40 years and I have the privilege of talking to patients, from our youngest patients who are in our newborn ICU and may only be a couple of pounds when they are born, to some of our oldest patients who are with us until their last moments. And I’m here today to really thank you on behalf of every one of those patients and their families,” said Jill Hoggard Green, Chief Operating Officer, Mission Health. “We serve more than a million people in western North Carolina. When you go home tonight to talk to your families, and I hope you would do this with your kids and your spouses and your partners, I hope you tell them that what you’re creating is the next generation of healthcare.”
Next time you are taking a moment for healing or to think about a loved one, visit the tree among the Black-eyed Susans outside in the garden by the Heart Tower at Mission Hospital Memorial Campus.