Years ago, we announced plans to build an expanded facility on the Memorial Campus of our system’s flagship hospital in Asheville. With that comes the end of one era and the start of a new.
The Sisters of Mercy arrived in Asheville to found a hospital in 1900 – just 15 years after Mission Hospital was founded. The current St. Joseph’s facility has served our community since 1974, long before St. Joseph’s joined with Memorial Mission Hospital in 1996 to form Mission-St. Joseph’s Health System and later, Mission Health. We’ve known over the last decade that eventually a replacement hospital would be needed to continue caring for the growing and changing health needs of our community.
So that’s where we find ourselves today – with a new hospital tower that ushers in a new era of healthcare and will serve our friends and family for generations.
Even as we open the doors to the beautiful new Mission Hospital North Tower, we pause to reflect and celebrate the symbol the current St. Joseph’s Hospital has represented in our community: a place of care, healing and love, as well as a beloved workplace, for decades.
We know that change, while inevitable, is not always easy.
That’s why no matter how wonderful a new beginning is, it’s important to remember and honor our past as well.
Patients, visitors and staff to the new Mission Hospital North Tower will find more than a bit of St. Joseph’s history in our new building. There will be physical reminders – including the stained glass from the St. Joseph’s chapel – in the new North Tower chapel. And of course, there will be all the caring hearts and healing hands of our team members who have been working just across the street from Memorial Campus for many years, now crossing over to the west side of Biltmore Avenue.
Now that all the designated units have moved in to our new facility, we will turn our attention to the recently unoccupied spaces, such as the remaining St. Joseph Campus, and determine their future use.
For the time being, some services will remain at St. Joseph Campus, including: Asheville Specialty Hospital, Copestone (which features a recently renovated behavioral health unit), wound and hyperbaric oxygen services, as well as some MRI services. Security will be present at the facility and will regularly monitor areas of the building. Patients or visitors who are directed to go to St. Joseph Campus will receive instructions for what to do upon entering the facility, and can follow the signs/instructions in the lobby.
Change has been part of Mission Health’s story from its earliest beginnings. For a small glimpse of its history and evolution, take a moment to view the banners in the Mission Hospital North Tower lobby, which offer a timeline from our earliest beginnings to our present day.
What doesn’t change – no matter the building, or the era, or the side of the street you’re on – is the legacy of caring and compassion that has been woven into the very fabric of this health system from its inception. Our roots are here, and our commitment runs deep.
On September 19, 2019, Sister Peggy Verstege, R.S.M., offered a blessing for the new facility.
Blessing for the Dedication of Mission Hospital North Tower
As we celebrate this dedication, let us be mindful of the Spirit of Life and Love, the Spirit we call Jehovah, or El Shaddai, Yeshua, Allah, or God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is the same Spirit that embraces us and lifts us up.
You who are Mercy,
Bless this edifice built as a place for healing.
May all who come to this facility experience
welcome and compassion as they receive medical assistance.
May this building be a space in which all persons of color, creed and nationality feel safe in their time of sickness and inner confusion.
May this building stand as a testament that healthcare is for all in need of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.
Good God, bless the men and women who are dedicated to helping the sick and infirmed.
Guide all of the healthcare personnel as they make decisions about the lives of patients and other clients, and give them a deeper love to share as they minister to people suffering in pain and loss.
This we ask, trusting in Your Mercy.