Skip to Content

Our hospitals' history

At Mission Hospital and Mission Children's Hospital (located on our third floor), our long history of taking care of those in need is at the heart of our services.

Caring health services in Asheville, North Carolina

We began with a dream: to care for the sick in need of a place to heal. We grew into one of the largest health providers serving the Asheville area.

Our hospital's beginnings

As the flagship of the Mission Health system, our roots date back to 1885. Our hospital was the vision of four tenacious women, Anna Woodfin, Fanny Patton, Rose Chapman and Lily Carmichael, who helped revolutionize healthcare in Western North Carolina. The group began their health initiative with fundraising and sold flowers on Asheville's downtown streets. Their venture became known as The Little Flower Mission and their vision was simple: care for those in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

Next, they opened a hospital on a shoestring budget on October 6, 1885, in a rented, five-room house with donated furniture and materials. Mission Hospital would officially care for its first patient, a woman in labor, on October 17, 1885, and it grew under the women's leadership over the next 63 years.

The first Mission Hospital patient was carried from her nearby home on a little pallet borne by two men. Today, critically ill and injured patients from throughout the region may come to our facility by the air ambulance service, Mountain Area Medical Airlift, also known as MAMA. Our pediatric emergency room and children's hospital treat many injuries and illnesses in kids from across the region.

Mission Hospital was formed when St. Joseph's Hospital and Memorial Mission Medical Center began an organizational partnership in 1996. This partnership was followed by a full merger on October 27, 1998, when Memorial Mission Medical Center purchased St. Joseph's Hospital from the Sisters of Mercy. Today, we've grown into a modern, 815-bed facility serving Western North Carolina families.