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Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital News

For Immediate Release: 7/31/19

Public invited to Erlanger medical facility ribbon-cutting in Hayesville

Area residents are invited to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony, meet Erlanger’s team of healthcare providers and tour the new healthcare facility in Hayesville. The ribbon-cutting event will take place on Friday, August  2, 11:30AM – 12:30PM at 146 Hwy. 64 E., Hayesville.

Erlanger’s newest facility will house a primary care office and Erlanger Express Care center, both of which will begin accepting patients on Monday, August 5. Along with primary and urgent care services, the Hayesville location will also offer weekly orthopedic appointments.

“Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital’s goal is to provide our community with more access to exceptional healthcare, closer to home,” said EWCH CEO Mark Kimball. “These new Hayesville services will help do just that by offering extended hours, a fast and efficient walk-in clinic and a primary care medical home, all in the same facility and with local Hayesville providers.”

Primary Care Hayesville will be open Monday through Friday, 8AM – 5PM. Erlanger Express Care Hayesville will be open seven days a week: Monday through Saturday from 8AM – 7PM and Sunday 10AM – 6PM.

For more information, call 828-389-3608.

Photo of Western Carolina Express Care / Primary Care


For Immediate Release: 3/8/19

Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital auxiliary group provides CPR training materials to Clay County Schools

Murphy, N.C. – Granny’s Attic, an Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (EWCH) auxiliary group, recently provided 12 new CPR training mannequins to Clay County Schools. This contribution was one of the community health needs accomplished through funds raised at the Hayesville thrift store.

Clay County Schools offer CPR training classes to both students and employees. The classes are led by Clay County school nurses who are American Heart Association instructors.

“Erlanger is proud to be able to contribute to community health education in this way,” said Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital CEO Mark Kimball. “CPR can drastically improve a person’s chance of survival. We hope these materials will help our local schools in the training efforts of this lifesaving procedure.”

Granny’s Attic is a non-profit organization run solely by volunteers. The store, which sells donated clothing and small household items, contributed its annual earnings to several local organizations, including $55,000 to EWCH.

Granny’s Attic is located at 200 Highway 64 West in Hayesville and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Left to right: Eva Robinson; Yvonne Andrews; Jamie Thomas, RN, Clay County school nurse; Debbie Thrower; Mark Kimball, EWCH CEO; Mary Carol Campbell, EWCH Director of Volunteer Services; Karen Robinson; and Dr. Gary S. Gibson, Clay County Schools superintendent.

For Immediate Release: 3/1/19

Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital CEO Mark Kimball Appointed Secretary of Western North Carolina Health Network Board of Directors

Murphy, N.C. – Mark Kimball, CEO of Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital, has been appointed secretary of the executive committee of Western North Carolina (WNC) Health Network after serving on the board of directors for the past year. Kimball was elected as an officer by the board at their annual meeting on Feb. 23 and will serve on the executive committee for the next two years.

“I am proud to expand my role with this important organization, alongside leaders of every hospital in the western North Carolina region,” said Kimball. “As members of the WNC Health Network, Erlanger has a duty to help improve community health.”

WNC Health Network is an alliance of hospitals working together to improve health and health care in western North Carolina. Its board of directors is comprised of leaders representing every hospital in the region.

“Collaboration across communities and stakeholders is at the heart of what we do at WNC Health Network, and we are thrilled to have Mark’s leadership in this work,” said WNC Health Network Executive Director Marian Arledge. “His deep expertise in rural health and critical access issues will strengthen our efforts to create healthy and thriving communities in our region.”

photo of mark kimball
Mark Kimball, CEO of Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital


For Immediate Release: 1/11/19

Erlanger announces name change for Murphy NC hospital

MURPHY NC – Officials with Erlanger Murphy Medical Center announced today that the hospital was changing its name to Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital.  In an unveiling ceremony Friday morning, hospital CEO Mark Kimball told a crowd of elected officials, area residents and civic leaders that, “Our new name, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital, more clearly reflects our broadening reach as well as our proud affiliation with the Erlanger Health System.”

In explaining the reason for renaming the 40 year old healthcare facility Kimball said, “Although our hospital is based in Murphy, over the years it has not only grown in size and scope, but we now provide medical services in surrounding areas like Andrews and Hayesville.”   The Erlanger CEO also said the new name was the result of a strategic planning process and because employees, physicians and members of the community felt strongly the current name was too narrow-focused.  “Everyone wanted a name that more accurately reflected our region and the various communities we serve.”

During his announcement, Kimball praised the hospital’s affiliation with the Erlanger Health System that was finalized last April.  “By joining the Erlanger family of hospitals, we have gained the expertise, knowledge and resources that come with partnering with a nationally acclaimed health system,” he said.  “Today we are anchored by a leading academic medical center with seven hospitals, six Life Force air ambulances and the 10th largest public healthcare system in the United States.”

On Thursday, employees of the newly-named hospital were given t-shirts with the new Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital logo during a special celebration event and on Friday employees gathered in front of the first sign bearing their hospital’s new name.   Joining Kimball during today’s announcement at the Tri-County Community College were hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Thomas Clayton, Cherokee County Commissioner C.B. McKinnon and Barbara Hughes with the Murphy City Council. 

Group photo of all Erlanger Western Carolina staff outside hospital
Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital staff pictured with new signage.

Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital CEO with Community Leaders
(L to R) Cherokee County Commissioner Cal Stiles; Dr. Thomas Clayton, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital Chief of Staff; Mark Kimball, CEO Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital; Pastor Wil Posey, Murphy First United Methodist Church; Cherokee County Councilwoman Barbara Hughes


For Immediate Release: 9/14/18

Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital offers volunteer opportunities to local residents

Murphy, NC – Patients and visitors are beginning to see changes at Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (formerly Erlanger Murphy Medical Center). The Volunteer Services Department now has a new look with green shirts and new logos. 

Currently more than 100 volunteers serve in various hospital departments, as well as Granny’s Attic Thrift Shop in Hayesville, NC. 

“Volunteers transport patients by wheelchair, assist family members with directions, answer phones, deliver flowers and visit patients in their rooms, operate the Giving Tree Gift Boutique and Granny’s Attic Thrift shop and so much more,” said Mary Carol Campbell, Director of Volunteer Services.  “The volunteers are also committed to sponsoring fundraisers for much-needed equipment, supplies and services.”

Volunteers do not require a college degree or experience in the medical field.  Many of them possess skills of being a people person by listening, caring and interacting with the patients and family members. 

For more information about volunteer opportunities with Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital, please call the Volunteer Services Department and speak to Mary Carol Campbell at 828-835-3667

Photo of Murphy Volunteers

Pictured (l-r) are volunteers Debbie Foster, Same Day Care; Carmen Markham, Pharmacy; Ellen Lloyd, Marilyn Brown and Connie Barry, The Giving Tree Gift Boutique.  



For Immediate Release: 7/18/18

Erlanger begins valet service; improves parking at Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital

Murphy, NC –  Beginning Monday July 23, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (formerly Erlanger Murphy Medical Center) will provide free valet service to patients for more convenient access to the hospital. 

Valet will be available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will include guest information and wheelchair transport from the valet area.

In addition to the covered valet drop off and pick up area located in front of the main hospital entrance, Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital will also resurface parking lots, redesign handicap parking, and replace directional signage throughout the parking areas.


For Immediate Release: 4/19/18

Mark Kimball Named CEO of Erlanger Murphy Medical Center

Mark KimballMark Kimball, FACHE, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Erlanger Murphy Medical Center, based in Murphy, North Carolina. The announcement was made this week by Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, President & CEO of the Erlanger Health System. The North Carolina-based healthcare facility became Erlanger's sixth hospital on April 1 and its first in North Carolina. When the Erlanger Behavioral Health Center Hospital opens in July, Erlanger will have five hospitals in Hamilton County, one in Bledsoe County and one in North Carolina.

Prior to his appointment at Erlanger, Mr. Kimball served as Chief Operating Officer with NorthCrest Medical Center in Springfield, Tennessee, and was responsible for the overall operations with Houston County Community Hospital located in Erin, Tennessee. In that role he led Houston County Community Hospital to earning its designation of Critical Access Hospital status. "I am excited and honored to be entrusted to take on this new role and join this outstanding contingent of passionate caregivers, providers and team members. I look forward to building on Erlanger Murphy Medical Center's strong foundation and helping the leadership team continue to advance the hospital's shared purpose of caring for people's health and wellness across the region we serve," Kimball said.

Kimball is a rural healthcare executive with 20 years of leadership experience with several prominent healthcare systems throughout the Southeast, including Behavioral Health Center and Select Specialty Hospital in Memphis, Archbold Medical Center in Camilla, Ga. and Phoebe-Putney Health System in Albany, Ga.

"With his impressive background and vast experience working with critical access hospitals like Erlanger Murphy Medical Center, Mark Kimball is ideally suited for this position at our newest hospital," said Spiegel. "He has longtime ties to this region and we look forward to introducing him to the staff, physicians, business leaders and the community next month," Spiegel added. Kimball will officially start his new role in Murphy on June 4.

Kimball received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Georgia and earned a Master's in Business Administration. He is board-certified in healthcare management and a fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and a licensed nursing home administrator.

Erlanger's new executive has been actively involved with numerous professional and civic organizations, including the American College of Healthcare Executives, Georgia Hospital Association, Center for Rural Health, National Association of Occupational Health Executives, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Boys and Girls Clubs.


For Immediate Release: 3/30/18

Blaine Kelley
Public Relations Specialist
Erlanger Health System
Office: 423-778-7427

Murphy Medical Center joins Erlanger Health System Sunday

Chattanooga, Tenn. – On Easter Sunday, April 1, Murphy Medical Center will become the sixth hospital in the Erlanger Health System and renamed Erlanger Murphy Medical Center. This is the Chattanooga-based health system’s first hospital in North Carolina and second hospital outside of Hamilton County.

Murphy hospital employees will celebrate the midnight transition Saturday night with a pizza party hosted by Erlanger officials. On Monday, April 2, there will be a hospital wide picnic with music, food and Erlanger apparel officially welcoming the Murphy staff into the Erlanger family.

“We are excited about being part of the Murphy community and look forward to continuing to provide critically needed medical care to those in this service area,” said Robert M. Brooks, FACHE, executive vice president and COO of Erlanger Health System. “We are bringing additional specialists and services to an area that has traditionally struggled to attract some providers in a way that a larger health system can. Physicians want to care for those living in their community and we believe their patients should receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time. It is important to those living in this area that they can be treated within their community, and remain near their homes, families, friends and support groups.”

Erlanger Murphy Medical Center is a critical access hospital. By becoming a part of the Erlanger Health System, area residents will have access to Erlanger’s large network of providers and specialists, and receive world-class care close to home.

In 2015, officials with Murphy Medical Center began soliciting bids for a health system to operate the rural, critical access hospital. This opportunity was carefully reviewed for more than two years by Erlanger.  In June of 2017, Erlanger officials announced a letter of intent was signed for operating Murphy Medical Center which was followed by a 90 day due diligence period. In January of 2018, Erlanger’s board of trustees voted to add Murphy Medical Center as its sixth hospital, and signed the agreement transitioning operational control to Erlanger.

For more information about Erlanger Health System, Erlanger Murphy Medical Center or to make an appointment, please visit www.erlanger.org.