News in brief: Mission releases annual report, city offices to close for Thanksgiving

TAKING STOCK: Mission Health's 2017 annual report provides information about the ways the nonprofit health care system contributes to the region's well-being. Information on page 9 of the report explains, "More than 70 percent of Mission Health’s hospital patients are either uninsured or are insured through Medicare or Medicaid, which do not fully cover the actual cost of their care. ... In 2017, Mission provided more than $118 million in charity care, under-reimbursed and subsidized government care." Graphic courtesy of Mission Health

Mission Health releases 2017 annual report

Mission Health on Nov. 14 released its 2017 annual report, Making Good: Together, Changing Lives and Growing Opportunities for Western North Carolina.

According to a press release, in 2017, Mission Health’s total community benefit in serving the needs of the people in the 18 western-most counties of North Carolina totaled more than $201 million.

“We continue to care for our patients, establish partnerships with neighboring organizations and invest in our communities in remarkable ways,” said Dr. Ronald A. Paulus, president and CEO of Mission Health. “For an unprecedented 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 and Mission Hospital was recognized as one of the top hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2018-2019 edition of Best Hospitals. Today, Mission Health is delivering on the original promise of the Little Flower Mission through the work of more than 12,000 healthcare professionals and team members who provide all forms of care – from preventive care to critical lifesaving procedures, to rehabilitative and hospice services – and the associated support services that contribute to the vitality of our community.”

To view Mission’s Annual Report, visit The report is available for download at the very bottom of the page.

AG continues to accept comments on Mission/HCA merger

Any member of the public may submit comments on the acquisition of Mission Health by HCA, a national for-profit health care provider, to N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein, who is reviewing the proposed transaction.

According to a spokesperson in the Attorney General’s office, the best way to share comments on the deal is by emailing, attention of the Consumer Protection Division.

Buncombe offers Trailblazer Bus Finder

Buncombe County Transportation and Mountain Mobility announced the launch of the Trailblazer Bus Finder powered by Google Transit at Transit riders fill in the requested information — starting address, destination, travel date, travel time — and Google determines the best Trailblazer trip. The tool works on computers, tablets or smart phones.

Real-time information from multiple transit systems allows riders to plan trips that take them beyond Buncombe County Trailblazer service areas into areas served by other regional transit systems, including Asheville’s ART and Henderson County’s Apple Country system.

In a press release, Buncombe County’s Matthew Cable touted the service’s potential to “improve access to public transportation information and to allow citizens to plan trips that include transfers between systems.”

Asheville City Council meets Nov. 27

The next formal meeting of the Asheville City Council will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 27.

Prior to the formal meeting, City Council will hold a work session at 3 p.m. in the council chamber to discuss city revenue sources. Both meetings are open to the public.

City offices, transit to close on Thanksgiving Day

City of Asheville government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Asheville Redefines Transit bus service will be suspended Thursday, Nov. 22. Thanksgiving is one of two holidays during which the ART system closes. Information about all ART routes is available at 828-253-5691, or

Garbage and recycling collection will be suspended Thurday, Nov. 22. Customers with Thursday garbage and recycling collection will have trash and recycling collected Friday, Nov. 23. Garbage should be placed by the curb by 7 a.m. Brush will be collected Monday-Wednesday during Thanksgiving week. Any missed brush will be collected the following week.

Questions about garbage collection can be directed to the city of Asheville at 828-251-1122. Questions about recycling collection can be answered by Curbside Management at 828-252-2532.

City parks will remain open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

All public safety services, including police, fire and emergency response, will operate on their normal schedule: 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Water Resources staff will be available for water-related emergencies 24 hours a day over the holiday weekend. Customers should call the customer service line at 828-251-1122 to report water-related emergencies, leaks, breaks and no-water calls.

Buncombe County closures

Buncombe County offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Buncombe County public library system will be closed Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 22-24.

The Buncombe County Landfill and Transfer Station will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22, but will operate on a normal schedule on Friday, Nov. 23.




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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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