History | Mission Health

No Matter Where Life Takes Us

You Are Our Mission

History

Mission Hospital as it is today 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.

The flagship of the Mission Health system, Mission Hospital’s roots date to 1885, when the women of “The Little Flower Mission” set out to establish a place in Asheville where the sick and those in need of a home could heal. The Little Flower Mission, led by Miss Anna Woodfin, revolutionized healthcare in western North Carolina as we know it today.

Four women’s vision of a hospital in Asheville began by raising money selling flowers on the streets of downtown. Their vision was simple: to care for those in need, regardless of their ability to pay. 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 grew under the leadership of women for the next 63 years.

The first patient at Mission Hospital 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 arrive by air ambulance helicopter (better known as MAMA). The four women of the Little Flower Mission couldn’t have imagined their little hospital would result in the modern medical center that serves western North Carolina today. Click here to learn more.