Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital are Making Communities Healthier. Here’s How.

October 9, 2018

By: Steve Heatherly, CEO, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital

The mission of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital is Making Communities Healthier. We are proud to partner with the communities of Jackson, Swain, Graham, and Macon counties, and the surrounding region, to achieve this mission. Our physicians, employees, volunteers, and board members work hard every day to provide the highest quality care possible for our community, collaborating with patients and family members, employers, community leaders and others to create a legacy of care that will last for generations to come.

We are pleased to serve as the hub for healthcare in western North Carolina for nearly 100 years. A lot has changed in the way healthcare is delivered around the country. It is important for community hospitals to remain strong amid such changes, providing a broad array of services close to home with expanded access to care. Quality and service are at the center of how we care for our patients, and we continually invest in our facility to ensure we can meet the healthcare needs of our community. I am pleased to share some key successes from our community benefit report for 2017.

In 2017, we made $18 million in capital improvements including completing the replacement emergency department at Harris and installing a state-of-the-art CT scanner at Swain.

Recruiting talented physicians into our community and supporting them is a key driver of our efforts to ensure that our communities have access to high quality care and service. During the past year our hospitals added 14 new providers in primary care, orthopaedics, cardiology, OB/GYN, and pediatrics.

To create places where physicians want to practice and employees want to work, we strive to create an environment where talent is recognized, job satisfaction is valued and our collective 1,000 employees can effectively use their skills in providing high quality care and service. We offered nearly $100,000 in professional development and tuition reimbursement for our staff and provided more than $60 million in salaries, wages and benefits so that our employees and their families can live, play and grow in the places they call home.

Supporting local organizations and delivering healthcare to all of our neighbors, regardless of their ability to pay, are foundational to our commitment to the overall well-being of our communities. In addition to numerous sponsorships and growth partnerships with organizations like Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College we delivered more than $4.7 million in healthcare to those in our communities who were in need. And as fiscally responsible members of our communities, we paid a total of $1 million in taxes.

It is our honor to serve our communities. Recent community perception surveys have indicated that Harris Regional Hospital was ranked as the provider of choice for Jackson, Swain, Graham, and Macon counties. It is important that we hear from our communities to understand what we’re doing right and where we can continue to improve. We look forward to ongoing dialogue in 2018.

Healthcare involves many choices, and when you choose a local healthcare provider like Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital for your care, you help us to do more for our communities. Choosing our hospitals over one of the many regional facilities vying for your attention helps us to ensure access to quality care locally, provide care for those in need, ensure local jobs and create opportunities for professional growth regionally, fuel economic development and contribute to the prosperity of our region, and boost support for regional organizations. This is only possible with your support, and we need your partnership now more than ever to continue the important work that we do in collaboration with you each day.

On behalf of our dedicated staff, board members and volunteers, thank you for your partnership and for entrusting us with your healthcare, and thank you for your continued support as we seek new ways to work with you to make our community healthier in 2018 and beyond.