A HOT TOPIC
SPRUCE PINE – When Mission Health announced this past March that a deal had been reached to the sell the nonprofit health system to Tennessee-based for-profit HCA Healthcare Inc., a group of concerned citizens called Save Our Hospital, or SOH, thought the people’s voices should be heard.
To this end, SOH, not affiliated with the local Sustaining Essential Access to Rural Healthcare, or SEARCH, group, is circulating a petition calling for two things: first, that Blue Ridge Regional Hospital be excluded from the sale; and second, if the hospital sells, any proceeds to be returned to the community.
Save Our Hospital’s aim is to let everyone’ voices be heard, said the Rev. Bill Sweetser, Save Our Hospital member. Sweetser said the petition calling for proceeds of the sale of Blue Ridge Regional to go into a foundation administered by the people of Mitchell and Yancey counties is to ensure our area gets its fair share.
“We are concerned the money from the endowment created by the sale will stay in Asheville,” Sweetser said.
Petitions can be signed online at www.change.org/p/joshua-stein-save-our-hospital and copies can be obtained from Sweetser or any member of Save Our Hospital.