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2014 Annual Report released
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation annual report for 2014 is available for download here [PDF].

Buster Brown's cross-country bike ride to benefit Catherine McAuley MERCY Foundation
Friday, August 17, 2012

Local tennis legend, Buster Brown, pictured left and below, will embark on a two-month, 3,200 cross-country bike ride from San Diego, California, to St. Augustine, Florida, on September 15th to benefit four charities:

Sponsor Buster’s journey by the mile (5 cents per mile equals $160 or $40 per charity) or by the day ($500 or $125 per charity); then “like” and follow along on the “Busters Bike for Life” Facebook page.


Mercy Team Returns to Haiti
Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two years ago an earthquake devastated Haiti, killing more than 230,000 people. WNC based Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Medical Director, Dr. Ellen Lawson, led a medical team to the area shortly afterwards, but the caregivers were hampered without the use of a four-wheel-drive vehicle from reaching those suffering in more remote areas.

On Sunday, April 1, 2012, Dr. Ellen Lawson returned along with Sister Jill Weber (Physical Therapy), Wendy Gade (EMT), Randy Lane (EMT), and Leah Singleton (Accounting/Logistics). This time around, mercy teammates raised more than $33,000 for a 4WD vehicle, dubbed the Mercy Wagon and gifted to Haitian physicians Drs. Vladimyr and Merline Roseau, enabling them to care for thousands of Haitian people living in crude tent cities.

Click here to read our Haiti Blog, which is being continuously updated with a series of entries relayed via email as told by Dr. Lawson from the Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care staff serving in Haiti April 2-7, 2012.

Sisters of Mercy Sending Team to Haiti for Fifth Time
Donated vehicle to allow physicians to travel to tent cities
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In early April, Asheville-based Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care is sending a fifth team of medical volunteers to Haiti, which is still recovering from the devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck in January 2010. But for the first time, the volunteers will be able to travel directly to patients thanks to a new 2012 Volkswagen Amarok the organization has donated to relief efforts.

“On previous trips, the patients have had to trek miles to a makeshift clinic set up in the courtyard of what was left of a hospital,” said Sharon Owen, fundraising coordinator for Sisters of Mercy Services. “But thanks to the generosity of our patients, our vendors, our employees, our boards and the community, we’ve purchased a four-wheel-drive vehicle that will enable us to go directly to the tent cities to provide care.”

The team of five, which will be led by Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care’s Medical Director Dr. Ellen Lawson, departs April 1 for a week in the Caribbean country, where an estimated 600,000 people are still living in tents. After they return, the vehicle – which has been named the Mercy Wagon – will remain in Haiti with Drs. Vladimyr Roseau and Merline Milien, who will continue to use it for mobile triage services.

This trip is part of Sisters of Mercy’s ongoing “Have a Heart for Haiti” efforts, which to date have collected more than $33,000 in cash and pledges. Sisters of Mercy staff have raised money via a cookbook sale and golf tournament, and instead of having a service awards banquet in early 2010, they canceled the event and donated the money to Haiti relief.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care has also received a great deal of support from its vendors and the community. Dr. David Stern of Practice Velocity made a substantial donation for the purchase of the Mercy Wagon, Aidarex Pharmaceuticals has provided an estimated $98,000 in medication to date, and the North Carolina Baptist Men are coordinating logistics. This was especially important for the safety of the first team in February 2010.

“This experience has awakened in each of us the desire to serve and an understanding of what the Sisters of Mercy were founded to do,” said Dr. Lawson. “Mercy is truly on the ground in Haiti, and it’s present in new ways in our hearts every time we return to Asheville from that country.”

Sisters of Mercy Services continues to seek donations of supplies for the April trip. Of particular need are cloth diapers, powdered infant formula, deodorant, soap, toothpaste and mosquito repellent. Financial donations are also welcome, and all gifts are tax-deductible. For more information or to donate, contact the Catherine McAuley MERCY Foundation at (828) 281-2598, or send donations marked “Haiti” to CMMF, P. O. Box. 16367, Asheville, NC 28816 or on-line at www.somsc.org/mercy.


Pictured are Drs. Merline Milien and Vladimyr Roseau with the Haiti vehicle


Leah Singleton Named Accounting Director at Sisters of Mercy Services
Thursday, November 10, 2011

ASHEVILLE, N.C.--Leah Singleton has been named Accounting Director for the non-profit Sisters of Mercy Services (www.somsc.org). Leah is an Asheville native who earned her Undergraduate Degree in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and her Master’s Degree in Accounting from Western Carolina University. Most recently she served as the Finance and Accounting Manager for Island Healthcare in Savannah, GA.


Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Consolidates South Locations, Expands Hendersonville Road Center
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ASHEVILLE, N.C.--Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care at 1833 Hendersonville Road is expanding its services and hours to better serve industrial and business patients. This expansion means that the Sisters of Mercy location on Airport Road, which primarily provided business and occupational health services, will close September 30.

“We have extended our treatment hours at our urgent care on Hendersonville Road to accommodate patients from our Mercy Occupational Medicine program,” stated Tim Johnston, President and CEO of Sisters of Mercy Services. “By consolidating our two south Asheville urgent care facilities, not only are we extending our after-hours capacity, we are giving patients access to a larger group of board-certified providers 7 days a week, 362 days a year. We recently added another mid-level practitioner to this center, enabling us to accommodate more of the business and industrial patients we serve.”

The Mercy Occupational Medicine program is open to area businesses that need a medical center for a variety of different reasons such as non-life-threatening, on-the-job illnesses and injuries, specialized testing and screening, and employee physicals, including digital x-ray and state-of-the-art laboratory services. Sisters of Mercy offered these services on a smaller scale at its Airport Road location.

“With our relatively new Hendersonville Road location and extra space, we can better serve not only patients from the Mercy Occupational Medicine program, but our urgent care patients as well with more providers and longer hours,” explained Johnston. “It just makes sense. By increasing our efficiency, our 111-year-old non-profit can continue to offer quality, affordable healthcare for non-life threatening injuries and illnesses on a larger scale.” Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care facilities are the only urgent cares in WNC certified by the Urgent Care Association of America.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Recognized in Urgent Care News for Service and Core Values
Friday, September 16, 2011

Excerpt from "How One Urgent Care Has Made Service a Way of Life" from UrgentCareNews.com:

For many people, serving the needy consists of some loose change tossed into a Salvation Army bucket during the holidays. For the staff at Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, serving the needy is not just a part of their mission; it’s a way of life.

Service as a Way of Life
In 2010, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care provided $3 million in services to uninsured patients. “We offer free services for those who financially qualify – the people who don’t have access to care,” said Barbara Chambers, business office manager. “Sometimes we’re the only healthcare they may get that year. We feel like people should be able to get healthcare; people should be able to be well. That’s why we’re here.”

Click here to continue reading the article.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care beneficiary of the Brown Family Charity Tennis Tournament
Friday, April 8, 2011

Huge thanks to Catherine McAuley MERCY Foundation Board Member Buster Brown and his family for selecting SOMUC as the beneficiary of the Brown Family Charity Tennis Tournament, which was held March 26th & 27th at Asheville Racquet Club South. Four generations of the Brown Family led by matriarch, Mrs. Dorothy S. Brown, as well as the generous donation of the racquet club facility and staff talents by Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Hulsing ensured the event’s success. Special appreciation goes out to our sponsors, players, and volunteers:

  • Day Sponsors: Bowers, Ellis, and Watson Architects and MedStream, Inc.
  • Dinner Sponsor: Mrs. Dorothy S. Brown. The delicious meal was prepared by Chef Chris of the Racquet Club Café.
  • Court Sponsors: 1-800-Water Damage, ADP, Advanced Business Equipment, Altamont Capital Management, Asheville Radiology, BB&T, Rick and Bridget Eckerd, Find Great People, Moss Sign Company, and PSS
  • Water Sponsor: 1-800-Water Damage
  • Banana Sponsor: Ingle’s Markets, Inc.
  • Hat and Reusable Grocery Tote Sponsor: Sister Maria Goretti and the Sisters of Mercy who raised $508!

Karen Brown organized the silent auction raising more than $1,000 of the $4,000+ in event proceeds. Thank you to the following for their silent auction donations: Discount Shoes Gift Certificate, Ukulele from Musician’s Workshop, Oil Painting by Karen Keil Brown, Weekend at Brown’s Condo in Kiawah, 11x14 Portrait Commission by Mike Youngblood, 30-minute Massages by Rachel Horn, Tennis Lesson with Asheville Racquet Club Pros Shaun Sumner and Joe May, and Two-Night Stay (including breakfast for two and Asheville Racquet Club Tennis Clinic) at the Crowne Plaza Resort.

Jennifer Smith served as a volunteer and photographer. Club General Manager Mindy Sheppard and Hannah Perwin assisted Sharon Owen with tournament logistics. In addition to our sponsors, Sister Maria Goretti, Sister Anita Sheerin, Barb Chambers, Belinda and Cliff Odom, Pam and Dwayne Maxwell, Linda and Michael Soesbee (and family), Jerry and Susan Rio, Tim and Sharon Johnston, and Diane and Nathan Holmes provided support. Foundation Board Member Jim Christian and wife, Maureen, played as did Tim with Stephanie Smith of the Brite Agency and Jerry with Tia Willett. The Brown’s matches were especially exciting to watch. We are grateful to all the players and spectators including Board Chair, Jeff Gould, for the event’s success and can’t wait until next year!


Brown Family Charity Tennis Tournament on youtube.com

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care wins Asheville Chamber Community Award
Friday, March 11 , 2011

On February 16, 2011, Sister Maria Goretti and CEO Tim Johnston accepted the Asheville Chamber’s We’re For Business One-For-All Community Award for outstanding commitment to community. The Award recognizes a business that emphasizes community involvement within its business model and among its employees, and that demonstrates this philosophy on a day-to-day basis among employees, customers and the overall business community. The judges said they chose us not for the $3 million in under-compensated and uncompensated care provided annually but for the things we do in the community that have nothing to do with providing urgent care. Here is the video, which features Sister Maria Goretti, Dr. Brian Lewis, Tim Johnston, Dr. Ellen Lawson, and Richard Bellflower:

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care from Time Capsule Video on Vimeo.

Sister Maria Goretti Weldon and Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Featured in Asheville Citizen-Times
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The following Asheville Citizen-Times article was written by Jason Sandford and featured Sister Maria Goretti Weldon in honor of her 60th anniversary as a Sister of Mercy, as well as our 110 years of service to the people of Western North Carolina. You may also download a PDF of the scanned article here (page 1 of 2) and here (page 2 of 2).

Asheville, NC (January 2, 2011)— When Margaret Mary Weldon responded to her calling to join a religious order of nuns, she took a new name and vowed to live a life of poverty, chastity and obedience.
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The Roman Catholic order of the Sisters of Mercy also required Sister Maria Goretti Weldon to take one additional vow — that of service to the poor, sick and uneducated. It's that vow that continues to guide the work of Weldon, who this year marked her 60th anniversary with the Sisters of Mercy.

As the director of mission and values for Sisters of Mercy Services Corp. in Asheville, she's most at home in the waiting rooms and clinics of the five urgent care centers the not-for-profit, faith-based health care organization operates in Western North Carolina.

“What I tend to do, especially when the centers are busy, is to linger in the waiting room and talk to the patients and let them know … we haven't forgotten them and we'll get to them as soon as possible,” Weldon said during a recent interview at the organization's corporate headquarters on Patton Avenue, where one of its urgent care centers is also located.

“Even when they're back in the clinical area, if the curtain is open I can stick my head in and let them know why the doctor hasn't been able to get to them yet,” Weldon said.

Weldon's is the caring face of a unique health care organization with a remarkable 110-year track record in WNC. From the establishment of tuberculosis sanitariums to the founding of St. Joseph's Hospital to the current urgent care centers, Sisters of Mercy Services has always served the needy.

“We want to put forth that we are different, that we do have a mission. We're not just wanting to be in a competitive business,” Weldon said. “The care of the person is what we care about, the whole person.”

Grounded in the church

Weldon, the youngest of eight children, and her family moved from Pennsylvania to Shelby when she was 5 years old. With parents firmly rooted in the Roman Catholic Church, Weldon and her family joined a church about half an hour away in Gastonia. Weldon's parents eventually asked a priest from Belmont Abbey in Belmont to say mass in their home.  

“Now there's a thriving parish in Shelby,” said Weldon, who is now a member of the Basilica of St. Lawrence congregation in Asheville.

It was that religious grounding that eventually drew Weldon to join the Sisters of Mercy, which is based in Belmont. She joined in 1951. Since then, she's held a number of different administrative and ministerial positions in a variety of locales.

Weldon worked at St. Joseph's Hospital in 1997 before it merged with and was sold to Mission Hospitals, then returned to Asheville in 1999 to continue the Sisters of Mercy's work.

Today, Weldon is an advocate for the group's mission and values, a staff and patient chaplain and director of volunteers.

“Sister Maria Goretti has really been kind of a mentor and guide to me since I've been here,” said Tim Johnston, CEO of Sisters of Mercy.

Johnston was familiar with the Sisters of Mercy as an administrator with St. Joseph's Hospital beginning in 1987.

Johnston stayed with the hospital through the merger, when he went on staff at Mission. He joined Sisters of Mercy again in late 2005.

“Those were formative years. When I had the opportunity to come back and work with them and help assure that this mission continues, I thought it was a worthwhile thing to do with this part of my life,” he said. “Sister Maria Goretti was the first person I talked to.”

Dignity and respect

Weldon's hesitant to weigh in on debates about what ails America's health care system in general, or about the specifics of health care reform.

Sisters of Mercy does aim for systemic change, though, and Weldon said the group will speak up when it feels it needs to.

“It's just very challenging times, and I support and appreciate the efforts being made to make health care more available to more people,” Weldon said. “And Sisters of Mercy in general supports that, but realizes there's a lot more to be done that hopefully will evolve over some years.”

Meantime, Weldon said she's focused on her mission of compassion and servitude.

“We try, in a caring way, to let people know, even though some days are very busy, that that patient in front of me right now is the most important person around,” Weldon said.

“That's what we want to demonstrate to people who come to us — that they're not just another patient coming in with a laceration or a broken bone or whatever — but that we're here to treat them as though they're a person of Jesus Christ and they're entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.”



Sister Maria Goretti and the Sisters of Mercy also received an “A” rating in the Asheville Citizen-Times Report Card on January 4! Excerpt follows.

Report Card for Jan. 4
JANUARY 4, 2011
A to the members of Sisters of Mercy who have devoted their lives to helping others in the community. Sister Maria Goretti Weldon has pledged her life to helping others while living a life of poverty and chastity, as others with Sisters of Mercy have done. In a time of overindulgence and consumer-driven living, Weldon has renounced material possessions to serve others. The Sisters of Mercy have a long-standing reputation of treating patients with respect and compassion. Sisters of Mercy have served Western North Carolina more than a century, and we commend them for the work they do in the community.

New Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Facility Focuses on Efficiency, Quality Care
Ribbon Cutting Slated for August 3rd
Thursday, July 29, 2010

Asheville, NC— Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care will officially unveil its new, state-of-the-art South Asheville facility in Meridian Place at 1833 Hendersonville Rd. on August 3rd, with an Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

“We’re just so excited because this beautiful new building will allow us to help even more people, at a quicker rate, all with top-notch equipment,” said Sharon Owen, Marketing Director for Sisters of Mercy Services. “Everything was designed with our patients in mind, to treat them most effectively and efficiently, and to make the overall experience as good as it can be. There’s great parking, it’s very easily accessible and the interior is streamlined so that everything runs smoothly. This facility is an investment in the community, just like the Sisters of Mercy have been making for 110 years.”

The new urgent care center will be open to the public seven days a week, with no appointment necessary to see a board-certified physician and receive care for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. The building, developed by Rusty Pulliam and designed by architect John Fisher, incorporates many environmentally-friendly features, plus cutting-edge equipment and digital x-ray capabilities. “We designed it in such a way that it will serve the community for many, many years to come,” explained Owen.

The August 3rd ribbon-cutting will be attended by dignitaries from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the public is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served and neighboring businesses in Meridian Place will join in the celebration.

Sisters of Mercy CEO Tim Johnston said, “We’re very proud of this fantastic new care center, and extremely grateful to all the people who helped make it a reality. We want people to be aware that anyone can walk into any Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care center, with no appointment, and receive quality medical care for a fraction of the time and cost of an E.R. visit.”

The newly-built South Asheville facility is one of five Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care centers in Asheville, Arden, Brevard and Weaverville, and replaces the prior location at 1812 Hendersonville Rd. For more information, please call Sharon Owen at (828) 281-2598.

About Sisters of Mercy Services: Asheville-based Sisters of Mercy Services includes Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, the Catherine McAuley MERCY Foundation and Mountain Health Contracting. In 2009, Sisters of Mercy Services provided more than $4 million in uncompensated and under-compensated care and saved the community an estimated $12 million through ER avoidance. The McAuley MERCY Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, raises funds to help the Sisters of Mercy fulfill their mission of caring for those in need. 2010 marks the 110th year of service by the Sisters of Mercy in Western North Carolina and the 25th year for the local, nonprofit Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, which provides affordable treatment of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries by board-certified physicians. Appointments are never necessary, and some of its five locations are open seven days a week, 362 days a year. To date, the organization has served more than one million patients in the WNC region. Please call (828) 210-2121 or visit www.urgentcares.org for more information.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Receives Gold Aster Award
Thursday, June 3, 2010

Asheville, NC— Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care has won a coveted Aster Award for its recent “We’re Here For You” campaign, created in conjunction with Asheville marketing firm The Brite Agency. Aster Awards are earned for outstanding excellence in medical marketing, and Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care was rewarded with the prestigious Gold Aster Award for creating the superior entry in their group’s “total advertising campaign” category. The winning campaign, “We’re Here For You,” highlights the fact that anyone can walk into Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care—with no appointment—and receive medical attention for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses. The campaign also touches on Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care’s extended hours of operation (some of its five area locations are open seven days a week), and communicates how patients will receive care from board-certified physicians at a fraction of the time and cost of an ER visit.

About Sisters of Mercy: Asheville-based Sisters of Mercy Services includes Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, the Catherine McAuley MERCY Foundation and Mountain Health Contracting. In 2009, Sisters of Mercy Services provided more than $4 million in uncompensated and under-compensated care and saved the community an estimated $12 million through ER avoidance. The McAuley MERCY Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, raises funds to help the Sisters of Mercy fulfill their mission of caring for those in need. 2010 marks the 110th year of service by the Sisters of Mercy in Western North Carolina and the 25th year for the local, nonprofit Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, which provides affordable treatment of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries by board-certified physicians. Appointments are never necessary, and some of its five locations are open seven days a week, 362 days a year. To date, the organization has served more than one million patients in the WNC region. Please call (828) 210-2121 or visit www.urgentcares.org for more information.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Facilities Receive Certified Urgent Care Designation
Thursday, April 8, 2010

Asheville, N.C.– Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care has become the first and only urgent care provider in North Carolina to receive the Certified Urgent Care designation from the Urgent Care Association of America. Four Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care facilities in Asheville, Arden, and Brevard have received the distinguished certification. Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care provides walk-in, extended-hour medical attention from board-certified and board-eligible physicians to patients with non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries, and has met all of the Urgent Care Association of America’s established certification criteria. Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care CEO Tim Johnston said, “We’re honored to be the only urgent care provider in N.C. to receive certification from the Urgent Care Association of America. The certification is in keeping with our mission to be here for area residents, businesses, and industries by providing high quality medical care that is both affordable and accessible.”

Urgent care is a convenient and viable option for medical conditions that cannot wait for a scheduled appointment with a primary care physician. Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care facilities accept unscheduled, walk-in patients during all hours of operation, filling the gap between primary care and hospital emergency rooms, and offering increased convenience and savings. Medical conditions that cannot be handled immediately by a patient’s regular doctor—such as unexpected cuts, burns, sprains or fractures that don’t require a visit to the emergency department—can be treated at Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care facilities, all equipped with x-rays, lab services, and licensed providers always available to perform minor procedures like casting and suturing.

With this certification, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care and the Urgent Care Association of America demonstrate their commitment to providing all patients with access to appropriate levels of care.

About Asheville-based Sisters of Mercy Services: 2010 marks the 110th year of service by the Sisters of Mercy in Western North Carolina and the 25th year of existence for the nonprofit, local Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care. We’re here for you - open 7 days a week in most locations, 362 days a year, offering affordable treatment by board-certified physicians of non-life threatening illnesses and injuries, without an appointment, with five convenient locations: 1201 Patton Avenue, 1812 Hendersonville Road, 77 Airport Road in Arden, 155 Weaver Boulevard in Weaverville, and 22 Trust Lane in Brevard. Sisters of Mercy Services provided more than $4 million in under-compensated and uncompensated care last year, not including the time and estimated $12 million our community saves annually through ER avoidance. Join us in being here for our community through your tax-deductible gift to Catherine McAuley MERCY Foundation - www.somsc.org/MERCY.

Mercy Staff Have a Heart for Haiti
Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"We are riding thru the rubble and have just driven over the quake crevices in the road on our bus – 'the Mercy Wagon'. The mountains are rugged and lack vegetation and the ocean is beautiful in contrast to the squalor of tarps and crushed buildings/shacks. The people however will not be broken. Their faith is strong and the good God carries them when they cannot get up." -- Dr. Ellen Lawson on February 8, 2010. Click here to read the full blog.

The following article is an excerpt from the Sisters of Mercy South Central Community enews. Read the rest in PDF format here.

Medical team from Asheville goes to Haiti

February 4, 2010— A five-member medical team from Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation in Asheville, North Carolina, left for Haiti this morning on a 10-day mission to work in two hospitals in the Port-au-Prince area. “We had talked about a mission trip, and a week later the earthquake happened, and it had our names on it,” said Dr. Ellen Lawson, an emergency medicine physician.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Haiti Team

Dr. Obie Cuento, whose specialty also is emergency medicine, added “God’s hand is on it, and that’s the reason why we’re here.”

The team works in urgent care centers in Asheville, and the staff there cancelled their service awards celebration to redirect that money to the trip. In addition, other physicians on the Asheville staff will donate their time to cover for Dr. Cuento and Dr. Lawson.

The medical team arrived in Belmont on Wednesday, February 3, where they spent the night. Sister Maria Goretti WeldonThe sisters in Sacred Heart Convent blessed them before their departure for Charlotte/Douglas International Airport Thursday.

The Haiti-bound group carried 150 pounds of donated medicine, along with a surprising cargo of another sort in their suitcases: auto parts. A Baptist men’s group already in Haiti contacted the Mercy team to say their mission workers are in desperate need of the parts to continue their efforts.

Sister Maria Goretti Weldon, who is director of mission and values for Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation said another team probably will go to Haiti after the first group returns. “They’re going where Catherine McAuley would go if she were here today.”

Click to read our Haiti Blog "Mercy Staff Have a Heart for Haiti"

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care to Open in Transylvania County
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Asheville/Brevard, NC (June 26, 2009)— Tim Johnston, President and CEO of Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation, announced today the opening of a new Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care off of Highway 64/276 at the intersection of North Caldwell and Whitmire Streets. The facility will open in the Fall 2009.

The new Urgent Care will offer patients, business, and industry convenient access to quality treatment of minor illness and injuries, without an appointment, by expanding Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care’s existing network which includes:

  • Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care-Airport Road, 77 Airport Road, Arden
  • Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care-South, 1812 Hendersonville Road, Asheville
  • Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care-West, 1201 Patton Avenue, Asheville
  • Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care-North, 155 Weaver Boulevard, Weaverville

“The Brevard location will offer a quality, convenient healthcare alternative for the residents of Transylvania County especially after hours and on weekends when traditional caregivers may not be available,” noted Tim Johnston. Bob Bednarek, CEO of Transylvania Regional Hospital, added, “Urgent care has been an expressed need for our county, and on behalf of our community we welcome them as a partner in meeting the healthcare needs of our region.”

The Sisters of Mercy have owned and operated urgent care centers in Buncombe County for nearly 30 years and served Western North Carolina’s healthcare and service needs for more than 100 years. In addition to Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation (“SOMSC”) includes Mountain Health Contracting general contractors and the Catherine McAuley MERCY Foundation. Additional information about SOMSC is available at www.somsc.org or by calling (828) 281-1303. Information about our Urgent Care centers, including location hours, directions and employment opportunities, can be found online at www.urgentcares.org.

SOMSC to End Contract with ARP/Phoenix
Tuesday, March 12, 2009

Asheville (March 4, 2009)— Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation (SOMSC) announced today that State and Federal contracts for mental health and substance abuse services provided through its ARP/Phoenix Division will not be renewed on June 30, 2009. Tim Johnston, SOMSC CEO, noted the difficult decision was reached by the SOMSC Board in late February due to continuing financial losses associated with operating a largely state funded mental health service coupled with the organization’s responsibility to be good stewards of organizational resources and direct them in a way that best serves the most people. ARP/Phoenix served approximately 2,500 consumers through its various programs and residential facilities in 2008. (This number does not include individuals participating in community education through ARP/Phoenix’s Prevention programs.) ARP/Phoenix currently provides substance abuse assessment, treatment, and prevention services in Asheville and the surrounding area. ARP/Phoenix recently received successful, three-year accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. SOMSC will work closely with Western Highlands Network Local Management Entity and Buncombe County to explore contract options and is committed to supporting a transition of services for the individuals served in the community.

Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation will continue its non-profit Mission with a focus on caring for minor illness and injuries through its network of Urgent Care facilities located at 1201 Patton Avenue, 1812 Hendersonville Road, 155 Weaver Boulevard, and, effective April 1, at 77 Airport Road. Collectively these facilities served over 60,000 patients during 2008 and provided over $2.5 million in community benefit. SOMSC is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas South Central Community.

Ellen T. Lawson, MD Named Medical Director for Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, Inc.
Tuesday, March 12, 2009

Asheville (March 11, 2009)— Ellen T. Lawson, MD, has been named Medical Director for Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, Inc., a division of Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation (www.somsc.org). Lawson is a Diplomat of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and brings 32 years of clinical experience to the urgent care setting, including six years as the Director of the Emergency Department at Louise Obici Memorial Hospital in Suffolk, VA, six years as Medical Director of Emergency and Ambulatory Services at Amsterdam Memorial Hospital in Amsterdam, NY, and 11 years as an Emergency Department Attending Physician at St. Joseph/Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC. She has been in a staff physician role with Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care since 2001, and has served as Co-Medical Director for the past six months. During her time as Co-Medical Director, Lawson has shown a tremendous dedication to the organization’s Mission and Core Values, and has been a driving force in efforts to ensure effective and efficient service delivery and quality patient care. Lawson received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Trinity University and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Virginia.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care is based in Asheville, and has facilities located at 1201 Patton Avenue, 1812 Hendersonville Road, 155 Weaver Boulevard, and, effective April 1, at 77 Airport Road. Collectively these facilities served over 60,000 patients during 2008 and provided over $2.5 million in community benefit. More information on services and employment opportunities is available at: www.urgentcares.org.

Mercy Matters: SOMSC Summer 2008 Newsletter Released
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Summer newsletter is finally complete! Download the latest Mercy Matters newsletter in PDF format here.

Feel free to send newsworthy items to Sharon Owen (sharon@somsc.org) and any comments or suggestions on the new Mercy Matters design to Lauren Brown (lbrown@somsc.org).

Mercy Matters: SOMSC Winter 2008 Newsletter Released
Friday, March 21, 2008

Want to read about the latest goings-on within the Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation? Download the latest Mercy Matters newsletter in PDF format here.

Sisters of Mercy Staff Celebrated at Company Picnic
Monday, October 15, 2007
(Additional pictures added Wednesday, October 17, 2007)

The Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation Staff Picnic, held on October 6 at the Eliada Recreation Center, proved to be an exciting day of food, fellowship, music and fun activities for staff and their guests. Local star musicians The Lawmen provided musical entertainment for those socializing, dining and dancing, while balloon-tying clowns offered their amusements to the children who attended.

A warm thank you goes out to the Picnic Committee -- Kelilyn Bell, Donna Bruce, Sherrie Byrd, Anna Elliott, Cheryl Fore, Betsy Katell, Jennifer Magee, Michelle McCoy, and Sharon Owen -- for their hard work in making this picnic a success.

To view a larger version of any picture, simply click on it.


Nora Sheehan, Dr. Ellen Lawson and Rose Spittle enjoy the fun,
food and a lively balloon hat from the clowns.


Lauren Brown lounges with her father Terry and her boyfriend
Kevin.


Will and Linda Hamilton take a break from dancing.


Dr. Shannon Dowler watches the children's balloon-sword fight.


Paul Tax stands proudly with wife Penelope and four of their five
children.


Ann Cook and Betsy Katell are all grins for the camera.


Michelle McCoy’s father, Dale (far right), leads band The Lawmen.


Donna Bruce's son, Jordan, shows his spirit by wearing the Sisters
of Mercy colors of blue and white.


Children enjoy bubbles and colorful balloon hats.


A clown shares a laugh with (from left) Pat, Sydney and Derrick
Jackson as Dwayne Maxwell looks on.


Grant and Kelilyn Bell share the spotlight.


Chayce Blevins and Grant Bell are happy with their balloon creations.


Staff and their guests enjoy the food prepared for the picnic.


Paul Gilliam (left) and Brian Warren (center) relax with their friends.


A pre-food bingo game is led by caller Brian Warren (left).

Sisters of Mercy Breaks Ground for New Urgent Care West
Thursday, September 13, 2007


(Click on image for full-size version.)

Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation officials and local dignitaries gathered in West Asheville on Wednesday, Sept. 12, to break ground at the site of the company’s new Urgent Care West facility.

The 15,000-square-foot, $3-million facility is being constructed at 1201 Patton Ave., the site of the former Cancun Restaurant and one block west of the current Urgent Care location. The current Urgent Care West facility will remain open until the new complex is completed, which is estimated to be in June 2008.

“This is an exciting time for our organization,” says Shana Duncan, executive director of Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care. “The new location is more convenient for our patients, and it will give us the extra space we need to continue to provide the best health care service in the Asheville community.”

Urgent Care services will be located on the first floor of the new facility, with business and administrative offices for Asheville-based Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation on the second floor. The architectural firm of Bowers, Ellis & Watson of Asheville designed the facility, and Mountain Health Contracting is the contractor.

“Sisters of Mercy has been a valuable health care provider in West Asheville for nearly a quarter of a century, and we’re pleased to be upgrading our facilities in that area,” says Tim Johnston, president and CEO of Sisters of Mercy Services. “Our first priority is our patients; the new center underscores our renewed commitment of offering high quality, affordable and easily accessible health care.”

In operation since 1980, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care has more than 100 employees at three facilities in Buncombe County, N.C., including the current Urgent Care West location at 8 New Leicester Highway, Asheville. Urgent Care North is located in the Roses shopping center at 155 Weaver Blvd., Weaverville, N.C.; and Urgent Care South, which includes the Health Designs occupational health division, is in the Kmart shopping center at 1812 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. All Urgent Care centers are open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekends.

The Sisters of Mercy established a ministry in Asheville, N.C., in 1900 to meet the needs of people at that time. Their ministries now provide a variety of services to care for people in need today.

“Our ministries have always been about caring for the people of our community,” says Sister Maria Goretti, who serves as director of mission and values, staff and patient chaplain, and director of volunteers for Sisters of Mercy Services. “As we continue to grow, I’m pleased – for our patients, staff and volunteers – that a new, larger Urgent Care facility is opening in the West Asheville area.”

In addition to the Urgent Care division, Sisters of Mercy Services operates ARP/Phoenix, a comprehensive substance abuse assessment, treatment and prevention provider. Mountain Health Contracting, Inc. is a division of Sisters of Mercy Services that provides general contracting services to medical and business establishments in the Asheville area.

McAuley Foundation, the former St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, was established as a non-profit 501(c)(3) agency to support the mission and ministry of Sisters of Mercy in the Asheville area through the work of the Urgent Care centers.


(Click on image for full-size version.)

Facts on the New Urgent Care West:

  • The new Urgent Care West will be a $3-million, 15,000-square-foot, two-story building.
  • Estimated completion date is June 2008.
  • Projected growth rate for Urgent Care West is 7 percent for fiscal year 2008 – translating to 22,134 visits.
  • Urgent Care services will be located on the first floor; Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation administrative offices will be on the second floor.
  • The facility was designed by Bowers, Ellis & Watson, an Asheville architectural firm.
  • Mountain Health Contracting, a division of Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation, is the contractor for the project.

Mercy Matters: SOMSC Summer 2007 Newsletter Released
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Want to read about the latest goings-on within the Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation? Download the latest Mercy Matters newsletter in PDF format here.

New Home for Urgent Care West: A Note from Tim Johnston, President and CEO
Thursday, March 22, 2007

Board, Physicians, Staff & Community Members:

Today we completed the purchase of property at 1201 Patton Avenue, future site of the new Urgent Care West and business and administrative offices for Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation. Plans call for an 11,000-square-foot, two-story facility to be built one block west of the current Urgent Care, on the site of the former Cancun Restaurant. Construction on the facility is set to begin in June 2007, with an expected opening in early 2008.

This is an exciting time for our organization, and we look forward to many years of providing quality, compassionate, and efficient healthcare from the new Urgent Care West to the residents of Western Buncombe County. Special thanks to our Board, Ernie Peterson (Vice President, Mountain Health Services), Pat Jackson (Chief Financial Officer), Shana Duncan (Executive Director, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care), Nora Sheehan (Director of Urgent Care West), Dr. David Bate (Medical Director, SOMUC), our physicians, and the staff for all of your hard work on this project.

Tim Johnston, CEO
Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation
March 22, 2007

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