Agreement reached between Mission, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital


L-R: Paulus, James, and, Charlie Sheehan, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Board Chairman

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital (HCH) is closer to becoming a full-member hospital of Mission Health.

The hospital and Mission Health have finalized a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) for HCH to join the Mission Health System. Mission Health is North Carolina’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina.

The official understanding authorizes the HCH Board of Trustees to move forward with steps to complete negotiations regarding the proposed partnership. The action was unanimously recommended by the HCH Board’s affiliation negotiation committee that has been leading the affiliation negotiations since last April.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, the HCH Board of Trustees will maintain a strong, long-term voice in the strategic direction of the hospital.

Mission Health and HCH will now enter into a planning process outline the initiatives and resources that will be required to address existing and future needs of the HCH service area. The planning process will focus on capital requirements, medical service providers and new and expanded services. It will also drive the long-term investment plan for HCH facilities, providers and programs.

In a news release, Craig James, President and CEO of Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, said, “Aligning with Mission Health, one of our nation’s Top 15 Health Systems, will bring significant clinical and operational resources to the people of Macon and Jackson counties.”

As part of this affiliation, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Foundation will not become a subsidiary of Mission Health System and will remain under local ownership and control. It will continue to have the important responsibility of raising philanthropy exclusively to support Highlands-Cashiers Hospital and its operations throughout Macon, Jackson and surrounding Counties.