A Hospital for Ashe County

Four Generations of Appalachian Community Health Care

Limited Hardcover Edition


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About the Book

When Ashe County Memorial Hospital opened in November 1941, it was the realization of a dream for the poor, sparsely populated county in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina. Building a hospital is a major undertaking for any community at any time. Accomplishing this in the waning days of the Great Depression and on the brink of World War II, while scant local resources were taxed by catastrophic floods and severe snows, was a remarkable feat of community organization. This is the story of the generations of supporters, doctors, nurses, emergency personnel and others whose lives are interwoven with regional health care and the planning, building and operation of (the “new”) Ashe Memorial Hospital. This legacy, brought to life through 114 photographs and personal interviews with 97 individuals, traces the development of health care in a remote Appalachian community, from the days of folk remedies and midwives, to horseback doctors and early infirmaries, to the technological advances and outreach efforts of today’s Ashe Memorial Hospital.

About the Author(s)

Janet Pittard began her writing career after retiring from the North Carolina Governor’s Office with thirty years of service. She is the author of two books and more than 100 articles for Our State Magazine. She lives in Raleigh and West Jefferson, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Janet C. Pittard

Format: hardcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 114 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9775-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2414-3
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Old Ashe County Memorial Hospital—A Legacy x
Preface 1
Introduction 5
1—Horseback Doctors 7
2—Early Health Care Resources 13
3—The Jones Memorial Infirmary at Lansing 22
4—Dr. Arthur Lee “Bud” Jones: First Generation of a Family Legacy 30
5—Medical Help from the Outside 38
6—Dr. Dean Jones, Sr.: Second Generation of a Family Legacy 42
7—Ashe County Memorial Hospital: The Dream 52
8—Ashe County Memorial Hospital, Inc.: The Reality 71
9—The Ashe Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees 87
10—The Hospital/Medical Staff Since 1941 93
Kate King Duncan Barker, R.N., Interview 94
Langdon L. Scott (Administrator/Business Manager) 98
Henry Lum; Ruby Lum Interviews 100
Betty Ball, R.N., Interview 103
Toby Younce Hartzog Interview 105
Doris Oliver, R.N., Interview 106
Christie “Chris” Phillips; Betty Avery Interview 107
Edith Brooks Blevins Interview 108
Ella Pennington Baldwin Interview 109
June Weaver Worth, R.N., Interview 109
Tom Cockerham (Administrator); Clairene Cockerham Interview 110
Jack McClure (Plant Operation) Interview 112
Joy McClure (Administration) Interview 113
Robert “Rob” H. Black (Plant Operation) Interview 114
Nancy P. Edwards, R.N., Interview 115
Sue Hampton, R.N., Interview 115
Judy Davis Interview 117
Elam S. Kurtz, M.D.; Kevin, Orpah and Michael Kurtz Interviews 119
Ann Day Brown (Administration) Interview 122
Mary Lou Brooks (Business Office) Interview 124
Cindy Brooks Baucom (Administration) Interview 125
Pat Bare Cooper (Business Office) Interview 126
Polly Osowitt, R.N., and Elliott Osowitt Interviews 127
Tammy Lum Thore, M.D., and Joe F. Thore Interviews 128
Charlotte Caddell Thompson, R.N., Interview 130
11—Dr. Dean C. “Doc” Jones, Jr.: Third Generation of a Family Legacy 132
Donald D. McNeill, M.D., Interview 140
Evelyn Price Jones Interviews 143
12—The Role of Ashe County Practicing Physicians 146
13—Health Care in Ashe County Evolves 163
14—Ashe County’s Model for Community Health Care 173
15—Dr. Charles W. Jones: Fourth Generation of a Family Legacy 185
Charles W. Jones, M.D., Interviews 185
Debra “Debbie” Eller Jones Interview 189
Phyllis Jones Yount Interview 190
David Lee Jones Interview 192
Thomas “Tommy” Mitchell Jones Interview 194
Leigh Bradley, M.D., Interview 195
Linda Noel Jones Patterson Interview 196
16—Changes in AMH Management and Services 197
Laura Lambeth, R.N., B.S.N., Interview 199
Kathy Gilley Lovette, R.T., Interview 203
Jimmy Hendrix Interview 205
Calvin and Katrina Miller Interviews 208
17—Changes in Appalachian Community Health Care 210
Ruby B. Ashley Interview 211
Kada Owen McNeill Interview 213
Emmett Barker Interview 215
Beulah Barker McVey Interviews 216
Anne Shoemaker McGuire Interview 216
Stephen Shoemaker Interview 217
Betsy Gant Interview 218
18—A Legacy 220
Chapter Notes 233
Bibliography and Sources 239
Index 243

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Rich detail…a highly readable and enjoyable work”—NC Historical Review.