A Hospital for Ashe County

Four Generations of Appalachian Community Health Care

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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 C. Pittard is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Our State and Signature magazines and who has written for UNC-TV’s Our State program. She lives in Raleigh and West Jefferson.

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

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

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