AdventHealth Buys 25 Acres in Weaverville to Build a New Hospital

Written by Peter H. Lewis, Asheville Watchdog.

AdventHealth has acquired approximately 25 acres of land in Buncombe County, near Weaverville, where — pending a ruling in a court challenge by rival HCA Healthcare — it plans to build a 67-bed acute care hospital to serve Buncombe, Madison, Yancey, and Graham counties.

AdventHealth already operates AdventHealth Hendersonville, the former Park Ridge Hospital in Henderson County south of Asheville. It received Certificate of Need (CON) approval from the North Carolina Health and Human Services’ Division of Health Service Regulation to build “AdventHealth Asheville” in November 2022, but the award was challenged by HCA, which operates Asheville’s Mission Hospital in Buncombe County.

A court ruling on HCA’s appeal is expected any day now. Victoria Dunkle, AdventHealth Hendersonville’s director of communications, said that although the court decision is still pending, AdventHealth decided to reveal the location — along US 25-70 in Weaverville, just west of I-26 — after holding extensive discussions with residents in the four counties.

“AdventHealth is confident the judge will uphold the state’s approval of the CON,” Dunkle said Friday.

AdventHealth’s proposed hospital would include a surgery suite, a 12-bed emergency department, a 13-bed maternity unit, and a 12-bed intensive care unit. AdventHealth’s 2022 CON application estimated that the hospital — originally planned to be located in Candler — would cost $254 million to build.  AdventHealth did not provide an updated cost for the new location in Weaverville, or a timetable for the completion of the proposed project.

If a judge upholds AdventHealth’s CON award, it would be the first hospital competition in Buncombe County — western North Carolina’s most populous county — since Memorial Mission Hospital merged with Asheville’s St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1998.

Property records show that AdventHealth paid $7.5 million in February this year for four adjoining parcels comprising 25.45 acres on Ollie Weaver Road in Weaverville. The seller is listed as Madison Weaverville Owner LLC.

Buncombe County records also show that the same property sold for $625,000 in September 2019, less than five years ago, and again for $2.64 million in 2022.

Advent to apply for additional 26 beds

AdventHealth also announced this week that it will apply for a new Certificate of Need for an additional 26 acute care beds, which would be added to the design of its proposed facility in Buncombe County. North Carolina’s 2024 State Medical Facilities Plan outlined the need for the additional 26 beds to serve the rapidly growing region north of Asheville.

In a statement released by AdventHealth, Mayor Patrick Fitsimmons of Weaverville said: “Weaverville is pleased to welcome AdventHealth to town, and that very much needed health care services are on their way to north Buncombe, Madison and Yancey Counties.”

Asheville Watchdog contacted HCA-Mission for comment on AdventHealth’s Buncombe County announcement, and for its plans for the 2024 CON application. Nancy Lindell, director of public and media relations for HCA Healthcare’s North Carolina Division and Mission Health, responded, “Mission Health remains committed to providing the region’s most advanced healthcare and will continue to take our community’s evolving health needs into account as we look to the future.”

Under state law, health care providers need a certificate of need before building new facilities, adding hospital beds, or purchasing large pieces of medical equipment. Proponents of the CON statute contend it helps keep healthcare costs down by avoiding wasteful duplication of services and expensive equipment; opponents say the CON statute thwarts competition.

HCA Healthcare, which currently has a 100 percent market share for acute care hospital beds in the four-county region (Buncombe, Graham, Yancey, and Madison), and Novant Health both applied for the 2022 CON, but both were rejected in favor of AdventHealth. HCA proposed adding the 67 new beds to its existing facilities at Mission Hospital.

HCA’s application was opposed by Attorney General Josh Stein, now the Democratic candidate for governor, who called for more healthcare competition in the region.

With headquarters in Florida, AdventHealth is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “Today, AdventHealth is one of the largest health care providers in the United States, with thousands of compassionate professionals working to Extend the Healing Ministry of Christ around the country,” its website states.

Asheville Watchdog is a nonprofit news team producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. Peter H. Lewis is The Watchdog’s executive editor and a former senior writer and editor at The New York Times. Contact him at [email protected]. To show your support for this vital public service go to