Our HistorySet on the mountainside in Polk County, NC, St. Luke's Hospital has been the community's leader in healthcare services for nearly a century. Since admitting our first patient on November 8, 1929, monumental changes have occurred in healthcare delivery. Beginning with two doctors, four nurses, a housekeeper, a cook, a maid, and a houseman, we have grown to a team of nearly 300 healthcare professionals and have experienced tremendous advances in technology and resources.
Dr. Allen J. Jervey and Dr. Marion C. Palmer moved to Tryon, where the pure air and pristine views would aid patients' recovery. From Godshaw Hill, the Tryon Infirmary was moved to a new building on Trade Street and later to the beautiful stone structure on Carolina Drive. When that building was no longer viable for expansion, the community rallied to fund and build a brand new state-of-the-art facility in the early 1970s.
In 2004, the Board of Trustees applied for Critical Access designation. This financial strategy included a more stable Medicare reimbursement. Another critical decision was to partner with an extensive hospital system for management expertise, experience in developing community-based clinical services, and participation in volume-based purchasing.
In 2008, the Board selected Atrium Health. St. Luke's leadership developed a strategic plan for growth and sustainability with Atrium Health's assistance. The partnership focused on improving staff morale, managing productivity and expenses, delivering excellent patient service, and rebuilding relationships with the medical community. As a result, St. Luke's Hospital experienced renewed ability to meet our community's healthcare needs.
Our hard work and determination are paying off. In 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recognized St. Luke's as a 5-Star hospital for patient experience. In addition, in 2021, Healthgrades.com ranked the hospital 16% higher than the national average, and we're now #1 in the greater Western Carolinas for "outstanding patient experience."
As a non-profit, community-owned hospital, St. Luke's relies on the generous support of our community. The Foundation for St. Luke's Hospital, the Duke Endowment, the Polk County Community Foundation, Polk County Economic Development, and many others help keep medical care local and convenient.
St. Luke's Hospital is now one of the top-rated critical access hospital within a 200-mile radius, rapidly becoming a healthcare center of excellence in Western Carolinas. We are well on our way to becoming the model for "critical access" hospitals in the southeast. To that end, and through much hard work, St. Luke's is bringing world-class to rural Polk County, NC.