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RATHBUN HOUSE The Rathbun House, a hospitality house owned and operated by Mission Hospital, provides lodging and a supportive environment in a home-like atmosphere for patients and their families coming to Asheville for medical treatment. The doors opened to guests in 1994. Patients and families may stay at the Rathbun House for 21 days free of charge. Should individuals need to stay for longer than 21 days, they may do so for a small daily charge up to 12 weeks. For those seeking treatment at Mission Hospital that do not live in the immediate community, this is an incredible benefit. In 2015 alone, the Rathbun House accomodated 4,450 individuals from 40 states throughout our country. Hospitals served included: Mission Hospital, Memorial Campus, St. Joseph’s Campus, Sleep Center, Copestone, Care Partners Rehabilitation and Hospice, Asheville Specialty Hospital on St. Joseph’s Campus, VA Medical Center, in addition to physician offices. The annual occupancy rate in 2015 was 95%. While the Rathbun House serves individuals from throughout the country seeking care at Mission, many patients are from within Western North Carolina. In 2015, families served from our region included: 18% Macon; 10% Cherokee; 9% Swain; 6% Rutherford; 5% Burke; and 52% Other WNC counties. In 21 years, Rathbun House has provided lodging to 29,366 families. Over 60,800 individuals have stayed at the Rathbun House.

A VISION COMES TO LIFE THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF OUR COMMUNITY The vision for the Rathbun House began with Adelaide Daniels Key, an accomplished business woman and cancer survivor from Macon County. Adelaide knew first-hand the struggle that cancer patients and their families face when coming into Asheville for cancer treatments. A hospitality house would give people a nurturing and supportive place to stay, as well as minimizing, if not eliminating, the loneliness and anxiety of having a loved one in the hospital. Adelaide’s vision of building a “House with a Heart” began in April 1990 by sending over 1,000 surveys to doctors throughout western North Carolina to see if they felt a need existed for a hospital hospitality house: somewhere patients or their families could stay while receiving treatment in Asheville. Once the community gave the hospitality house idea full support, Adelaide went full steam ahead with her mission. She brought together a Board of Directors of individuals in the community representing such professions as medicine, business, law and education. Together, they began a capital campaign drive to raise $3 million to buy land, build the house, furnish the house, and have a first-year operating income. On September 12, 1994, the Lewis Rathbun Center became a reality, and opened its arms and heart to thousands of people from all areas and all walks of life. Volunteers were assembled and trained and are the “heart” of the House. In 21 years, 80 volunteers donated over 100,000 volunteer hours. The home is named for Dr. Lewis Rathbun, best characterized as a medical pioneer, a doctor, a humanitarian, a WWII veteran, an artist and an author. He has been called “Asheville’s Dean of Medicine” and his life story is compelling and inspiring. As an OB-GYN he focused on women’s health issues that included a focus on cancer care, and founded the LIFE AFTER CANCER program in 1977. This was a support group for those living with cancer. His care of Adelaide Key inspired her to name the home the Lewis Rathbun Center, in honor of Dr. Rathbun for his life of service to his community. As of today, thousands of families, patients, and friends have experienced the warmth, love and comfort of the Lewis Rathbun Center. Adelaide passed away on August 28, 2014. She is remembered every day as guests walk in and out of the Rathbun House, as her photo greets each guest as they enter the front lobby.

NEEDS Mission provides the staffing support needed to operate the Rathbun House. Volunteers also support the home by staffing the front desk. As the need for these services continues to increase, philanthropic support is needed. The Rathbun House has a $300,000 per year operating budget (not including special/capital projects). In 2015, donations to Rathbun House added up to $157,000. Mission Hospital covered $143,000 of the operating budget. Additionally, Mission approved and managed over $175,000 in various capital projects like key card entry for rooms, playground fencing, and phone system upgrades. Funding would provide: •

A fund for families that need to stay at the Rathbun House for more than 21 days, but perhaps may not have the financial resources to pay the daily fee that is charged for stays beyond 21 days, up to 12 weeks. $25,000

The front pond is often a welcoming site for families as they look for a peaceful setting. The pond requires annual maintenance and repair. A fund is needed to provide for the annual cost of this service. $5,000

Rollaway Beds


Box Spring and Mattress for Guest Rooms


Protection Encasements for Mattresses


Place Guest Rooms 1-5 on Chiller Line


Guest Room Dual Control Thermostats


Chiller Buffer Tank to Improve Efficiency of Chiller


8 Commercial Washer Dryer Sets


Holiday Meal for Guests (5 Holidays)


Case for support rathbun house  
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