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Franklin Town Council Approves HCA Permit To Build New Hospital

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Lilly Knoepp
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Angel Medical Center CEO and CNO Karen Gorby presents the new hosptial plan to the Franklin Town Council.

  The Franklin Town Council unanimously approved a special use permit to build a new Angel Medical Center. BPR was at the meeting. 

 HCA Healthcare willbuild the new facility off of Hunnicutt Lane and Center Court Drive in Franklin.  The for-profit company purchased the hospital as part of its acquisition of the Mission Health system.

“The facility will really be based on what Franklin and Macon County need.” 

 That’s Angel Medical Center CEO and CNO Karen Gorby. She presented the most recent plans for the new hospital. 

“We looked at our needs and the needs of the population and we designed this facility for us - the people who live here and receive care here,” says Gorby. 

Greg Lowe also presented at the meeting. Lowe took over as Mission Health President and CEO back in February. 

Lowe explained how North Carolina now fits into the 185 HCA Health hospitals nationwide. 

“As you can see North Carolina is the 16th division so we are one out of 16 divisions of HCA healthcare,” says Lowe, who is also president of the NC division. 

The updated version of the construction plans include a helipad.  HCA hopes to open the new hospital in late 2022. The new hospital was originally expected to cost over $45 million now, CEO Karen Gorby says that the project will be over $65 million.

Franklin Mayor Bob Scott was one of the most vocal opponents of Mission Health’s sale to HCA. Scott is now happy after changes to the sale agreement were made that ensures rural hospitals like Angel will stay open at least another 10 years.   

“The deal is made so the best thing that I can do is get behind it and help them anyway we can,” says Scott. 

The only lingering question for Scott - and Macon County - is what will happen with the old hospital building after the new hospital is complete. 

 

Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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