Asheville, N.C. – March 21, 2012 – Mission Foundation today announced that over $100,000 has been raised and distributed by the Fallen Firefighters Fund, a fund established in the wake of a tragic fire that occurred last July in Asheville. This Fund was established to provide support to the family of Capt. Jeffery Bowen, who died fighting the fire, as well as other firefighters who were injured by the blaze.
Mission Health created the Fund in cooperation with the Asheville Fire Department, and has matched, dollar for dollar, the first $10,000 given to the fund.
“We are honored to have been able to assist the families and members of the Asheville Fire Department through the contributions of so many generous donors,” said W. Leon Elliston, M.D., Chairman of Mission Foundation. “Mission Health’s vision is to provide the highest quality care to Western North Carolina and improve our communities. This vision could not be achieved day in and day out without the help and hard work of the Asheville Fire Department.”
On July 28, 2011, the Asheville Fire Department responded to a four-alarm fire at 445 Biltmore Avenue, a private medical office building located between the two Mission Hospital campuses. During the course of fighting the fire, Capt. Jeffery Bowen died. Ten other area firefighters suffered burns, heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation as a result of the blaze and were treated in the Mission emergency department.
“July 28 was a tragic day for the community of Asheville. We lost an honorable and brave service member,” said Elliston. “The money raised to support our firefighters shows our unity as a community, and how we support each other.” Any future donations will be directed to the Jeffery Bowen Scholarship Fund at AB-Tech according to Elliston.
About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, NC, is the state’s sixth largest health system and the tertiary care regional referral center for Western NC and the adjoining region. In 2012, Mission Health was named by Thomson Reuters as one of the top 15 health systems in the nation – the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition.
Founded in 1885, Mission Health is a not-for-profit, independent community hospital system that operates four hospitals, numerous out-patient and surgery centers, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 750 physicians, and is
certified in over 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. Centers of excellence include heart, stroke care and neurosciences, and pediatrics. Mission Hospital, the system’s flagship hospital, is licensed for 730 beds and is the busiest surgical hospital in North Carolina. Other Mission hospitals include Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, McDowell Hospital in Marion, and Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville.
With approximately 8,800 employees and 700 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to serving and improving the health and wellness of the people of Western North Carolina.