A stone building
From humble beginnings as a small boarding house on Godshaw Hill to a pristine setting on the mountainside, St. Luke's Hospital has been the community's leader for healthcare services for nearly a century. Tremendous changes have taken place in the delivery of healthcare since the first patient was admitted to St. Luke's Hospital on Nov. 8, 1929. A medical staff of three, four nurses, one housekeeper, a cook, a maid and a houseman have been replaced by a staff of more than 200 healthcare professionals and vast advances in technology and resources.
St. Luke's Hospital, a critical access hospital that serves Polk County and upper South Carolina, shares an important chapter in the county's history after two respected physicians, Dr. Allen J. Jervey and Dr. Marion C. Palmer moved to Tryon where the pure air and pristine views would aid in 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 facility that in the early 1970s was state of the art.
As St. Luke's Hospital grew with each generation, community pride and support in their local hospital was overshadowed by financial challenges. Like many non-profit hospitals, St. Luke's Hospital has benefitted from the generous support of this community, the St. Luke's Hospital Foundation and Auxiliary, the Duke Endowment, the Polk County Community Foundation, Polk County Economic Development and many others have helped keep access to medical care local and convenient.
Focused on our mission, our Board of Trustees applied in 2004 for Critical Access designation, a financial strategy that includes a more stable Medicare reimbursement. Another important and weighty decision was to partner with a stronger, healthier hospital system for management expertise, experience with developing strong community-based clinical services, and participation in revenue and purchasing contracts.
In 2008, our Board selected Atrium Health (formerly Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte), and with Atrium Health's assistance, St. Luke's leadership created a strategic plan for growth and sustainability. Focused on goals to improve staff morale, aggressively manage productivity and expenses, deliver excellent customer service and rebuild relationships with the medical community, St. Luke's Hospital experienced renewed ability to meet the healthcare needs of our community.
This chapter in the history of our community hospital speaks volumes that working as a team to overcome challenges, our board, staff and physicians share a strong belief in our purpose and mission to provide exceptional care, close to home.