Blue Ridge Hospital and School of Nursing

Blue Ridge Hospital and School of Nursing
Asheville, NC
Date Est.: 
Date Cls.: 

In 1922, Blue Ridge Hospital and Training School was established at 186 Fayetteville St. in West Asheville (later moving to 18 Clingman Ave., Asheville) to engage African-American nurses and doctors and provide medical, surgical and obstetric care to African-Americans. By 1927, the hospital stated in its booklet, 1,801 patients had been admitted, with a mortality rate of 5 percent. Mission Hospital had “colored wards,” the booklet noted, but “as a rule the colored nurse is better qualified by nature to minister to her own race; with her there can be no thought of prejudice.” Blue Ridge Hospital closed in 1929, a victim of the Depression, Sharon West notes in Nancy Marlowe’s book, “The Legacy of Mission Hospitals.” In 1940, Mission Hospital had only 18 beds for black patients, the book documents. Dr. Mary Francis Shuford then established a clinic for African-Americans that, in 1943, grew into the Asheville Colored Hospital and, in 1951, merged with Mission. 

Source: Neufeld, Rob. (2014, November 13). Portrait of the past: Blue Ridge Hospital nurses. Citizen Times. Available at

Compiled by: 
Phoebe Pollitt