New urgent care center opening in Swannanoa

Barbara Hootman

A medical emergency requires help as quickly as possible. According to the Urgent Care Association of America each year urgent care center of which there are 7,100 in the U.S. provides care for nearly 160 million U.S. patients.

Work is beginning on the Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care East which is set to open in the fall of 2016.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care East is set to open in the fall of 2016.  An open house is planned at the new location on 1272 Tunnel Road in East Asheville for Thursday, Oct. 6 from 5:30-7 p.m.

Michael Crowley of Black Mountain had a medical emergency in late May and another one in June that sent him to an urgent care center for medical help.

“I will go to urgent care, any of them, before I go to the emergency room at a hospital simply to save time,” he said.  “The wait at the urgent care centers that I have visited is never long, and the assessment of the situation is quick.  Of course, there are some situations that they can’t handle and you have to go to a hospital emergency center.  I’m pleased that a new urgent care is opening closer to Black Mountain. It will cut the drive time to at least half what it takes now from Black Mountain to Asheville to get help. During the two visits that I had to make, the urgent care staff were pleasant, caring and efficient.”

Chief Executive Officer at Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Tim Johnston explained the new center is needed in the east location because of the growth in the area.

“Since much of the industry left the east area 15-20 years ago, we had to close the former Swannanoa location at the end of 2004,” he said.  “Over the past 10 years our not-for-profit has worked hard to fine-tune our urgent care model so that it is sustainable.  Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care has been able to tailor the location size and staffing of our sites.  Our licensed medical professionals ensure access to care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries.”

Medical Director Ellen T. Lawson, MD, worked at the former center in Swannanoa and is excited that an east center will open soon to make it more convenient for the patients formerly served there.

Mary Soyenova of Buncombe County fell in her kitchen in 2015 and broke her arm.  She chose an urgent care center in Biltmore for quick medical service.

“I was in hopes that I had a bad sprain, but by the time a friend arrived to drive me, I pretty well knew that it was more than a sprain,” she said. “I was pleased with the urgent care that I received.  I was seen quickly, got an x-ray,and it was determined that the arm was broken.  I was referred to a specialist and saw him within a three day time period and the arm was put in a cast.  I didn’t have to spend hours of waiting to be seen by a doctor and be exposed to various communicable medical problems in the emergency room at Mission Hospital, and then be told to see a specialist to get the arm set. I was pleased with urgent care efficiency and care.  I am delighted that an urgent care center will be located closer to Black Mountain.”

Kay Carter from the Shope Creek in the Riceville area said she is delighted that a new urgent care center is being built to serve the east area of Buncombe County.

“My husband has several medical issues and I will always choose an urgent care center rather than the traditional hospital emergency room because of quicker service,” she said.  “Usually the wait time at an urgent care center is no more than 30 minutes.  We’ve needed an urgent care center for the East end of Buncombe County for more than a decade now.

The new Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Center is a 2,400 square foot structure that will open in October, 2016.

The new 2,400 square foot Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care East location has seen a growth in the population within a five-mile radius from 56,000 to a projected 70,000 residents.  The new site is being designed by R, L. Stanley of Samnat Architecture, and the new site will be leased from Carl Ricker and Andy Walker of Azalea Management and Leasing.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care offers affordable treatment of non-life threatening illnesses and injuries by licensed medical professionals at four locations in Asheville.  The one opening in the fall makes the fifth facility.  To date, the local, not-for-profit organization has served more than a million patients in the WNC region.  More information about hours and locations can be found at