Erlanger expands in North Carolina

Medical office, Express Care facility to open in 2019 in Hayesville

Contributed rendering of new medical facility in Hayesville, N.C. by River Street architects.

Five months after Erlanger Health System acquired the former Murphy Medical Center, Erlanger announced Tuesday it will expand its medical services in western North Carolina by adding a primary care and Erlanger Express Care facility early next year in nearby Hayesville, North Carolina.

Mark Kimball, president of Erlanger Murphy Medical Center, said Erlanger is expanding east into Clay County to help add the county's first urgent care center along with a new physicians office, which will be open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m., and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We have had a primary care office in Hayesville for a number of years and we wanted to expand that in response to what the community has told me they want," Kimball said. "Our goal is to recruit a family practice physician to the area as well as expand our specialty care services to that area."

Clay County is home to just over 10,000 residents and also attracts many visitors to Lake Burton and other resort areas.

The new medical facility, which is being built in a former Dollar General store in Hayesville, will offer treatments for acute and chronic illnesses and physical exams and preventative education for patients of all ages, ranging from newborns to geriatrics.

Walk-ins will be accepted and, in addition to primary care physicians, Erlanger specialists will also be rotating through this practice on a regular basis to serve area residents.

Kimball said the expanded Hayesville facility is the first of several expansions Erlanger hopes to make in the area.

"Our plans are to grow the services we offer, both in primary care and in specialty care in western North Carolina," he said.

Erlanger took over the 25-bed Murphy Medical Center in April and has continued to employ the hospital's 450-employee staff.

Renovation at the new medical office is expected to begin this fall, with an opening in early 2019. The property will be developed by the Chattanooga-based Noon Development and operated by Erlanger.

Noon Development has also built medical facilities such as the new 103,000-square-foot Atrium Medical Center on Gunbarrel Road, operated by CHI Memorial , and the 33,000-square-foot Lyerly Medical Pavilion, which opened last year near Parkridge Medical Center.

The expansion into North Carolina by Erlanger this year is part of several additions and expansions planned by Chattanooga's biggest hospital in partnership with other medical companies, local governments and physician groups.

Erlanger is building a new Children's Hospital outpatient center on its main campus and is adding to its Heart and Lung Institute and Neuroscience Institute downtown. Erlanger recently opened the Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital on Holtzclaw Avenue in partnership with Acadia Healthcare. The hospital also got regulatory y approval last year to build a $36.9 million hospital in Dunlap, Tennessee to replace its emergency facility in Bledsoe County.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 757-6340