Haywood Regional Medical Center on the drawing board

By Vicki Hyatt | Jul 27, 2014

This file photo taken in February 1975 shows the Haywood County Hospital trustees considering an architect schematic of what later became the current hospital.

The name of the hospital was changed to Haywood Regional Medical Center to better reflect the more central location and the service area.

A $14.5 million bond was passed to build the new hospital on 17 acres donated by the late Rev. LeRoy Brunson George and his wife, Evelyn, of Lake Junaluska.

The hospital construction process was completed in 1979.

Polly J. Leatherwood, who retired from the Haywood County Hospital/HRMC in July 2001 with almost 30 years of service, provided the following information about those in the photo.

From left are Bill  McGehee, architect of Six Associates, Asheville; R. Cecil Roberts, vice chairman, Canton,  retired from Champion Papers; J. Aaron Prevost. treasurer Waynesville, banker; Hugh Allen, Clyde/Canton,  Champion Papers production worker;Tommy Owen, Waynesville merchant; Kimsey Palmer (almost blocked by Mrs.Cathey), Iron Duff  farmer; Mrs. Aurelia Cathey, secretary, Bethel, education; Robert M. Gantt, administrator; Weaver Chapman, chairman, Clyde, Champion Papers and Dr. E. H. Camp, surgeon  (not a board member).  He may have been Chief of Staff then.

"Dr. James Stringfield was appointed to the board soon after we moved to the new hospital — the first medical staff member to serve on the board of trustees," Leatherwood wrote. "All of these board members, plus Dr. Camp, are now deceased.  I don't know about Bill McGehee. I worked with these individuals from Oct. 13, 1975 (three months after the bond issue was passed by voters) until the time they rotated off. You will note that at this time, members were from different areas of the county."