A history of whole-person care that helps a mountain nurse feel whole.
AdventHealth Hendersonville was born out of a dream to start a wellness facility with the mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ to the mountain people of Western North Carolina. This dream grew and flourished into a hospital, and eventually a nursing school, nestled in the Fletcher valley. The school, which became Fletcher Hospital School of Nursing, trained dedicated nurses to provide patient-centered care. One of those nurses is still fulfilling her legacy of care here at The Baby Place at AdventHealth Hendersonville.
Fonda Lynes, RN has been providing whole-person care to mothers and babies at AdventHealth Hendersonville for more than 40 years. Her philosophy of patient-centered care was instilled in her as a student nurse at Fletcher Hospital School of Nursing, the nursing school attached to what would later become AdventHealth Hendersonville.
“We got a lot of hands-on experience because it was a three-year program, instead of a two-year associate’s program.” Fonda remembers, “I think just the extra time of being with the patients, and not just the bookwork, gave us the experience of caring for the patients and getting to know them as people. It taught us that the patients and their safety are the most important thing.”
The nursing school, originally named the Mountain Sanitarium School of Nursing, started in 1929. The nurses graduated with exceptional medical knowledge and dedication to providing whole-person care, which made them sought after from health care facilities all over the country, and especially overseas. Fonda started her training in 1979. Along with learning the core of the nursing curriculum, she also learned nursing professionalism, time management, and how to treat the patients with compassionate, loving care.
“Whole-person care is not a new concept for the school of nursing,” she says, “We took care of their medical needs, but we also offered them back rubs, we offered to pray with them. And that’s whole-person care. That’s the way we were taught.”
Fonda felt called to mother and baby care from the time she started her nursing training. She felt joy in supporting women through the birthing process and helping parents and newborn babies become a new family. “I’ve always felt comfortable providing mother/baby care,” she shares, “It’s the reason I went into nursing, and that’s my niche. It’s always been my calling and it continues to be.”
Fonda’s legacy of caring extends to those around her. The education she received from the Fletcher Hospital School of Nursing lives on through her mentoring and support of the nurses around her throughout her career. She explains, “I feel like I’ve been able to mentor younger nurses through the years, as I was mentored when I started. We’re as close as a family, and some of them even call me their work 'mom.' It’s good to feel like you’re taking care of each other.”
When asked if she considers herself a pioneer in health care, Fonda is quick to say no. “I consider myself a follower of the mission statement – Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ. It was part of the motto, even if it wasn’t written down, from the very beginning. I’m just trying to continue that.”