Who We Are

Staff Group Picture

A Brief History

In 1976, I arrived in Asheville after a two-year stint as an Air Force Plastic Surgeon at Scott Air Force Base. During Medical School in Illinois at Northwestern, then an Internship and Surgical Residency in New England at the Hartford Hospital, my wife, Judy, and I had a great chance to get acquainted with the Midwest and New England. I had rotations in Durango, Colorado and Miami, Florida and with vacation visits had a chance to visit all 50 states in a serious search for the perfect place to live. We arrived with two little girls and with another to arrive that September and have had a wonderful experience in Western North Carolina.

Waiting Room

I joined J Robert Israel, M.D. in an office sharing arrangement. His practice was Asheville Aesthetic Surgery and so I named mine Asheville Plastic Surgery and went to work. We had office space with Bill Morgan M.D. a pediatric surgeon, in Biltmore Village. In 1982 after considerable searching we built a building near the Memorial Mission Hospital specifically for our combined Plastic Surgery practices with dedicated operating room suites on the lower floor and business space and examining rooms on the upper floors. Bert King was the architect and did a great job. We wanted an office that looked like a home rather than an office, one that fit the sloping, wind-blown site and looked like it belonged in North Carolina. Dr. Rob Israel and I asked for room to grow and built it about twice the size that we needed. It was the first construction project for either of us and we learned a lot.

As we got busier we recruited David Humphreys M.D. to join us and continued with the office-sharing, cooperative model. Don Conway, M.D. joined us in 1994 and within a couple of years Dr. Israel retired. Colette Stern M.D. joined us in 2008, Dr. Humphrey retired in 2015 and Eric Halvorson M.D. joined us in 2017.

Our Home

The experience of four physicians working out of the building designed for two led us to make some changes in the building itself. Open porches with views of the city were turned into workspace, and doctors’ offices were subdivided to make room for the fourth physician and staff. Parking became an issue as the staff grew from four to eight to twelve to twenty-three, with an active two-room operating suite, four recovery rooms, and three aestheticians, each with busy practices.

Asheville Plastic Surgery Center has been offering quality services for 40 years: always improving, always in great company. The Plastic Surgery Center at 5 Livingston Street in Asheville with four cooperative physicians continues to grow.

James M. McDonough, M.D.

Tracie Morris Alice Brown with Mary Ellen Temple