Week of NOVEMBER 17–23, 2018

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
AUTHOR:  Monroe Gilmour
SUBJECT: Dogwood Trust board should embrace future

SUMMARY (full text):  Twenty years ago, a diverse group of us called Community Friends for Corporate Responsibility challenged Mission Hospital to be more intentional on diversity and to hire more Black employees. Initially, it was confrontational with one VP pointing his finger at Rev. O. T. Tomes, saying, “We have a healthy system here and it’s going to stay that way.” Upset, we requested a meeting with Mission’s full Board. The CEO then asked if we’d meet with him first. We did, and he presented a diversity plan that incorporated our recommendations and added one of his own, an annual minority scholarship program. He saw it was in Mission’s interest to embrace the future rather than hold tight to the past. And, despite bumps along the way, there’s a strong diversity program at Mission today.Reading Sunday’s commentary “Dogwood Trust will serve community well” by four Mission Health Board Trust Planning Committee members, I regret Mission appears to be circling the wagons around the mainly white, male current make-up of the future Dogwood Health Trust Board. I urge Mission not to go the route of that VP-of-old but to embrace the future and create a Trust Board reflecting the diversity of our community.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
AUTHOR:  Deborah Miles, founding director of UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity, Education
SUBJECT: Dogwood Trust should be independent of Mission Health

SUMMARY:  The people of WNC are at the threshold of a major decision being made on our behalf concerning the sale of Mission Health to the Hospital Corporation of America which is the largest for-profit health care corporation in the world. This letter is not to object to the sale (while acknowledging there are reasons for concern). Rather, it is to address the $1.5 billion in proceeds which will generate over $50 million yearly to be used towards the wellbeing of our mountain home. ‘The transfer of the $1.5 billion is to go to the formed Dogwood Health Trust which, as of now, is to be governed by 7 men, 2 women, 8 white people, and one Cherokee member with decisions already being made as to how to prioritize these funds. Recently, health advocate Kathey Avery shared data that demonstrates how disproportionately health outcomes are for African Americans served by Mission Health. As a mother, the doubled rate of infant mortality of African American babies compared to white infants is especially disturbing. This statistic has persisted for over 100 years and is indicative of the lack of a racial and gender lens that has dogged all maternal and infant health care services, and frankly all of our institutions, for many years.


Monday, November 19, 2018

WEBSITE: citizen-times.com
SUBJECT: Flu Season Q & A

SUMMARY:  Mission Health’s Marina MacNamara, M.D., sets the record straight for this year’s flu vaccine…The flu spreads easily and can be devastating to both an individual and a population. Many people die every year as a result of the flu; old and young individuals are especially susceptible. It’s recommended for everyone 6 months old and older to get a flu shot and those who are high risk, including pregnant women, the elderly, children between 6 months and 5 years of age, those with other health problems and those who work in health care…The earlier the better. This will help protect the individual and the community as the flu begins to spread. If it’s the first time getting one, the child will get one vaccine and then a second one a month later. The CDC recommends individuals who are 6 months or older get vaccinated by the end of October if possible – however, it’s never too late to get a flu shot, no matter the age.


Monday, November 19, 2018

WEBSITE: carolinapublicpress.com
REPORTER: Kate Martin
SUBJECT: Hospital sale would create massive foundation if approved

SUMMARY:  Sometime late this year or early next, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein could decide whether Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare can buy nonprofit Mission Health’s collection of hospitals and clinics in Western North Carolina. The sale’s value could exceed $1.5 billion, according to some estimates. That money would be used to form Dogwood Health Trust, a nonprofit focused on the health of residents in North Carolina’s 18 westernmost counties. Many residents of this mountainous region are poorer than the state at large, U.S. Census Bureau data show. Many studies have shown that greater wealth typically means a higher life expectancy and better health outcomes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which calls these factors the “social determinants for health.” It is these factors, unrelated to medical care, that Dogwood Health Trust would seek to improve, board Chairwoman Janice Brumit said in an emailed statement. “As just one example, children growing up in poverty often have limited access to healthy foods, they may not live in safe neighborhoods, and they may not have access to quality early childhood learning and educational opportunities, all of which are proven predictors of better health,” she said.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

WEBSITE: mcdowellnews.com
SUBJECT: Cardiovascular department named one of top 50 in nation

SUMMARY:  — Mission Hospital was named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by IBM Watson HealthTM. This is the sixth time in a row, and the 13th time total, that Mission Hospital has been recognized with this honor. Mission Hospital is the only hospital in western North Carolina to earn a ranking on the list. Hospitals that receive Top 50 recognition are those institutions providing patients with the most rapid access to emergency care and that perform high numbers of open heart surgeries and successful cardiac catheterizations and interventional cardiovascular procedures such as angioplasties and stent insertions. Mission Heart is one of the busiest centers in the region, treating patients suffering a heart attack.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

WEBSITE: mountainx.com
REPORTER: Virginia Daffron
SUBJECT: Mission releases annual report, city offices to close for Thanksgiving

SUMMARY:  Mission Health on Nov. 14 released its 2017 annual report, Making Good: Together, Changing Lives and Growing Opportunities for Western North Carolina. According to a press release, in 2017, Mission Health’s total community benefit in serving the needs of the people in the 18 western-most counties of North Carolina totaled more than $201 million. “We continue to care for our patients, establish partnerships with neighboring organizations and invest in our communities in remarkable ways,” said Dr. Ronald A. Paulus, president and CEO of Mission Health. “For an unprecedented sixth time in the past seven years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by IBM Watson Health and Mission Hospital was recognized as one of the top hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its 2018-2019 edition of Best Hospitals. Today, Mission Health is delivering on the original promise of the Little Flower Mission through the work of more than 12,000 healthcare professionals and team members who provide all forms of care – from preventive care to critical lifesaving procedures, to rehabilitative and hospice services – and the associated support services that contribute to the vitality of our community.”


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

WEBSITE: bpr.org
REPORTER: Lilly Knoepp
SUBJECT: United Healthcare Patients Could Lose Coverage at WNC Duke Lifepoint Hospitals

SUMMARY:  Manbeck explains that United Healthcare presented Duke LifePoint with a proposal in August and did not receive a response until November 1st. For many in Western North Carolina, this may feel like a nasty flashback to a similar negotiation between Mission Healthcare System and insurance provider Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina last year. Their contract ended in July as well leading to back and forth negotiations that went on until December 2017. In a role reversal, Harris Regional Hospital, which is now a part of negotiations with United Healthcare, saw  20 percent more patients during the time that Blue Cross Blue Shield patients were out of network at Mission Healthcare system hospitals. Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only healthcare provider on the Affordable Care Act marketplace for Western North Carolina so this affected a large percentage of people insured in the area. Harris Regional Hospital is also one of the few hospitals in the region with a labor and delivery unit. They have seen a 70 percent increase in births since labor and delivery closed at Angel Medical Center in Franklin, NC last year.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

PUBLICATION: Mitchell News-Journal
AUTHOR: Rebecca Carter
SUBJECT: Blue Ridge Regional Hospital Applies for Pathway to Excellence Accreditation

SUMMARY:  This month we will share important time and enjoy good food with family and friends as we kickoff the holiday season. I’m grateful to share that on Nov. 1, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, BRRH, submitted its application for recognition as a Pathway to Excellence hospital to the American Nurses Credentialing Center, or ANCC. The designation means we are a facility that does all it can – on every level – to support nurses so they can grow in their careers through collaboration and education, practice in the safest environments and ensure they care for themselves so they are able to most effectively care for others. Pathway to Excellence is similar to Magnet Recognition for a healthcare organization, but more appropriate for smaller hospitals like BRRH. This is a significant step for us and we have been preparing for it for quite some time. When a hospital is ready to apply for certification, it must meet rigorous standards, including demonstrating that nurses have numerous opportunities to excel in their work, to mentor and be mentored and to work in leadership positions. It also means nurses consistently have a voice in ensuring the care their hospital provides is excellent and safely delivered, and nurses are important members of interdisciplinary teams at the hospital and in the community.