Week of DECEMBER 8–15, 2018

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

WEBSITE:  The Mitchell News-Journal
SUBJECT:  Winter weather safety: How and Where to get care in WNC

SUMMARY:  Winter weather with a chance of snow or freezing rain is always a possible forecast. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to being prepared and being well during colder and wintry weather, including when and where to seek care if you find yourself caught in a snowstorm…Mission Health’s six emergency departments are open 24/7 to care for patients with life-threatening conditions – even during winter weather. Our inclement weather plans are designed to provide the safest, highest quality care environment for our patients and team members, snow or no snow. If you have an appointment with a Mission Health doctor or clinic, our practices may close in the interest of patient safety. Should your appointment be rescheduled, your doctor’s office will contact you. Practice closings and delays will be posted regularly on missionhealth.org/closing-delays.


Sunday, December 8, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen Times
AUTHOR:  Marilyn Huff
SUBJECT:  Dogwood Board members could be watchdogs we need

SUMMARY:  Mission Health System is an amazing asset for our region. My family and friends have had excellent care at Mission Hospital. We greatly appreciate the good work done by so many to develop this excellent health system and want this excellence to continue. HCA is a for-profit managed care corporation with 178 hospitals and about 1,800 sites of care in the US and UK. Due to its huge size, HCA has efficiencies in management and purchasing that save money. As a for profit entity the return to their shareholders is their bottom line. They have to pay attention to quality services to stay in business, but it is natural for them to be very selective about the less profitable services long term. I understand HCA is committed to maintaining the same services in all the regional hospitals for the next 5-10 years at which time they could discontinue the unprofitable services or hospitals. The Mayor of Marion wrote in an enthusiastic piece in the ACT on Dec 2 that this 5-10 year security is more then they have now - which is true. Mission has already discontinued labor and delivery services to three regional hospitals due to cost. Mayor Little was also pleased that the taxes paid by HCA would boost the local economies.


Sunday, December 8, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Morganton News Herald
SUBJECT:  Hospital system receives award for use of technology

SUMMARY:  Mission Health has been designated by CHIME for the 2018 Most Wired recognition. Hospitals and health systems at the forefront of using health-care IT to improve the delivery of care have maximized the benefits of foundational technologies and are embracing new technologies that support population management and value-based care. The most successful organizations not only adopt technology, but apply it strategically to achieve great outcomes, according to an analysis of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives HealthCare’s Most Wired survey results. “Information technology — and all that it enables — is a critical component to our care teams at Mission Health. Our IT mission and vision closely align with Mission Health’s strategic goals to support our team members and to facilitate innovation,” said Jon Brown, Mission Health CIO. “I am very proud of our IT team as we consistently raise the bar on customer service, data and analytics, informatics, cybersecurity and innovation.”


Sunday, December 8, 2018

WEBSITE: mountainx.com
REPORTER: Jerry Sternberg
SUBJECT:  No room for the inn: The Gospel According to Jerry

SUMMARY:  The timing of the city’s proposed moratorium on building hotels in our city comes at a good time of the year. No problem if we have an overflow of tourists for this holiday season; these wayfaring strangers from lands far away can sleep in the manger. If the city permits it, we might start a cottage industry Airbnb for people who want to rent out their barns…The second reason this was a callous decision is that this Extended Stay Hotel was a perfect fit, targeted toward those people who come here for in-hospital treatment from the extensive region served by Mission Hospital. The families and caretakers for these patients are being deprived of a convenient accommodation that would allow them to give assistance and support to their family member or friend. I suppose our compassionate Council members never gave this a thought.


Monday, December 10, 2018

WEBSITE: beckersasc.com
REPORTER: Rachel Popa
SUBJECT:  12 acquisitions in the ASC field topping $1M+ in 2018

SUMMARY:  10. JLL sells surgery center for $35 million surgery center 
The three buildings sold include Mission Health's Asheville Surgery Center, Regional Surgical Specialists and the Carolina Spine and Neurosurgery Center. All centers are located in Asheville, N.C.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

WEBSITE: citizen-times.com
REPORTER: John Boyle
SUBJECT:  ‘A war for talent:’ Red hot employment market has companies scrambling for workers

SUMMARY:  If you're a worker in this roaring economy, life looks pretty darn good right now — unemployment is at historic lows, wages are ticking up and companies are hiring like crazy…At Mission Health, which has 12,000 employees system-wide, the needs are just as intense. As of early November, Mission Health had 853 job openings, according to Tommasanne Davis, director of talent acquisition. While that sounds eye-popping, Mission averages between 700 and 1200 openings, "so this is about average," Davis said. The hospital system is having trouble filling some jobs, including entry level support services roles, certified nursing aides, experienced registered nurses, nursing leadership and nursing specialty roles and clinical roles, which tend to be hard to fill. Night shift roles are also tougher to fill than day shifts.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

WEBSITE: calender.duke.edu
SUBJECT:  Implementing Personalized Medicine in a Community Health System

SUMMARY:  Gillian C. Bell is Interim Director of the Mission Personalized Medicine Program and Assistant Professor of Clinical Education in the Division of Practice Advancement and Clinical Education at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She completed her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and two years of post-graduate training in Clinical Pharmacy and Clinical Pharmacogenetics at the Memphis VAMC and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, respectively. At Mission Health, she is focused on the use of pharmacogenomics in routine health care to help optimize the efficacy and safety of drug therapy. This includes helping providers with interpretation and application of pharmacogenomic test results in clinical care, creating the necessary information technology infrastructure to deliver pharmacogenomics to providers in the electronic health record, counseling patients about pharmacogenomic results and how they affect current and future medication therapy, and educating clinicians and patients through workshops and community presentations.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

WEBSITE: wlos.com
REPORTER: Bryan Overstreet
SUBJECT:  New This Morning: Earthquake in east Tennessee felt in WNC

SUMMARY:  An early morning earthquake in east Tennessee could be felt across Western North Carolina. The U.S. Geological Survey confirms a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck around 4:15 this morning in Decatur, TN which is about 180 miles from Asheville…"We felt what was possibly an after shock or tremor between 04:15 - 04:30 am at Angel Medical Center in Franklin N.C." - Robin Rosen


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Franklin Press
AUTHOR: Karen Gorby
SUBJECT:  Wellness is a lifelong journey

SUMMARY: Angel Medical Center’s aim is to help every member of our community get well, be well and stay well. We are invested in maintaining your health by partnering with you in your care and by helping you through your journey to wellness. Our caregivers commit themselves to helping patients get well should they suffer an illness, experience an accident or require surgery. We provide a comprehensive, high quality range of care including walk-in clinic for routine problems like viruses and sprains, primary care for a longitudinal relationship and management of chronic disease, emergency services for those with serious and sudden health crises and treatment for life threatening conditions like cancer. Our rehabilitation services help both inpatients and outpatients alike; these services include general rehab after surgery and occupational rehab for those recovering from a serious health challenge, like a stroke. We offer speech therapy and assistance in relearning daily living skills, like cooking, grooming, and household maintenance.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times, The McDowell News Times, The Mountaineer
SUBJECT:  Making Good Ad


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Mountain Xpress
REPORTER: Daniel Walton
SUBJECT:  Get on Board

SUMMARY: For Western North Carolina's nonprofit community, the Dogwood Health Trust is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. To be formed from the proceeds of Mission Health's sale to for-profit, Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, the estimated $1.5 billion foundation would be among the richest per person served anywhere on Earth. It’s mission, "To dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of all people and communities in Western North Carolina;' could bring unprecedented resources to bear on social determinants of health such as education, food security and employment opportunities. But while local nonprofit leaders are excited by DHT's potential, some have misgivings about the way it's being put together - and they worry that airing those reservations could damage their hopes for future funding.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Smoky Mountain News
REPORTER: Jessi Stone
SUBJECT:  AG looks to protect WNC’s interest in Mission sale

SUMMARY: Attorney General Josh Stein recently issued a press release discussing his ongoing review of HCA’s proposed $1.5 billion purchase of the nonprofit Mission Health system. “Since July, my office has been hard at work requesting and reviewing information from Mission and HCA, which has been provided on a rolling basis,” Stein said. “I have also heard from hundreds of people who have contacted me — including nearly 200 letters and emails from people in Western North Carolina. In fact, in the last three months my office has received more letters and emails about this proposed sale than any other topic.” Franklin Mayor Bob Scott and Highlands Mayor Patrick Taylor recently made a trip to Raleigh to speak to Stein’s office about their concerns with for-profit health giant HCA purchasing Mission, which includes Angel Medical Center and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Macon County. Since the sale was announced in the spring, these mayors have had questions and concerns about how the purchase will impact health care services in their rural communities.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PUBLICATION: highlandsinfo.com
AUTHOR: Patrick Taylor, Mayor of Highlands
SUBJECT:  Hoping AG Stein will step up

SUMMARY: This past weekend we were all victims of that frustrating winter storm…In my report, I will review the North Carolina Attorney General’s statement concerning the Mission HCA sale and the creation of the Dogwood Health Trust that was issued last week. Stein stated his office would carefully review all aspects of this important conversion. The AG stated he wants to make sure the sale price is accurate, that the Dogwood Trust is setup to reflect the diversity of the entire service area and that the five smaller hospitals have sufficient protections. I will urge the Attorney General to establish strong provisions that allow communities to buy back these small hospitals if HCA decides to close them. Case in point would be the Highlands Cashiers Hospital where residents have invested millions of dollars in its construction and operation. It is simply unacceptable for a corporation to ever sell it to another entity that would not operate it as a healthcare facility. See you tonight at the meeting

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION: Thursday, 12-13-18 The Highlander


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PUBLICATION: highlandsinfo.com
REPORTER: Kim Lewicki
SUBJECT:  AG Stein can demand sustainable healthcare

SUMMARY: Last week, State Attorney General Josh Stein said he wants to see changes in the proposed sale of Mission Health to HCA Healthcare to ensure the interests of Western North Carolina residents are protected. Specifically, he is asking three things: Are the provisions to ensure continuation of specific health care services at Mission Hospital and the five rural hospitals in the system are strong enough? Is the roughly $1.5 billion HCA proposes to pay enough? Will the board of the foundation to get money from a sale be diverse and truly representative of WNC? Residents and government officials in communities served by smaller hospitals in the Mission Health system – including Highlands Mayor Pat Taylor and Franklin Mayor Bob Scott – are pushing for more assurances that their communities won’t be shortchanged if the system’s proposed sale to HCA Healthcare goes through. I recently wrote AG Stein outlining my recent experience at H-C Hospital as it pertained to ambulance wait-time.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
REPORTER: Dillon Davis
SUBJECT:  City Council rejects 170-room hotel plan

SUMMARY: A plan for a six-story, 170-room hotel featuring a restaurant on Fairview Road was shot down Tuesday as Asheville City Council again asserted its moratorium on lodging proposals. Council rejected a conditional zoning request for the hotel and restaurant site by developer Rockbridge Capital Tuesday on a 6-1 vote. They argued the project, planned for 62 Fairview Road, southeast of Biltmore Village, does not comply with city lot frontage standards – offering about half of what is required – and that there already are too many other hotels in the district…The rejection continues what Councilman Brian Haynes referred to this year as a “moratorium” on hotel proposals. Hoteliers Monark Patel and Pratik Bhakta from Milan Asheville LLC pulled a proposal for a 7-story, 103-room hotel on Biltmore Avenue near Mission Hospital in October with opposition expressed by Haynes, Councilman Keith Young and Mayor Esther Manheimer. Kapoor supported the project.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
AUTHOR: Edward E. Smith, Black Mountain resident
SUBJECT:  Who stands to benefit from Mission sale?

SUMMARY: Thoughts on the Mission Health/ HCA sale: Desist! Premise No. 1: The public good is almost always better served by accountable government than by profit seekers. Premise No. 2: Mission has an enviable record. Premise No. 3: HCA would need to make miraculous improvements just to meet present Mission standards. In support of Premise 1: Look no further than the drug juggernaut. In support of No. 2, I offer many published high rankings of Mission service. Go to a high hill and look at the healthcare footprint of Mission over the 17 WNC counties - not a picture of a failing enterprise. In a PR letter in mid July 2017, COO Jill Green admitted to profits (surpluses) of “2-3 percent and almost never over 4 percent.” This probably after “reserve accounts,” if any, which are not mentioned. Truly, an amazing financial record for a nonprofit.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

PUBLICATION: The McDowell News
SUBJECT:  Dogwood Health Trust announces the addition of two board members

SUMMARY: Dogwood Health Trust is pleased to announce the addition of two members to its Board of Directors. The Board has confirmed Vivian Bolanos (Henderson County) and Jacquelyn (Jackie) Shropshire Simms (Buncombe County) as new members. Vivian Bolanos has lived and worked in Henderson County since 2000, first working at Roper Insurance Agency in Hendersonville and serving as a General Education Development Instructor at Blue Ridge Community College…Jackie Simms has been a passionate advocate for education and children with hearing impairment for over 50 years. As a teacher in the State’s Early Intervention Program for Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, she has worked with families of children who were deaf or hard of hearing and with county interagency coordinating councils in all 18 of the westernmost counties of North Carolina


Thursday, December 13, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Yancey Common Times
SUBJECT:  BRRH thanks community and team for trust, service, and compassionate patient commitment

SUMMARY: 2018 has been an amazing year for Blue Ridge Regional Hospital (BRRH), and as we end the year, I feel immense gratitude. So many individuals and groups contribute to our success, and I don’t forget that for a single moment. First, I want to thank our patients. It is humbling to know that our patients are placing their trust in us to provide safe, excellent care whether suffering from a common virus or requiring emergency care. Without our patients, we have no reason to be here.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

WEBSITE: The Mountain Xpress
SUBJECT:  Mission Health to hold RN open house

SUMMARY: Are you a registered nurse with less than one year of experience? Or will you graduate from a nursing program by May 2019? Mission Health invites you to learn more about our New Graduate RN Residency Program at an Open House on Monday, Jan. 14 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The event will be hosted at Mission Health’s Cancer Center at 21 Hospital Drive in Asheville. The program is open to any new nurses in the community, as well as current Mission Health team members. You’ll learn about opportunities in many practice areas across Mission Health and talk with nursing managers and directors. You’ll even be able to begin the application process for the program. The New Graduate RN Residency Program offers year-long, full-time (or part-time in some areas) paid nursing positions. These give new nurses the opportunity to grow in their nursing practice and gain clinical experience across a variety of settings in a supportive environment that includes mentoring, professional development and peer support. Areas of specialty may include Medical-Surgical Adult Care, Progressive Care/Stepdown, Behavioral Health, Emergency Department, ICU/Critical Care, Maternal/Newborn/NICU, Surgical Services, Pediatrics and/or Staffing Pool.


Friday, December 14, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
SUBJECT:  Nativity at Mission hospital a ‘work of art’

SUMMARY: Anyone driving around the circle outside St. Joseph’s outpatient entrance during this holiday season will have seen the life-size nativity display there on the Mission Health campus. Each year, the nativity goes on display the week after Thanksgiving and remains up until Jan. 6. The work is nearly 30 years old, and putting its many pieces together takes five people from the grounds team two days, according to Mission. Mike Sitton, a landscaper at Mission Health for 19 years, has helped put the nativity scene together for several years, and he thinks it’s one of the hospital’s artistic treasures. “This is the first time in six years that the whole nativity scene has been up,” Sitton said. “We searched and found some of the old pieces that have not been used in years. We cleaned them up a good bit, found new ways to bolt them together and got everything together this year.”


Friday, December 14, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
AUTHOR: Deborah Miles, founding director of UNC Asheville's Center for Diversity Education and a member of the WNC Diversity Engagement Coalition
SUBJECT:  Dogwood Health 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 seven men, two women, eight white people, and one Cherokee member with decisions already being made as to how to prioritize these funds…The issue of board representation is one that I have advocated for over many years. As the recently retired director of the UNC Asheville Center for Diversity Education, I had conversations with other nonprofit leaders who shared that board members were required to do fundraising so it was hard to find women and people of color who had the skill sets or financial means to be successful.  While I can dispute several different points of that argument, it is important to note the fundamental difference of the Dogwood Health Trust: it will not fund-raise. Mission Health, started by women caring for the sick over 130 years ago, has been built with our own  money – through taxes (exempted), insurance benefits, and our cash matches. 


Friday, December 14, 2018

WEBSITE: benzinga.com
SUBJECT: Terry Bradshaw, Bobbi Brown, Dr. Kevin Pho & More to Keynote Becker’s Hospital Review’s Health IT + Clinical Leadership Conference

SUMMARY: Becker's Hospital Review is pleased to welcome Super Bowl MVP Quarterback, Fox NFL Sunday and NFL Legend Co-host and Analyst Terry Bradshaw; Makeup artist and Entrepreneur Bobbi Brown; and Founder of KevinMD.com Kevin Pho, MD, as celebrity keynotes for its Health IT + Clinical Leadership Conference, which will be held May 2 to 4 at the Swissotel in Chicago. The event will include eight keynote speakers and more than 125 speakers overall for 80-plus great sessions focused on IT's impact on clinical and business issues…Chris DeRienzo, MD, MPP, System Chief Quality Officer and Neonatologist at Mission Health


Friday, December 14, 2018

WEBSITE: citizen-times.com
SUBJECT: Dogwood Trust creeps toward diversity-but not transparency

SUMMARY: In setting up the entity that will manage proceeds from its sale to HCA Healthcare, Mission Health is creeping toward diversity - but not transparency. When Mission announced - with no visible public input - the first nine appointments to the Dogwood Health Trust, there was noticeable concern in the community. By any measure of diversity, the process failed. Eight of the nine were white and one was a Cherokee Indian. Only two were women. Six lived in Buncombe County. The community noticed. So did we.  The quality of Mission’s reaction to the outcry from some of the area's most trusted voices on inclusion and the social determinants of health remains in the eye of the beholder. Two seemingly well qualified new members have been appointed, again with no visible public outreach. One is an African-American woman from Buncombe County. The other is a Latina from Henderson County. One could read this as a natural progression to build a stronger board. One could also wonder if Mission asked itself, “What is the least we can do to get these people off our back?" then acted. 


Friday, December 14, 2018

WEBSITE: bpr.org
REPORTER: Helen Chickering
SUBJECT: Help for WNC Last Minute Health Insurance Shoppers

SUMMARY: Good news for last minute insurance shoppers. Pisgah Legal Services, in partnership with Mission Health is hosting a free enrollment event Saturday, December 15 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  at the Mission Health/AB Tech Conference Center at 16 Fernihurst Drive.  No appointment is needed.The enrollment deadline is December 15 at midnight.   Pisgah Legal Services managing attorney Jackie Kiger spoke with BPR's Helen Chickering about changes for 2019. On the heels of the Affordable Care Act enrollment deadline, an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that just under 300 thousand uninsured North Carolinians are eligible for a plan that comes with $0 premiums, after factoring in tax credits. The bronze-level plan for 2019 covers basic care , but does comes with a high deductible.   Kiger  says there are plenty of options for everyone and encourages those who are hesitating to contact a  health navigator.   


Friday, December 14, 2018

WEBSITE: bpr.org
REPORTER: Lilly Knoepp
SUBJECT: Dogwood Health Trust is Already Meeting with WNC Nonprofits

SUMMARY: Dogwood Health Trust confirmed that it is already talking with local nonprofits who have requested meetings with their team. The trust has promised $15 million dollars to each of the six regional hostipal impacted by the deal. The current pricetag for the Mission Health-HCA sale is about $1 billion dollars…."We are pleased that nonprofit organizations in our region are convening their local colleagues whose work is in the area of social determinants of health to meet with representatives of Dogwood Health Trust. This is allowing Dogwood leaders to engage with and listen to these leaders and to learn from them about their unique communities. The outcomes from these Listening Engagements will contribute to the Trust’s foundational work in establishing the values and guidelines that will inform its continuing development and actions."