Week of FEBRUARY 23–28, 2019

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Monday, February 25, 2019

PUBLICATION:  The Asheville Citizen-Times
REPORTER:  John Boyle
SUBJECT:  Are Mission Hospital employees unvaccinated?

SUMMARY:  I’m almost afraid to ask you this question, given the permissive attitude of the residents of this city regarding vaccinations. My friend and neighbor is having weekly chemotherapy treatments at the Cancer Center at Mission Hospital. He has told me that on three occasions he had treatments administered by different hospital employees wearing face masks. When he inquired as to why, he was told that they hadn’t had the DPT vaccination, and proceeded to explain why no one should have it and how they supported the antivaccination group in Asheville. They said they were required by Mission to wear a face mask; presumably, otherwise they wouldn’t. I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that you will tell me that he was mistaken, that he didn’t have Mission employees proselytizing the anti-vaccination message as they infused my friend with chemotherapy drugs. Please tell me that Mission Hospital insists on vaccinations for each and every one of its employees,whether at a desk job or handling tiny, vulnerable newborns. 


Monday, February 25, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
AUTHOR:  David Westing, Resident of Fletcher
SUBJECT:  We’re all being played

SUMMARY: First Sycophant Mark Meadows blithely ignores the first article of the Constitution and supports re-directing billions of dollars to mollify his constituency…without much discussion of where it will leave a hole. Sneaky Wanda Greene and her cronies completely disregard their sworn fiduciary responsibilities, steal lots of money and shift loads of it into unintended coffers. Hey…who cares? It’s the taxpayers’ money! And Trust Me Ron Paulus closes off Mission Health System for months to those insured by Blue Cross/Blue Shield (resulting in no benefit to anyone), then sells off our nice non-profit community hospital to a for profit corporation, and finally lands himself a super-nice position with the new owner. (For this let’s not forget Josh Stein when he runs for governor!) The citizens of Western North Carolina need to pay more attention to the integrity of people placed in responsible positions in our region. We are being trifled with like we are a bunch of suckers.


Monday, February 25, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
AUTHOR:  Jim Heid, Black Mountain Resident
SUBJECT:  Shocked to find a fishy deal

SUMMARY: I’m shocked, shocked, shocked to learn that former Mission CEO, Dr. Ron Paulus, has taken a sweetheart job with HCA. Who could ever have suspected this bountiful reward for his tireless effort to sell Mission Hospital to HCA? Recall how we were assured that there were absolutely “no emoluments” in this deal. I guess an obvious quid pro quoarrangement doesn’t count. Once again Asheville and Buncombe County have been taken to the cleaners by a slick and sleazy operation. Let Western North Carolina Health Care take heed. This is just our first taste of corporate wheeling and dealing. 


Monday, February 25, 2019

WEBSITE: prnewswire.com
SUBJECT: Rutherford County Native Jackie Godlock joins Dogwood Health Trust Board of Directors

SUMMARY: Dogwood Health Trust, a private, non-operating foundation whose purpose is to dramatically improve the health and well-being of all people and communities of Western North Carolina, today announced that Rutherford County native Jackie Godlock has been elected to the organization's Board of Directors. Mrs. Godlock has served more than 15 years as a Business Relations Representative for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, covering a four-county area to help individuals remove barriers to meaningful employment. She becomes the 12th director of the Dogwood Trust, all of whom serve on a voluntary, non-compensated basis. A 13thmember is expected to be named to the Board, which is designed to evolve over time as the organization moves from its critical organizational stage toward collaborating with others to identify and address social determinants of health.


Monday, February 25, 2019

WEBSITE: bpr.org
REPORTER: Lilly Knoepp
SUBJECT: Dogwood Health Trust Announces New Rutherford County Board Member

SUMMARY: The Dogwood Health Trust Board has announced Jackie Godlock of Rutherford County will join the board of directors. This brings the total board to 12 including Vice Chair Jack Cecil and Chair Janice Brumit. Dogwood Health Trust Foundation was created as the result of Mission Health's sale to HCA Health at the beginning of February. The sale was finalized after NC Attorney General Josh Stein recommended a number of changes to the deal. Many of those changes centered on Dogwood Health Trust in order to make sure the foundation’s board fairly reflects the diversity of Western North Carolina. According Stein's changes, no more than four members of the 15-member board can be from Buncombe County by January 1st, 2021 and that the board can not include any members from the Mission board


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

WEBSITE: businessnc.com
SUBJECT: North Carolina’s 2019 Best Hospitals

SUMMARY: Our annual hospitals report dives into the data to determine which medical centers are most successful at their fundamental goal: providing quality care for patients. The result is Business North Carolina’s 2019 Best Hospitals list. The list is calculated by the hospitals’ performance in 25 metrics, including information provided by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. We examine patient-satisfaction surveys, rates of commonly acquired hospital infections, and readmission and death rates for common procedures. Also considered are safety report cards from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, and ratings from insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield and U.S. News & World Report. We rank the state’s adult, acute-care medical centers with at least 50 beds, excluding specialty and psychiatric hospitals…Mission gained muscle after Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare completed its $1.5 billion purchase of the 12,000-employee system last month. HCA, a publicly traded company with 2018 revenue of $46.7 billion, plans to build a 120-bed behavioral health hospital in Asheville, replace the aging Angel Medical Center in Franklin, complete the build-out of a $400 million medical tower already under construction and invest $232 million in existing facilities. Mission, which covers the state’s 18 westernmost counties, spent more than $210 million in community investments in 2017; a foundation established as part of the HCA deal will support continued local outreach.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

WEBSITE: wlos.com
REPORTER: Jay Siltzer
SUBJECT: Timing is everything for Top 50 cardiovascular center

SUMMARY: I just laid over on the console with my feet hanging out the door," 70-year-old Steve Ohliger said of the heart attack he had in Whittier last month, with his truck in park. "The only thing I could think of was honk, honk," he remembered. "The horn was right there. I kept beeping, two beeps." That led to EMS quickly transporting him to the cardiac cath lab at Mission Hospital in Asheville. "This is where we do our procedures to look at vessels of the heart and open up vessels that are occluded, said Dr. Lucius Howell, a interventional cardiologist. Images confirm Ohliger's artery opened easily. From the first sign of a heart attack until the stent has been completed in this cath lab, the goal is for no more than 90 minutes to have lapsed.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Crossroads Chronicle
SUBJECT: Highlands-Cashiers Health Foundation re-purposed following HCA’s purchase of Mission, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

SUMMARY: A new beginning for the Highlands -Cashiers Health Foundation commenced this month with an expanded goal of supporting health and well-being initiatives in the Cashiers-Highlands area, as well as surrounding communities. After many years serving HighlandsCashiers Hospital as the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Foundation, the Highlands -Cashiers Health Foundation has been repurposed to help the philanthropic donor community to broaden support for initiatives that improve health and well-being conditions in local communities and the surrounding area. This transition was made necessary by the completed purchase of HighlandsCashiers Hospital by HCA Healthcare. The new Highlands-Cashiers Health Foundation is still a certified 501 c 3 charity, and IRS rules do not allow direct charitable support to what is now a commercially operated hospital. But while the H-C Health Foundation funding must be redirected, its passion and commitment to its communities and donors has not changed.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Crossroads Chronicle
SUBJECT: Highlands-Cashiers Hospital visits limited after surge in reported influenza-like illness

SUMMARY: There has been an increase in reported influenza-like illnesses throughout North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Public Health Division, the influenza-like illness activity in the state has reached more than six percent, and transmission on the Cashiers-Highlands plateau has increased. As a result, officials recently announced the Mission Health Visitor Restriction Policy, which means that only partners and immediate family members older than 12 will be allowed in patient care areas. On Jan. 3, Mission Health asked friends and family of patients to limit visitations based on recommendations from Mission Health’s infection prevention department. However, the number of reported flu cases has continued to increase statewide, triggering a threshold at which Mission Health will now restrict visitations


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Franklin Press
SUBJECT: Dogwood Health Trust adds board member

SUMMARY: Rutherford County native Jackie Godlock has joined the Dogwood Health Trust board of directors. Godlock has served more than 15 years as a business relations representative for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, covering a four-county area to help individuals remove barriers to meaningful employment. She becomes the 12th director of the Dogwood Trust, all of whom serve on a voluntary, non-compensated basis. A 13th member is expected to be named to the board, which is designed to evolve over time as the organization moves from its critical organizational stage toward collaborating with others to identify and address social determinants of health, according to information supplied by Dogwood Health Trust. “Having a board that represents and reflects the diverse perspectives and interests of the entire Western North Carolina region is vital to establishing Dogwood Health Trust as an organization that will partner with and support other groups who are doing vital work in our community,” said Dogwood Trust Board Chair Janice Brumit. “Jackie not only brings the lifelong perspective of a Rutherford County native, but also that of one whose professional life and community service have been dedicated to providing her neighbors with opportunities for a better quality of life.”


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Mitchell News-Journal
SUBJECT: Raising awareness about gender disparities and heart disease

SUMMARY: Hearts are the theme for February. Aside from Valentine’s Day celebrating romance, February is also National Heart Month. Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of Americans. We talk a lot about how to lower our risk for heart disease by eating better, avoiding tobacco, exercising more and managing our stress. But we also need to be prepared and able to identify the symptoms of heart disease. Over the decades that heart disease has been studied, most study participants have been men, and it was previously considered to be a “man’s disease.” This is problematic because women too are impacted by heart disease and they often experience very different heart attack symptoms than men.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Biltmore Beacon
SUBJECT: How Technology Helped Keep Anne Buchanan Out of Hospital

SUMMARY: Western North Carolina is known for its long and winding roads. And while the scenic journeys add to the charm of our region, they can be a hindrance for those who need to travel for medical care. Anne Buchanan of Morganton knows this firsthand. The 77 year old frequently traveled to Mission Hospital in Asheville for medical appointments and hospital admissions due to her congestive heart failure. Now, thanks to pioneering technology offered through Mission’s Heart Failure Program, Buchanan is making that drive a lot less frequently.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
REPORTER: John Boyle
SUBJECT: Will Mission Keep its name?

SUMMARY: Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal: Question: Here is another Mission Hospital question. Will Mission keep its name? Also, what happens to the St. Joseph’s building? Do they still have patients over there? Will it be torn down? A lot of your readers, including me, were born there. My answer: I’m not an expert on these things, but I’m going to offer the Mission folks a pro tip here: Remove the patients before demolishing the building. You’re welcome. Real answer: Mission Hospital spokeswoman Nancy Lindell answered the name change question. “As for Mission’s name; from 1885 when a small group of women set out to establish a place where the sick could heal, to a six hospital health system providing some of the nation’s highest quality of care with the compassion and integrity we were founded upon across all of western North Carolina and beyond, our name is and remains Mission,” Lindell said. “Mission Health is the local market brand for our patients, employees and Western North Carolina communities.”


Thursday, February 28, 2019

PUBLICATION: The Transylvania Times
AUTHOR: Dr. Todd Hansen
SUBJECT: Understanding How to Have a Healthy Heart

SUMMARY: Think of the heart as a pump, specifically, an electro-mechanical pump that pumps blood through the lungs and throughout the whole body. It actually has electrical wiring that generates electricity. That electric current causes the heart muscles of the pumping chambers to contract to push blood through the arteries of the body. The heart also has its own circulation system of coronary arteries that carries blood and oxygen to the heart muscle itself. Problems with the electrical wiring cause heart rhythm problems. These problems or weakening of the pumping chambers can lead to congestive heart failure. Clogging of the coronary arteries reduces blood flow to the heart muscle, causing chest pain or angina, and eventually heart attack. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when a coronary artery completely blocks off, starving the heart muscle of blood and oxygen. This leads to permanent damage of the heart muscle, causing the pumping chambers to become weak. Thus, blood flow through the lungs and body is reduced and congestive heart failure occurs.