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.

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION: Wednesday 11-21-18 The Highlander


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.

Thursday 11-22-18 The Hendersonville Times-News
Wednesday 11-28-18 The Yancey Common Times
Thursday 11-29-18 The Smoky Mountain Times


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.

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION: Wednesday 11-28-18 The Yancey Common Times


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.”

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION: Wednesday 11-21-18 The Transylvania Times


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.

ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION: Wednesday 11-21-18 pharmacychoice.com
ADDITIONAL PUBLICATION: Wednesday 11-28-18 The Yancey Common Times


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Asheville Citizen-Times
AUTHOR: Peter Gentling
SUBJECT: Invest Dogwood funds wisely

SUMMARY:  As the sale of Mission Hospital looms we see interested parties lining up to deal out the cards. Everyone wants a piece of the pot, the carcass. No wonder. It will be massive, a unique, precious opportunity. Whoever directs the disposition of Dogwood funds can have a brilliant impact both immediate and over the long haul. Or the funds can be eroded and frittered away piecemeal and the impact cheapened or lost. The major threat will come from a flood of entitled interests, say, the 18 counties the old Mission served.

Mission was built here, in Asheville, by doctors and nurses and administrators. It was paid for by generous local people.

Here is a plea: concentrate this asset. Keep its vision focused. Resist the pressures to dilute and disperse it. As for the Dogwood Board, its diversity is not nearly as important as its ethics, wisdom and maturity.

Peter Gentling, Asheville


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Smoky Mountain News
SUBJECT: LifePoint, RCCH merger a done deal

SUMMARY:  LifePoint Health and RCCH HealthCare Partners have completed their merger and will now begin operating as one united company under the LifePoint Health name. Duke LifePoint — a partnership between Duke University and LifePoint Health — purchased Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde, Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva and Swain Community Hospital in Bryson City back in 2014, turning all three from nonprofit to for-profit systems. As part of the merged RCCH and LifePoint network, the three rural hospitals in Western North Carolina are part of a larger network of community hospitals, regional health systems, physician practices, outpatient centers and post-acute facilities that spans 30 states…Apollo’s purchase of LifePoint Health is a $5.6 billion deal and is the latest in a series of bets by private-equity firms on health care. LifePoint shareholders will receive $65 per share in cash for each share of LifePoint’s common stock they owned, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes. If for-profit giant HCA Healthcare’s pending acquisition of Mission Health goes through as planned, there will be no remaining nonprofit hospitals left in the region. Mission operates Angel Medical Center in Franklin and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

PUBLICATION: The Biltmore Beacon
AUTHOR: Jarod Coffey
SUBJECT: Helping Kids with Tourette Syndrome Regain Confidence

SUMMARY:  Kelly Hughes’ son Aidan, age 12, has Tourette syndrome, and as a result has experienced tics throughout most of his childhood. Over time, he developed more complex tics, as well as co-occurring conditions like ADHD and OCD. As diagnoses piled up, and doctors continued offering the family new theories and suggestions as to how to manage Aidan’s tics, Hughes finally had enough and took their pediatrician’s advice: “If the tics aren’t bothering him or hurting his grades, then they’re not a problem,” he said. “If they’re a problem for others, that’s their problem.” “I wholeheartedly agreed,” said Hughes. “Overall he was doing well, so I thought we would just chill out with the doctors for a little bit.” As it turns out, however, Aidan wasn’t doing so well. As a preteen entering middle school, he was starting to feel self-conscious about his tics. This became clear to Hughes last September on the night of Aidan’s 5th grade orientation. Even though Hughes suggested Aidan sit up front so that he could focus, he wanted to sit in the back. The reason: He didn’t want others seeing his tics.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

PUBLICATION: The McDowell News
REPORTER: Richelle Bailey
SUBJECT: Angels Among Us

SUMMARY:  The angels have landed. Project Christmas Angel Trees are ready to be adopted to bring the joy of the holiday season to a child in need. The organization was designed to give presents to disadvantaged McDowell County kids on Christmas morning. Par- ents submitted applications to the pro- gram, and they were either approved or denied depending on different criteria. This year, volunteers received 150 to 200 applications….Mission Hospital McDowell


Thursday, November 23, 2018

WEBSITE: blueridgenow.com
SUBJECT: Peter Mayer to present benefit concert at Grace Lutheran

SUMMARY:  Peter Mayer, lead guitarist in Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, will play a special concert of his own music at Grace Lutheran Church on Nov. 30. “It will be a very moving and inspirational performance,” said Hal Derrick, the national president of Lutheran Men in Mission, of the upcoming concert, which will kick off Mayer’s Stars and Promises tour…Thanks to the support of sponsors that have underwritten the concert, all proceeds from ticket sales for the event will go to IAM to support their mission. Sponsors include Grace Lutheran Men in Mission, the Peeler/Casey Fund of the North Carolina Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Economy Drugs and Whitley Drugs, Carland & Andersen Inc., the Denny and Ada Gough Foundation, CarePartners Foundation and First Congregational United Church of Christ of Hendersonville.