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Asheville Cardiology and Mission Announce Plans to Affiliate


ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville Cardiology Associates, Mission Hospital, and Mission Medical Associates Inc., the physician management arm of Mission Health System, today announced that they have agreed in principle to join together. A letter of intent has been signed to develop initial working documents and to implement this partnership by January 1, 2010.

Announcement of the agreement was made jointly by Joseph F. Damore, FACHE, President and CEO of Mission Health System Inc. and Mission Hospital, and Eric D. Van Tassel, MD, FACC, President of Asheville Cardiology Associates, PA.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work more closely together as partners in providing outstanding quality cardiology services,” said Damore. “Superlative cardiology services are essential to a tertiary referral hospital like Mission. The physicians and staff of Asheville Cardiology have been providing this level of care for generations. Their physicians were leaders in identifying and implementing consistent best practices in cardiology decades before the concept was in use even at university teaching centers. We are proud that they are choosing to affiliate with Mission.”

“Asheville Cardiology is making this decision because we believe it will enable our physicians to focus more fully on what we went into medicine to do – take care of heart patients,” said Dr. Van Tassel. “We will remain as a strong, closely knit cardiology practice, providing excellent clinical care, and utilizing state of the art diagnostic and treatment facilities. Mission will provide services such as billing and information technology systems that are essential to our operation, but which are not part of our primary mission of providing excellent patient care.”

The practice will continue to provide general and sub-specialty cardiology services at its current office building at 5 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Asheville, and through its current offices in Hendersonville, Sylva, Franklin, and Brevard. It will also continue to provide clinics in Highlands, Spruce Pine, Marion, Bryson City, Murphy and Columbus. The practice includes 33 adult and pediatric cardiologists.

Mission Medical Associates is a physician-led subsidiary of Mission Health System, Inc. designed to provide management services for physicians and their practices in Western North Carolina.

Mission Health System Inc. includes three hospitals: Mission Hospital in Asheville, the McDowell Hospital in Marion, and Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine. Mission Health System also operates Asheville Specialty Hospital in conjunction with CarePartners Health Services, and operates ambulatory care and physician services in Asheville, Marion and Spruce Pine.

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