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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for the ‘hospitals’ Category

Mission Hospital Announces Cancer Center Coming to the Region

Monday, October 12th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Board of Directors of Mission Hospital has voted to proceed with the development of a regional cancer center to bring together all Mission outpatient cancer services into one location. Board Chairman George Renfro says the building will be designed to provide a healing environment with convenient access for patients. It will be located adjacent to the current Memorial campus.

The 120,000 square foot facility would house outpatient services including Radiation Oncology, Cyberknife Radiosurgery, the Kay Finger Breast Program, The Zeis Children’s Cancer Center, Infusion Services, the survivorship program, and multi-disciplinary clinics providing people with particular types of cancer with a coordinated treatment plan, education, and psycho-social support services.

The center will also provide physician offices as well as increased space for research and specialized treatments that the recently announced UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center affiliation will bring to Asheville.

“The goal of this new center is to centralize services into a comprehensive building that will provide our patients and their families convenient access to state-of-the-art, coordinated and compassionate cancer care,” said Joseph F. Damore, FACHE, President and CEO of Mission Health System Inc. and Mission Hospital.

The projected cost of the center is $59 million. It will be financed through a combination of gifts through the Mission Healthcare Foundation, debt financing and capital reserves.

Before work can begin, the Mission Healthcare Foundation has been asked by the Hospital to conduct a community-wide capital campaign to assist in financing the building.

“Cancer rates are escalating in Western North Carolina and it is important to bring this facility to reality as quickly as we can,” said Bruce D. Thorsen, president of the Foundation. “Engaging our community in the development of this new center will insure that state-of-the-art treatment is available close to home for all families in Western North Carolina .”

A date for groundbreaking will be set when financing for the facility is in place. Completion of the cancer center is projected for early 2012.

Asheville Cardiology and Mission Announce Plans to Affiliate

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

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.

Park Ridge Takes Holistic Approach to Health with Farm to Hospital Program

Monday, September 28th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Have you ever heard cafeteria food described as “amazing”? At Park Ridge Hospital that’s what’s happening—employees like the cafeteria’s meals so much that they take to‐go boxes home. Part of what makes Park Ridge’s food good is the hospital’s involvement in Farm to Hospital, a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) that helps hospitals support local farms and connect patients and staff with healthy food.

Park Ridge Hospital takes a holistic approach to health that incorporates nutrition and more. “We want to help our employees and patients learn where their food comes from, and how to find and prepare fresh foods,” says hospital staffer Graham Fields. “And we want to be a part of the community, because community is part of healing and prevention.”

Park Ridge, located between Asheville and Hendersonville, is in an area rich in agricultural resources. Black Bird Farms in Henderson County is one of the cafeteria’s suppliers of fresh produce. The farm has been owned and operated by the Haynes family since 1933. Current owner, Billy Haynes, Jr., says of his work with the hospital, “It’s a great partnership for me and an important way to supply fresh produce to the community.”

The hospital identifies locally grown foods on their menu with the Appalachian Grown logo, and displays promotional materials created by ASAP that tell diners about the farmers who grow their food. The hospital is also distributing Market Bucks, coupons that can redeemed at Asheville City Market‐South for fresh, local products.

ASAP offers Farm to Hospital resources to hospitals around the region, working with food service, administration, staff, patients, and the broader community. The nonprofit distributes Local Food Guides to hospitals and supports sourcing local products for cafeterias. ASAP also consults on educational programs such as cooking classes and field trips, wellness programs, and marketing and promotions. For more information, visit www.asapconnections.org.

Mission Hospital Earns Top Performer Status in Heart Care

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Mission Hospital has been named a top performer in heart attack treatment and rewarded for delivering high quality care in a total of five clinical areas by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Based on fourth-year results from the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration project, Mission Hospital placed in the top 20 percent of hospitals for treatment of acute myocardial infarction, heart attack. Mission exceeded median level scores in coronary artery bypass graft, hip and knee replacement, treatment of heart failure, and pneumonia.

“Providing outstanding patient care has always been the primary mission of Mission Hospital,” said Dale Fell, Mission’s Chief Medical Officer. “This project has allowed us to benchmark ourselves against some of the best hospitals in the country. Our Top Performer status is a testament to the excellent patient care provided by our physicians and staff.”

For its performance, Mission will receive an incentive payment of $142,891 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, who awarded payments of approximately $12 million to 225 hospitals.

Over the course of the first four years of the project, Mission has received 11 overall awards, including (seven Top Performance and four Attainment) in five clinical areas, receiving $847,928 in awards. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has awarded more than $36.5 million overall over the first four years of the project.

“The successes of the hospitals – small and large, urban and rural, teaching and non-teaching – in the HQID project have led to its consideration as the basis for key national health reforms,” said Susan DeVore, Premier president and CEO. “As the proposal of a national value-based purchasing program becomes a reality, hospitals participating in HQID will have six years experience with such a model.”

Mission Hospital and UNC Health Care Forge Agreement for Cancer Care and Research

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Mission Hospitals

ASHEVILLE, NC – Mission Hospital and UNC Health Care announced today that they have signed an affiliation agreement for cancer care and research, with the overall goal of enhancing the quality of care for cancer patients in western North Carolina, including providing access to new therapies and innovative research programs under development at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the NC Cancer Hospital.

Both partners say that the affiliation is intended to be a long-term agreement, designed to adapt over time to the needs of the patient population in the areas that Mission serves. Initial programs under the agreement include improving community screening for earlier diagnosis and prevention of lung cancer through the efforts of oncology nurse navigators, participation in UNC’s statewide cancer telemedicine network, and offering access to research projects and new treatments developed at UNC Lineberger.

“We are very excited about what this expanded relationship with UNC Lineberger means to the patients and physicians of western North Carolina,” said Joseph F. Damore, President & CEO of Mission Health System and Mission Hospital.

“Cancer afflicts people of all ages, and we want to provide them with care that incorporates cutting edge research close to home. Our relationship with UNC Lineberger allows us to do that,” said Dale Fell, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Mission Hospital.

“This affiliation will enhance our ability to carry out the mandate we have received from the NC General Assembly under the University Cancer Research Fund, particularly in disseminating new knowledge and improving cancer care, screening, and prevention across the state,” said Bill Roper, MD, MPH, dean of the UNC School of Medicine.

Under the agreement, oncology nurse navigators will work to assess communities’ needs for screening and prevention of lung cancer, an important priority in a region where more adults use tobacco.

Through UNC’s newly-enhanced telemedicine capabilities, doctors in Mission’s facilities will be able to collaborate in real-time conferences with UNC in ways that focus on creating individualized treatment plans for patients – no matter where they are initially seen.

Finally, patients at Mission’s facilities will have access to research trials that will provide new treatments developed at UNC Lineberger without having to travel to Chapel Hill.

“Partnering with an exceptional organization like Mission is not only good for both institutions but will be good for patients and their families – it’s a superb opportunity for North Carolina,” said Shelley Earp, MD, director of UNC Lineberger.

Mission Hospital Cancer Program Accredited with Commendation

Monday, July 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Cancer Program at Mission Hospital has been granted Accreditation with Commendation by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS), Commission on Cancer.

Mission Hospitals Cancer Program has been accredited by the ACoS, Commission on Cancer for nearly 25 years. “This accreditation is the gold standard of cancer care,” said Medical Oncologist Michael Messino, MD, Chairman of Mission’s Oncology Service Line. “Receiving commendation on top of our accreditation places Mission’s program among the best community hospital comprehensive cancer programs nationwide.”

A facility receives a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation following the on-site evaluation by a physician surveyor during which the facility demonstrates a Commendation level of compliance with one or more standards that represent the full scope of the cancer program (cancer committee leadership, cancer data management, clinical services, research, community outreach, and quality improvement). In addition a facility receives a compliance rating for all other standards.

Approved programs also must demonstrate that a multispecialty team approach including surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists coordinate the best treatment options.

Receiving care at an ACoS, Commission on Cancer accredited cancer program ensures that a patient will have access to quality care. A wide spectrum of comprehensive cancer services are provided at Mission Hospital and include a dedicated inpatient oncology unit; inpatient pediatric oncology unit; inpatient women’s oncology surgical unit; ACR accredited radiation oncology facility; a cancer registry that collects data on type and stage of cancers and treatment results and offers lifelong patient follow-up; weekly multidisciplinary cancer conferences; community outreach, screenings, education and support groups; clinical research treatment and prevention trials; Cancer Survivorship Program; Breast Cancer Nurse Navigator; Patient Resource Navigator; genetic counseling; rehabilitative services; and the latest advances in treatment and diagnostic technology for cancer patients.

“Approval by the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer demonstrates what we and our patients already know – our Cancer Program ranks with the best in the nation,” said Rick Righi, Director of the Radiation Therapy program at Mission. “We are proud to have this affirmation of our quality.”