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Mission Health has signed a five-year lease on the facility at 50 Schenck Parkway in Biltmore Park, Asheville. Approximately 350 employees will consolidate to this site from multiple locations to improve customer service and internal efficiency.

“This facility will provide the space for expansion that a number of our non-clinical hospital departments need,” said True Morse, Vice President of Facilities with Mission Health. “We are continually looking at ways to improve how our facilities accommodate the functions they house. This is an opportunity to maximize efficiency for the foreseeable future.”

The Revenue Cycle Division, which includes the Patient Financial Services Division, will move to this location. The first group of employees is expected to relocate by the end of March, with the remainder of the moves anticipated by the end of June.

The site was previously occupied by Volvo Construction Equipment Rents.

Mission Health's TeleStroke program treats 100th patient

Mission Health's TeleStroke program recently conducted its 100th TeleStroke consultation. Alex Schneider, MD, a neurologist located in Asheville, NC, used IC4U, a TeleStroke robot located in Angel Medical Center in Franklin, N.C., to successfully treat a stroke patient 70 miles away in Franklin during the crucial first moments of a stroke.

"Treating our 100th TeleStroke patient represents a momentous milestone for Mission Health and is evidence of the strides we are making in bringing timely, expert care to rural neighborhoods throughout western North Carolina," said Jonathan Bailey, MHA, Vice President of Operations for Mission Health. "TeleStroke technology has led to a huge improvement in the way we diagnose and treat our stroke patients.

Two million brain cells are lost every minute during a stroke, which increases risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Stroke, or "brain attack," occurs when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. It is the fourth-leading cause of death in America and the number one cause of adult disability.

Mission Health’s TeleStroke program uses robotics and other technology to enable neurologists located in Asheville to treat stroke patients remotely in seven rural community hospitals throughout Western North Carolina. The robots wheel themselves to a patient's bedside and display a video screen that allows the patients and physicians to talk in real time. The robot displays test images so the physicians and patients can review results simultaneously and collaborate with local staff on a recommended treatment plan.

"Because we are improving the time between onset of symptoms and treatment, TeleStroke patients are experiencing more favorable outcomes than ever before," said Alex Schneider, MD, Medical Director of the Mission Hospital Stroke Program. "By using the TeleStroke program, we are typically saving one hour of brain time for these patients, which ultimately improves their long-term prognoses."

Out of the program’s first 100 TeleStroke patients, 43 percent were treated with thrombolytics, which are drugs used to dissolve blood clots. These drugs are typically the first-line treatment for stroke patients and, when administered promptly after the onset of symptoms, can significantly reduce the effects of stroke and permanent disability. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association report that only 3 to 5 percent of those who suffer a stroke reach the hospital in time to be considered for treatment with thrombolytics.

The TeleStroke program was funded in part by a USDA - Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant awarded to Mission Health in December 2011. This grant, which was in excess of $400,000, was awarded for the purpose of improving access to healthcare and educational services in rural communities. In addition to funding the TeleStroke program, the USDA grant also funded Mission Health’s TelePsych program, which treats psychiatric patients remotely.

Mission Health named Consumer Choice Award winner

Mission Health has received its eighth consecutive Consumer Choice Award from National Research Corporation, a firm that specializes in healthcare performance measurement and improvement.

The award recognizes hospitals that healthcare consumers selected as having the highest quality and image in more than 300 markets across the country.

“Mission Health’s top priority is delivering the highest quality of care,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. “Our consistently high ranking by the communities we serve is a testament to our commitment to providing an exceptional experience for patients and their families.”

Winners are determined by consumer perceptions on multiple quality and image issues, and the ratings are collected in National Research’s Market Insights survey. This study surveys more than 250,000 households representing more than 450,000 consumers in the contiguous 48 United States and the District of Columbia. According to National Research, its Market Insights survey is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive study that measures hospital performance and consumer preferences.

Mission Health opens Pediatrics Practices in Sylva and Bryson City

Mission Children’s Sylva and Mission Children’s Bryson City has opened to provide comprehensive pediatric care to the westernmost counties of North Carolina. Formerly known as Sylva Pediatrics, the renamed practices in Sylva and Bryson City will now operate under the umbrella of Mission Children’s Hospital to deliver the same high quality pediatric care provided by the original physicians along with access to the specialized services of a world-class health system.

“This collaboration will enable us to enhance our continuum of care and integrate with a health system marked by quality and patient focus,” said Penny O’Neill, MD, Pediatrician at Mission Children’s Sylva. “With the support of Mission Health, we can now focus even more of our time, attention and resources on our patients and their loved ones. We will continue to focus on delivering the best possible pediatric care to patients close to home.”

Mission Health has been working with the former pediatric centers to make the transition smooth for its physicians and staff and to prevent any disruption in services to the patients. Mission Children’s Sylva and Mission Children’s Bryson City will operate at the same addresses and locations as the former Sylva Pediatrics centers in Sylva and Bryson City, which have served the region for more than 30 years.

“Our patients will continue to receive the same high quality healthcare they have come to know and expect from these dedicated physicians,” said Susan Mims, MD, vice president and medical director of Mission Children’s Hospital. “They will also gain the support of specialties available only at a regional children’s hospital. Our physicians are subspecialists with advanced medical training in specific childhood diseases, disorders and conditions. They are committed to providing clinically excellent, personalized, family-centered care for newborns, infants, children and adolescents, and the families who love them. We are pleased to bring this specialized care to local, convenient settings right here in Western North Carolina.”

About Mission Health

Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., is the state’s sixth-largest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. In 2012 Mission Health was named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Thomson Reuters – the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition.

Mission Health member hospitals include Angel Medical Center in Franklin, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. With approximately 8,800 employees and 700 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of WNC.

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