Benefit for Caleb Watson :: Saturday, January 31 at South Macon Elementary School :: Click here for more details

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Features Health & Wellness

Mission Health understands that listening to patients is the most reliable way to ensure that the Asheville, N.C.-based health system is delivering the best possible health care. To that end, Mission Health is launching the industry’s first online collaborative discussion, called The Mission Health Patient and Family Forum, for patients and families to share their ideas and help create solutions to ensure that health care in western North Carolina is the nation’s best.

“Our goal is to be the best health care system in the nation, and listening to our patients is a critical part of achieving that,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. “Our patients and families are the only reason that we exist, and we are continuously learning from them and other community members about how we can improve the way we deliver health care and our overall patient experience. The Mission Health Patient and Family Forum is another step toward achieving our BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family.”


County health departments define role

April marks the time when health departments across the state celebrate Public Health Month by disseminating information about the role of Public Health in their communities.

“Many of the activities the health department does on a daily basis often go unnoticed. Most people don’t realize that Public Health infuses itself into many aspects of our day-to-day life by way of our State’s General Statutes,” said Macon County Health Director Jim Bruckner.



Harris Regional Hospital’s outpatient lab, the lab at Urgent Care Sylva, and the lab at Center for Family Medicine in Franklin received outstanding scores upon a recent Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA) inspection.

COLA is a leading accreditor of laboratory facilities, including hospital inpatient labs, physician office labs, and outpatient facility labs. The organization was founded to help laboratories ensure compliance with the guidelines of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), an agency of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which defines laboratory standards and regulates all laboratory testing. COLA standards are also recognized by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the leading accreditor of hospitals nationwide, and COLA is also sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.


Dr. Dan Mackey, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently joined the WestCare family as the medical director of LifePath Palliative Care and Hospice.

Dr. Mackey brings to WestCare a wealth of experience in adult and pediatric palliative and hospice medicine, having received extensive training in both areas of practice, including completing Harvard Medical School’s Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice and a program in pediatric pain management.

Mackey obtained his medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1996. After completing a residency at Baystate Medical Center in combined internal medicine/pediatrics, he became an emergency physician for Mercy Hospital in Massachusetts, where he also worked in the pediatric medicine department. Mackey also completed a three year fellowship in pediatric critical care at University of Virginia Health System, where he later taught pediatric intensive care for two years as an assistant professor.


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