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Asheville, North Carolina News

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UNC Chapel Hill Pharmacy Education Expanding to UNC Asheville

Monday, April 12th, 2010

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Friday approved UNC-Chapel Hill’s plan to expand its pharmacy-education program to UNC Asheville in partnership with Mission Health System.

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill will create a satellite pharmacy program that will be based at UNC Asheville. The program at UNC Asheville is an expansion of the successful partnership the UNC-Chapel Hill pharmacy school has had with Elizabeth City State University since 2005. That program will graduate its second class in May.

The start-up costs for the program will be covered by a $2.5 million fund-raising initiative spearheaded by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has pledged $600,000 toward that goal, and the City of Asheville has pledged $100,000. By the fourth year of the program, its cost is projected to be fully covered by tuition and by Mission Health System funding half the clinical faculty’s salaries. The partnership program should not require any state funding.

Asheville was considered the natural choice for locating a satellite program because of the close working partnership between UNC Asheville, Mission Health System, and UNC-Chapel Hill. UNC Asheville, a nationally ranked public liberal arts college, is noted for its strong science and mathematics programs.

Like its counterpart at ECSU, the satellite program at UNC Asheville will educate more pharmacists in an area of North Carolina that doesn’t have enough health-care providers in general. The UNC Eshleman School of Pharmacy recognized the need for more health-care practitioners in Western North Carolina and made expansion into the area part of its strategic plan five years ago. The satellite program could enroll up to 40 Doctor of Pharmacy students a year. (The Doctor of Pharmacy, or Pharm.D., is the professional degree required to practice as a pharmacist.),/p>

The Asheville community is well known in pharmacy circles for the very successful Asheville Project, which began as a collaboration between the highly ranked UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Mission Health System, the City of Asheville and community pharmacists. It is a multidisciplinary program of care for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It has been widely recognized and copied all across the country.

The project provides intensive education to people with these conditions through their employer’s health plan. Patients are also teamed up with community pharmacists who help them understand how to use their medications correctly. The project has resulted in a system in which community pharmacists have developed thriving practices that have improved their patients’ health while saving money.

Retired Mayo Clinic Executive Named Interim CEO at Mission

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Mission Health System Board of Directors has appointed Carleton T. Rider to serve as interim president and CEO of Mission Hospital and the health system. Rider, who retired in 2008 as a senior administrator of Mayo Clinic after a career of 31 years, will assume his new responsibilities effective January 1, 2010 and serve until the Board completes its national search for a permanent chief executive.

“Carl’s credentials and experience are outstanding, and we are pleased to have a healthcare leader of this caliber join Mission,” said Board Chair George Renfro. Added Board Vice Chair Janice Brumit, who chairs the CEO Search Committee, “Carl’s long and distinguished career has been focused on quality healthcare, and that focus will serve us well in ensuring that Mission maintains its high clinical standards and excellence in patient care during this transition.”

“I am eager to join the Asheville healthcare community, which has earned a national reputation for delivering high quality, cost-effective care,” commented Rider. “I look forward to working with Mission’s superb physicians, administration and staff to keep Mission on the leading edge.”

Rider is a senior fellow with the Center for Global Health and Medical Diplomacy at Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida. During his career at Mayo Clinic, he served in a variety of roles, including administrator of Mayo Clinic Jacksonville from its initiation in 1984 through 1993. In 1993, he was named Continuous Improvement Officer at Mayo Clinic and in that role served as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In 2006, he was named the Distinguished Mayo Administrator.

To ensure a smooth transition, Renfro said Rider will work closely with outgoing Mission CEO Joseph F. Damore, who announced his decision to resign this past fall. “Once again, we want to express our thanks to Joe Damore for preparing Mission for the many changes and challenges ahead in healthcare,” Renfro said.

Renfro also announced that the Board has selected the national consulting firm of Korn/Ferry International to lead the recruitment effort for a new Mission chief executive. Korn/Ferry will work closely with Brumit and the 10-member CEO Search Committee, which is made up of current Board members, including three area physicians.