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Mission Employees Receive WCU Certificate in Health Care

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Nineteen employees of Asheville-based Mission Health received certificates Thursday, Dec. 11, as members of the first cohort to complete a new graduate certificate program in health care innovation management offered in partnership with Western Carolina University.

Funded by Mission Health, the WCU program consists of four courses that employees take over a span of 21 months. Those who complete the program earn credit toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The program is a component of Mission Health’s budding Center for Innovation, which was established to foster a spirit of advancement in health care throughout Western North Carolina. It combines entrepreneurial and innovation content with health care-specific modules. Courses focus on the skills of thinking creatively to implement new opportunities of value in the workplace, working effectively within a multidisciplinary team and leading through a culture of innovation.

“Mission Health is very proud of our caregivers who completed the WCU healthcare innovation management certificate program,” said Marc B. Westle, senior vice president for innovation for Mission Health. “We know they will use their new skills to help Mission Health find innovative and creative ways to be even more efficient and effective, and deliver a more exceptional experience for our patients and families.”

Members of the first graduating cohort are: Susan Anderson, supervisor of respiratory therapy at Mission Hospital, from Mills River; Jody Bender, independent project management consultant, from Asheville; Cynthia J. Brown, physician at Mission Children’s Hospital, from Asheville; Beth Cirillo, privacy officer at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Ed Coye, director of information technology, western region, from Brevard; Nancy Critcher-White, manager of employee engagement at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Rodney Foushee, regional director of marketing, western region, from Etowah; John Grindstaff, nursing unit supervisor at Mission Hospital, from Weaverville; Danny Gualano, systems engineer at Mission Hospital, from Leicester; Pam Hardin, coordinator of pet therapy at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Alice Iannetta, laboratory manager at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Caroline Lieberman, supervisor of inpatient rehabilitation services at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; John Locke, business performance coach for the Carolinas region at Dixon Hughes Goodman, from Arden; Megaan Lorenzen, director of clinical outcomes administration at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Lakesha McDay, consultant for the Center for Leadership and Professional Development at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; Brandy Mills, manager of nursing professional development at Mission Hospital, from Arden; Maryalice Mobley, system manager for revenue cycle education at Mission Hospital, from Leicester; Maureen Winkenwerder, registered nurse at Mission Hospital, from Asheville; and Mary Ellen Wright, nurse researcher at Mission Hospital, from Fairview.

City of Asheville and Mission Health First Responder Training

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Nothing beats on-the-ground scenarios for emergency response training, but safe locations to carry out sometimes invasive techniques are few. Thanks to a partnership with Mission Health, City of Asheville Fire and Police personnel have the opportunity to hone essential response skills like forced-entry and high–rise fire response in a vacant building owned by Mission.

Throughout February, March and April, the Asheville Police and Fire Departments will be conducting training at 50 Doctor’s Drive, culminating in full-incident training scenarios.

The training is made possible by Mission Health, which owns the Doctor’s Drive building, formerly home to Mission Staff Health and other support services.

“Mission Health is pleased the vacant building will ultimately find a productive use to benefit Asheville and the surrounding communities, making everyone safer,” said Sonya Greck, COO, Mission Hospital.  “This partnership between Mission Health and the City of Asheville reinforces Mission Health’s strong commitment to our community by ensuring that we are exceptionally prepared to respond to public safety emergencies.”

The Asheville Fire Department is using the opportunity to train in search techniques, the use of thermal imaging cameras, practicing the rule of air management, use of the national incident management system and many other incorporated basic firefighting skills.

“The Asheville Fire Department is eager for this training opportunity because we are always looking to continuously improve,” says Public Information Officer Kelley Klope. “This training will enhance firefighter skills and will help the department continue to meet and exceed the standards of the profession in order serve the city of Asheville to the highest level it deserves.”

The Asheville Police Department Emergency Response Team and Hazardous Devices Team are conducting training to respond to a variety of high risks, including active shooter drills, hostage situations, child abduction, and a wide variety of tools and techniques to render safe potential explosive hazards including using the bomb disposal robot and bomb suits.

“The partnership with Mission is a great opportunity to get hands-on training with the tools that help us work at our best level,” said APD Chief William Anderson. “Even officers who have experience in these techniques benefit from this kind of practice.”

The APD has been partnering with the Buncombe County Sheriffs Office SRT, Henderson County Sheriffs Office SRT and the local office of the FBI to conduct joint training. “We do this so that we would be prepared to work together to safely resolve a high stress high risk incident,” Anderson said.

Media visits and tours of the training are available by appointment.

For more information on specific days and training please contact AFD PIO Kelley Klope at 828-768-1437 or APD Sgt. Dave Romick at 259-5882.

UNC Asheville and Mission Health System Sign New Collaborative Agreement

Friday, August 19th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – UNC Asheville and Mission Health System signed a new affiliation agreement today, creating the opportunity for expanded collaborations in education, healthy living initiatives and community outreach. The agreement builds on the strong working relationship between the two institutions that was established more than a decade ago.

Mission Health System CEO Ronald A. Paulus, M.D., and UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder sign the new affiliation agreement. Photo by Perry Hebbard.

“What we formalize today is community collaboration at its very best,” said Chancellor Ponder. “This affiliation, which is grounded in the shared goals of both institutions, will allow us to deepen our investment in our students, in the Greater Asheville community and in the improved health of all North Carolinians.”

“Medical centers and public universities have a lot in common these days, and unfortunately, much of it has to do with our economy. The lack of job growth along with state and federal budget deficits have combined to produce significant financial challenges for each of us in new and unprecedented ways,” said Mission Health President and CEO Ronald A. Paulus, M.D. “I look at this agreement as a framework for innovation that will allow us to work together to improve care, reduce costs, and by exploring new ventures, have the potential to create positive economic returns for our region.”

In the area of education, the two institutions hope to develop new undergraduate research opportunities for UNC Asheville students by connecting with Mission’s research projects in areas such as cancer, genetics, integrative health, kinesiology and geriatrics.

The agreement also provides opportunities to develop additional health and science courses, and increase the number of health care internships, thereby supporting student careers in these important fields. “This is a tremendous benefit to UNC Asheville students, to our community and to Mission, which anticipates shortage of health care workers in the coming decade,” Ponder said. The agreement also lays the groundwork for providing opportunities for Mission’s staff to pursue further education and college degrees.

The two institutions also plan to expand collaborations between Mission and UNC Asheville’s N.C. Center for Health & Wellness as they identify successful approaches to public health needs in the areas of healthy aging, childhood obesity, and workplace wellness.

The two institutions will also join forces to improve preventive health care and quality of life for the growing number of elderly Western North Carolina residents through collaborations among UNC Asheville’s N.C. Center for Creative Retirement, Mission’s senior services department, the MAHEC Geriatrics Fellowship Program and assisted living facilities in the area.

“One way to reduce our nation’s health care spending is to do a better job of preventing health problems. And as the saying goes, ‘it takes a village’ to do that,” Paulus noted. “Obesity is a national epidemic, wreaking havoc on consumers’ lives and on the cost of care for our country. Now more than ever we need to prevent health problems before they start. We need to better manage the care of patients who have chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma. Add to that improving patient safety by eliminating patient harm and the considerable associated waste and you have a tremendous opportunity to improve. With partners like UNC Asheville, we’re going to get there, and along the way it is my hope that we can contribute to a model for the nation.”

Most recently, Mission Health System and UNC Asheville partnered with area community leaders to bring the UNC Chapel Hill Eschelman School of Pharmacy program to Asheville. The satellite program, which begins this fall, is located on the UNC Asheville campus, with students receiving clinical training at Mission Hospital. Students will earn a doctorate in pharmacy, the professional degree required to practice as a pharmacist. Asheville was considered the natural choice for the pharmacy program because of The Asheville Project, a ground-breaking, community-based disease management program developed by Mission, UNC Chapel Hill and the City of Asheville, and the close working partnership among UNC Asheville, Mission Health and UNC Chapel Hill.