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Features Health & Wellness Highlands-Cashiers Hospital joins Mission Health

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital (HCH) is a not-for-profit 24-bed community hospital serving Highlands, Cashiers and the surrounding North Carolina mountain communities.On Friday, Jan. 31, officials with Highlands-Cashiers Hospital (HCH) and Mission Health completed the legal process required to bring HCH on as a full member of Mission Health. This action follows approval of the arrangement by the HCH and Foundation Boards of Directors as well as Mission Health’s Board of Directors during their respective meetings on Jan. 23.

“This is an exciting time for our hospital and the community we serve,” said Charlie Sheehan, Chair of the Highlands- Cashiers Hospital Board of Directors. “When we began this initiative, our Board wanted to partner with an organization that would maintain local governance, enhance our focus on quality patient care, facilitate physician recruitment and retention, improve the hospital’s financial viability and expand our community’s access to a broader spectrum of health services. I could not be more pleased with how our relationship with Mission Health – one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems – has developed. I believe the results will be exceptional for our hospital, and more importantly for our community. “

“I’m so pleased to welcome this important community institution to our Mission Health family,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, MBA, President and CEO, Mission Health. “Their dedication to their community and the patients they serve through an unwavering focus on quality mirrors Mission Health’s 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. I look forward to what the future will hold for our extended Mission family. It is critical that local, not-for-profit health care remains available for all western North Carolina residents.”

Under the structured terms of the definitive agreement the local community and HCH Board of Directors will maintain a strong voice in the strategic direction of the Hospital. The HCH Board of Directors will consist of twelve members – nine local and three Mission representatives. HCH CEO, Craig James, becomes an employee of Mission Health while all other employees remain HCH staff members. The HCH Foundation will remain a separate entity, under local ownership and control, and will continue to be responsible for providing financial support for the Hospital’s capital and operational needs. “All Foundation assets and contributions will be stewarded by the HCH Foundation to benefit the patients and communities served by Highlands-Cashiers Hospital,” said Earle Mauldin, Chair of the HCH Foundation.

“I want to thank our Board’s negotiations committee for their dedicated work in the joint planning process that resulted in our definitive partnership agreement,” said James. “We are gaining the benefits of partnering with one of the nation’s top 15 Health Systems that is devoted exclusively to serving the health care needs in western North Carolina in a communityowned, not-for-profit model. This new partnership will provide HCH critically important advantages for ensuring the future of local health care services for our area. We also look forward to working together in strengthening our position to navigate the changes in health care coming our way from both the state and federal level.”

Sheehan expressed to both the hospital and the foundation boards his appreciation for their support, vision and willingness to embrace major structural change in the interest of maintaining and improving the quality of health care services offered to our communities.

About Highlands-Cashiers Hospital

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital (HCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital serving Highlands, Cashiers and the surrounding North Carolina mountain communities. Located on Highway 64 between the two towns, HCH offers diagnostic, surgical and acute patient care through onsite professional services or provides a referral to other regional health care systems. Emergency care is physician-staffed 24/7. HCH has 24 beds for acute care services and 80 beds in the Eckerd Living Center, a skilled nursing facility. There are four hospitalowned physician clinics in Highlands and Cashiers. The hospital’s foundation, with the support of the community, provides significant operating resources to the facility and its programs. For more information, visit http://www.highlandscashiershospital.org/.

About Mission Health

Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., is the state’s sixthlargest health system and the region’s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. Mission Health was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems in 2012 and 2013 by Thomson Reuters and Truven Health Analytics, respectively. Mission Health is one of only two medium-sized health systems to receive this recognition in 2012 and 2013, and the only health system in North Carolina to achieve that distinction.

Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in more than 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. Mission Health has seven Centers of Excellence: Cancer, Heart, Mission Children’s Hospital, Neurosciences, Orthopedics, Trauma and Women’s Health. Mission Hospital, located in Asheville, is the system’s flagship hospital and is licensed for 730 beds. It is the regional referral center for tertiary and quaternary care. It also includes Mission Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. Other 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 western North Carolina. For more information, visit mission-health.org.


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