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New Mission-Pardee Health Campus in Fletcher

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By Pete Zamplas-Launching this fall of the new Mission-Pardee Health Campus in Fletcher is a local news highlight of 2013, Margaret R. Pardee Hospital’s 60th anniversary year, with various physicians to practice at the new site a half-month into the new year and a YMCA there by mid-2014.

The new out-patient facility features urgent care for non-lethal emergencies, also X-ray, pharmaceutical and other services. It opened its 80,000-square-foot main building’s first floor Sept. 25, two years after the groundbreaking, and is due to open its second/top floor on Jan. 13, said Pardee Vice-President for Strategy and Development Kris Peters. She said a second structure half as large will house a YMCA and physician and administrative offices, and is scheduled to open in mid-2014.

The campus’ main building straddles Buncombe and Henderson counties, at 2695 Hendersonville Road (U.S. 25) next to Ingles. Rival Park Ridge Hospital is merely about four miles away. Its officials objected to the new facility, calling it “predatory” competition by Mission. But at the ribbon cutting, Fletcher Mayor Bill Moore felt “there’s room for all” health care providers with Fletcher growing so much. Its population more than tripled to about 7,500, since incorporation in 1989.

As for Park Ridge’s warning Mission will gobble up much prior Pardee business with the new facility, its alpha operation is Pardee Urgent Care. At least initially, Pardee pockets the unit’s profits and fully staffs it. Pardee has more employees in all initial services, officials noted. Urgent Care stretches across the front of the main building.

Pardee still offers urgent care in Hendersonville, including 8am-3pm on Christmas Day. Urgent care is largely for minor surgery and illness, and flu shots for the general public.

Its sister operation in Fletcher is Pardee Business & Industry Services, for employees. This unit provides flu shots, urine drug screens and hearing tests. Its drug and breath alcohol testing promptly after an on-job incident helps the employer and insurance company determine incident cause, and thus Worker’s Compensation eligibility.

The two hospitals’ presidents-CEOs expressed optimism their Fletcher campus fills a void, with enhanced service. “We are extremely proud to partner with Pardee Hospital, to increase access to needed healthcare services for the people in the Fletcher community — close to home,” said Mission Health CEO Dr. Ronald A. Paulus. “The population of Fletcher and the surrounding area has been growing rapidly” more than any locally — “as has their need for superior healthcare services.”

As for efficiency and quality, Dr. Paulus expects “superior care and services for patients and physicians in a highly integrated, patient-centered, cost-effective, outpatient setting.” He said Mission seeks “desired outcome first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience.” And he added that Mission, for its portion, created nearly 100 jobs.

Health care can be more affordable in Fletcher, Pardee CEO James M. “Jay” Kirby II said, such as with “the value of having radiology not at hospital prices, but clearly at more market-driven prices.”

Kirby said “with two superb healthcare organizations partnering to provide exceptional care close to home, the people in our community will receive the care they need — when and where they need it.” He said at the opening the facility provides “the convenience of having urgent care in your community, the convenience of having a pharmacy right next to your physician office.”

Kirby stated that “Mission Health and Pardee Hospital have outstanding reputations for providing high quality, cost-effective care … Our current and future patients can expect the same excellent care at the Mission-Pardee Health Campus.”

Henderson County owns Pardee, and Commission Chairman Charlie Messer predicts “Pardee will remain a viable and valuable institution” by expanding horizons. Pardee Board of Trustees Chairman Bill Moyer, a former Commission chairman, sees the two hospitals “working effectively together.” Kirby said, “We talked about shared governing, putting your egos and power trips to the side” and deciding “what’s best for the patients.”

For starters, the two hospitals share in site overall administration, and both staff front desk reception and registration and also materials management support.

But a potential boost for this collaboration is it uniquely separates services so they are provided by one hospital or the other, rather than jointly. Pardee spokesman Adam Fisher equates the campus to a mall, with two anchors and related, specialist shops.

Mission and Pardee are at least not yet splitting costs and profit-lost risk, Peters said. “There is an equalization of clinical returns across all core services of both organizations, but the details are still in development.”

For now, each stands on its own in staffing and administration for various operations. “Each organization maintains its profits or losses from its own services,” Peters said. “Each organization runs its own operations that provide for multiple services, in the same place for patient convenience. It is a joint health campus where we planned together.”

Here is how services are divided, starting with those that opened this fall: Pardee provides urgent care and lab work, while Mission handles retail pharmacy. X-rays are done in imaging and breast centers of Asheville Radiology, a joint Mission-private venture.

On Jan. 13, the main building’s second floor is due to open. Services include Pardee Fletcher Medical Associates (PFMA), also Pardee Urological Associates, and Mission’s Vista Family Health which moves from a half-mile west of the site.

“It’s truly one-stop shopping,” Fisher said. “You can get everything taken care of in this facility: X-rays, lab work. You can see a primary care provider, get medicine, go right home and start getting better.”

PFMA moves its primary care, from Cane Creek. Internists are due to join it in late summer, Peters said. “We are also looking to have some OBGYN presence in this practice.” Pardee Center for Women’s Health is also in plans.

Also upstairs, in the Pardee Specialist Suite “we will have rotating specialists in for half-day or full-day blocks, on a regular basis,” Peters said. She said gastrointestinal (GI) and endoscopy services will begin there, in the next three months, and more specialists are getting recruited.

The second building has its frame up, and is due to open in July. The YMCA of Western North Carolina will be at its ground level, with a 15-year lease. The “Y” wellness programs include nutrition, with a “healthy cooking room.” Kirby noted “Y” fitness and wellness help medical treatment of such chronic conditions as heart disease, diabetes and obesity as well as stress reduction to reduce risk of stroke.

That building will include Pardee’s physical therapy, cardiac rehabilitation and spine center, with medical offices and conference space upstairs, Peters noted.

The campus has much parking, also energy-saving, motion-detecting lights inside. Fisher said Peters’ impact included for the main building’s open floor plan with a “welcoming, modern-styled feel.”

Peters said, “We strive to provide an exceptional patient experience — convenient services, easy access, excellent customer service, high quality care, and value,” Peters said. “The design of the building, the adjacencies of the services, and the overall light and airy interior support these patient-centered concepts.”

As chief strategy officer, Peters had a major role in Pardee’s part of decisions and implementation of project planning, budget and modifications. A project manager provided further oversight, reporting to both hospitals.

The developer provided project design and supervised construction. That company is partly owned by Mission Health and Peters indicated Pardee has an option to buy into it. The developer owns the buildings, absorbed most of construction costs, and leased the land from Mission Health which owns it, Peters said. The two hospitals paid for “tenant up-fit costs, as well as their own furniture and equipment” — money was saved by transferring some existing ones such as costly radiological devices.

This has been an eventful year for 222-bed Pardee Hospital. Its 60th anniversary was Nov. 15. Hospital construction got $1,415,000 in funding as follows: a $100,000 naming donation, $250,000 bond that county voters approved, $350,000 each in federal and county funds matching county money exceeding that amount by $15,000.

Pardee initially had 22 physicians. One was surgeon Dr. William Lampley, now retired and 93. He recalled on Nov. 15 about his hectic emergency room (ER) work on Christmas Day, 1953. He had to treat two patients at once on the only ER operating table. He had a burned youth sit up, to make space for a child just brought in who was not breathing. Lampley did a tracheotomy to save the child, then tended to the burned youth.

A new pact with UNC Health Care System in spring replaced the initial one, made two years earlier. The new pact expanded UNC’s management of Pardee, and lets it choose three members of the board — which expands by that number, to 15.

“We are thrilled about our relationship with Pardee Hospital,” UNC Hospitals Pres. Gary L. Park stated. “It is an exceptional organization, with strong leadership and strong governance … I applaud the county commissioners, for their cooperation and their vision.”

To contact Mission-Pardee Health Campus, call 651-6300 or check www.missionpardee healthcampus.org.

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