Mission Children’s asthma program receives EPA award

From the press release:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (May 1, 2012) – Mission Children’s Hospital’s Regional Asthma Disease Management Program today received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2012 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management for its exemplary efforts to deliver high-quality asthma care that includes environmental controls.

“Receiving this award out of so many prestigious contenders underscores the pride we can take in the healthcare services in place in our mountains, and especially Mission Health for making the asthma program possible from its inception,” said Don Russell, M.D., supervising physician of Mission’s asthma program. “Area pediatricians, family physicians and asthma specialists collaborate with our asthma team, who work very hard to the benefit of the many asthmatic children involved. Much credit also goes to the schools that allowed our staff access to the children in the school setting.”

This award recognizes outstanding asthma management programs that are using innovative approaches to improve patient health and quality of life. Mission Children’s Hospital is one of only four programs to receive this prestigious award this year. Award winners are recognized for demonstrating that comprehensive asthma care with a strong environmental component can dramatically improve health outcomes for people with asthma. Mission Children’s Hospital’s asthma program is the only winner in the healthcare provider category and the first winner of this award from the southeastern U.S.

“The asthma program is successful because we form partnerships with our patients and their families, and so many of these families live on a day-to-day basis, struggling to meet their basic living needs,” said Melinda Shuler, administrator and regional clinical coordinator for the asthma program. “We act as an advocate for our patients and families, connecting them with community agencies and faith-based organizations to address their challenging economic, social and environmental circumstances.”

In speaking about asthma prevalence in the region, Susan Mims, M.D., executive medical director of Mission Children’s Hospital said, “Western North Carolina has the environmental perfect-storm for pediatric asthma and the factors that exacerbate it. More people in North Carolina are diagnosed with asthma than in other parts of the U.S. Because of this, Mission developed an innovative program to tackle this need. We are proud of the documented positive outcomes for this program and it is truly an honor to be recognized in this way by the EPA.”

“EPA is recognizing Mission Children’s Hospital for their outstanding efforts to reduce the burden of asthma for families in their communities,” said Mike Flynn, Director of EPA’s Office of Radiation and Indoor Air. “This program is achieving positive environmental and health outcomes, and EPA applauds their innovation and dedication to controlling asthma.”

“Our asthma program furthers Mission’s BIG(GER) Aim, as indicated by the success in patient improvements in quality of life while achieving significant cost avoidance,” said Ronald A. Paulus, M.D., CEO of Mission Health. “The team of healthcare professionals at the core of this program demonstrates every day the meaning of world-class care while serving the children of our region. This award is the culmination of dedication, innovation and a commitment to the highest quality care possible, which is exactly the kind of care residents in our region should expect from a U.S. top 15 health system and a top 100 hospital.”

For more information about EPA’s National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management, visit http://www.epa.gov/asthma.

About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, NC, is the state’s sixth largest health system and the tertiary care regional referral center for Western NC and the adjoining region. In 2012, Mission Health was named by Thomson Reuters as one of the top 15 health systems in the nation – the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition.

Founded in 1885, Mission Health is a not-for-profit, independent community hospital system that operates four hospitals, numerous out-patient and surgery centers, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 750 physicians, and is certified in over 50 medical specialties and sub-specialties. Centers of excellence include heart, stroke care and neurosciences, and pediatrics. Mission Hospital, the system’s flagship hospital, is licensed for 730 beds and is the busiest surgical hospital in North Carolina. Other Mission hospitals include Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville. With approximately 8,800 employees and 700 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to serving and improving the health and wellness of the people of Western North Carolina.

About Mission Children’s Hospital
Mission Children’s Hospital, part of Mission Health, is dedicated to helping the children of Western North Carolina grow up healthy. Through MCH’s many medical specialties and services, the region’s only hospital just for children provides high quality care close to home and promotes health and wellness for all children across Western North Carolina. MCH provides care to all children, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Medicaid, Carolina Access and Health Choice are accepted. More information is available at www.missionhospitals.org.


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