Neil Gurney joins Mission Health as VP of Strategic Implementation

Press release

From Mission Health

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 22, 2012) Mission Health today announced the appointment of Neil Gurney to the position of Vice President of Strategic Implementation. A seasoned veteran of both the U.S. and global advertising industries, Gurney will provide strategic direction for Mission Health and Mission Foundation, seeking to expand and refine a compelling brand and message for both entities.

Gurney comes to Mission Health with an extensive background in brand strategy and marketing. Before moving to the United States, Gurney served as CEO of the Saatchi & Saatchi group in Africa. The group included 16 agencies and approximately 400 staff members, and had annual billings of more than $80 million. At Saatchi & Saatchi, he had the opportunity to develop some the globe‚s best known brands, including Guinness, Metropolitan Life, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and DuPont.

“Neil brings a wealth of knowledge to our family at Mission Health,” said Rowena Buffett Timms, Senior Vice President of Government and Community Relations for Mission Health. “His expertise in strategic thinking, combined with his knowledge of the western North Carolina community and region, are a perfect fit for spreading Mission Health‚s message.”

Most recently, Gurney served as a partner at Integritive 2 in Asheville. Joining forces with Integritive, a web specialist company, Integritive2 integrates brand marketing, advertising, interactive and sustainability all under one roof. The agency‚s clients include some of Asheville‚s most well established names, such as the Economic Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County, the Asheville Airport and Tupelo Honey Café.

“It is always refreshing when you meet someone who has great passion for their work, said Bruce Thorsen, President and CEO of Mission Foundation. “Neil has the ability to plan and cultivate brands that resonate within our community. When working in healthcare, it is crucial to possess these skills to reach patients.”

Gurney will focus on developing plans that leverage the synergies between Mission Health and Mission Foundation, in an effort to achieve their respective business goals and objectives. As a brand steward for both entities, Gurney will develop and maintain a consistent brand position throughout all marketing and communications activities.

About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., is the state‚s sixth-largest health system and the region‚s only not-for-profit, independent community hospital system governed and managed exclusively in western North Carolina. In 2012 Mission Health was named one of the nation‚s Top 15 Health Systems by Thomson Reuters ˆ the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition.

Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates five hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, and the region‚s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in over 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 and is the busiest surgical hospital in North Carolina. It also includes Mission Children‚s Hospitalˆ 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.


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