Wellness in brief: New urgent care clinics, local WIC program receives breastfeeding honor

Park Ridge Health brought home another good report card from The Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Grade. Park Ridge received A grades from fall 2016 to the most recent ratings released in fall 2018.

Three WNC hospitals were among the 855 hospitals across the nation that received an A safety grade from The Leapfrog Group’s Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade: Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva; Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde; and Park Ridge Health in Hendersonville.

Mission Hospital in Asheville and Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville received B safety grades, while Rutherford Hospital in Rutherfordton received a C.

Leapfrog’s online dashboard shows specific areas in which Mission’s (avl.mx/5h2) results were worse than the average hospital’s score, including infections, surgical problems, practices to prevent errors and safety problems. Mission previously received A grades 2015-17.

Pardee’s (avl.mx/5h3) results were worse than the average hospitals in blood-based infections, developing serious breathing problems and blood clots as a result of surgery, dangerous bed sores, patient falls and having specially trained doctors care for intensive care unit patients. Pardee received B grades in 2017 and A’s in both 2016 and 2015.

Rutherford Hospital (avl.mx/5h4) received the worst recorded scores of any U.S. hospital in urinary tract infections and having specially trained doctors care for ICU patients. It recorded below-average results in several other categories. In 2015 and spring 2016, Rutherford Hospital received D grades, improving to C in fall 2016 and spring 2017 and B in fall 2017.

Among the local hospitals receiving A grades, Park Ridge Health had the most consistently positive rating, receiving A’s from fall 2016 to the present. Harris Regional improved its score from a B in spring 2018, all the way up from a D in spring 2016. Haywood Regional also received a D in spring 2016 but has gotten a mix of A’s and B’s since then.

The Leapfrog Group is a national organization committed to improving health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers. The safety grade assigns an A, B, C, D or F grade to hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other harms among patients in their care.

Leapfrog’s safety grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. The methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

More information is available at www.hospitalsafetygrade.org.

New urgent care clinics in the works

Two new urgent care centers are coming to Western North Carolina: AdventHealth Centra Care Arden at 436 Airport Road and  Mercy Urgent Care on U.S. Highway 108 near Exit 67 of Interstate 26 in Columbus.

Park Ridge Health (which will soon be AdventHealth) broke ground on the Arden facility on Dec. 4.

Mercy Urgent Care announced it will open its seventh location in Columbus in the spring.

“Polk County has a documented shortage of primary care providers and very limited access to any retail walk-in acute care services,” said Tim Johnston, Mercy’s CEO, in a press release. “There is very limited, if any, weekend and after-hours health care besides hospital emergency rooms in the entire tri-city area of Columbus, Tryon and Landrum, S.C. Growth is also anticipated with the continued development of the Tryon International Equestrian Center, which further increases the need for health care access for nonresident visitors.”

Mercy Urgent Care accepts most major insurance plans and offers a tiered self-pay plan for those without insurance. Mercy also provides a financial assistance program for qualifying patients.

Henderson County breastfeeding program receives award

For the second year in a row, the Henderson County Women, Infants and Children program received the Breastfeeding Award of Excellence from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The agency is of one of only 12 in the country to receive the USDA’s highest level of recognition in 2018. The award highlights the county’s peer counseling and support programs, which connect breastfeeding mothers with one another.

Henderson County’s breastfeeding program supports both English- and Spanish-speaking participants and includes a board-certified lactation consultant, breastfeeding peer counselors and WIC nutritionists who are certified breastfeeding educators. More information at 828-694-6023 or avl.mx/5h1.

Movers and shakers

  • Candler native and Western Carolina University student Rosemary Yelton was appointed to N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein’s Council on Collegiate Opioid Misuse.
  • Board-certified thoracic and general surgeon Dr. David Kulick joined Park Ridge Health Surgery Specialists.
  • Dr. Matthew Mahar joined Park Ridge Health Primary Care at its South Asheville location.
  • Nurses Laura Clarke and Amanda Gates received Park Ridge Health’s DAISY Award for exceptional nursing care in The Baby Place.
  • Dr. Robert Klym, president of Hendersonville Radiological Consultants, presented a $2,200 check on behalf of his group practice to Blue Ridge Honor Flight to support ongoing efforts to honor veterans of multiple wars.
  • Kelli Huggins was named wellness manager at Grace Ridge, a Morganton retirement community.

Pet loss support group offered

Anyone who is grieving the loss of an animal companion may attend a free bimonthly support group offered at the Animal Hospital of North Asheville.

Kathy Link, a licensed clinical social worker at Four Seasons, will facilitate the group. Four Seasons provides home, palliative and hospice care and community bereavement support in 11 WNC counties.

The group will meet 7-8:30 p.m. the first and third Monday of the month at AHNA, 1 Beaverdam Road, Asheville. The next meeting will take place Monday, Jan. 7. The meeting is for human family members only; pets should remain at home.



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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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