Mission Health closes on land purchase in Haywood County

Future facility will bring enhanced services to Haywood and adjacent counties
Aug 15, 2014

Mission Health, the state’s sixth-largest health system, has purchased a 23-acre parcel of land located at 368 Hospital Drive in Clyde adjacent to Mission’s existing building and next to Tuscola High School for $1.375 million.

Mission Health conducted an extensive study of primary care and specialty physician access in the 18-county region that it serves, and found a clear need for expanded care in Haywood County, a community that many Mission Health staff have lived in and supported for decades, according to a news release.

"Mission Health also appreciates the strong preference that many Haywood County residents have for Mission Health’s care," a news release stated. "As the region’s only locally owned, locally governed non-profit healthcare system and one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals and top 15 health systems — Mission Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality, most effective care close to where people live and work." 

The site will be home to Mission Health’s fourth My Care Plus location and the first in Haywood County. It will include a significant expansion of primary care providers as well as specialty and ancillary services.

Last month, Mission announced it would cut costs by $42 million next year that would likely involve layoffs, along with plans to boost revenue by $10 million. Decreased reimbursements under the Medicare/Medicaid programs, federal programs to provide health care for the elderly and the needy, along with reduced income under Obamacare, were cited as the reasons behind the cost-cutting measures.

“Mission Health is developing extensive capabilities to improve the health of the population of western North Carolina,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, president and CEO of Mission Health. “The nearly 60,000 residents of Haywood County already understand Mission’s unrelenting commitment to quality and our focus on local access, but we know that not all patients who desire Mission care can access it easily there.

"Our new, state-of-the-art facility will be readily accessible and build upon strong traditional clinical care with an added focus on health and wellness. The site will include dedicated physicians and clinical staff, as well as, significant telemedicine capabilities that will help avoid the need to travel to Asheville for even some of the most complex care.”

Mission Health has had a small outpatient center in Haywood County for several years, led by David Mulholland, MD, currently offering primary care, and limited imaging, lab and specialty care services.

Mulholland, who was recently recognized by the community as the Best Doctor in Haywood County, will be moving to the new site.

“It’s wonderful to see the next stage of evolution for primary and specialty care in Haywood County with this announcement,” said Mulholland, of Haywood Family Medicine. “Mission Health has a proven winner with its My Care Plus outpatient care model, and I’m delighted that expanded services will soon be available in a convenient location right here in Haywood.” 

Plans for the newly acquired land include construction of a new medical office building that will house expanded primary care, expanded specialty care, expanded imaging and lab services along with new virtual care capabilities in an approximately 30,000-square-foot building located in a beautiful, healing setting, with convenient access for local residents.

The project will create important jobs for the Haywood County community, both via the construction project and for ongoing clinical services.

On Aug. 1, Duke LifePoint Health closed on two separate contracts to purchase Haywood Regional Medical Center and affiliated agencies, along with WestCare facilities in Jackson and Swain counties. The company pledged to spend $36 million in Haywood over the next eight years to upgrade services, facilities and expand offerings, and additional funds to upgrade the WestCare facilities.

Duke LifePoint issued the following statement upon learning of Mission's plan to expand services in Haywood County:

"We were not aware and do not know much about the plans announced by Mission Health on Friday.  This announcement does not impact Duke LifePoint Healthcare’s commitment to make significant investments in Haywood Regional Medical Center to grow, expand and improve services.  We believe that the residents of the community deserve to have access to the best possible, most comprehensive care close to home.  We want to make Haywood Regional Medical Center all it can be, so that residents can receive the care they need right here, rather than having to leave this community."Mission Health, based in Asheville, 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.

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