Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mission Health's heart center receives multiple top ratings

Mission Heart has received its 16th "3 Star" rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery, placing it once again in the top tier of heart surgery centers across the United States that perform such procedures.  In addition, STS has recognized Mission Heart with a “3 Star” rating for the first time for its Aortic Valve Replacement (AVR) and Aortic Valve Replacement + Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Surgery (AVR + CABG).

A 3 Star rating is the highest category of quality and designates that surgery results are statistically better than the national mean.  Hospitals that score below average receive one star; those in the average rating receive two stars; and programs that score significantly above average receive the top-tier rating of three stars.  For the CABG procedure, approximately 10 percent of nearly 1,100 surgical groups in the U.S. that perform cardiac surgery received the top rating.  For the AVR procedure, only about 8 percent of the surgical sites that perform the procedure received the top rating.  For the AVR + CABG, just 6 percent of sites received this award.  Less than 1 percent of all sites received 3 stars in all three categories.

“We are honored to have our hard work recognized and to be one of just a select few hospitals in the U.S. to receive such a rating,” said Stephen W. Ely, PhD, MD, Section Chair for Cardiac Surgery at Mission Heart. “It is validation of the quality work we are doing on behalf of the patients we serve.  However, the real payoff as care providers is in the excellent outcomes for our patients.”

The STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database includes more than 4 million cardiothoracic surgical records, making it the largest such registry in the world. The current data analysis for which these 3 Star ratings are based is the period from July 2013 through June 2014. The STS's comprehensive rating system compares the quality of surgeries in terms of survival rates, the absence of complications and other key measures.

"Mission Heart’s continued ranking among the top surgical heart programs in the country is a testament to the hard work of our distinguished team of cardiothoracic surgeons, other physicians, nurses and caregivers, affirming our position as a national leader in cardiovascular surgery," said Jill Hoggard Green, COO of Mission Health and President of Mission Hospital and Mission Medical Associates. “This achievement recognizes Mission Health’s commitment to quality and improved patient outcomes and provides further evidence of the high-quality care we provide to the people of western North Carolina.”

Silver-Line goes green

Asheville based Silver-Line Plastics recently became the first North American plastic pipe producer to be certified to Plastic Pipe & Fittings Association’s (PPFA) “Sustainable Manufacturing Conformity Assessment Program for Plastic Piping Components” (SM-CAP). The program certifies reductions in a manufacturer's year-over-year environmental footprint by careful analysis and measurement of resource use.

Certification to SM-CAP means that a manufacturing facility meets the requirements set forth in PPFA’s “Sustainable Manufacturing Standard (SMS-01-2012)”. The new standard establishes requirements for measuring both the existing environmental performance and the continuous improvement thereof by manufacturers of plastic piping system components. SMS 01-2012 applies to those who manufacture plastic piping system components and to the resources used in their production process.

With facilities in Asheville, NC, Ft. Pierce, FL, and Lawton, OK, Silver-Line operates above a 98% material efficiency and must continually improve in all areas every year to maintain its certification. SM-CAP creates year-to-year reductions in water use, energy use, packaging materials waste, material conversion efficiency, and product material waste. In addition, criteria are set to promote plant safety, safe product use, continual participation in industry Life Cycle Analysis, maintaining certification for American National Standards governing product quality and safety, and generally lowering a manufacturer’s environmental footprint.

Carolina Day School hosts open house events and tours

There are some great opportunities coming up for prospective parents and their children to become more familiar with Carolina Day School and our divisions.

·        Key School Open Houses
8:15 a.m. -9:30 a.m.
Reservations encouraged: lpennington@carolinaday.org
Wednesday, January 14
Thursday, February 26

·         Inside The Classroom Tours
Inside the Classroom mornings are an opportunity to see Carolina Day School’s outstanding faculty and students in action. These events begin at 8:30 a.m. in the division entrance halls with coffee and muffins. Visitors sit in classes, observe all the action, and have an opportunity to ask questions when class is over. Inside the Classroom experiences are drop-in events, so there is no need to RSVP.

Lower School
Thursday, January 29 - Lower School Gym lobby

Middle School
Tuesday, January 27 - Stephens Hall

Upper School 
Tuesday, January 13 - Upper School lobby

For more information about Carolina Day School, its pre-kindergarten through twelve independent day school program, call 828-274-0757 or visit carolinaday.org.

Carolina Day School
1345 Hendersonville Road, Asheville NC

October tourism numbers shatter previous records

Lodging demand in Buncombe County grew to a record level in October, shattering all previous monthly watermarks in the growth of tourism in the Asheville area.  The jump in lodging figures parallels the increased marketing investment made by the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), under the auspices of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority BCTDA).

Occupancy in lodging properties during October was at an unprecedented 86.2 percent, up 7.1 percent from the previous year’s rate of 80.5 percent.  Demand grew at 5.5 percent. Monthly hotel occupancy has never exceeded 81 percent until last month, according to data from STR Global, a hotel data tracking firm. 

In July, BCTDA committed to a record amount of advertising along with increases in other marketing efforts during its budget year to drive increased visitation and further the local economy. The investment enabled the Asheville CVB to expand its TV advertising from four markets to nine. 
“Our top priority continues to be expanding the reach of our marketing,” said Stephanie Brown, executive director of the ACVB. “Overnight visitors are an essential ingredient to the economic vitality of our community and have created a significant customer base for our local businesses.”

The trend in occupancy and demand point to the likelihood of the destination achieving its best year ever, with its tourism indicators hitting the highest annual levels since the inception of the room tax in 1983 and outpacing the national forecast. 

Destinations that place a high priority on marketing their brands and amenities realize significantly greater employment and economic growth, well beyond the visitor economy, according to a newly released analysis by Oxford Economics.  Through a statistical analysis of more than 200 cities over more than 20 years, case studies, interviews and a literature review, the key findings reveal the broad economic benefits reaped by US destinations which spent an estimated $2 billion on promotion and marketing to encourage leisure and convention travel.

The report states that “the diversity and quality of the U.S. product, both for leisure and meetings travel markets, positions U.S. destinations to drive further growth through targeted promotional investments.”

Since 2000, visitor spending in Buncombe County is up 98 percent compared to the North Carolina average of 68 percent, the highest among the top 10 counties statewide.  The variance over that time period generated $139 million more in incremental spending versus performance at the average increase. 

The tourism sector supports 23,000 jobs in Buncombe County.  Based on a 2012 study, visitors to the community spend $1.5 billion, contributed $250 million in tax revenues and generated $2.3 billion in total economic impact.