Asheville, N.C. (Nov. 15, 2016) – Mission Health has provided 9,000 respirators to public health officials and emergency first responders for distribution in the community and has installed special air scrubbers at its member hospitals across western North Carolina as smoke from forest fires continues to cause concern.
Mission Health provided the N95 respirators to public health officials in Macon County and to first responders in Jackson and Cherokee counties. The respirators filter particles found in smoky air.
Mission Health has installed additional HEPA air filters and charcoal filters at the following locations:
- Mission Hospital in Asheville
- Angel Medical Center in Franklin
- McDowell Hospital in Marion
- Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands
HEPA filters clean the air of particles. Charcoal filters remove the smell of smoke from the air.
“Mission Health would like to express our deepest sympathy to all those who have been impacted by the forest fires and we stand ready to help the communities across western North Carolina impacted by these tragic fires,” said Jill Hoggard Green, Chief Operating Officer, Mission Health and President, Mission Hospital. “. We are constantly receiving updates regarding the situation and will continue to make resources available.”
None of the hospitals within Mission Health are seeing an increase in patients coming to emergency departments for treatment related to poor air quality.
Mission Health recommends the elderly, children, and people with conditions including asthma and COPD, limit their exposure to outside air as forest fires continue to produce heavy smoke.
Basic precautions include:
- Anyone who is having respiratory symptoms should consult a doctor immediately.
- Those with lung and heart conditions should limit exposure to outside air.
- Everyone should avoid heavy exertion outside when air quality is Code Orange, Red and Purple.
- Monitor children for symptoms of breathing trouble. They are more susceptible to respiratory difficulties due to smoke.
- Check on the elderly to make sure they able to perform routine tasks.
Mission Health continues to partner with local, state and federal agencies to make sure communities and our caregivers across the region are safe.
About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system and was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems from 2012-2015 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters, becoming the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With approximately 10,700 employees and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission-health.org or @MissionHealthNC.