Mission Health and MAHEC Honor Employees at 2016 Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award Program

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (January 25, 2016) – Mission Health and Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) hosted the 16th Annual Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award Program on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016. Each year, Mission and MAHEC partner to recognize employees for their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. Two winners, one employee from Mission and one from MAHEC, were presented with awards.

The program featured the Spirit of MLK Choir, made up of Mission Heath and MAHEC employees as well as community members. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Robert W. Livingston, Lecturer of Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Livingston challenged the healthcare community to question their perceptions of progress made with regard to racial bias, and discussed ways healthcare providers can take steps toward practicing inclusion and respect of a diverse patient population.

Jeffrey E. Heck, MD, President and CEO of MAHEC, presented the MAHEC award to Tamala Scott, who serves in Patient Support at MAHEC OB/GYN. Jill Hoggard Green, PhD, RN, COO of Mission Health and President of Mission Hospital and Mission Medical Associates, presented the Mission Health award to PJ Mears, Senior Consultant in the Center for Leadership and Professional Development.

“It is a privilege to work alongside an individual who shares the gift for nurturing the possibilities for growth and achievement which exist in all people,” read Hoggard Green from the nomination submitted by Mears’ colleagues. “What we respect most about PJ is his ability to meet any individual where they are. No judgment. No bias. No fixing. No saving. Just respect for who you are as a human being.”

About Mission Health

Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, 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. Mission Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems 2012-2015 by Truven Health Analytics, formerly Thomson Reuters. Mission Health is the only health system in the nation to receive this recognition four years in a row, and the only health system in North Carolina to achieve Top 15 recognition.

Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, 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. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in more than 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 763 beds. It is the regional referral center for tertiary and quaternary care. It also includes Mission Children’s Hospital – 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, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. 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.

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