Mayor's letter prompts HCA Healthcare CEO to visit North Carolina hospital

The formation of a community advisory group was among the issues discussed when HCA Healthcare CEO Samuel Hazen met with local leaders over complaints and concerns at Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, N.C., ABC affiliate WLOS reported.  

The meeting occurred months after two members of Transylvania Regional Hospital's board, Mark Weinstein and Parker Platt, resigned Sept. 20 over ownership by Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA.  

HCA acquired Asheville, N.C.-based Mission Health in 2019, and Transylvania Regional Hospital is part of Mission Health. 

Brevard Mayor Maureen Copelof had also sent a letter to Mr. Hazen in March about community concerns at the hospital, including the loss of physicians and healthcare providers, lower staffing levels and the resignation of the two board members, according to WLOS, which published a copy of the letter.

"We have lost faith in our efforts to locally communicate our community's concerns and want to be assured that you are, personally, fully aware of the local situation, which has a likelihood of dramatically affecting the stability and profitability of TRH," the mayor wrote before requesting an in-person meeting between herself, Mr. Weinstein, Mr. Platt and Mr. Hazen.

Nancy Lindell, a spokesperson for Mission Health, confirmed the meeting took place earlier in May.

In a statement shared with Becker's, she said Mr. Hazen "values relationships with local leaders and wanted to reassure Mayor Copelof that he shares her commitment to making Mission Health a success in serving the Brevard community."

Ms. Lindell also said attendees discussed HCA's more than $14 million investment in the hospital in the past three years in projects such as roofing, renovation of three operating rooms, replacing the MRI and CT and adding a helipad. 

"Mission Health selected HCA Healthcare because it offered the financial stability to help preserve and expand high-quality healthcare for generations," she said. "The COVID-19 pandemic brought unforeseen challenges, but we are confident we are moving forward. We are hiring a new surgeon for TRH and a new provider has been caring for Toxaway Health Center patients for several months. In addition, both area primary care practices have been renovated, and five new primary care providers have been recruited in recent months."

During the meeting, she said an attendee also suggested forming a community advisory group with Michele Pilon, BSN, RN, the CEO and chief nursing officer of Transylvania Regional Hospital, and collaborating "to constructively communicate and demonstrate our commitment to the hospital, the Brevard community and to the quality care that has always been delivered."

The advisory group is in the planning stages, according to WLOS

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