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SPRUCE PINE, N.C. (April 5, 2013) – Oscar K. Weinmeister III, FACHE, President and CEO of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, has received the 2013 Grassroots Champion Award from the American Hospital Association (AHA), in partnership with the North Carolina Hospital Association. Weinmeister, the single award recipient from North Carolina, is being recognized for his exceptional leadership in generating grassroots and community activity in support of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital.
The award is presented annually to one individual from each state, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. Winners are selected by the hospital associations from each state or territory. Consideration of the award is based upon the history of achievement by the hospital or system towards their HOSPAC goals, their activity in grassroots efforts and the level of hospital staff involvement in advocating the North Carolina legislature on hospital related issues.
"For each of the last three years, the staff at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital has achieved more than 200 percent of their HOSPAC goal. In 2012, that jumped to an impressive 326 percent," said Cody Hand, Vice President/General Counsel and Coordinator of HOSPAC, the political action committee for North Carolina hospitals. "Oscar Weinmeister and his team are engaged and ready to work on the issues they confront every day in their hospital in Spruce Pine. They are truly grassroots champions."
“Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, a member hospital of Mission Health, has provided excellent healthcare services to Spruce Pine and the surrounding communities for more than 50 years,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. “Under Oscar’s leadership, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital has gained tremendous support in its effort to deliver Mission Health’s BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family.”
The American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award was created to recognize those hospital leaders who most effectively educate elected officials on how major issues affect the hospital’s vital role in the community, who have done an exemplary job in broadening the base of community support for the hospital and who are tireless advocates for hospitals and their patients.
“I am honored to receive the Grassroots Champion Award,” said Weinmeister. “Now more than ever, decisions made at the federal and state level will shape our future. For rural hospitals, particularly those in western North Carolina with both challenging demographics and a very difficult payor mix, legislative changes can be even more difficult. Even in this time of great change, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital remains as committed as ever to patient and family-centered care based on dignity and respect. This award is truly a reflection of the effort of our entire medical community.”
Weinmeister was named President and CEO of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in August 2011. He previously worked for Georgetown Hospital System in South Carolina, where he was the Administrator of Waccamaw Community Hospital.
"Oscar has brought a new level of excitement, positive energy and forward thinking to our hospital and community in the 18 months he has been CEO,” said Courtney Mauzy, Chair of Blue Ridge Regional Hospital Board of Trustees. “His constant focus on quality of care, patient satisfaction and community involvement has become contagious and our staff is motivated by his drive. Under his leadership, we believe Blue Ridge Regional Hospital will continue to lead the way in improving the health of our community and the quality of medical care available to our population."
Weinmeister and the other recipients will be recognized at the eighth annual “Breakfast of Grassroots Champions” in Washington, DC, during the AHA Annual Membership Meeting in April.
About Blue Ridge Regional Hospital
Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, based in Spruce Pine, N.C., is a not-for-profit hospital and serves Mitchell, Yancey, lower Avery and upper McDowell counties. Blue Ridge Regional Hospital was founded in 1955 and has provided excellent healthcare services for more than 50 years. Cleverley & Associates has recognized Blue Ridge Regional Hospital as a Community Value 5-Star Hospital eight years in a row. Medical specialties offered at the hospital include cancer services, a dental clinic, orthopedics, pain management, pediatrics, sleep disorders and wound care. In addition, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital offers clinics for the following specialties: allergy and asthma; dermatology; ear, nose and throat; foot and ankle; gastroenterology; ophthalmology and rheumatology. Blue Ridge Regional Hospital employs 450 people and is a member of the Mission Health system, named in 2012 as one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Thomson Reuters – the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition. For more information, please visit blueridgehospital.org.
About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, N.C., 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. In 2012 Mission Health was named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Thomson Reuters – the only health system in North Carolina to receive this recognition.
Mission Health, which traces its roots in the region back to 1885, operates five hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. Its medical staff consists of more than 1,000 physicians and is certified in over 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 730 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, McDowell Hospital in Marion and Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. With approximately 8,800 employees and 700 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.