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Hospice of McDowell to join CarePartners

Hospice of McDowell to join CarePartners

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Starting Saturday, Oct. 1, Hospice of McDowell will become affiliated with CarePartners Health Services. And on that day, the name of the local Hospice will be changed to CarePartners Hospice & Palliative Care McDowell.

But the terminally ill and their families will continue to receive the same care they have come to expect from Hospice.

“We’re going to continue to give exceptional care every single day,” said Kit Cosgrove, executive director of Hospice.

For some time, Hospice of McDowell and CarePartners have both looking into ways they could become affiliated with each other. CarePartners is a post-hospital health system that joined with Mission Health in October 2014. Mission Health is North Carolina’s sixth largest health system.

“Hospice of McDowell is affiliating with CarePartners Health Services to improve access to care for patients and allow the company to maintain its not-for-profit roots and community focus,” said Cosgrove. “Together, Hospice of McDowell and CarePartners have the expertise to meet the key goal of improving the quality of care, access to the right care, and cost effectiveness in the delivery of care.”

In a letter to Hospice staff and volunteers, Cosgrove wrote that Mission Health and CarePartners have “the understanding to navigate a changing health care delivery system, together they have the expertise to provide exceptional care, every day, and the established system to meet the key operational metrics of improving the quality experience of care, improving access to the right care, and improving cost effectiveness in the delivery of care.”

This new affiliation will result in a new name for the local Hospice, which was formed 22 years ago.

“Hospice of McDowell and CarePartners have long‐standing reputations for providing high-quality care throughout western North Carolina and we have been working together closely for nearly three years now,” said Tracy Buchanan, president and CEO of CarePartners. “The name of the business in McDowell will change to CarePartners Hospice & Palliative Care McDowell. We are pleased to combine teams with Hospice of McDowell to continue to provide an exceptional experience to patients and caregivers in McDowell County. The affiliation starts Oct. 1.”

Buchanan added the clinical and administrative personnel will remain the same.

“CarePartners is constantly monitoring patient volume to make sure we have the right number of caregivers to provide exceptional quality,” she said.

Although the name will change, patients in McDowell County will still receive the care they have gotten since the local Hospice was started in 1994, according to Cosgrove.

“While this affiliation means the name of the company will change, it is certainly not the end of the great care the staff at Hospice of McDowell has offered patients,” she said. “We are excited about this new partnership with our old friends at CarePartners.”

In 2013, Hospice of McDowell sought permission from the state to establish a six-bed unit at McDowell Hospital that would provide short-term, in-patient care to those suffering from terminal illnesses. The unit would likely be located in a section that would be leased from McDowell Hospital but it would be managed and operated by Hospice.

However, Hospice’s application was denied by the state’s Certificate of Need process.

The McDowell News asked if the affiliation with CarePartners would help an in-patient care facility in McDowell become a reality.

“CarePartners and Mission Health are constantly evaluating the best ways to offer an exceptional experience to our patients, their families and our caregivers,” said Buchanan. “There are currently no plans to seek a Certificate of Need for Hospice.”

CarePartners Health Services, a member of Mission Health, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization serving western North Carolina and offering a full continuum of post-acute care. Located in Asheville, it’s services include a rehabilitation hospital, home health, outpatient rehabilitation, hospice, palliative care, adult day, private duty, PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) and orthotics and prosthetics.

“With more than 1,200 employees and 400 volunteers, CarePartners Health Services is dedicated to helping people of western North Carolina live full and productive lives, despite illness, injury, disability or issues related to aging,” reads a news release.

CarePartners recently received the Governor’s Award of Performance Excellence in Healthcare. For more information, visit

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