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Our purpose is to communicate and promote the quality performance of Mission Health to our stakeholders, and to position Mission Health as a premier quality healthcare provider in the nation, the region, and the communities we serve.

The office of Government and Community Relations supports Mission Health through the pursuit of public policy and regulatory outcomes that strategically benefit the health system and our healthcare community. It is our vision to be a valued partner in achieving the vision and goals of the health system we serve and to help Mission Health achieve its BIG(GER) Aim—to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for every patient, family, and team member.



To better engage our 18-county region, Mission Health has developed Regional Advocacy Council meetings at Mission Hospital and our five regional hospitals. These quarterly meetings bring hospital executives and county legislators together, and foster discussion on current legislative issues. In addition to developing and seasoning relationships between the hospitals and local government, the meetings allow Mission Health executives to discuss what issues are pertinent at the regional hospital level. Included in the meetings are Mission Health Senior Leadership, Regional President/CEOs, City Councils, and County Councils.


A core challenge for healthcare organizations is the disconnect between healthcare in its intimate, real-world setting versus the distilled information delivered in the Boardroom. Mission Health’s innovative Immersion Day program creates new paths for key stakeholders to better understand the challenges facing healthcare systems. Mission Health's Immersion Day, enables Board members, legislators, journalists, and regulators to spend the day in scrubs, behind the scenes, immersed in the nuances of care delivery. To learn more about Mission Health Immersion Program. Please click here.

“I've always said one thing with 100% confidence—if someone actually sees what we do every day, they will never think of us in the same way again.”

Ronald A. Paulus, MD
President and CEO, Mission Health



The Physicians Advocacy Council was established to understand our physicians’ positions and how they can be included in key decisions that Mission Health makes or intends to make. A confidential survey was sent to all physicians’ system-wide to get their feedback and measure their interest in engaging in our advocacy efforts. Today, the Physicians Advocacy Council has 28 physicians of varying specialties and affiliation with Mission Health hospitals and member entities. The Council relates to our strategic goal to communicate our message, gain intelligence, and ensure opportunities are known, coordinated and acted upon in a timely manner. We conduct quarterly meetings with educational speakers aimed at the Council membership, and provide updates and gain feedback on policy changes, threats and opportunities, and advocacy wins.


The decision to establish a Nursing Advocacy Council came out of a meeting of the Mission Health Advocacy Council as way to understand our nurses’ thoughts and opinions and how nurses can be included in more in key decisions. A confidential survey was sent to all nurses system-wide to hear their feedback and measure ther interest in engaging in our advocacy efforts. Today, the Nursing Advocacy Council has 20 nurses in varying specialties from around the system. We conduct quarterly meetings with pertinent educational speakers, and provide updates and gain feedback on policy changes, threats and opportunities, and advocacy wins.


The Mission Health Advocacy Council is an internal group of Mission Health executives throughout the system brought together to ensure that all of Mission Health’s advocacy efforts are coordinated and aligned with its legislative priorities. An organizational meeting to outline the Council’s goals was held in March 2014 with 18 system Executives recruited to serve on the Council. Later, we added all regional CNO/Presidents, bringing the total number of members to 22, and a subcommittee on rural healthcare.


The Regional Advocacy Council, made up of executives from major employers in Mission Health’s 18-county service region, was formed to support one another in advocacy and government relations activities and be united in efforts to advocate on behalf of Western North Carolina. The Regional Advocacy Council held its organizational meeting with executives from more than a dozen regional employers in May 2014, and during this first year, 24 members were recruited. By the end of fiscal year 2015, a total of 27 members representing nearly every major industry in western North Carolina served on the WNC Regional Advocacy Council.


This alliance was created to engage primary voters in the counties where Mission Health operates. Through confidential surveys to registered primary voters, Mission Health created a constituency of 76 registered voters from the 5 counties where we have a member hospital. Voters were scored 1-10 (1s & 2s being the strongest scores), and the scores allowed us to segment communication to the strongest and most appropriate audience that is most likely to be favorable to Mission Health. Alliance meetings provide regular communication about Mission Health’s advocacy efforts, which are aimed to ensure western North Carolina residents have access to quality, affordable healthcare.

Examples of Advocacy Council Presentations

  • Medicaid reform proposals being considered by state lawmakers.
  • How to frame ACOs and Medicaid Reform that follow federal statutes presented by Dianne Heffron, Principal with Mercer and former CMS Director of the Financial Management Group.
  • The potential impact on practices of a ruling in favor of plaintiff King in the Supreme Court’s King vs. Burwell decision, as presented by Stacey Hughes, founding partner of the Nickles Group.



Call us at 828-213-1221 or email us at advocacy@msj.org.