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Work set to start on health care campus, hospitals announce

Mission Health and Pardee Hospital officials say work should begin next week on the first phase of the Mission Pardee Health Campus in Fletcher, a $28 million 80,000-square-foot facility scheduled  to open in late 2013.

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The campus is a collaboration between Mission Health and Pardee Hospital to provide high-quality, comprehensive and convenient outpatient care for a growing area of western North Carolina, the hospitals said in a news release. Services to be offered at the campus include cardiac rehabilitation, endoscopy suite, imaging, laboratory services, physical therapy, primary and specialty care doctors' offices, retail pharmacy, urgent care with night and weekend hours.
"The population surrounding Fletcher has dramatically increased in recent years," said Kristi Sink, Vice President of Ambulatory and Ancillary Services at Mission Health. "This outpatient facility will offer the high-quality medical services needed to support our growing community. We, at Mission, are excited to partner with Pardee in this effort and to collaborate to provide more convenient, locally-based care."
"Site work has begun in Fletcher and plans for a late 2013 opening are moving forward. Additional site work is planned to continue in August with construction activities ramping up in October," said Kris Peters, Vice President Strategy & Development.
Mission and Pardee have jointly hired the Keith Corporation as the developer of the project. Early site work began this summer. Construction is planned to ramp up in October and continue through 2013.

Peters and Sink went to the site on Friday afternoon in the blazing heat, expecting to see the start of construction. There were no workers there; earlier trucks set out surveying stakes.

Instead of watching earth movers, the two vice presidents expressed their organization's support for the project and answered questions.

"We've worked very hard to form a partnership that has equal ownership in the land, in the buildings and in governance," Sink said. "I really would say we're bringing a service to this community that doesn't exist, with a parther who is in the community."

The county line project has been controversial, with County Commissioner Bill O'Connor opposing it and Park Ridge Health fighting Mission's plans to put an endoscopy clinic in Fletcher.

The health care reform that just survived a Supreme Court test is expected to send more insured patients to primary care clinics. It's more cost efficient to serve those patients in an out-patient clinic than in an emergency room. The new health campus is expected to serve the families in the Fletcher and South Asheville area, which is projected to be a fast-growing part of the community.

"They want high quality care and convenience and access," Peters said.