UNC Health Care’s New Year’s Resolution to North Carolina

Like many North Carolinians, we at UNC Health Care find it helpful to set resolutions, as they allow us to define, and then meet, our overarching goals. This year, we’ve resolved to cultivate existing partnerships, forge new ones with other organizations, and expand the physician base of UNC Health Alliance – all to provide North Carolinians with greater access to exceptional health care.

Last year, we worked with Cisco to open a state-of-the-art health center for employees and their families on the information technology company’s main campus in Research Triangle Park. Through this on-site clinic, UNC Physicians Network doctors coordinate care for Cisco employees and their dependents to improve overall health and keep costs down. Though this center has been open for only a few months, it is already exceeding expectations: On average, the clinic sees more than 35 patients daily.

Along with 10 other health systems, UNC Health Care is participating in Provider-Led and Patient-Centered Care LLC, which will allow the 1.9 million North Carolina residents on Medicaid to enroll in prepaid health plans, giving them access to high-quality care and more health choices than ever before.

Smart collaboration is a must for delivering outstanding care. We will continue to grow our existing partnerships and look for new partnerships that enable exceptional care across the state. Click here to learn more about our on-site health center at Cisco and here to learn more about Provider-Led and Patient-Centered Care LLC.

UNC Health Alliance: Delivering High-Quality, Cost-Effective Care Statewide

As the one of the state’s largest health systems, we see it as our responsibility to continue looking for ways to improve the health of the population. Many patients are paying larger portions of their medical payments than ever before. We are committed to ensuring that the people of North Carolina have greater access to affordable, high-quality care. One way we are achieving that is through the recently announced UNC Health Alliance.

The UNC Health Alliance is a clinically integrated network (CIN), or an organization of hospitals and physicians who collaborate to improve quality and control health care costs and are able to contract together to achieve their goals. In this case, there are four primary goals of the UNC Health Alliance:

  • Transform care delivery by creating a physician-led CIN with UNC Health Care that is accountable for the full continuum of care.
  • Lead the market in high-quality, cost-efficient care through population health management that includes engaging patients in the ownership of their care.
  • Become the preferred partner for physicians in our communities through a culture of collaboration.
  • Become the preferred partner for employers and payers who are aligned with the goal of transforming care and creating more value for patients.

Through collaboration and an intense focus on patient care, we will set measurable benchmarks to determine quality of care and hold ourselves and our physicians accountable, ultimately delivering high-quality, cost-effective care to our patients.

To learn more about the UNC Health Alliance, click here.

UNC Physician Assistant Program: Expanding the Reach of UNC Health Care

North Carolina is projected to gain about 1 million residents each decade through 2040, reaching a population of 12.5 million. This growth could bring many economic and societal benefits to our state, but it also brings challenges. One of those is ensuring that we are preparing more health practitioners to meet the needs of our growing population.

At UNC Health Care, we are committed to improving the health of all North Carolinians. That’s why we recently launched the UNC Physician Assistant Program. The UNC PA program recruits and trains non-traditional students to provide health services in underserved areas across the state. This program allows students, particularly veterans with medical experience, to leverage skills gained through their military service to serve patients in primary care work.

The first class of UNC PA students will enroll in January 2016. This class of 20 includes nine veterans. In addition to supporting our troops, this program is helping to fulfill a critical health care need across our state, now and into the future.

To learn more about the UNC Physician Assistant Program, click here.

Town by Town, Complete Care

Health care has changed dramatically in recent years, and UNC Health Care has changed to meet the evolving landscape. We are now a statewide system with eight hospitals serving patients across North Carolina.

We have grown and changed, but what remains the same is our system-wide commitment to complete care, which for us is a combination of expertise and empathy. We know patients want the best, most cutting-edge care, and they want it delivered with empathy, by doctors and nurses they trust.

Our system branding campaign celebrates the unique differences and strengths among each entity within our system and the School of Medicine. Through this campaign, we want patients to know that we hear their high expectations. We are committed to providing care that is two attributes in balance – breakthrough and attentive, advanced and local – because we believe that this is what gets people well.

The hospitals and physicians UNC has partnered with all share that commitment. Our statewide presence allows for greater collaboration and helps us serve patients more effectively, empathetically and efficiently.

To learn more about how UNC Health Care is providing complete care to patients across North Carolina, visit UNCHealthCare.org/Complete-Care.

UNC Scientist Wins Nobel Prize

At UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine, our employees, faculty and staff are innovators. As a team, we are able to provide patients with access to cutting-edge treatments and expert, empathetic care. The unique individuals who make up our teams truly help us meet our mission and consistently help us rank highly for research and care.

I would like to take a moment to offer my sincere congratulations to one member of our team, Dr. Aziz Sancar, a biochemist and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at UNC. Dr. Sancar was recently honored with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on mapping the cellular mechanisms that underlie DNA repair. Earlier this year, Dr. Sancar and his team created a DNA repair map of the entire human genome.

With his mapping mechanism, Dr. Sancar makes it possible for scientists to pick one of six billion base pairs in the human genome and know how it is repaired.

He shares the Nobel Prize with two other esteemed scientists – Tomas Lindahl of the Francis Crick Institute and Clare Hall Laboratory in Great Britain, and Paul Modrich of Duke University School of Medicine and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Join me in congratulating Dr. Sancar on this tremendous honor.

Great Nurses Across the System

It takes a strong team to make exceptional care possible. At UNC Health Care, we know that nurses are integral to that team.

I want to congratulate the 11 nurses across our system named to this year’s Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina list. The nurses chosen from our system cover a wide array of specialties including cardiovascular and pulmonary services, women’s and children’s services, and neuroscience. They are evidence of the high-quality care UNC Health Care provides to patients across many different service lines.

Our Great 100 winners, and all of our nurses at UNC Health Care, provide excellent and compassionate care for our patients and their families every day. I want to thank each of them for their commitment to improving patient care.

Click here to learn more about the UNC Health Care nurses recognized for their outstanding professional abilities and commitment to improving health care in their communities.

UNC School of Medicine’s Breakthrough in Autism Research

One out of 68 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine want to change this.

The School of Medicine’s Dr. Mark Zylka and his research team studied the genome sequences of thousands of children with autism, as well as the genome sequences of their unaffected parents. The researchers pinpointed a mutation that disables a genetic molecular switch to cause one form of autism.

This breakthrough in autism research is just the start. Knowing what causes one form of autism could help our researchers identify therapies for this form and discover the cause of other forms of autism.

The School of Medicine seeks to create innovative medical breakthroughs that improve the overall patient experience. Conducting cutting-edge research like this is one of the many ways we continue to do so.

For more information about the study, click here.