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World-class healthcare available in Carteret County through Mayo Clinic partnership

Posted February 5, 2020 5:00 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2020 5:24 p.m. EDT

In November 2019, Carteret Health Care became the first organization in North Carolina to become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.  (Photo Courtesy of Carteret Health Care)

This article was written for our sponsor, Crystal Coast Economic Development Foundation.

Residents of Carteret County and the surrounding region have access to even more expert care thanks to Carteret Health Care's recent induction as a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

The Mayo Clinic is a trusted leader in healthcare worldwide — its hospital is recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as the nation's number one hospital overall. A leader in many specialities and celebrated for its renowned staff, the Mayo Clinic carefully vets a select group of independent health systems for its Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Clinic Care members are granted special access to Mayo's knowledge, expertise and resources.

"This was 14 months in the making. As a Mayo Clinic Care Network member, Carteret Health Care will have opportunities for specialty consults with Mayo Clinic physicians, access to cutting-edge information, clinical trials and more. Additionally, our patients will benefit from educational material and doctors who have access to Mayo's research, diagnostic and treatment resources," said Dick Brvenik, who recently retired as president and CEO of Carteret Health Care after serving in the role since 2011.

Brvenik's exit came just months after seeing this partnership come to life.

Carteret Health Care, an award-winning hospital that was voted a top 100 U.S. rural and community hospital in 2019, has proven itself to be a best-in-class health care system. Brvenik began a courtship with the Mayo Clinic in 2018 in an effort to make Carteret Health Care even stronger.

In November 2019, Carteret Health Care became the first organization in the state to become a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Care providers now have access to a range of clinical resources provided by the Mayo Clinic to benefit patients and the ongoing professional development of doctors and staff.

"Carteret Health Care was selected to join the Mayo Clinic Care Network by demonstrating a commitment to the highest quality, patient-centered care. In addition, Carteret Health Care passed Mayo's comprehensive evaluation process that included an in-depth review of its organization, its clinical and business practices, and its quality, safety and service efforts," stated Carteret Health's website.

Brvenik said the Mayo Clinic's focus on patients and quality-of-care aligns with Carteret Health Care's core values. Additionally, this partnership allows Carteret Health to remain independent and maintain its local governance — the agreement is not a merger or acquisition.

Carteret Health Care's membership into the Mayo Clinic Care Network will be an important part of Brvenik's legacy, and it is a distinction about which he is very proud.

"The Mayo Clinic has been very deliberate about investing their dollars into high-end medicine and the continued development of medicine and health care," Brvenik said. "This partnership will be a melding and synergy between Carteret Health Care, the Mayo Clinic and the 40-plus other hospitals in the Clinic Care Network that will benefit patients and the health of our service area population. This partnership is something I am most proud of when I think about my entire career."

Dr. Jeff Moore, an orthopedist and a Carteret Health Care Board member, was part of a local committee that visited the Mayo Clinic's Jacksonville, Fla., location to network with the team there and build out the partnership.

"We've worked hard the last several years to upgrade our facility and have gotten lots of awards for many of our programs — we were doing a good job. However, with a community hospital, if you want to have subspecialist opinions and care, the closest we have is sending patients off to the Triangle," Moore admitted. "This partnership will allow outreach to spectacularly well-qualified subspecialists whose expertise can be used for our patients in Carteret County and the surrounding region."

Moore explained electronic communication with "one of the world's most renowned hospital clinic systems" will give Carteret County access to consults, opinions and advice from some of the world's best health experts.

Things like the point-of-care tool "AskMayoExpert" and live video conferences called eBoards will serve as a means by which Carteret Health Care can leverage the Mayo Clinic's input and recommendations. Additionally and importantly, Mayo Clinic consults will come at no additional cost to patients.

"Being a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network elevates the spectrum of specialty care in Carteret County dramatically," Moore continued. "In Eastern North Carolina there is a shortage of subspecialist experts in many different fields, while the Mayo Clinic has 2,600 of them. We're taking advantage of technology that will enable us to communicate with top healthcare professionals. Our patients will no longer have to travel great distances to get an expert subspecialist's opinion."

Greater access to resources and being able to treat patients close to home is a win-win for Carteret Health Care professionals and patients alike. Carteret Health doctors get to combine their knowledge of a patient's unique medical needs with Mayo Clinic's resources to develop the best treatment plan possible, and patients get an added bonus of an even more robust quality of care that is provided locally in the Crystal Coast.

"I think this partnership is truly transformational," Brvenik said. "It's a game changer. This adds an immense number of tools to our physicians and, ultimately, to our patients. The Mayo Clinic will help make us stronger in quality, safety and ability to grow and respond to patient and community needs."

This article was written for our sponsor, Crystal Coast Economic Development Foundation.

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