WNC wellness review: NC reports lowest infant mortality rate, UNCA wants MAHEC building, and more

Eugenics laws led to sterilization of 7,600 North Carolinians; only 41 survivors identified

Between 1929 and 1974, the state – through the N.C. Eugenics Board – authorized the sterilizations of some 7,600 North Carolinians who were classified as mentally ill, epileptic or “feebleminded.”

Now, key state officials are leading an effort to compensate people who were sterilized, under the idea that many of the operations were medically unnecessary and morally wrong. But after more than a year of searching, the state has matched just 41 survivors to its records.

From the Charlotte Observer

NC’s infant mortality rate reaches its lowest level in state history

North Carolina’s infant mortality rate declined sharply in 2010, reaching its lowest level in state history. The rate, seven infant deaths for every 1,000 live births, represents an 11.4 percent drop from the state’s 2009 rate of 7.9 deaths.

The largest decline in infant mortality in 2010 was among African American infants, a reduction of 19.6 percent from the previous year.

From the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Homeward Bound awarded grant from Mission Hospital

As an affirmation of their ongoing partnership, the Community Benefit Program of Mission Hospital has just awarded a grant of $22,500 to Homeward Bound. The grant will fund Homeward Bound’s Chronic Homeless Housing Program, which has received national recognition from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and is a key component of the community’s 75% reduction in chronic homelessness.

From the press release

In proposal for moving campus police station, UNCA considers buying MAHEC building

Bill Haggard, the UNCA vice chancellor for student affairs, presented a $4.9 million plan to purchase and renovate the MAHEC Family Health Center location on W.T. Weaver Boulevard to the Student Government Association at its Oct. 26 meeting. … The plan, according to the meeting minutes, would move Student Health Services and the Counseling Center, currently located in Weizenblatt Hall, to the MAHEC building at 118 W. T. Weaver Blvd.

From the Blue Banner

Four Seasons will offer workshops focused on managing grief during the holiday season

Four Seasons will offer four free ‘Grief through the Holidays’ workshops entitled: The Uninvited Guest – Grief at the Holidays.

The workshops include both discussion and activities for participants of all ages. Participants will discover how to bring new meaning to holiday traditions with the absence of a loved one.

From the press release

Heart surgery at Mission receives top quality ranking

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has again ranked the heart surgery program at Mission Hospital and the cardiovascular surgeons of Asheville Heart with its top “3-star” rating for how well patients did following coronary artery bypass grafting procedures. Only 10 percent of hospitals ranked achieved this level.

Among the criteria studied are mortality rates, complication rates, and whether the practices associated with best outcomes were consistently followed for all patients.

From the press release

Four WCU grad students win statewide nursing competition

Four graduate students from Western Carolina University’s nurse anesthesia program recently won the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ college anesthesia bowl: Leah Dickerson, a nurse anesthesia student from Chicago; Katrina McDonald of Wausau, Wis.; Jed Godfrey of Asheville; Holly Braswell of Fletcher; and alternate Bryan Haslam, also of Asheville.

From Western North Carolina University News

MedWest offers winter health and fitness program

MedWest Health System is offering “The Winter Meltdown” health and nutrition program beginning this month at the MedWest Health & Fitness Center in Clyde.

During the 12-week course, participants will learn what it takes to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. The program includes an initial fitness assessment, 12 30-minute personal training sessions, individualized weekly workouts, weekly dietary guidance and six educational seminars on nutrition, exercise and behavior change.

From the press release

Asheville to participate in first World Prematurity Day on Thursday, Nov. 17

This year, for the first time, a World Prematurity Day will be observed on November 17th by the March of Dimes. along with organizations in Africa, Europe, and Australia. An estimated 13 million babies are born preterm and of those one million die as a result of their early birth, according to an October 2009 March of Dimes report on the global toll of preterm birth. “We must find answers to this problem that continues to threaten the health of babies,” says Jonathan Bailey, March of Dimes Board Chair.

From the press release

Alzheimer’s Association to host caregiver conference on Nov. 17

The Alzheimer’s Association is pleased to host a Regional Caregiver Education Conference on Thursday, November 17 at Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden, N.C., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Currently there are over 5.4 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2010, 14.9 million family and friends provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

From the press release

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