WNC wellness review: The Mission COPA debate continues, local doc honored, and Rep. Giffords in town

Keep patients in mind, some speakers tell legislative committee at public meeting

For three hours on the evening of Oct. 20, a litany of area residents, doctors, health-care professionals and a few patients spoke out about competition and choice, giving a state legislative committee plenty to think about.

The evening’s meeting was one of several being held by the recently convened North Carolina House Select Committee on Certificate of Need and Related Hospital Issues. Held at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, the committee meeting featured presentations by Mission Health System, Park Ridge Health and the WNC Community Healthcare Initiative (which includes Park Ridge, 21st Century Oncology and HOPE Cancer Center physician Dr. Nathan Williams).

From Mountain Xpress

Mission Health official resigns after remarks cause outrage

A Mission Health spokeswoman resigned Friday after coming under fire for referring to “lots of hillbillies” living in Western North Carolina and describing an encounter with a Haywood County woman clearly “not investing in dental care.”

Janet Moore, vice president of marketing at Mission, made the comments during an Arizona marketing conference presentation in which she also said Mission held a “monopoly” and was a “500-pound gorilla” in mountain health care.

From the Citizen-Times

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords visits Asheville for two weeks of rehabilitation therapy

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords arrived in North Carolina on Sunday to undergo “intensive” rehabilitation as she continues her recovery from being shot in the head in a mass shooting in January, her office said.

The two-week trip to Asheville has been in the works for several months, according to her office. Her therapy sessions will begin Monday and last until November 4, according to her office.

From CNN

DOJ report features Candler home, problems with housing mentally ill

Although Canterbury Hills is a licensed adult care home with a capacity for 99 elderly or disabled residents, the home houses 90 to 95 mentally ill North Carolinians. It is one of the largest private facilities to house the mentally ill in the state, he said. And Wright had nothing to hide.

But in in its public letter to the state, the U.S. Department of Justice said [PDF] the state chronically mishandled the placement of mental patients in adult care homes, while inappropriately labeling adult care homes as “community settings” for the mentally ill.

From Carolina Public Press

Doctor gives first-hand update on local teenager whose hand he re-attached

A high-speed motor vehicle accident resulted in multiple life-threatening injuries for a local teenager. The most serious: a severed right hand.

Starting with the retrieval of the hand by a kind stranger and ending with the reattachment by surgeon Dr. Christopher Lechner of Carolina Hand and Sports Medicine, the serious injuries Kyra Arias received from that accident are beginning to mend.

Here Dr. Lechner offers a first-person update on Kyra:

She was very determined to move those fingers and brought them almost one third of the way into the palm which is remarkable for three weeks post-operative.

From the Mission Health Blog

Local M.D. receives prestigious honor, only third person to receive it

The North Carolina Society of Anesthesiologists (NCSA) honored Frank H. Moretz, MD, with the Bertram Watts Coffer/NCSA Distinguished Service Award at its annual meeting held September 17, 2011 at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Dr. Moretz is the third person to receive this prestigious honor.

After completing his education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and serving in the United States Air Force, Dr. Moretz joined the Mission Hospital medical staff and Asheville Anesthesia Associates in 1981. For thirty years, Dr. Moretz has lent his talents to bettering patients’ lives.

From the press release

A-B Tech’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter sponsors Nov. 30 screening of “Neurotypical” autism documentary

A-B Tech’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is sponsoring a screening of “Neurotypical,” a documentary about autism from the perspective of autistics, at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30 in Ferguson Auditorium on the College’s Asheville campus. A panel discussion will follow the film.

General admission is $5 at the door and free for students with an A-B Tech ID card. Proceeds will benefit the Asheville TEACCH Center scholarship fund. The TEACCH center serves individuals with autism in Western North Carolina.

From the press release

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