John Murphy breaks ground in the garden with Hendersonville sophomores as part of Bullington Garden’s horticultural therapy program. Photo by Nathan Metcalf

Row by row

Each week, horticultural therapist April Peterson volunteers in a classroom of students with intensive special needs at Fairview Elementary School. As a part of the therapy program, students plant seeds, write in their nature journals, water the outdoor gardens and more. “It’s a break for them,” says Peterson. “It’s something that takes the stress out […]

Caty Carlin is the co-founder of the Center for Arts in Medicine in Asheville.

Arts in medicine summit

Launched by Caty Carlin and Connie Schrader of the Asheville Center for Arts and Medicine, the Asheville Arts in Medicine Summit is open to artists, healthcare providers and anyone interested in exploring the transformative power of art. The three-day conference takes place Thursday through Saturday, March 6-8, at the Laurel Forum and Karpen Hall at […]

Dr. Leah Swann, on a hike with her 7-month-old child, takes a break to breast-feed. courtesy of Leah Swann

The right to pump

About two or three times a day, many women take a break from their jobs to fulfill another duty — not as workers, but as mothers. But working moms who choose to breast-feed their children after returning to work are often challenged with finding time and space to pump in the workplace. Physician Leah Swann […]

Co-luminate core team members gather in the new multi-use space. From left to right: Erica Mueller, Michael Hurd, Karin Petersen, Luz Rosengren, Reve Shannon, Aaron Maret and BJ Harden Jones. Erica Mueller

Co-working, co-luminating

Walking into co-luminate — the small, downtown community space tucked away behind Laurey’s Catering and next to Go Yoga — is like entering a friend’s cozy living room, complete with warm lighting, tables, chairs, floor seats, Persian carpets and pillows. Unlike a friend’s living room, however, you’ll notice people scattered around, working independently on their […]

What we do matters

Too many people are faced with difficult decisions every day — whether to pay for rent or food, for medicine or heat. Helping children and adults access services that support basic needs such as food, medical care, quality child care and jobs creates a stronger, safer and healthier community for us all.  Buncombe County Health […]

Employers who respond to Buncombe County’s workplace wellness survey by March 28 will be entered to win a free team registration for the 2014 Chamber Challenge 5K.

How healthy is your workplace?

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Mission Health are working together to find out what Buncombe County workplaces are doing to support employee health. They will be asking local businesses — large and small — about their workplace wellness practices and policies through a survey. We spend a large portion of our week at […]

Around 4,500 packs are delivered to children in need each week thanks to the MANNA Packs for Kids program. Haley Steinhardt

Feeding our future

It's impossible to discuss the health of a community without also discussing the food we eat. And when it comes to making healthy food more widely available for the underserved and at-risk members of our community, MANNA FoodBank plays a significant role. The local nonprofit exemplifies caring and compassion with programs like MANNA Packs for […]

Mary Jo Deck, Smart Start’s Shape N.C. community engagement specialist, hosts a cooking class for early educators. Courtesy of Smart Start of Buncombe County

Health matters

What would it take for us to be the healthiest, safest community in the nation? Research tells us that health and safety are shaped by the communities we live in and by our individual behaviors. In other words, health does not start at the doctor’s office. It is created all around us — where we […]

Buncombe County Health and Human Services nurse, Diane Frankel, with a family enrolled in Nurse Family Partnership program.

A bright start

Our experiences in early childhood shape our lives. When children are exposed to severe, frequent stress it shapes their future health and safety. Research tells us that when a child is exposed to stressful experiences such as domestic violence and substance abuse, it can rewire their body and brain. In Health and Human Services in […]

Sylvia van Meerten is organizing Empower Autism’s first conference, Autism and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Autism and happiness

When it comes to services for children and adults with autism, Asheville offers an array of resources from vocational programs to mentoring to support for families. However, according to Sylvia van Meerten, founder of Empower Autism, there is a gap when it comes to teaching individuals on the autism spectrum how to be happy. “I […]

Sign of the times-attachment0

Sign of the times

It was one of her first assignments, and Rebecca Poulter was nervous. “When you’re first starting out, it’s like, ‘How can I do this and make this clear?’” she remembers. Poulter was asked to attend a Boy Scout meeting and interpret for a young boy who was deaf. She remembers feeling surprised when one of the Scout leaders made a joke. Everyone was laughing — including the boy — thanks to Poulter’s interpreting. “He got it and laughed along with everybody else,” she says. “He wasn’t left behind.” 

Relief, naturally-attachment0

Relief, naturally

Interstitial cystitis (or IC) is a painful bladder disease that affects up to 20 percent of the population. For many years, very little was known about what caused it or how to treat it. Thankfully, pioneers such as former Asheville resident Diana Brady have worked to change that. After 30 years of struggling with IC […]