WALKING THE WALK: Ellen Stallings, left, community wellness educator at Park Ridge Health, and
Katherine Schuen, wellness manager, walk a trail together  during a 15-minute wellness break at work. Photo courtesy of Hal Alexander of Park Ridge Health

WNC employers create healthy workplace options

Workplace health initiatives are cropping up in Western North Carolina. Large hospital systems such as Mission Health and Park Ridge, as well as business owners and organizations like the Western North Carolina Medical Society, are starting to think “inside” the box: They’re creating in-house wellness programs that help employees lose weight, lower stress, get more exercise […]

BREAKING BARRIERS: Managed care organization Smoky Mountain LME/MCO and several regional health care providers are working to bring an integrated care model to WNC, beginning with a comprehensive care center at 356 Biltmore Avenue. Photo courtesy of Smoky Mountain LME/CMO.

No wrong doors: Integrated health care program offers one-stop solutions

Unless you’ve just emerged from the wilderness after several decades, chances are you’ve heard some of the roiling discussions going on across the country concerning the current state of the health care system. Whether it’s presidential candidates working on a policy speech or an individual making home budgeting decisions, implementing a comprehensive health care reform […]

LIFELINES: A standard Naloxone kit (pictured here) can mean the difference between life and death during an overdose. The drug has had great success in preventing overdose fatalities in North Carolina. Photo courtesy Hadley Gustafson.

Update: To the brink and back: Opioid abuse and treatment in WNC

Amid escalating use and abuse of opioids nationwide, the number of local narcotics-related overdoses has increased rapidly in recent years. The drug naloxone can temporarily suspend those drugs’ effects, and the Asheville metropolitan area leads the state in confirmed cases of opioid overdose reversal, according to the N.C. Harm Reduction Coalition.

Nearly $500,000 raised to expand MAMA services-attachment0

Nearly $500,000 raised to expand MAMA services

In emergency situations where every second counts, the discovery made thousands of years ago by the Greek mathematician Archimedes still holds true: The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. However, that can be difficult to find in the winding mountain roads of Western North Carolina — well, unless you’re airborne. (Photo courtesy of Mountain Area Medical Airlift)

Vital signs: Taking Buncombe County’s pulse-attachment0

Vital signs: Taking Buncombe County’s pulse

In less than 10 minutes, a doctor or nurse can get a read on a patient’s overall health and well-being just by checking a few key indicators: pulse, blood pressure, temperature and respiration rate. But how do you assess an entire community’s vital signs? And if you don’t, how will you know what the biggest problems are and how best to allocate scarce resources? (cover design by Emily Busey)

Mission opens new center to help blind, visually impaired-attachment0

Mission opens new center to help blind, visually impaired

With an oven, microwave, refrigerator and stove, the training kitchen inside of Mission Health’s recently opened Low Vision Center at Asheville’s Industries for the Blind looks no different from any other kitchen. However, for Tony West, he sees the kitchen differently — primarily through smell and touch. (Above, Tony West works at Industries for the Blind in Asheville. Photo by Caitlin Byrd)

Audits show Mission Health’s compliance with COPA

Released today, audits from the past 5 years show Mission Health has complied fully with regulations outlined in the state-issued Certificate of Public Advantage. Issued by the state in 1995, the COPA allowed Mission to merge with St. Josephs Hospital — if Mission agreed to state regulation. Voluntarily, Mission agreed and has been in the agreement ever since. However, earlier this year, Mission Health urged the House Select Committee on the Certificate of Need Process and Hospital Issues to reconsider.

Mission Health to open new comprehensive care practice, first of many-attachment0

Mission Health to open new comprehens­ive care practice, first of many

There are no signs up outside of the two-story building yet, but Senior Vice President of Government and Community Relations for Mission Health Rowena Buffet Timms says there’s no question about it: Mission Health will bring a new family care facility to the Enka/Candler area within the coming months. Named Mission My Care Plus, the 11,000-square-foot facility features 15 patient exam rooms, two medical procedure suites, a full pharmacy, an X-ray machine and a physical therapy suite.  (Floor plan image courtesy of Mission Health).