Dr. Jennifer Mullendore is currently the medical director for Buncombe County Health and Human Services and a member of the Western Carolina Medical Society.

Buncombe County ranks lowest for immunizations in NC

Buncombe County usually ranks high in the state for healthy behaviors and quality medical care. Unfortunately there is one area where we are dead last: immunizations. The percent of Buncombe County kindergarteners who have not received all their required immunizations is about five times higher than the North Carolina average. Most of these children’s parents claimed a non-medical reason for not vaccinating their children. Our goal at Buncombe County Health and Human Services is to assure that parents and our community understand the benefits of immunizations.

An interfaith program will educate attendees on end-of-life planning on Monday, May 5.

In the end

Kristin Scott’s mother had strong preferences about her own medical care as she neared the end of her life. She was able to make those wishes clear in an advance care directive, sometimes called a living will. When she passed away two years ago, Scott, facilitator for the WNC Health Network, says, “It was so much easier for us knowing what she wanted.”

JUICE FEAST: During a five-day juice cleanse, the body gets all the nutrients it needs and can get rid of what it doesn't need, according to Brian Lumb of Nourish & Flourish. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Spring cleaning

Spring is a time of upward movement as wild edibles begin to push up from the ground: violets, chickweed, ramps, dandelions and other greens. Spring is rising, and the changing of the season, from cold to warm to hot, is the appropriate time for cleansing and renewal of the body, says Uma Sawicki, an Ayurvedic practitioner at Living Alchemy in Weaverville.

Photo by Taylor Johnson

Watch and learn: Playback Theatre creates community healing

“Let’s watch.” These words commence the evening’s performance at Playback Theatre. Actors come forward, improvising as they go to illustrate a story. Audience members will likely resonate with the unfolding tale because it is, after all, their story. Within this theatrical environment, actors and audience participate in a night of theater and storytelling that can […]

WELLNESS_herbalist

Herb party

The American Herbalist Guild may be celebrating its 25th anniversary with its Silver Jubilee event, but the nonprofit moved its headquarters to Asheville from Boston just over a year ago. The organization is a hub for educational resources for herb enthusiasts, from providing herb school listings to offering training webinars to promoting professionalism through a […]

ACA health insurance still available for some locals

While the sign-up deadline for health care under the Affordable Care Act passed March 31, some can still sign up, according to an attorney with one of the local nonprofits that has assisted WNC residents in doing so. People who dealt with technical difficulties or have a major life change can still get healthcare under the ACA. Also, due to North Carolina’s government refusing to expand Medicaid, many locals will not face a penalty for not having insurance.

INTO THE WILD: In a wilderness setting, students have fewer distractions and the opportunity to detach from technology, says Shawn Farrell, executive director of SUWS of the Carolinas. “The result,” he says, “is that they are able to sit with themselves and begin to ask themselves who they are, what they want to be, and what they want to do differently.”

Wilderness works

Wilderness therapy “gave me my son back — and better,” says Stephen Mace. His son, Christian, age 15, participated in the wilderness program at SUWS of the Carolinas in Old Fort last year. SUWS is one of several local and regional organizations that use wilderness therapy. Sarah “Salli” Lewis, an Asheville-based clinical scientist, has conducted several […]

Rebuilding Dreams-attachment0

Rebuilding Dreams

Roxann Colwell knows the challenges of raising a child with special needs firsthand. Colwell, who has a 30-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, created the Family Support Network of Western North Carolina 15 years ago as a parent-to-parent support and mentoring program for caregivers of children with special needs. The organization offers a community resource guide, hosts support groups for families and establishes support networks for parents whose children have received similar diagnoses. From July 2012 to July 2013 the Family Support Network served 901 families.

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 […]

A new kind of CSA: Community Supported Apothecary-attachment0

A new kind of CSA: Community Supported Apothecary

As cold and flu season lingers on, herbal medicine is “definitely a frontline treatment,” says Ceara Foley, director of the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism (ASHH). Jamie Sparks, owner and director of Herban Farmacy, agrees, and shares what she has been offering customers in her herbal CSA. Both women tout the healing powers of herbs for winter wellness and offer different suggestions for herbal remedies.