District attorney candidates address CIBO

Security, crime and justice took center stage during a  Council of Independent Business Owners breakfast April 1. The Asheville-based trade group’s meeting served as a forum for the three Democratic Buncombe County district attorney candidates: current DA Todd Williams, prosecutor and former Assistant DA Doug Edwards and assistant public defender Courtney Booth. (Attorney Joe Bowman […]

How state law restricts WNC residents’ access to abortion

Although abortion is technically legal in the U.S., access varies widely. State laws dictate which specific procedures are allowed, which health care providers can perform them and even who can get an abortion. Access is also shaped by how many facilities there are in a given area that are capable of providing this kind of […]

Wellness roundup: Birth control no longer requires a prescripti­on in NC

Pharmacists in North Carolina can now dispense and administer certain medications, including some forms of hormonal birth control, without a prescription, according to a state law that went into effect Feb. 1. Both self-administered oral contraception (birth control pills) and transdermal contraception (birth control patches) are available. House Bill 96 also gives immunizing pharmacists expanded […]

Q&A with Fabrice Julien, professor of health communicat­ion at UNC Asheville

Public health is the science of improving health and safety within communities. Fabrice Julien, assistant professor of health and wellness at UNC Asheville, knows that it’s also an art. Julien teaches health communication and the theory of health promotion at UNCA. He thinks a lot about how to break through medical distrust and skepticism, as […]

Q&A with Dr. Tiffany Sauls, psychiatri­st providing psychedelic-assisted psychother­apy

Medical school did not teach Dr. Tiffany Sauls anything about psychedelics. “Not at all, other than to stay away,” she says with a laugh. But as she moved into her career as a psychiatrist, Sauls began to wonder about effective alternatives to exclusively treating mental health symptoms with pharmaceuticals. Over time, she became interested in […]

Local volunteers provide ‘emotional first aid’ for tragedy victims

Deaths, injuries and fires are all in a day’s work for emergency service workers. They may also be part of a shift for Trauma Intervention Programs of WNC volunteers, who provide emotional first aid to family, friends and bystanders after traumatic events. This is the message that Hendersonville Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Justin Ward […]

Community members address need for homeless shelter space

Asheville is gearing up to conduct its annual Point-in-Time count of unhoused community members Tuesday-Wednesday, Jan. 25-26. But even without the official numbers, which are typically released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in June, it’s clear that the city is facing a new reckoning around homelessness. The Asheville Police Department has […]

Local resources support WNC’s first-generation college students

In April, Tanya Ledford left a 22-year-long education career teaching history and English at public schools in Henderson and Polk counties. But Ledford’s new job hasn’t taken her far from the classroom. She is now assisting Hispanic high school students, many of them the first in their family to seek a  college education, through the […]

Charles George VA leads virtual reality use for veterans

Caitlin Rawlins, innovation specialist for the Western North Carolina Veteran Affairs Health Care System, remembers vividly the first time that a patient at the Charles George Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center long-term care facility used virtual reality. “She had cognitive impairment, a history of needing stays on our inpatient psychiatric ward because of agitation […]

Asheville Humane Society hosts low-cost vaccine clinic Jan. 16

Press release from Asheville Humane Society We are partnering with Appalachian Animal Hospital to provide low-cost pet vaccines on Sunday, January 16! Join us from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at River Ridge Shopping Center, 800 Fairview Rd (behind Aarons). Cat and dog vaccines will range from $10-$15, and we will also have free supplies available […]