Blue Ridge landscape

From NC Health News: Six Republican counties in WNC pledged their support for Medicaid expansion. What’s changed?

For months, the CEO of the Cherokee Indian Hospital has quietly traveled to county commission boards throughout the western part of the state, giving presentations on the benefits of Medicaid expansion. As local leaders throughout the conservative region show support for the policy, will they change the minds of state Republicans?

Q&A with Katherine de Vos Devine, a lawyer who ‘speaks artist’

Originally from North Carolina, Katherine de Vos Devine found herself uprooted at a young age when her father moved the family to New York City for a new job. In many ways, this transplant shaped Devine’s life. “I grew up in a diverse and bohemian apartment building, surrounded by actors, dancers, artists and elderly Ziegfeld […]

Mental health falters during pandemic

Briefly, it seemed like the coronavirus pandemic had turned a corner. “People were starting to feel a little bit optimistic this summer,” says Ariel Shumaker, an Asheville therapist in private practice, about COVID-19. “And now, it’s not feeling optimistic.” Fatigue, sadness, anxiety, rage, fear, exhaustion — these are the emotions area behavioral health professionals report […]

Q&A with Erica Abrams Locklear, professor of English at UNCA

Update, Sept. 6, 2021: This piece was updated to reflect that Natasha Tretheway’s book Native Guard is a collection of poetry. Growing up in Leicester, Erica Abrams Locklear imagined becoming a pediatrician one day. She loved to read, though, and remembers enjoying Southern authors Jill McCorkle and Clyde Edgerton. But Abrams Locklear didn’t become aware […]

Scott Rogers of ABCCM

Business in brief: A-B Tech announces credential­ing program with ABCCM

“ABCCM knows that people who are houseless or experiencing homelessness are smart, motivated and often courageous persons who want the skills that lead to careers,” the Rev. Scott Rogers, the nonprofit’s executive director, wrote in a statement to Xpress. “They want to earn enough income to rent or buy a home close to their work and school for their children.”

Harriet Tubman statue comes to Sylva

Western North Carolina is grappling with a controversial  part of its history: monuments erected in commemoration of Confederate figures. In May, after months of debate and consideration by a specially appointed task force, Asheville began removing the Vance Monument, an obelisk honoring the late Confederate military officer and former Gov. Zebulon Baird Vance. And in […]

Wellness in brief: Lawsuit alleges Mission Health monopoly

Lawsuit alleges Mission Health monopoly Six residents of Western North Carolina filed a class-action lawsuit against HCA Healthcare and Mission Health System on Aug. 10, alleging restraint of trade and unlawful monopolization. The plaintiffs say they have paid higher health insurance premiums, copays and deductibles than have residents of surrounding areas due to Mission’s ability […]

Blue Cross NC expands transgende­r health care coverage

Facial feminization surgery and voice lessons for transgender people are now covered by the largest health insurance provider in the state. On July 1, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina updated its policy to recognize these gender-affirming health care procedures as medically necessary. The national nonprofit Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund led […]

Where credit is due

Western North Carolina residents who want to change the health insurance they receive through the Affordable Care Act, or who want to sign up for a plan through the health insurance marketplace, can do so during a special enrollment period ending Sunday, Aug. 15. And local nonprofits urge people to explore their options for potentially […]

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