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?

Classical Scholars classroom

Some local schools reject COVID advice from health officials

Xpress has identified at least seven local K-12 institutions that are not requiring all students to wear masks as recommended by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services StrongSchoolsNC toolkit and county public health leaders. Some have rejected other coronavirus measures as well, including isolating individuals with COVID-19 and recommending vaccinations.

Celebration of Isaac Dickson solar system

Green in brief: Isaac Dickson solar system goes online

Six years in the making, a 300 kilowatt-hour solar array at Asheville’s Isaac Dickson Elementary School was officially dedicated Sept. 24. The $428,000 project is expected to save the school over $1.3 million in utilities costs over its 30-year operational lifespan.

Rock climber at the Chimney Rock Village Boulders

New climbing spots expand the sport in WNC

The Carolina Climbers Coalition is helping to open two new areas later this year: the McKinney Gap Boulders in Burnsville and Chimney Rock Village Boulders in Chimney Rock. The new spots, says CCC Executive Director Mike Reardon, further his organization’s goal of conserving the natural environment, promoting safe climbing and preserving access to areas in the Carolinas.

Carol Stefaniak

Wellness in brief: Pardee expands monoclonal antibody infusion clinic

From February through early August, the Emergency Department at Pardee administered 400 infusions of the Regeneron antibody therapy, says chief nursing officer Carol Stefaniak. But following the infusion clinic’s relocation to an outpatient facility in Hendersonville Aug. 11, another 350 infusions were administered, reflecting high demand for the drug.

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 Craig LeHoullier­, tomato expert

Craig LeHoullier is consumed by tomatoes. He has written two books about growing them: Epic Tomatoes and Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales: Easy Planting, Less Weeding, Early Harvests. He lectures about tomatoes at gardening conferences. He has been the Seed Savers Exchange tomato adviser for 30 years.  He and his wife, Sue Angus-LeHoullier, founded Tomatopalooza, a tasting event […]

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 […]