Wellness roundup: Acupuncture clinic opens 

HANDS ON: Acupuncturist Autum Kirgan treats a peripheral neuropathy patient with ATP Resonance BioTherapy™. Photo by Justin Mitchell of Digital Visual Lab

South Slope Acupuncture & Wellness, a clinic founded by Autum Kirgan, licensed acupuncturist, opened in February. Her focus is on chronic pain, failed surgery and rheumatoid conditions. In addition to acupuncture, the clinic’s services include dry needling and fertility treatments. South Slope Acupuncture & Wellness is at 141 Asheland Ave., unit 200. For more information visit SouthSlopeAcupuncture.com or call 575-5904.

Autism therapy center opening in June

Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers, a nationwide network, announced the opening of a new center in Asheville in June. This will be Hopebridge’s sixth center in North Carolina; it operates over 100 centers nationwide.

Hopebridge’s program provides intensive behavioral interventions for children ages 15 months to seven years, according to its website. The Asheville center is currently scheduling diagnostic, applied behavior analysis evaluations and other autism services.

Asheville Hopebridge Autism Therapy Center will be located at 200 Ridgefield Ct., suite 204. For more information visit avl.mx/bgr or call 855-324-085.

Give blood, give life

The Blood Connection is hosting several blood drives at hospitals in the region. On Thursday, May 5, The Blood Connection will be at Transylvania Hospital, 260 Hospital Drive, Brevard. It will have a bloodmobile set up in the emergency department parking lot from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. On Monday, May 9,  The Blood Connection will be at Blue Ridge Hospital, 125 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine. The bloodmobile will be in the hospital parking lot from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. On Friday, June 3, The Blood Connection will be at Angel Medical Center, 56 Medical Park Drive, Franklin. The bloodmobiile will be in the parking lot from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. To schedule an appointment at any of these locations, visit TheBloodConnection.org.

Local resources offering second doses of COVID-19 booster

On March 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance regarding second booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to CDC guidelines, adults ages 50 years and older who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least four months after a first booster dose. More information about vaccines and booster doses for this group at avl.mx/bgp.

Additionally, people ages 12 years and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19; eligibility varies based on the person’s age and previous vaccine brand. More information about vaccines and booster doses for this group at avl.mx/bgo.

All COVID-19 vaccines, boosters and second boosters for eligible populations are available at the Buncombe County Health Department immunization clinic, 40 Coxe Ave. The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. COVID-19 vaccines are available on a walk-in basis.

Second booster doses will be available for qualified individuals at the Charles George Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Asheville. All veterans, their spouses and caregivers can receive free COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which is an mRNA vaccine,  is currently available at the Charles George’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic, 1100 Tunnel Road, building 70, room 123. The clinic is open Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. and closed on federal holidays. No appointments are needed, but patients must bring their CDC vaccination card or medication documentation of previous COVID-19 vaccinations.


Welcome aboard

  • All Souls Counseling, a nonprofit offering mental health care for uninsured and underinsured patients, has named ​​Meredith Switzer as executive director. Switzer served as executive director for three months prior to her acceptance of the role. She previously served as executive director of Homeward Bound of WNC.
  • Alex F. Howard will join Dogwood Health Trust as vice president of impact for health and wellness on April 18. Howard will oversee the organization’s support of programs addressing substance use disorder, particularly those that reduce deaths, treat addiction and prevent first use. He most recently was the assistant vice chancellor of student affairs at Appalachian State University, leading the departments of counseling and psychological services, student health services, university recreation and wellness and prevention services.
  • Kaitlyn Breiten has joined Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers, one of the region’s federally-qualified health centers, as its first women’s health nurse practitioner. Breiten is based in AMCHC’s office at 409 Tallulah Road in Robbinsville.
  • Stephanie Bowman, neonatal nurse practitioner, has joined The Baby Place at AdventHealth Hendersonville as a pediatric hospitalist. She was previously a neonatal nurse practitioner at Wake Forest Baptist Health: Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem.
  • Dr. Cristina Ipatii, a board-certified internal medicine physician, has joined the Comprehensive Wound Healing Center at Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville.

Mark your calendars

  • Mission Health hosts a free trauma survivors support group the fourth Thursday of every month. Meetings are online and each one discusses a different topic surrounding trauma. The next group meets April 21, 6-7 p.m. Contact Stephanie Lindsay at stephanie.lindsay@hcahealthcare.com for more information.
  • Haywood Regional Medical Center will host a free skin cancer screening Saturday, April 30, 9:30 a.m.-noon Screenings will take place at The Homestead, 127 Sunset Ridge Rd., Clyde. Walk-ins are welcome, but RSVPs are encouraged. Register at avl.mx/bgl
  • Hendersonville Family YMCA is holding Healthy Kids Day Saturday, April 30. The free event will include youth class demonstrations, healthy snacks and more fun events. Check avl.mx/bgm for more details closer to the event.
  • Asheville’s Parks and Recreation is holding two free classes on healthy Latin cooking on Thursday, June 16 and Thursday, Aug. 25. Both classes will be 5:30-7 p.m. at Burton Street Community Center, 134 Burton St. For more information and to register, visit avl.mx/bgs.

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About Jessica Wakeman
Jessica Wakeman is an Asheville-based reporter for Mountain Xpress. She has been published in Rolling Stone, Glamour, New York magazine's The Cut, Bustle and many other publications. She was raised in Connecticut and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from New York University. Follow me @jessicawakeman

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