CrossFit for all abilities, health happenings, AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to Asheville

WORKING IT OUT: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are invited to participate in adaptive CrossFit classes held every Wednesday at 3 p.m. at South Slope CrossFit at 217 Coxe Ave. Photo courtesy of Buncombe County Recreation Services

CrossFit opportunity available

Aspiring athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities can take advantage of free CrossFit classes each Wednesday at 3 p.m. at South Slope CrossFit, 217 Coxe Ave., Asheville.

The program is a partnership of Buncombe County Recreation Services, Special Olympics of Buncombe County and South Slope CrossFit. According to a press release, “The Adaptive Athlete Program features inclusionary workouts tailored to develop strength, mobility and body awareness through functional movement.”

“CrossFit, interval training and fitness in general has seen huge jumps in participation over the past several years,” says Karla Furnari of Buncombe County Recreation Services. Since the program’s inception in October, a core group of about six athletes with a variety of abilities and challenges have made “incredible” progress, she reports. Participants have made gains in strength, skills and self-confidence.

Members of South Slope CrossFit have also gotten into the spirit of the program, supporting the new athletes and providing encouragement, Furnari says.

Coaches have received training in inclusive workout techniques, including strategies for adapting individual movements and entire workouts. Each workout includes a warmup and cool down with about 40 minutes of a total body workout alongside members of the CrossFit community. “Our Adaptive CrossFit program is designed to improve the functional capacity of our athletes inside and outside of the gym regardless of skill level, ability or adaptation,” says Julie Hansell, South Slope CrossFit’s head adaptive coach.

Participants are encouraged to RSVP on Facebook at

Health happenings

  • In conjunction with Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November, Dr. Scott Skibo, pulmonologist with Haywood Regional Medical Center, will present information about early detection, diagnosis and treatment of the disease 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center, 75 Leroy George Drive, Clyde. To attend the free program, which includes dinner, call 800-424-3627. A response is required to attend.
  • Local hemp processor and manufacturer Hemp Magik will host a grand opening celebration for its new retail location 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, 507 Elk Park Drive, Asheville. The grand opening will feature Rolled And Roasted’s new CBD-infused ice cream and coffee with Hemp Magik’s sublingual oil. Free samples, sound healing and CBD massage will be among the offerings at the event.
  • During the month of November, Asheville Yoga Center is raising food items and funds for MANNA FoodBank. Food bins will be available for food item donations in AYC’s Studio and Boutique until the end of the month. On Thursday, Nov. 29, 10 percent of all drop-in and community class sales will be donated to MANNA FoodBank. In addition, AYC will make a direct donation of $250. 

Haywood Regional announces new use for The Homestead property

Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde announced that its residential hospice and palliative care facility, The Homestead on Sunset Ridge Road, will be renovated to serve as a center for infusion services, sleep and wound care in early 2019.

“This building was gifted to our hospital [in 2012] with the direction that it be used to serve patient care needs for our community. With the changes planned, we will be fulfilling this promise in new ways,” said Rod Harkleroad, CEO of HRMC, in a press release.

As part of the renovations planned for the building, hospice services currently offered at The Homestead will be moved to HRMC’s main hospital building by the end of 2018. At that time, renovations on The Homestead will transform the building into an infusion center, a four-bed sleep center and a wound care center with a hyperbaric chamber. The expansion of services will allow The Homestead to serve as many as 40 patients each day, up from its current six-patient capacity.

HRMC anticipates that the renovations will take approximately six months and that the new center will bring additional clinical and support staff jobs to Haywood County.

On the job

  • VELMALIA MATTHEWS-SMITH: Dr. Vel, as she prefers to be called, was named medical director for Park Ridge Health Cancer Services. Photo courtesy of Park Ridge Health

    Dr. Velmalia Matthews-Smith joined Park Ridge Health Cancer Services as medical director. Matthews-Smith is a Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center physician who is part of a collaborative care effort with Park Ridge Health. She will spearhead the Park Ridge Health Cancer Program, which integrates the clinical expertise and scientific research of Wake Forest Baptist’s internationally recognized oncologists with the needs of patients in Western North Carolina.

  • Leslie McCrory was named executive director of All Souls Counseling Center. McCrory has worked for 30 years in Asheville in the field of mental health and substance-use services in direct care as a therapist and in supervision, education, teaching, training and management.
  • Dr. Ginna Priola of Mission Hospital has joined The SebastianStrong Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board.  She will help educate the foundation’s board of directors and take part in finding and evaluating pediatric cancer research proposals. Dr. Priola is a clinical pediatric hematologist/oncologist and director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program at Mission Children’s Hospital and SECU Cancer Center.
  • Michelle Webb, chief nursing officer of Four Seasons Compassion for Life, was recently elected to the board of directors for the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, a national professional organization representing hospice and palliative nursing as a specialty.

AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to Asheville

LABOR OF LOVE: The Western North Carolina AIDS Project will present portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt Monday, Nov. 26-Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway, Asheville. Photo courtesy of WNCAP

The Western North Carolina AIDS Project will present portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 26, and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27-Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway, Asheville. Admission is free.

According to a press release, the WNCAP exhibit will include 20 blocks, each made up of eight or more individual panels. The blocks and panels pay tribute to those who died from AIDS-related causes, and many memorialize people from WNC.

WNCAP is seeking volunteer exhibit hosts. To sign up for a three-hour shift, email or call 828-252-7489 ext. 315.

Kudos and honors

  • On Oct. 3, the Department of Veterans Affairs released its end of fiscal year 2018 hospital star ratings, which evaluate care delivery at VA medical centers. Charles George VAMC returned to the five-star rating it held for two years prior to the 2017 rating. In addition, the medical center went from being ranked 27th to second among 130 acute-care VA hospitals in the nation.
  • Dr. Chris DeRienzo, chief quality officer for Mission Health, is among Modern Healthcare’s 2018 class of Up and Comers. The publication annually honors emerging leaders who are 40 years of age or younger and who have made significant contributions in the areas of health care administration, management or policy early in their careers.
  • Marche’ Tucker of the Pardee Center for Joint Replacement has been named PeriAnesthesia Nurse of the Year by the N.C. Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. Tucker recently celebrated her 30th anniversary with Pardee.
  • The Haywood Healthcare Foundation established the Bennie R. Sharpton Nursing Scholarship honoring the physician for his work in surgery and patient care for more than 30 years in Haywood County. The $12,000 scholarship will be awarded annually to a Haywood County nursing student pursuing an Associate Degree in Nursing at Haywood Community College and will include funding for tuition and expenses. Scholarship application inquiries may be directed to Tom Jones at 828-565-4170 or
  • Four Mission Health nurses were selected for this year’s list of Great 100 Nurses of North Carolina: Barbara McElroy, Joelle Cleveland, Kathleen Guyette and Jamie Staton.





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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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4 thoughts on “CrossFit for all abilities, health happenings, AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to Asheville

  1. jason

    Is crossfit still a thing? I figured by now people have lost interest and moved on to something else.

    • Enlightened Enigma

      CrossFit is a major thing, even around here with all the lazy needle freaks, addicts, the hopelessly enabled, etc. CrossFit is badass but Golds suits my needs once or twice a day!

    • Susie-Danzen

      Yes! Anyplace where there’s an old vacant gas station is a potential Crossfit location.

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