Wellness roundup: Detention center distributes hygiene products upon release

COMING BACK: Care kits are intended to equip people who’ve recently exited the criminal justice system with basic necessities. Photo courtesy of the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office

People who leave the Buncombe County Detention Facility now receive care kits containing toiletries and personal items upon their departure. The kits include a comb, HotHands hand warmers, sanitizing wipes, a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, sunscreen and lip balm, and come in a reusable bag. The kit also includes contact information for food pantries and health care support.

The detention facility began distributing the kits the week before Christmas, says the Rev. Scott Rogers of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry. The project is a joint effort between the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, ABCCM, Biltmore Church, Elevation Church and Western Carolina Rescue Ministries.

Rogers says the intention behind the kit was to equip people who’ve exited the criminal justice system with “basic necessities that [otherwise] might be shoplifted.”  He called the program part of a larger effort by the Sheriff’s Office to address aspects of release that can impact recidivism. “This is one small step in that direction,” Rogers says.

Medical mentor program accepts applications

The Mountain Area Health Education Center Medical Mentoring Program is accepting applications through Saturday, March 18, for rising high school seniors for the 2023-24 school year.

Students from Black, Indigenous or underrepresented Asian communities who attend Asheville City Schools or Buncombe County Schools and are interested in pursuing a health care profession and have a minimum weighted grade point average of 3.0 are eligible to apply. Students in the program will shadow MAHEC health professionals as well as attend educational lectures. MMP provides 135 credit hours for one semester and is credited as an honors-level course.

The MMP is holding information sessions for students, parents, teachers and school administrators about the program for 4-6 p.m., Wednesdays, Jan. 18, and Feb. 15 at MAHEC. RSVP for information sessions at avl.mx/c97. For more information, contact director of health careers and diversity education Leslie Council at 828-257-4479 or Leslie.Council@mahec.net.

Galen College of Nursing opens

Galen College of Nursing, an affiliate of Mission Health, opened Dec. 15. The college will offer a three-year Bachelor of Science degree, a two-year associate degree in nursing and a licensed practice nurse program that offers an associate degree in nursing bridge option. Galen College of Nursing is a private nursing college with campuses in eight states and online.

Full- and part-time employees of Mission Health may be eligible for up to $5,250 per calendar year in reimbursements for applicable higher education tuition, books and course-related fees at Galen and other schools, according to a press release from Mission spokesperson Nancy Lindell.

The Asheville campus of Galen College of Nursing is at 30 Town Square Blvd., Suite 220, in Biltmore Park. The college offers four enrollments per year. Learn more at galencollege.edu.

Women’s health center opens in Hendersonville

Femwell, a clinic focused on women’s health, opened Monday, Jan. 2, in Hendersonville. Femwell’s founder is Dr. Alyssa Brussee, an occupational therapist.

Available services include pelvic core therapy, perinatal education, postpartum education, pregnancy nutrition counseling and doula support services. Cognitive behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy also are available. The clinic is holding a support group for new moms 10-11 a.m. every Wednesday, hosted by childbirth educator and doula Emma Mang.

Femwell is accepting new clients; it does not bill insurance directly but can provide a “superbill” for clients to pursue reimbursement. For more information, visit femwellwomenshealth.com.

Haywood Street gains behavioral health grant

Haywood Street Respite will receive a grant of more than $500,000 from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and the United Health Foundation, a philanthropic foundation of the United Health Group.

The grant will be used to expand Haywood Street’s medical respite program, which allows homeless adults a short-term place to stay following discharge from the hospital, to include those recovering from behavioral health care.

Haywood Street Respite is one of 130 such programs in the nation and provides three meals a day and transportation to medical appointments. Haywood Street is one of four organizations nationwide to receive a grant for expanding respite care for behavioral health.

Book by WNC doctor posthumously published

The experiences of Charles S. Norburn, a surgeon and general practitioner in Asheville during the 20th century, are the subject of The Cry in the Night, which was published in October.

The book includes stories from Norburn’s years of practice. He served in the Navy during World War I, made house calls throughout WNC while it was still mostly rural and established a hospital in Asheville called the Norburn Hospital and Clinic during the 1920s. Norburn died in 1990.

The Cry in the Night is edited by Lillian N. Alexander, the author’s daughter, and can be purchased at avl.mx/c9u.

Mission relaunches two support groups

Mission Hospital is relaunching two support groups that were put on pause at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

The Asheville aphasia support group, which is for people experiencing aphasia following a stroke or head injury, meets from 10-11 a.m. Fridays, Western Carolina University Building – Room 345 in Biltmore Park Town Square, 28 Schenck Parkway. A free parking deck with elevators is behind the WCU Building or next to P.F. Chang’s restaurant.

The aphasia support group is a collaboration between Mission Health and WCU. For more information, contact Kate Roellgen at the WCU Speech and Hearing Clinic at 828-227-7251 or Mission Hospital RN stroke coordinator Jessica Martin at 828-989-6182.

The stroke survivor and caregiver support group meets 5-6 p.m. the second Wednesday of every month, 1 Hospital Drive, Asheville, fifth floor, room 5205. A free parking deck is at the rear of the building.

For more information, contact Martin at 828-989-6182 or Mission Hospital RN stroke coordinator Melissa Hanrahan at 828-213-8732.

Movers and shakers

  • Billie Breeden joined Buncombe County Adult and Aging Services as a coordinator for Age-Friendly Buncombe initiatives. Prior to joining the county, Breeden was service coordinator and director for congregate nutrition at Council on Aging of Buncombe County.
    Dr. Amal Das retired from Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, a department of Pardee Hospital, on Dec. 31. Das joined the medical staff at Pardee Hospital in 1989 and served as chair of its Department of Surgery from 2004-05.

Mark your calendars

  • Dogwood Health Trust is holding a free, virtual open house about strategic priorities for its health and wellness grant funding at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 10. Members of the community investment team will provide details about the 2023 grant application process and answer questions. Register at avl.mx/c9o.
  • Notworking AVL, a group for people in the healing professions ranging from therapists to acupuncturists to reiki healers, will hold a meetup 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 12, pleb urban winery, 289 Lyman St.
  • Key Autism Services and the Exceptional Children Assistance Center, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives and education of children with disabilities, will hold an informational session for caregivers on how to navigate the individualized education program process. The session will be held 6:30-8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19, Asheville Autism Center, 200 Swannanoa Road. RSVP at avl.mx/c9r.
  • Licensed clinical mental health counselor Julia Derouen of Skipping Stones Counseling is a guest speaker at the new mom support group, Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Femwell, 1903 Asheville Highway, Suite A, Hendersonville. The free discussion will focus on postpartum anxiety and depression.

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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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