Health roundup: Film highlights uninsured WNC residents

IN THE GAP: Emma Childs of Fairview, appears in Left Behind: Health and Hope in North Carolina, a documentary film about falling within the Medicaid coverage gap and living without health insurance in North Carolina. Richard Horodyski of Creston is also featured in the film. Photo courtesy of American Cancer Society

A new documentary film produced by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s Medicaid Covers Us campaign highlights two Western North Carolina residents who lack access to health insurance.

Richard Horodyski, a resident of Creston (which lies north of Boone) says, “It’s a hard place to be, to know you can’t get medical care and afford it.” Horodyski and his wife, Vickie, own and work on their family farm. According to the film website, “They adopted two children and for years were therapeutic foster parents. Vickie recently became eligible for Medicare, but Richard is uninsured. With Richard’s long family history of heart disease and heart attacks, this makes them nervous for their future.”

Emma Childs of Fairview says of her work on an organic farm, “I help feed my community, but that means I’m not able to afford health care.” The farm doesn’t offer health insurance, and Childs makes too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to receive a subsidy under the Affordable Care Act. 

Left Behind: Health and Hope in North Carolina premiered on Jan. 30 in Raleigh. The film can be viewed online at

While Democrats in the N.C. General Assembly and Gov. Roy Cooper have advocated for expanding Medicaid to cover people like Horodyski and Childs, state Republicans have opposed the move, citing concerns that federal financial support for the program could shrink in the future and that current Medicaid recipients could face increased competition for care if a large number of people were added to the program, among other issues.

Happenings at AdventHealth Hendersonville 

AdventHealth Hendersonville announced several news items during the past month, including:

  • The system received an overall five-star rating in quality from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the latest hospital performance report released by the federal agency, placing it in the top 9% of hospitals nationally for quality and patient safety. Mission Hospital in Asheville also received an overall five-star rating. For more information, see
  • Jimm Bunch, AdventHealth Hendersonville’s president and CEO, will retire at the end of March. He has been with the system for over 30 years, serving in his current role since 2006. AdventHealth has begun the search for a successor.
  • AdventHealth Hendersonville opened its first urgent care center, AdventHealth Centra Care Arden, at 436 Airport Road on Jan. 28.
  • Dr. Brian Carey merged his practice with the AdventHealth Medical Group. From his offices on Lynn Road in Tryon, he and his team now operate as AdventHealth Medical Group Urgent and Family Care at Tryon.
  • Country Clinic Family Practice will become AdventHealth Medical Group Family Medicine at Etowah. Physician Assistant Shann Davis and his team will continue to occupy office space on Etowah School Road.
  • Dr. Rebecca Roques-Davis joined a team of cancer care specialists at AdventHealth Cancer Services’ Hematology Oncology Infusion Services Haywood in Clyde.
  • Dr. Nicole Groves joined AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics at Medical Office Building in Hendersonville.
  • The AdventHealth Hendersonville Foundation added nine new members to its board of directors: Rachel Balson, Chick-fil-A; Vicki Banks, Biltmore Estate; J. Scott Benyon, community volunteer; Adriana Chavela, founder, Hola Carolina; Jill R. Cody, Keller Williams; Donna Gibbs, Summit Wellness Centers; Dr. William Frank McKemie, AdventHealth Hendersonville; Lisa Parham, Champion Credit Union; and Rickey E. Parker, Kimberly-Clark Corp. 

Listening for your health

Lake Toxaway-based Skyterra Wellness Retreat announced the release of “Inspired Intentions,” a weekly podcast “dedicated to helping listeners find simple and actionable ways to make positive life changes with tips for building new habits and improving health,” according to the retreat center.

Jeffrey Ford, Skyterra executive director and podcast co-host, said, “We cut through the unrealistic noise on diets and fitness and show you how healthy living fits seamlessly into your already busy life.” 

New episodes are released on Mondays and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Spotify and TuneIn by searching for the podcast’s title. 

Remembering loved ones

A celebration of life in remembrance of those who died at Hendersonville’s Pardee Hospital in 2019 will take place on Sunday, March 1, at 3 p.m. in the Pardee orientation classroom, located on the ground floor. 

Those in attendance may say a few words about their loved one, while those who cannot attend may choose to have their loved one’s name read by the chaplain. For more information and to register by Thursday, Feb. 27, call 828-696-1168. 

Your Body in Balance discussed March 16

Nutrition researcher Dr. Neal Barnard will speak about his new book, Your Body in Balance, in Asheville on Monday, March 16, 7-8:30 p.m. at The Collider, 1 Haywood St.

According to a press release, Barnard will “share the science behind how food and hormones play a powerful role in fertility and menopause, sex-hormone related cancers, balancing the thyroid, Type 2 diabetes and regulating metabolism.”

Released Feb. 4, the book includes stories of people who have overcome health conditions using diet changes, as well as practical tips and recipes.

Haywood County Diabetes Prevention Program

A lifestyle change program that aims to prevent Type 2 diabetes will begin on Tuesday, March 17, at the Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency. The 24 weekly sessions, held 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, will provide participants information and tools to maintain a healthy weight, prepare and eat healthy means and be physically active.

Thanks to a grant administered by N.C. State University, the program is free and includes incentives like yoga mats, resistance bands and cookbooks for those who complete it. The agency can also “offer gas cards or childcare to individuals experiencing barriers in these areas,” according to a spokesperson.

For more information, call Megan Hauser at 828-356-2272 or Lauren Wood at 828-356-2292. Clinicians may also refer patients who are either at risk of or have been diagnosed with prediabetes.

Alzheimer’s events expo coming up March 21

The Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter has a lot to offer families of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease — so much that the organization is hosting an expo on its programs, especially its two signature fundraising events.

At the 2020 Walk to End Alzheimer’s and The Longest Day Expo, attendees can learn from walk veterans about what to expect and network with other event supporters. The expo takes place Saturday, March 21, 10 a.m.-noon at Western Carolina University-Asheville located at 28 Schenck Parkway in Biltmore Park Town Square.

There is no charge to attend, but RSVPs are encouraged by registering online at For more information, contact or 828-398-5780.

Leading the way

  • Kerri Eaker has been appointed chair of the N.C. Council on Developmental Disabilities by Gov. Roy Cooper. Eaker is the family support outreach coordinator for The Family Support Network of WNC at Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville. For nine years, she has assisted families with children with special health care needs, developing and implementing training and materials and conducting workshops for parents and professionals.
  • Elizabeth Vogler, professor of social work at Mars Hill University, was named the 2020 social worker of the year by the National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter. 



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