Local doc publishes guide to better health

HEALTHY HOW-TO: Asheville’s Dr. Gus Vickery has packaged his advice for achieving and maintaining health in a new book. Photo courtesy of Gus Vickery

Local family physician Dr. Gus Vickery has published his first book, Authentic Health: The Definitive Guide to Losing Weight, Feeling Better, Mastering Stress, Sleeping Well Every Night & Enjoying a Sense of Purpose.

Vickery, who has practiced medicine in Asheville since 2005, writes that the book grew out of his frustration with a medical model that emphasizes treatment of chronic diseases without addressing the fundamental causes of conditions like Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity. By following a relatively simple — though not easy! — set of lifestyle recommendations, Vickery asserts, patients can regain control over their health and achieve a better quality of life.

The first chapters of Vickery’s book lay the groundwork for his approach to improving health, while later chapters take on specific steps, including managing stress, improving nutrition and achieving a healthy weight, physical activity and sleep.

Authentic Health is available locally at Malaprop’s and may also be purchased online at avl.mx/55j or from booksellers including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Vickery’s medical practice, Vickery Family Medicine, provides a range of health care services and is accepting new patients. More information is available at vickeryfamilymed.com.

Orthopedic urgent care opens in Hendersonville

Those needing treatment for a recent bone, joint or muscle injury have a new option: a specialized urgent care just for acute orthopedic needs. EmergeOrtho: Blue Ridge Division at 800 Fleming St. offers same-day appointments and walk-in care Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Appointments and information are available at 828-698-4318.

Mission to offer Stroke Camp for fifth year

CARING CAMP: Mission Health’s Stroke Camp will provide stroke survivors, along with their families, friends and caregivers, a chance to relax and reflect on their experiences with others who can relate. The camp takes place Sept. 7-9 at Lake Junaluska Conference Center. Photo courtesy of Mission Health
CARING CAMP: Mission Health’s Stroke Camp will provide stroke survivors, along with their families, friends and caregivers, a chance to relax and reflect on their experiences with others who can relate. The camp takes place Sept. 7-9 at Lake Junaluska Conference Center. Photo courtesy of Mission Health

In partnership with the national Retreat & Refresh Stroke Camp network, Mission Health will host a unique camp experience for stroke survivors, their families, caregivers and friends. Held at Lake Junaluska Conference Center, the camp will take place Sept. 7-9. For more information and to register, visit strokecamp.org.

Keisha Hastings, coordinator for Mission Hospital’s Clinical Documentation Improvement Department, participated last year with her friend and stroke survivor, Sandra Nutbrown. “Stroke Camp is an amazing opportunity that allows both the caregivers and the stroke patients a chance to relax, be vulnerable, and share feelings, fears and emotions,” said Hastings.

The weekend’s activities, including crafts, games, educational sessions, hiking and walking, relaxation and outdoor activities such as fishing and boating, are accessible for all ability levels.

Park Ridge offers robotic guidance for spinal surgery

Park Ridge Health’s Spine Center of Excellence announced that it is the first facility in the region to offer the Mazor X™ Robotic Guidance Platform.

According to a press release from Park Ridge Health: “Minimally invasive procedures with their smaller incisions can pose a challenge to surgeons due to the limited view of the patient’s anatomy. The Mazor X™ Robotic Guidance Platform helps overcome this challenge with a 3D comprehensive surgical plan and analytics that give the surgeon comprehensive information and visualization before the surgery starts. …With precision and predictability, the Mazor X™ Robotic Guidance System assists surgeons in the treatment of many spine conditions, such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spinal arthritis and scoliosis.”

Dr. Stephen David, Park Ridge Health medical director, Orthopedic Program and Total Spine Center, adds, “The surgeon still performs the surgery, but the technological advances of the robotic guidance system give the surgeon superhuman abilities and accuracies never before demonstrated.”

More information is available at 855-774-5433. 

Blue Cross NC invests $2 million in housing and health initiatives

Over 600,000 North Carolina households are living in poverty, putting those residents at risk of unsafe living conditions.

To provide a healthy and safe home environment for families in need, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced it will contribute $2 million to help nearly 700 households make vital home repairs.

Mobilizing agencies across the state, the funds will be used to assess homes, conduct repairs and evaluate results in targeted communities across the state.

In Asheville, Community Action Opportunities will receive an estimated $288,000 to serve 108 households. According to Blue Cross NC, the percentage of WNC residents living in poverty is:

Buncombe County: 13.8 percent
Madison County: 16.4 percent
Henderson County: 15.9 percent
Transylvania County: 16.7 percent
McDowell County: 22.5 percent
Polk County: 21.5 percent
Rutherford County: 16.5 percent

Wellness roundup

  • Dr. Ronald A. Paulus, president and CEO of Mission Health, joined the Board of Directors of San Jose, Ca.-based Vocera Communications.
  • Hendersonville-based Blue Ridge Health, in collaboration with community partners, recently assumed operation of Collins Dental Center in Polk County to prevent its closure. After a transitional period, the center reopened as Blue Ridge Health – Collins Dental in its previous location at 158 White Drive in Columbus. The center has over 4,000 active patients.
  • Park Ridge Health announced new hires, including Micki Kidd as patient safety specialist; Dr. Richard Smoot as clinical psychologist; and Sharon Kast as psychiatric nurse practitioner.
  • CooperRiis, a residential mental health treatment community, recently earned CARF International accreditation for its Mill Spring and Asheville residential treatment programs.
  • For the second consecutive year, Harris Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Center in Sylva earned a Centers of Distinction award from the Healogics network for clinical performance and patient satisfaction.
  • Pardee UNC Health Care named Lynn Smith director of its intensive and progressive care units. Prior to joining Pardee, Smith was the director of heart failure and medical cardiology services at Mission Health System.
  • Mission Health Primary Care practices earned National Committee for Quality Assurance’s Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term relationships with patients and family members.
  • Chris Romick has been named executive director of Grace Ridge Retirement Community in Morganton.

Burnsville to get new urgent care clinic

Mercy Urgent Care will open an urgent care clinic in Burnsville on Friday, Aug. 31, at 9 a.m. The clinic will offer convenient medical care for illnesses and injuries that are not life-threatening at a fraction of the cost of an ER visit. The clinic will be located at 41 Charlie Brown Road.



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

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