Wellness briefs: Grants boost dignity, telehealth

HELPING GIRLS AND WOMEN: Lee Henderson-Hill, left, senior program officer of Community Foundation of Henderson County, presents Barb Morgan, founder and president of Project Dignity of WNC, with a check for $15,000. Photo courtesy of Community Foundation of Henderson County

Project Dignity of Western North Carolina provides feminine products to women and girls in Buncombe and Henderson counties. Those who are experiencing homelessness, have suffered domestic abuse or live on low incomes can qualify to receive products through schools and service agencies. A new $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Henderson County awarded in February will support the Project Dignity’s work.

“Our organization is happy to know that girls in middle and high school can now focus on their education rather than worrying about how they might obtain feminine products,” said Barb Morgan, Project Dignity’s founder, in a press release. “The grant from the Community Foundation will give us additional resources that guarantee enough product to keep the girls and women adequately supplied and perhaps even expand our outreach.”

Pat on the back

  • Mission Health and Pardee UNC Health Care achieved the Healthgrades 2019 America’s Best Hospitals awards, placing the health care providers in the top echelons of more than 4,500 hospitals assessed nationwide. The awards recognize superior clinical performance as measured by Healthgrades, an online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals at healthgrades.com.
  • Dr. Paul Riggs was named chief of staff for the Charles George VA Medical Center. Riggs will provide administrative and clinical oversight for all clinical services provided by the Charles George VAMC and its three Community-Based Outpatient Centers.
  • Elizabeth Anderson, a member of the faculty in Western Carolina University’s Department of Social Work, was chosen by the Cambia Health Foundation to receive a two-year Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program grant totaling $180,000. The grant will support a project to identify how to best engage family members of kidney patients in rural areas of Western North Carolina to ensure that those patients receive palliative care that is consistent with their values.
  • Hendersonville-based Compassionate Home Care, a division of Four Seasons,  received the Best of Home Care Leader in Excellence Award from Home Care Pulse, which provides quality assurance for home care.
  • AdventHealth Hendersonville received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for total ankle, hip, knee and shoulder replacement centers of excellence.
  • Based on the pass rate of its registered nursing students on licensure exams, Western Carolina University was ranked No. 3 in nursing programs in North Carolina by RegisteredNursing.org.
  • Kelli Stike received AdventHealth Hendersonville’s DAISY Award for patient advocacy she provided as part of her role on the Surgery Nurse Navigator team.

Telehealth infrastructure studied in WNC

The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded nearly $100,000 in new funding to assess telehealth infrastructure in 20 counties in Western North Carolina. The grant will go to the N.C. Department of Information Technology’s Broadband Infrastructure Office and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Rural Health.

The two departments will partner with local and state organizations to conduct a 12-month study of opportunities, challenges and gaps for broadband and health care infrastructure in counties including Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, Rutherford, Transylvania and Yancey.

According to a press release from NCDIT, “More than 250,000 households in North Carolina, including many within the Appalachian Region, cannot access [telehealth] services because they lack broadband infrastructure and the technology and tools to use it. …

“Telehealth services are rapidly evolving and progressing. Today, a physician can provide emergency care or behavioral health services to a patient via video conference, monitor a patient’s blood pressure or medication adherence remotely, or provide consultation to another physician on a difficult or rarely seen condition. Telehealth services can bridge health care disparities and health care professional shortages, reduce the burden of extensive travel to health care sites, and provide affordable access to world-class care for citizens in areas with limited health care options.”

On the move

  • Jackie Godlock of Rutherford County was named to the board of directors of Dogwood Health Trust.
  • Eric A. Levine will join CooperRiis, a residential mental health treatment community, as president and CEO on April 15.
  • Nurse practitioners Christine Kryger and Leslie Morris joined Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva. They will provide pulmonary services to patients in Jackson and surrounding counties.
  • Josh Harris, a certified physician assistant, moved to Pardee Family Medicine Associates – Etowah, located at 6503 Brevard Road, from Pardee Adult and Family Medicine in Laurel Park.
  • Bada Bastu, a communal-style bathhouse offering hot and cold therapy, opened at 230 Short Coxe Ave. Patrons repeat two to three cycles of 15 minutes of heat, up to five minutes of cold and 10 minutes of relaxation and rehydration to “bliss out,” according to owner Andrew Nehlig. The facility offers a special rate for locals.
  • Clover CBD, a new hemp retailer at 1129 Patton Ave., is offering an assistance program for those earning below the poverty level. Upon approval, program participants receive 40 percent off the retail prices of all products, along with free samples.

Open Door offers affordable pet health care

Rising health care costs aren’t limited to the human species, it seems. Dr. Anne Bayer, a veterinarian and an owner of Open Door Veterinary Care, says one of the purposes of the new clinic is to help remove financial barriers for those seeking care for their pets. In a press release, she explains that the clinic aims to keep its prices reasonable “so pets don’t go without care, aren’t being surrendered to an animal shelter or euthanized when families experience unexpected veterinary medical costs.”

For every patient examined, the clinic will contribute $1 to its Stay Together Fund, which will be used to help pet owners in need of financial assistance to provide emergency care to their animals. The clinic also accepts direct donations to the fund.

Open Door is located at 1419 Patton Ave., near Deaverview Boulevard. More information is available at 828-417-7768 or opendoorveterinarycare.com.

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

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