Wellness in brief: HCA hosting opioid takeback events on Oct. 23

Members of the public can anonymously dispose of unused or expired opioid medications at HCA Healthcare’s Crush the Crisis events at various locations. Local law enforcement agencies are partnering with HCA Healthcare for the takeback event on Saturday, Oct. 23. The drop-off locations are Mission Hospital in Asheville, 1 Hospital Drive, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Mission […]

Blue Ridge landscape

From NC Health News: Six Republican counties in WNC pledged their support for Medicaid expansion. What’s changed?

For months, the CEO of the Cherokee Indian Hospital has quietly traveled to county commission boards throughout the western part of the state, giving presentations on the benefits of Medicaid expansion. As local leaders throughout the conservative region show support for the policy, will they change the minds of state Republicans?

Classical Scholars classroom

Some local schools reject COVID advice from health officials

Xpress has identified at least seven local K-12 institutions that are not requiring all students to wear masks as recommended by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services StrongSchoolsNC toolkit and county public health leaders. Some have rejected other coronavirus measures as well, including isolating individuals with COVID-19 and recommending vaccinations.

Carol Stefaniak

Wellness in brief: Pardee expands monoclonal antibody infusion clinic

From February through early August, the Emergency Department at Pardee administered 400 infusions of the Regeneron antibody therapy, says chief nursing officer Carol Stefaniak. But following the infusion clinic’s relocation to an outpatient facility in Hendersonville Aug. 11, another 350 infusions were administered, reflecting high demand for the drug.

Mental health falters during pandemic

Briefly, it seemed like the coronavirus pandemic had turned a corner. “People were starting to feel a little bit optimistic this summer,” says Ariel Shumaker, an Asheville therapist in private practice, about COVID-19. “And now, it’s not feeling optimistic.” Fatigue, sadness, anxiety, rage, fear, exhaustion — these are the emotions area behavioral health professionals report […]

Wellness in brief: Lawsuit alleges Mission Health monopoly

Lawsuit alleges Mission Health monopoly Six residents of Western North Carolina filed a class-action lawsuit against HCA Healthcare and Mission Health System on Aug. 10, alleging restraint of trade and unlawful monopolization. The plaintiffs say they have paid higher health insurance premiums, copays and deductibles than have residents of surrounding areas due to Mission’s ability […]

How the polyamorou­s live in Asheville

Western North Carolina prides itself on its “live and let live” ethos. From the moonshiners of yore to back-to-the-land homesteaders to the sprawling artistic community, many  people feel they can make their living differently here. That independent streak often runs through people’s personal lives, too. For that reason, some consider Asheville to be an accepting […]

Blue face masks

Buncombe reinstates COVID emergency, indoor mask mandate

The requirement covers all “business establishments, offices and workplaces, public transportation facilities and vehicles, and any indoor place the public is invited or allowed to enter and gather,” with the exception of weddings, funerals, religious gatherings and “other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights.”

Blue Cross NC expands transgende­r health care coverage

Facial feminization surgery and voice lessons for transgender people are now covered by the largest health insurance provider in the state. On July 1, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina updated its policy to recognize these gender-affirming health care procedures as medically necessary. The national nonprofit Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund led […]

Wellness in brief: COVID-19 updates for WNC

MAHEC sees uptick in antibody infusion treatments The Asheville-based Mountain Area Health Education Center has experienced an increase in patients receiving antibody infusion treatments — the antibody cocktail called REGEN-COV — in recent weeks. During the week of July 19, the center’s infusion team served 21 people, says Keelan Dorn, a family medicine nurse practitioner […]