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 […]
Losing a loved one is one of the few truly universal life experiences. Despite its universality, however, grieving can feel totally unpredictable — and totally isolating. Some bereaved people might already have mental health care providers or be able to rely on community resources like a school counseling office. But for many others, finding help […]
Janice Brumit, Dogwood’s board chair, said the nonprofit is on track to invest $65 million in housing, education, economic opportunity and health and wellness by the end of 2021.
On June 26, just over two months ago, Buncombe County recorded just one new case of COVID-19. The county’s coronavirus state of emergency had ended earlier that month, and just 16 people were hospitalized due to the disease across Western North Carolina. As of Aug. 18, the emergency is back. WNC hospitals are caring for […]
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 […]
Every Saturday morning, nurse practitioner Amy Beane can be found at the Ebbs Chapel Community Center in Mars Hill. The building is home to the Outland Family Clinic, which opened June 5; it’s where Beane volunteers weekly to provide free health care to anyone in need. “I had someone come in who has not seen […]
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 […]
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.”
Currently, Buncombe recommends indoor masking as a response to COVID-19 but has instituted no legal mandate. The city of Asheville also plans to reinstate a similar requirement, while rules in other county municipalities would be left to their governing bodies.
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 […]
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council passed an ordinance on Aug. 5 allowing production and use of the crop, which the body had previously voted to decriminalize on May 6.
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 […]
The recommendation aligns with the guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which called for universal indoor masking “in areas of substantial or high transmission” on July 27.
Western North Carolina residents who want to change the health insurance they receive through the Affordable Care Act, or who want to sign up for a plan through the health insurance marketplace, can do so during a special enrollment period ending Sunday, Aug. 15. And local nonprofits urge people to explore their options for potentially […]
Employers, especially restaurants and other hospitality businesses, still struggle to find employees in a rebounding economy.
HCA Healthcare’s acquisition of Asheville-based Mission Health has driven a shakeup among physicians going to work elsewhere.
Increase in methamphetamine use in Western North Carolina affects the region’s “misery index,” even if the death rate is lower than that of opioids.
It’s a rainy Thursday in West Asheville when the word “overdose” crackles over the radio dispatch. Jamie Judd, emergency medical services division manager for Buncombe County Emergency Services, immediately turns on his siren and increases speed. The late afternoon traffic on Patton Avenue is clogged; vehicles aren’t pulling to the side to let this emergency […]
State funding for local domestic, sexual violence nonprofits to end Sept. 30 The N.C. Governor’s Crime Commission informed four WNC nonprofits on June 16 of the discontinuance of nearly $2.3 million in grant funding previously available through the Victims of Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act. Existing VOCA and VAWA grants are scheduled […]
Western North Carolina is a health-conscious place, but one that hasn’t always been welcoming for the LGBTQ community. And without health and wellness opportunities that provide care, while also affirming sexuality and gender identity, some LGBTQ folks may not share essential information with their providers or avoid health care settings entirely. Numerous local organizations and […]
Patients and providers pivoted to online appointments during pandemic lockdowns. Some in Western North Carolina want the option to extend permanently.