• Honoring our physicians: The Buncombe County Medical Society (BCMS) will be honoring the doctors of Buncombe County with an event called “Doctor Day“, to take place March 25 from 6 a.m. -10 a.m. in the Mission Hospital lobby. Physicians will be honored with a complimentary breakfast and free lab work, while BCMS will donate $1 to Project Access for each physician who attends the event.
• New prescription drug discount card: County health officials are endorsing a new prescription drug discount card they believe will save residents money and increase revenue for local health programs. However, not all agree. Fred Eckel, executive director of the N.C. Association of Pharmacists, although not familiar with the specifics of the plan, said “They sound good in the beginning … but in the end the only people who make money out of it are the people who sponsor the plan.”
Financial Marketing Concepts gives the County a 50-75 cent royalty on each prescription filled using the card. The card is free, available to everyone, and can be downloaded and printed out here.
• Food safety legislation: The Appalachian Sustainable Agricultural Project (ASAP) this week outlined their opinions on upcoming food safely legislation and it’s potential impact on local food production. They conclude that “Barring complete political paralysis (always a possibility), it appears inevitable that some food safety legislation will pass this session.”
• Childhood obesity: According to a press release from local supermarket Earth Fare, the stores are responding to the growing childhood obesity epidemic with the introduction of their Itty Bitty Bites™ program. “Itty Bitty Bites is a fun, educational program that inspires kids to make healthy lifestyle choices. Through heroes and villains, trading cards, a comic book series and activity sheets, kids learn about good versus bad ingredients and the importance of their food choices.”
• Taking personal responsibility for one’s health: A recent book has sparked a new local wellness initiative at Park Ridge Hospital. Dan Buettner’s “Blue Zones” offers nine habits for individuals to get up to an extra 10 years out of life and is the result of Buettner’s seven-year study in conjunction with National Geographic Magazine and the National Institute on Aging. According to Park Ridge Wellness Coordinator Jodi Grabowski, “In the health care reform debate, no one is talking about personal responsibility, We need to take care of ourselves as well as having health care.”
Grabowski says a big part of this is personal responsibility for our own health. Because the hospital is celebrating its centennial, the initiative has challenged individuals to adopt a ‘hundred’ activities of some type that fit in with the Blue Zone principles. “For Park Ridge, the challenge started at home. The accounting department was the first to rise to the challenge. Each of their associates has an individual ‘hundred’ to achieve. Some of which include walking 100 stairs each weekday, memorizing 100 Bible verses and refraining from drinking soda for 100 days.”
• Some new health studies were released this week:
- Lead poisoning could lurk in spices
- Arteries improve after smokers quit for 1 year
- Flaxseed brings down high cholesterol (in men) without drugs
• Citizen-Times guest columnists Lindsay Fields offers up some advice on how to choose a yoga class that’s right for you. Fields says some items to consider are understanding your objectives and limitations, what style of class to choose, your educational needs, and a convenient location.
• UNC Asheville alumna A.J. Jessup, who holds a master’s degree in sports medicine from High Point University, says – for the most part – the BMI (Body Mass Index) is worthless and focuses more on numbers than on health. “It makes a lot of athletes overweight,” she said. “A pound of muscle weighs as much as a pound of fat, but muscle is denser than fat. Maintaining a similar weight is possible with exercise while one can lose inches.“
See you next week. Stay healthy.