WNC wellness review: dental clinic success, music therapy for veterans, and wellness center plans

Free A-B Tech dental clinic draws scores of patients

About 100 people waited in line outdoors overnight on Aug. 4 for the chance to receive free dental care today, Aug. 5, at a clinic set up in the gym of A-B Tech’s Coman Student Center.

Organized by the North Carolina Dental Association, Eblen Charities, A-B Tech and many others, the grassroots effort aims to help those in need who can’t afford private care. And judging by the turnout, that need is significant: Folks started showing up at 3 p.m. the day before the clinic opened, hoping to get free cleanings, fillings, extractions and other care. By the afternoon of Aug. 5, hundreds had already been treated by the approximately 50 dentists and hygienists who came from all over the state to volunteer their services, organizers said.

From Mountain Xpress

National program brings music therapy to veterans in Asheville

“It’s a very motive kind of thing. It can arouse feelings, it can express things that sometimes are hard to put into words,” said Gary Walbrun, a guitar player and Guitars for Vets organizer, as he described the effect of listening to music.

“But when you play music it takes that up like five notches,” he said. “When you are sitting there strumming your guitar, it’s a powerful avenue for expression and for creating relationships with other people.”

Tapping into that healing power of music is the mission behind Guitars for Vets. Walbrun worked with two social workers at the Asheville VA Medical Center to offer veterans a unique therapy option: guitar lessons.

From the Department of Veteran’s Affairs

OM Sanctuary announces plans for wellness center at Richmond Hill

Even with the charred Pearson mansion still standing on its grounds, plans to transform the historic Richmond Hill Inn into the Oshun Mountain Sanctuary are under way. OM Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization, held a press conference on Friday, Aug. 5, to talk about plans for the site and give a tour. OM Sanctuary purchased the historic property for $4.5 million with plans to raise $5 million more before it opens as a wellness-oriented retreat center. The group, in partnership with RiverLink, announced the purchase on Aug. 1, and according to Shelli Lodge Stanback, OM Sanctuary board chair, a business plan with conceptual drawings will be complete within the next few weeks.

From Mountain Xpress

Blue Cross seeks rate hike

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is seeking a 6.35 percent rate increase for users of its Blue Advantage plan.

However, the Chapel Hill insurer plans to keep rates flat for those with the higher-deducible Blue Options health-savings account and Blue Saver plans.

From the Charlotte Business Journal

July 28 fire forces arthritis center to move

In the wake of the July 28 fire at 445 Biltmore Center, Asheville Arthritis & Osteoporosis Center and Asheville Rheumatology and Osteoporosis Research Associates (ARORA) announce that they will be reopening in the coming weeks at Turtle Creek Shopping Center at 15 Turtle Creek Drive off Hendersonville Road in south Asheville. Medication infusion services will be available sooner, perhaps as early as next week. The electronic medical records of Asheville Arthritis have been recovered and were not damaged by the fire.

Until the temporary location can be opened, Asheville Arthritis is providing a Call Center to assist patients with nursing, scheduling, insurance, and physician care.This can be accessed through the office’s usual phone at 828-258-9533 and should be available beginning August 4, 2011.

From Aug. 5 press release

Obama recognizes National Health Center week

Across our Nation, over 19 million Americans look to community health centers for medical checkups, education, advice, and critical services that keep them healthy. Throughout National Health Center Week, we recommit to supporting this vital resource for underserved communities, and we recognize the critical role community health centers play in our health-care system.

From the White House


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2 thoughts on “WNC wellness review: dental clinic success, music therapy for veterans, and wellness center plans

  1. Adam Kemp


    As a fellow promoter of proper and increased Health Care in Mississippi and the United States I thought you would be interested in a recent event and infographic that I have access to. On July 28th a conference was held in Washington, DC to explore the benefits of telemedicine and eHealth, particularly for rural communities in America. The discussion also addressed the impact of expanded mobile broadband, made possible by network infrastructure investment that will enable Rural America to take advantage of Health IT technologies. The conference featured Karen Rheuban, past president of the American Telemedicine Association, pediatric cardiologist, professor of pediatrics and associate dean for continuing medical education at the University of Virginia; Charles Dwyer, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care; Jack Hutson, executive director, Rhode Island Pharmacists Association; and Michael Manley, outreach director, Center for Distance Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

    I thought you would be interested in this information and could help in informing the public about this vital information to help in supporting and increasing the effectiveness of our telemedicine industry and first responders who rely on this technology. Here is a link to an infographic (www.internetinnovation.org/library/special-reports/telemed-infographic/) that helps explain the benefits of increased telemedicine. I have also attached a copy of a press release surrounding the findings of the conference for your review.

    Again I thank you for your interest in helping support innovative progress within the health sector and helping bring the best possible care to all our communities.

    If you would like any further information I would be happy to help you in any way I can.


    Adam Kemp

  2. Caitlin Byrd

    Thanks for sending this infographic along, Adam. This topic is something that I’m very interested in exploring, especially in how it relates to medical practices in WNC. For example, how are local docs are using this technology, especially in rural areas, and how does it affect patient care. Again, thanks so much for making me aware of this and feel free to send information like this, press releases or general wellness news tips to mxhealth@mountainx.com. :)

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