WNC wellness review: mental health deadline passes, caregivers struggle, and equal visitation rights

Mission must pay attorney fees in 2008 workers’ compensation case

Mission Hospital, Inc., must pay the attorney fees of Terry Cawthorn, a nurse who reported a work-related injury in 2008, the North Carolina Court of Appeals found on Aug. 25. The court upheld the state Industrial Commission’s determination in April that Mission must pay Cawthorn’s “ongoing temporary total disability benefits.”

From Mountain Xpress

NC misses mental illness deadline

North Carolina officials have missed a federal deadline for dealing with thousands of people with mental illness living in adult care homes, leaving advocates worried that some patients may have nowhere else to go besides emergency rooms, homeless shelters or the street.

Meanwhile, state officials said the number of facilities whose patients may have to leave has increased from 38 to 52.

From the Houston Chronicle

Auditors critical of NC’s health insurance plan contract

State auditors say North Carolina’s health insurance plan for workers could have saved more than $1 million if it had written a better contract with a hospital and monitored rates more closely.

State Auditor Beth Wood’s office released an audit Wednesday of the North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees and a contract with Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital.

From BusinessWeek

NC Justice Center: Caregivers struggle to balance work, family-care obligations

A majority of North Carolina’s 1.2 million caregivers struggle to balance work and family-care responsibilities, with the state’s workplace laws failing to keep pace with the growing demands on the profession, according to a study released by the NC Justice Center this morning as part of “The State of Working North Carolina” series. Nearly half of North Carolina’s private-sector employees lack access to paid sick time.

From the press release

DHS announces Medicare’s big step toward equal visitation and representation rights in hospitals

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new guidance to support enforcement of rules that protect hospital patients’ right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, including a visitor who is a same-sex domestic partner. These rules, finalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in November, apply to all hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. The guidance also supports enforcement of the right of patients to designate the person of their choice, including a same-sex partner, to make medical decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated.

From the press release

Western Carolina Medical Society hosts car raffle

Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) Foundation has launched a major fundraising initiative in the form of a limited edition NC raffle to win a 2012 Ford Mustang. Tickets are $100 each (with a discount for bulk ticket purchases). A maximum of 1,000 tickets will be sold from now through November 30, 2011.

Proceeds will benefit the WCMS Foundation and its key community programs. The Foundation is the physician and community-led charitable arm of the Medical Society, addressing issues of access to quality healthcare, disparities in health, and wellness and prevention.

From the press release

Red Cross goes black tie for the Red Cross Ball: The Celebration of a Century

On October 22, the Red Cross of Western North Carolina will honor its centennial year in elegant fashion with the Red Cross Ball: The Celebration of a Century. With the help of presenting sponsor, Asheville Savings Bank, the Red Cross will host a lavish evening of cocktails, dinner and dancing to the music of local favorite, A Social Function.

“The Red Cross is thrilled to celebrate our Centennial year with such a fine event and with such fine friends. We are so pleased that Asheville Savings Bank is sponsoring the Ball, in their own 75th year,” said Patrick Fitzsimmons, CEO of the Western North Carolina Region.

From the press release

First annual Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon set for Oct. 15

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians announces the inaugural Harvest Half Marathon on Saturday, October 15, 2011, beginning at 8:00 am in beautiful Cherokee, North Carolina. The day’s events also feature a 5k race.

“I would like to invite runners to join us in Cherokee for what I hope is the first of many races,” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks. The proceeds will benefit the Madison Hornbuckle Children’s Cancer Foundation, providing funding for families with children being treated for cancer. Everyone is invited to enjoy the fall colors in the Great Smokies for a memorable event for charity.

From the press release


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