Health care workers wearing masks

Hospitals brace for COVID-19 cases, clamp down on visitors

Area hospitals have taken somewhat differing approaches to the question of whether to stop performing elective surgeries and other medical procedures. There are worries nationally about whether there will be enough personal protective gear like masks and gloves for health care workers, but hospitals in the Asheville area say they have good supplies for now.

Wellness in brief: Honoring pediatric cancer patients, boosting breast cancer research

A celebration of the courage of pediatric cancer patients at Well Played Board Game Café on Wall Street in downtown Asheville will collect new and unused Legos and the card game UNO for patients. Attendees can also create greeting cards and paint “kindness rocks” for patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and Mission Children’s Hospital.

Wellness briefs: Grants boost dignity, telehealth

Grants to help agencies providing health care services and studying better ways to deliver those services continued to flow in Western North Carolina. Some recent examples include a grant to Project Dignity for feminine supplies, funding to expand how telehealth services might be expanded in rural areas and support for a study of resources available to kidney patients.

WNC hospitals undertake antibiotic stewardshi­p to combat resistance

Antibiotic resistance has become a serious problem, causing infections that can’t be treated and thousands deaths every year in the U.S. as a result. Many hospitals, including several local ones, have created antibiotic stewardship programs, which develop strategies for the appropriate use of antibiotics while decreasing the chance of bacteria becoming resistant to them.