Wings of Hope butterfly exhibit brings beauty and color to cancer patients

Wings of Hope butterfly exhibit brings beauty and color to cancer patients

Photo: Wings of Hope Wall

Until recently, when radiation oncology patients entered the long hallway at Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center to receive their treatments, they were greeted with a long blank wall, no windows or decoration and dim lighting. The radiation therapy team expressed a need for something to brighten and beautify the journey for patients. They brought their idea to the Cancer Resource Alliance (CRA) Art Committee, and the Wings of Hope project was born. The group chose origami butterflies as a way to create a vibrant wall of color. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, transformation and hope.

Patient Ruby Harper Wings of Hope

Ruby Harper (center) placed a butterfly after finishing her radiation treatments, surrounded by Radiation Therapists Melanie Thomas, Amy Isaacs, Katie Neibaur, and Holly Fletcher (left-right).

The Art Committee created opportunities for patients, caregivers, and supporters to make origami butterflies. Mary Morgan, a member of the Art Committee, took on the task of making pre-folded butterflies so that it would be easy for many to participate, and she also helped patients and caregivers make their own butterflies. Each person was encouraged to personalize their butterfly in some way—with words of hope, their name or name of a loved one, and/or date of completion of treatment.

During the last six months of 2019, hundreds of butterflies were folded from papers of many different colors and patterns. After the butterflies were personalized, they were ready to be part of the Wings of Hope wall.

On January 4, 2020, the Art Committee gathered to begin the installation of butterflies, choosing a Saturday so patients receiving treatment would not be disturbed. As the art committee members worked, a wave of colors began to fill the 16-foot-long plexiglass display, creating a rainbow effect. The impact of the colors was immediately transformative and uplifting.

Wings of Hope Display

CRA Art Committee Members left to right: Donna Warren, Nancy Beltz, Mary Morgan, Sue Creech and Beth Andrews

Each member of the Art Committee has been touched by cancer in some way; many are cancer survivors. They know from personal experience how important it is to create uplifting opportunities for patients and caregivers going through this journey.

As patients complete their last radiation treatment, they will be invited to make and personalize their own butterflies to celebrate the completion of their treatment. Another plexiglass panel will soon be added so this display can continue to grow and be a symbol of hope for future patients.

The Cancer Resource Alliance (CRA) is a comprehensive team of healthcare professionals, business partners, cancer caregivers and cancer survivor volunteers. This group was established in 2006 as an outreach arm of Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center.

Watauga Medical Center Named Among Top 10% for Patient Safety

Watauga Medical Center Named Among Top 10% for Patient Safety

Watauga Medical Center Exterior

Watauga Medical Center has received the 2019 Patient Safety Excellence AwardTM, which recognizes hospital excellence in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stay.

“I’m so proud of our team for being named among the nation’s top 10% for patient safety,” said Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. “This recognition validates our efforts and dedication toward providing excellent healthcare for our community.”

Healthgrades Patient Safety Award Image 2019Variation in hospital quality can have a significant impact on the quality of care a patient receives. Healthgrades compared 2019 Patient Safety Excellence AwardTM Recipients as a group, to all other hospitals, & found that on average patients are:

55.9% less likely to experience an accidental cut, puncture, perforation or hemorrhage during medical care.
50.9% less likely to experience a collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest.
64.4% less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital.
57% less likely to experience catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital.

In addition, if all hospitals in the nation performed at the level of Award Recipients for each of the 14 Patient Safety Indicators, 127,667 patient safety events could have been avoided.*

“We are proud to recognize the recipients of the 2019 Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence AwardTM, which shines a spotlight on the hospitals that are preventing the occurrence of serious, potentially avoidable complications, for patients during their hospital stay,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Healthgrades. “We applaud these hospitals and their commitment to providing the best possible care for every patient.”

Watauga Medical Center has received the 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award (TM), among top 10% in the U.S., for excellence in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stay.Click To Tweet

During the study period (2015 to 2017), Healthgrades 2019 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipient hospitals demonstrated excellent performance in safety provided for patients in the Medicare population, as measured by objective outcomes (risk-adjusted patient safety indicator rates) for 14 patient safety indicators defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). View Healthgrades hospital quality methodologies.

Avery Community Paramedicine Program established with $290,000 grant from The Duke Endowment

Avery Community Paramedicine Program established with $290,000 grant from The Duke Endowment

Cannon Memorial Hospital

Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital recently received a three year grant from The Duke Endowment totaling $290,000. These grant funds will allow Cannon Memorial Hospital and Avery Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to establish a Community Paramedicine Program to serve Avery County.

Community Paramedicine is an innovative new healthcare model that seeks to provide underserved patients with improved access to public health and preventative healthcare services. Through the program, specially trained Community Paramedics visit patients in their homes to assess their overall health, living conditions, support structure and other social determinants of health. Avery EMS and Cannon Memorial Hospital will identify potential program participants through primary care referrals and by analyzing the highest utilizers of emergency services. By improving this populations’ health, the program will also reduce unnecessary EMS calls and emergency department visits, freeing up these services for true emergencies.

Cannon Memorial Hospital’s president, Carmen Lacey stated, “We are very excited to work with Avery EMS to bring a community paramedicine program to Avery County, and we appreciate this opportunity given to us by The Duke Endowment.” Mike Edmisten, Avery EMS Director, added: “This will be a very important program for the county. It will not only improve the health status of hundreds of individuals, but it will allow Avery EMS to free up resources to better respond to emergencies.”

“With growing concerns about health care costs and overcrowded emergency departments, community paramedicine is proving to be a promising way to connect vulnerable patients to the support and care that can keep them healthier,” says Lin Hollowell, director of the Endowment’s Health Care program area.

The Duke Endowment

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.7 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

Avery County Emergency Medical Services

Owned and operated by the county, Avery County Emergency Medical Services began operations on October 1, 1994. We currently operate at the EMT-Paramedic level with twenty four full time employees and approximately twenty part time employees. We are staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with at least two crews and a field supervisor. Monday through Friday, we operate and schedule a day crew from part time employees in addition to three full time crews. The day crew is staffed from 8:30 am – 6:00 pm and responds from the main station in Newland. One twenty-four hour crew is assigned to the Newland base, one is assigned to the Banner Elk base, and one is assigned to the Green Valley Community.

#GivingTuesday: Provide in-home care for mothers and infants

#GivingTuesday: Provide in-home care for mothers and infants

It takes a village to raise a child: Let’s be theirs

Do you remember having questions as a parent of a newborn? Did you wish you could talk to your nurse just one more time? That’s what you will provide when you give to Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation on Giving Tuesday.

We are partnering with other local organizations to bring Family Connects International to Watauga County, providing short-term nurse home visits to ALL families with newborns, voluntarily and free-of-charge.

What will my donation fund?

Your gift will help Watauga Medical Center provide nurses to visit with families of newborns and supplies. 

 

What are the results?

  • Infants have 50% fewer ED visits and hospital overnight stays in the first year of life
  • Mothers are 28% less likely to report possible clinical anxiety
  • Community connections increased by 15%
  • Home environments were rated higher quality and safer by blinded observers

 

What is included in a home visit?

Typical visit includes:

  • Physical exam for mothers and infants
  • Perinatal mood disorder screening
  • Domestic violence screening
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Postpartum care, including scheduling appointments as needed
  • Tobacco cessation referrals
  • Safe sleep and SIDS prevention
  • Parent – child interaction assessment and coaching
  • Assistance with obtaining health insurance coverage, child care, and social services
  • Reinforcement of connection to medical home to reduce unnecessary ED visits

 

Other partners

  • Harmony Center for Women
  • Children’s Council
  • AppHealthCare District Health Department
  • Blue Ridge Pediatrics
  • Stickboy
  • F.A.R.M Café
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield

Provide in-home care for mothers and infants

 

$5,000 will provide 50 nurse visits for mothers of infants. It takes a village to raise a child. Help be a supportive part of our village by donating to the health and wellness of our mothers and infants. 100% of your donation will benefit the Family Connects program. 

What will my donation fund?

Your gift will help Watauga Medical Center provide nurses to visit with families of newborns, as well as supplies.  Do you remember having questions as a parent of a newborn? Did you with you could talk to your nurse just one more time? That’s what you will provide when you give to the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation on Giving Tuesday.

 

What are the results?

  • Infants have 50% fewer ED visits and hospital overnight stays in the first year of life
  • Mothers are 28% less likely to report possible clinical anxiety
  • Community connections increased by 15%
  • Home environments were rated higher quality and safer by blinded observers

 

What is included in a home visit?

Typical visit includes:

  • Physical exam for mothers and infants
  • Perinatal mood disorder screening
  • Domestic violence screening
  • Breastfeeding support
  • Postpartum care, including scheduling appointments as needed
  • Tobacco cessation referrals
  • Safe sleep and SIDS prevention
  • Parent – child interaction assessment and coaching
  • Assistance with obtaining health insurance coverage, child care, and social services
  • Reinforcement of connection to medical home to reduce unnecessary ED visits

Take the quiz: are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Take the quiz: are you at risk for type 2 diabetes?

Infographic: Diabetes

Click to enlarge image

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of Americans are unaware that they have prediabetes or diabetes. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. If unmanaged, it can cause life-altering symptoms such as blindness, limb amputations, and kidney failure.

The good news is that you CAN take steps to prevent T2 or manage your diabetes with healthy lifestyle changes.

Click here to take the quiz and find out if you are at risk.  


We can help you take charge of your health

The Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center offers a diabetes prevention program and a diabetes management program. For more information, call the Wellness Center at (828) 266-1060.

Prevent T2 & Weight Loss

Prevent T2 is a CDC-recognized diabetes prevention program based upon proven strategies to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The format of the class allows you to interact with your instructor and classmates. You’ll be able to work through challenges together as a group and celebrate each other’s successes.

 

Diabetes Self-Management

For patients with T1 or T2, gestational diabetes or glucose intolerance, this three-month program includes an individual assessment, group educational classes, a follow-up via phone and/or in-person with our diabetes educator (CDE), and a follow-up with the participant’s physician.

Ask your healthcare provider if these programs are right for you.


 

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have prediabetes. Of those with prediabetes, 90% don’t know they have it. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

(source: cdc.gov)

 

What is Type 2 Diabetes (T2)?

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body turns food into energy.

Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.

If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream, which over time can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

(source: cdc.gov)

Learn more about diabetes at cdc.gov.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) to open a new Family Practice.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) to open a new Family Practice.

Photo: AppFamily ProvidersLet our family take care of your family

 

Boone has a new family practice in town. AppFamily Medicine, a practice of Appalachian Regional Medical Associates opened on November 4th, 2019.

AppFamily Medicine is a true “family practice” that will provide comprehensive care for all ages, from infants to adults. AppFamily’s primary care providers will be your family’s healthcare partner. In addition to providing general care for the entire family, AppFamily Medicine also provides treatment for a wide range of medical issues including complicated chronic disease management, acute illnesses, care of children, depression and anxiety, as well as both prenatal and routine gynecological care. 

AppFamily Medicine seeks to embody the concept of family medicine with the local community and truly become a health and wellness “home” for patients.

Providers Dr. Molly Benedum, Dr. David Brendle, Dr. Chris McCracken, Dr. Kyle Wilson, and Amanda Blaylock, PA are available for your family. AppFamily Medicine will be located at 148 Hwy. NC 105 Extension Suite 102 just beside Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists.

To learn more about AppFamily Medicine, visit apprhs.org/appfamily/

To schedule an appointment with AppFamily Medicine, patients can call (828) 386-2222 or request an appointment online. 

Molly Benedum , MD

Amanda Blaylock, PA-C

David Brendle, DO

Chris L. McCracken, MD

A. Kyle Wilson, MD