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Business news

Grant helps outfit new Haywood hospice center

With help from two Appalachian Regional Commission grants, Haywood Regional Medical Center plans to expand its existing facilities and add 24 jobs.

The medical center will use two federal grants, totaling $146,592, to buy equipment and furnishing for a new inpatient hospice facility and create a psychiatric evaluation area in the hospital’s emergency room. The hospice center is already under construction, funded to a large extent by private donations. Equipment was a missing piece of the puzzle.

“I am pleased that ARC has recognized the need for Haywood Regional Medical Center to expand in order to meet the growing demand for high-quality health care in the far western counties,” said U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville.


WCU receives accredited electrical engineering program

Seven years after starting its electrical engineering program, Western Carolina University received accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

“It makes the degree that much more valuable and robust,” said James Zhang, the Kimmel School’s interim dean.

The accreditation means the university must follow uniform and measurable standards but also improves job possibilities for students.

Previously a joint program with University of North Carolina in Charlotte, the university has now established an independent program with about 60 students.


Cherokee gets MRI unit for hospital out of Harrah’s contract deal

Cherokee Indian Hospital will get a $1 million MRI unit and $200,000 annually for five years to maintain it under an agreement between the tribe and Caesars Entertainment.

The tribe has granted Harrah’s, a subsidiary of Ceasars, a five-year management agreement to manage, operate and maintain the casino operation.  

The original agreement began in 1996 and has been periodically renewed.

The tribe announced its plan to renew the contract for another five years in May, but the management agreement has now been approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission.

“I know we’ve taken great risks, but we’ve also seen great rewards,” said Honorable Chief Michell Hicks.  “We wanted to make sure we put a product out at that customers would enjoy.  Our decision was to make sure that we kept up with the market.”

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