Seasonal flu cases remain low in 2020-21

It’s always hard to predict what kind of flu season the U.S. should expect and how severe cases could be. Add in the fact the U.S. is still experiencing record numbers of new COVID-19 cases on a daily basis and it makes predicting the future more difficult. 

Be smart, and things don’t have to get worse

Let me wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving. Each year at the Passover celebration, there is a saying: “Next year in Jerusalem.” It’s a way of saying: “next year may we be in a better place.’’ Right now, I bet we can all get behind that.

‘They deserve the best’: Culture is key to care for Cherokee geriatrician

Blythe Winchester has known since a young age that she wanted to be a doctor. She remembers “doctoring” her dolls as a child in Cherokee’s Wolfetown community, using the empty needleless syringes her father would bring home from his job as a social worker. The little girl would inject the toys with Coca-Cola, staining their plush bodies brown. 

Staff, technology brings breast care to new level at Harris

Breast cancer is something that weighs heavy on every woman’s mind. What is my risk? Does it run in my family? Do I carry the gene? When should I get a mammogram? Where do I have to go to get the best care?

Health care workers hold the front lines against COVID-19

Like nearly everyone else in the country, Dr. Ben Guiney experienced a rush of dread as news of the novel coronavirus’ spread hit the headlines, but Guiney had more reason than most to worry. 

From Wuhan to Western North Carolina: A Coronavirus Pandemic timeline

When the first rumors of a strange new contagious pneumonia-like illness began circulating in China late last fall, few could have imagined that the coronavirus outbreak would grow to become the global pandemic that it is today. 

Bad choices will make things worse

By Steve Wall • Guest Columnist | There are over 200 cases of coronavirus that have appeared in Italy, with three deaths as of Feb. 21. It’s possible patient one had symptoms for five days before seeking help. 

Currently, there are over 500,000 people in North Carolina who have no medical insurance, and several thousand are here in the mountains. Careful health surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation show that people with no medical insurance delay seeing a medical provider for financial reasons. Is it inconceivable that someone with a highly contagious disease could remain under the radar, and without knowing it, spread the infection, because a visit to the ER and lab test could cost them $300 or more out of pocket.

Healthcare for those in need is threatened

By Steve Wall • Guest Columnist | Why do we even need any medical insurance programs or Social Security?

Well, because about 500 elderly folks in Haywood County are in nursing homes with their fees paid by Medicaid. And over 4,500 of our community’s children are enrolled in Medicaid. Virtually anyone over 65 gets their medical bills paid primarily paid by Medicare. And most people over 65 depend on Social Security to escape the poverty that threatened their  aging family members before 1936 and President Roosevelt. 

Envision Pain Management opens in Clyde

For years opioids were overprescribed by physicians and overused by patients, leading to skyrocketing rates of addiction, overdoses and drug-related crime. Now that the issue has risen to the level of a national public health and safety crisis, society is more aware of the dangers associated with opioid abuse and physicians are learning new ways to manage patients’ pain levels. 

Regional hospitals look back on 2019 growth

Western North Carolina hospitals under the Duke LifePoint umbrella are celebrating several milestones in making communities healthier as a new year begins.

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