Omicron brings fewer deaths, more hospitalizations than previous variants

After case counts soared to unprecedentedly high levels throughout the month of January, the Omicron wave of COVID-19 appears to be receding in North Carolina — but public health officials in Western North Carolina are hesitant to say that’s yet the case locally. 

Cherokee rolls out ARP spending plan

A long-term care center, massive expansion to broadband access and direct payments to tribal members are some of the many uses the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians plans for the $117 million it will receive directly from the American Rescue Plan — with even more money likely to come from ARP-funded grants other agencies are in the process of awarding. 

As Delta wave recedes, hospitals see consequences of deferred care

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are continuing to fall to the lowest levels seen in months, but hospitals say that staffing shortages and increasingly acute presentations of non-COVID ailments are keeping them busy. 

Vecinos: Serving the invisible neighbors of WNC

The Coronavirus Pandemic has been a trying experience for everyone. Quarantine, the threat of serious illness and job loss have affected millions of people in the United States. But what about those who don’t have access to basic health care? How do non-English speakers find information about COVID-19? How do people without an identification card find COVID-19 testing or vaccines? 

Cherokee to expand health facilities

The Cherokee Tribal Council approved more than $110 million for new health facilities on the Qualla Boundary and in Cherokee County, giving unanimous endorsement to two separate projects during its Aug. 5 meeting. 

Nursing homes face essential worker shortage

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities were among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they are facing another problem, one whose roots stem from pre-COVID times — staffing shortages. 

Honoring our healthcare heroes

By Greg Caples • Guest Columnist | What is a hero? Maya Angelou famously said, “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” 

Increased benefits for pregnant women focus of Sen. Corbin bill

When Republican Sen. Kevin Corbin, R-Franklin, announced  during a March 25 listening session at Southwestern Community College that he intended to file a bill addressing the health care coverage gap, he also said he hadn’t quite formulated the particulars of it because he wanted to introduce something that would pass the Republican-controlled legislature. 

Concerns go unanswered during HCA monitor meeting

The public had a lot of questions during an April 7 virtual meeting regarding Mission Health’s services and operations since being bought by for-profit HCA Healthcare in 2019. Unfortunately, Gibbins Advisors — the independent monitor hired to ensure HCA fulfills its contractual obligations — couldn’t provide them with many answers.

Sen. Corbin again leads health care push

With the support of a bi-partisan panel including commissioners from Macon and Graham counties as well as the head of the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority, Sen. Kevin Corbin, R-Franklin, announced he’d soon file a bill intended to close the health insurance coverage gap in North Carolina. 

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