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.

Proceeds from Mission Health sale to benefit WNC communities

How can $1.5 billion transform the health and wellness of Western North Carolina communities for decades to come? That’s the question Dogwood Health Trust’s Board of Directors is currently asking itself since the new foundation was tasked with spending the proceeds from Mission Health’s sale to HCA Healthcare last year. 

BRH to open new clinic in Swain County

Blue Ridge Health (BRH) has been awarded a $650,000 New Access Point grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to open a new community health center in Bryson City.

Hospital leaders reflect on five years with LifePoint

In 2014, Duke LifePoint Healthcare purchased three hospitals in Western North Carolina with the promise of drastically improving rural health care services. 

After 125 years, we can do better

Bob Savelson • Guest columnist

Thinking about Labor Day, it has been a national holiday since 1894. Consistent with the nation’s ambivalent feelings about whether organized labor should truly be part of its social fabric, the statute was signed by President Grover Cleveland — who earlier that year had dispatched federal troops to break a strike called to support Pullman car employees protesting wage cuts. 

Big changes coming to N.C. Medicaid

As the state of North Carolina moves forward with some bold new changes to how it will administer Medicaid, Haywood County’s Health and Human Services Agency is trying to get out ahead of the makeover by letting beneficiaries know what they can expect.

The pulse of the community: Local pediatrician retires

Dr. Stephen Wall couldn’t have come to Waynesville at a better time. 

“There were four pediatricians in Haywood County, and three of them retired all at the same time,” said Wall. “So Dr. Bob Earnest recruited me and another guy, Dr. Garnet Maharajh, to join Haywood Pediatrics, which he started two years prior, in 1987.”

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