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Mission Hospital Earns Top Performer Status in Heart Care

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Mission Hospital has been named a top performer in heart attack treatment and rewarded for delivering high quality care in a total of five clinical areas by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Based on fourth-year results from the Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration project, Mission Hospital placed in the top 20 percent of hospitals for treatment of acute myocardial infarction, heart attack. Mission exceeded median level scores in coronary artery bypass graft, hip and knee replacement, treatment of heart failure, and pneumonia.

“Providing outstanding patient care has always been the primary mission of Mission Hospital,” said Dale Fell, Mission’s Chief Medical Officer. “This project has allowed us to benchmark ourselves against some of the best hospitals in the country. Our Top Performer status is a testament to the excellent patient care provided by our physicians and staff.”

For its performance, Mission will receive an incentive payment of $142,891 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, who awarded payments of approximately $12 million to 225 hospitals.

Over the course of the first four years of the project, Mission has received 11 overall awards, including (seven Top Performance and four Attainment) in five clinical areas, receiving $847,928 in awards. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has awarded more than $36.5 million overall over the first four years of the project.

“The successes of the hospitals – small and large, urban and rural, teaching and non-teaching – in the HQID project have led to its consideration as the basis for key national health reforms,” said Susan DeVore, Premier president and CEO. “As the proposal of a national value-based purchasing program becomes a reality, hospitals participating in HQID will have six years experience with such a model.”

YWCA Expands Hours of Operation

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – In response to member requests, the YWCA is expanding their hours. Starting August 2, the YWCA will be open on Sundays year-round. In addition, the building will now open at 5:30 am Monday through Friday.

UNCA Professor Co-authors New Book on Preventing Bone Loss

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – For years, doctors and scientists have told the public to drink milk, eat dairy products and take calcium supplements to improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis. The problem is they’re wrong, according to a new book co-authored by a UNC Asheville researcher.

Dr. Amy Lanou, assistant professor of health and wellness, and noted health writer Michael Castleman collaborated on a new book that dispels the calcium myth using the latest clinical studies and medical information.

“Building Bone Vitality” provides readers with practical advice to strengthen bones, reduce the risk of fractures and prevent osteoporosis. Readers will also learn why there’s no proof of dairy’s usefulness in bone health, despite what doctors say, and why eating low-acid foods and taking daily walks are the most effective ways to prevent bone loss.,/p>

The authors’ suggested eating plan includes six to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables and no more than one or two servings of high-protein foods such as meat, dairy and eggs daily. Why? Because protein is composed of amino acids. As the body digests high-protein foods, the blood becomes more acidic, leaching calcium from the bones.

Of course, fruits and vegetables also contain some protein, but much less than meat, dairy and eggs. Fruits and vegetables also contain a great deal of alkaline material. When you eat these foods, only a small amount of acid enters the bloodstream along with a great deal of alkaline material, which neutralizes the acid. Therefore, the body does not have to draw calcium compounds out of bone.

“Fruits and vegetables keep calcium in bone where it belongs,” said Lanou.

This low-acid theory was first reported more than 40 years ago in medical journals. Subsequent studies backed up the theory, but the research was never published for the general public. Lanou and Castleman got tired of waiting.

To further back up their theory, Lanou and Castleman pored over completed human clinical trials and found that they also refute the calcium claim. Since 1975, 140 clinical trials have explored calcium’s effects on osteoporotic fracture risk. Two-thirds of these studies show no benefit from high calcium intake. Overall, the clinical trials dealing with fracture prevention run two-to-one against calcium.

“Building Bone Vitality” is published by McGraw-Hill, and will be in bookstores beginning May 29.

The Cliffs at Walnut Cove Opens New Wellness Center

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Cliffs

ARDEN, NC – The Cliffs recently opened a state-of-the-art 18,000-square-foot Wellness Center at its Walnut Cove community in Arden, N.C., the latest in a long line of first-class amenities that stretch across its eight luxury developments based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Western Carolinas.

The Center offers a four-lane outdoor pool and a two-lane heated indoor lap pool that are junior Olympic lengths. There also are spacious aerobics and fitness rooms filled with the best training equipment and a spa treatment center adjacent to the full locker room facilities for men and women. A huge meeting room is also available.

It’s the latest amenity at Walnut Cove that also features a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course that opened in 2005.

"We offer a full schedule of personal conditioning programs, classes and activities for our Members," said Vance Ferrigno, director of wellness programming. "Our goal is to help our Members improve their lives outside the gym, whether that means having a better golf game or do whatever it is in life that brings them fulfillment. Our goal is to make The Cliffs the healthiest place to live, work and play in America."

The Cliffs offers a comprehensive wellness program focuses on mind, body and spirit that is supported by preventative medical programs, customized individual programs, wellness coaches and nutritional programs. More than 3,000 programs are offered each year throughout all the Cliffs communities.

These programs are sustained through formal affiliations with leaders in the field of preventative healthcare, including, for example, the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The Cliffs Communities recently received national recognition for its innovative employee wellness program, earning a gold distinction from the Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA).

City of Asheville and YWCA Create Partnership

Thursday, June 18th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The city of Asheville has partnered with YWCA of Asheville at 185 S. French Broad Ave. in introducing a trial program called the “Y Commute Pass” which will be offered during the months of June, July and August. This program will allow bicycle commuters and walkers access to the locker room, a locker, and shower for $50.00 for the three months. So whether you walk or bicycle to downtown Asheville, you now have an opportunity to shower before heading into the office.

The City of Asheville’s Transportation Division approached the YWCA to see if they would be interested in offering commuters an opportunity to freshen up on their way to work. Barb Mee, Transportation Planner, found this to be a “great benefit for people who want to walk or bicycle to work in the downtown area. For many people, there is a fear that if they use an active form of transportation they won’t be presentable for work,” she said. I am so impressed that the YWCA of Asheville is willing to be a leader in supporting the community this way.”

YWCA Executive Director Holly Jones said that “the YWCA is committed to facilitating healthy lifestyles for the citizens of Buncombe County. The YWCA is proud to launch a community-wide bicycle commuter program in order to support individuals committed to incorporating alternative transportation into their daily routines.”

For more information about the YWCA Y Commute Pass, contact Carol Severance at the YWCA, 254-7206 x105. For more information about walking and bicycling in Asheville, contact Barb Mee at the City of Asheville, 232-4540, or email [email protected] or [email protected]

Asheville Parks and Recreation to Host ‘Men’s Health Night’

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts will host Men’s Health Night 6:30-7:30 p.m. May 28 at Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Street.

Held in collaboration with Asheville Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement, a local group working to equalize health access for African Americans, this free event will cover diabetes, cardiovascular and prostate health with a video and presentations. Free healthy snacks provided.

For information, contact Maureen Jablinske at (828) 350-2058 or [email protected].

UNCA’s NC Center for Health and Wellness to Recieve $3 Million Grant

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – UNC Asheville’s North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness has received a $3 million grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

The three-year grant, the biggest ever for the foundation’s Healthy Active Communities focus area and one of the largest in UNCA’s history, will go toward growing the center’s work in three main focus areas: childhood obesity, worksite wellness and healhty aging.

The $42 million N.C. Center for Health & Wellness is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in March 2011.

The 133,500-square-foot center will become home to the college’s health and wellness department, the school’s fastest growing major that focuses on improving health through prevention.

School officials hope the work being done at the center and the college will help improve the health of residents in Asheville and North Carolina, while also preparing students for careers in health care. UNCA receives grant.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Honors Asheville Teen As ‘Youth Advocate of the Year’

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids

ASHEVILLE, NC – Colleen Daly, 17, of Asheville, N.C., has been named the South Regional Youth Advocate of the Year by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for her leadership in the fight against tobacco. Colleen is being honored at a gala in the nation’s capital tonight (May 6) along with a national winner, three other regional winners and a group winner.

Colleen knows how to empower those around her to work for positive change. Colleen has a wealth of tobacco control experience, including meeting with legislators to advocate smoke-free air, educating youth about the dangers of tobacco products and serving as president of her local chapter of Teens Against Tobacco Use (T.A.T.U.). Currently, Colleen is working with Project ASSIST and the American Heart Association to advocate for statewide smoke-free air legislation in North Carolina. Her smoke-free advocacy also includes working to pass a smoke-free parks policy in Asheville and speaking at Asheville’s minor league baseball stadium to introduce this policy to the public. Colleen also has developed a talent for graphic design and redesigned her county’s Project ASSIST logo.

More than 400 public health, political, civic and business leaders will attend the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ 13th annual anniversary gala in Washington, D.C., to recognize these young leaders. The winners will receive educational scholarships and grants to continue their prevention efforts and serve as ambassadors for the Campaign.

"Colleen Daly and other young leaders from across the nation are making great strides against youth tobacco addiction and their voices are being heard," said Matthew L. Myers, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president. "Every day, 1,000 kids in the United States become regular smokers and one-third of them will die prematurely from tobacco-caused disease. Almost 90 percent of adult smokers began at or before the age of 18. Youth are powerful allies in the fight to turn these trends around."

In North Carolina, 19 percent of high school students smoke, and 11,800 kids become daily smokers every year. Every year, tobacco use kills 12,200 North Carolina residents and costs the state over $2 billion in health care bills. Nationally, tobacco use kills more than 400,000 people and costs the nation more than $96 billion in health care costs each year.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leader in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its devastating consequences in the United States and around the world. By changing public attitudes and public policies on tobacco, the Campaign strives to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.