Newsroom

TREATING PAIN SAFER: Fewer Opioids and Better Results Controlled Substances Education for Prescribers

December 15, 2017

Literature has shown that prescribers receive little education on the treatment of pain, resulting in less effective pain treatment with worse outcomes. Attendees will learn the evidence-based analysis of the relative effectiveness of medications and their side effects, recommendations on how to improve treatment of acute and chronic pain, and recognizing substance use/opioid use disorders. This program will include the three required topics outlined by the new CME requirement in 21 NCAC 32R .0101:

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Provider alert from BCHHS Public Health: Pertussis outbreak in Henderson County

December 6, 2017

As you are likely aware, an outbreak of pertussis is currently happening in Henderson County – as of last night, 10 cases have been identified, affecting numerous schools. Investigation and contact tracing by Henderson County Department of Public Health is ongoing. Additionally, other surrounding counties have confirmed cases.

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Crisis Intervention and Heating Program Funds Available

December 4, 2017

Buncombe County, N.C., - The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP)  and Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides federal funds to low–income families in a heating or cooling crisis or to those who are in danger of experiencing a life-threatening or health-related emergency and sufficient, timely, and appropriate assistance is not available from any other source.

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National Patient Advocate Foundation Invites Asheville to Share “What Matters to You?”

November 21, 2017

MAHEC hosts RWJF-funded workshop on December 7 to support shared decision making for patients

On December 7, the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will host the first of two national skilled communications workshops to support shared decision making in healthcare.

"Person-centered care requires that patients and providers have the communications skills to talk about what matters at critical points in the treatment process,” shares Gwen Darien, NPAF executive vice president for patient advocacy. “This workshop brings patients, providers and community advocates together to identify and develop those skills.”

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Buncombe Commissioners To Announce Joining the Fight Against Opioid Distributors

November 14, 2017

Buncombe County Commissioners will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14 to announce the filing of a lawsuit in the fight against the distribution of opioids.

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International Expert on Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy to Speak at MAHEC

November 6, 2017

On Monday, November 13, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will welcome
Dr. Hendrée Jones from UNC Chapel Hill to discuss strategies for improving health outcomes for women with opioid use disorder during pregnancy.

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WCMS Foundation Awarded Two-Year Grant from Physicians Foundation “WCMS Healthy Healer Program: Using the Medical Society as a Vehicle to Address Physician Burnout”

November 6, 2017

The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation’s (WCMS) Healthy Healer Program has been awarded a two-year grant from The Physicians Foundation to develop a replicable program for medical societies to address the growing trend of physician burnout.

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What is Lifestyle Medicine?

October 30, 2017

Chronic disease is now responsible for 70 to 80% of all health care expenditure, yet most health professionals treat chronic disease the same way they treat communicable disease: with pills and injections. While this might temporarily relieve acute symptoms, it does not address the underlying cause of the chronic disease. Most physicians and health professionals receive little to no education on nutrition, exercise, rest or social connectivity, which are the four pillars of Lifestyle Medicine.

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Introducing Digestive Health Partners’ Western North Carolina Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative (WNC-CRCSI)

October 27, 2017

Colorectal cancer is largely preventable. It is estimated that 40 out of 100 deaths from late stage colorectal cancer are preventable if all adults aged 50 and older were routinely screened. Colon cancer was the 2nd leading cause of death in North Carolina in 2012. There were 1,533 colorectal cancer deaths in 2012 and over 7,550 deaths from 2008-2012 in North Carolina.  

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Help Families in Puerto Rico

October 23, 2017

The families of a WCMS physician and two WIN interpreters are affected by the ongoing crisis in Puerto Rico. WCMS is helping the physician and interpreters gather supplies to send to their families.

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MAHEC Prepares Western North Carolina for MACRA, Featured in New MACRA Toolkit

October 18, 2017

October 11, 2017– Last week was the deadline for physicians and other eligible professionals to begin collecting data to meet reporting requirements under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) or face a potential reduction in future Medicare reimbursement.

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As a reminder, physicians in NC are required by state law (NC General Statute § 130A-135) to report suspected or confirmed communicable diseases to the local health department.

October 2, 2017

The BCHHS Communicable Disease phone and fax lines are back in service.  If you tried to call or fax a communicable disease report to us on 9/30 or 10/1, please resend that information at this time to ensure we have all the information we need.

 

In general, BCHHS Communicable Disease staff are available 24/7 by calling 828-250-5109 or fax at 828-250-6169.

  •  If you ever try to contact them at these numbers and are unable to leave a message or your fax fails to go through, please contact me at 828-989-6145 or Ellis Vaughan, our Clinical Services Coordinator, at 828-545-6740.

 

As a reminder, physicians in NC are required by state law (NC General Statute § 130A-135) to report suspected or confirmed communicable diseases to the local health department. The Communicable Disease report form for Buncombe County is located at https://www.buncombecounty.org/common/health/Morb_Card.pdf. Please review the list of reportable diseases and conditions on the form, as well as the time frame for reporting them to public health.

Finally, we have had situations where health care providers have been hesitant to share protected health information with our Communicable Disease nurses during their investigations. Please understand that release of this information is allowable under HIPAA. See the attached memo from the NC DHHS for specifics.

Thanks for working with us to identify, contain and manage communicable diseases in our community.

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Vaya, MAHEC Make Opioid Overdose-Reversal Kits Available to Buncombe County Schools

September 6, 2017

Buncombe County Schools are now better prepared to prevent fatal overdoses on campus thanks to collaborative efforts by Vaya Health, MAHEC and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

 

On Wednesday, September 6, Lieutenant Mike Ruby of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office delivered opioid overdose-reversal kits and training to student resource officers for more than 14 Buncombe County middle and high schools in Enka, Erwin, North Buncombe, Owen, Reynolds, and Roberson school districts.


Each kit contains two doses of NARCAN® nasal spray, the first and only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone, which can be administered by student resource officers and school nurses for emergency treatment of a suspected opioid overdose. These kits were made possible through a state grant to Vaya Health, a regional public managed healthcare organization.

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State-Funded Rural Training Provides More Doctors in Underserved WNC Counties

August 30, 2017

Five MAHEC Family Medicine Residency graduates are currently participating in yearlong fellowships through MAHEC in rural locations, where they plan to stay and practice upon completion.

Paulette Doiron, MD, and Kelly Garcia, MD, began their Maternal Child Health Fellowships at Haywood Health Center in Waynesville this past July. Winona Houser, MD, started her Rural Family Medicine Fellowship at Cherokee Indian Hospital in early August. Jessica White, MD, will begin her Rural Family Medicine Fellowship on September 4 and will see patients at Celo Health Center in Yancey County and Bakersville Community Health Center sites in Spruce Pine and Bakersville in Mitchell County. Robyn Restrepo, MD, also a Rural Family Medicine Fellow, began practicing in Highlands on August 21, 2017

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BCHHS Public Health: Infections Associated With Tattoos by Unpermitted Tattoo Artists

August 30, 2017

Clinicians are encouraged to take the following actions when caring for an individual with a recent tattoo:

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