Hoss Celebrates 50 years of Service with Healthcare System

Brenda Hoss, administrative assistant to the President of Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital, is celebrating 50 years of service.

Hoss started at the old Cannon Memorial Hospital in Banner Elk right after high school. Over the past 50 years she has worked for seven administrators, witnessed Sloop Memorial Hospital and Cannon Memorial Hospital merge into one in a new facility, and then Cannon Memorial Hospital and Watauga Medical Center join to form Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS).

Carmen Lacey and Brenda Hoss

Carmen Lacey and Brenda Hoss

“Brenda has served as a constant for healthcare advancement in our community for decades,” said Carmen Lacey, President of Cannon Memorial Hospital. “Her commitment and compassionate heart inspires all of us here at Cannon and in the community.”

Thankfully for ARHS, Hoss loves her job and has no plans to retire anytime soon. She was honored at a reception earlier this week where co-workers and community members joined together to express their gratitude for her years of service.

D’Artagnan’s Gifts Help Pediatric Patients at Watauga Medical Center

Three years ago, at age eight, D’Artagnan (Tanion) McCoy came to the conclusion that he had too many toys – more than he needed. So in June 2012, he decided that he wanted to give someone else the toys he would get for his birthday. He and his parents spoke with Jessica Powell, Development Officer at Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation, and she suggested that the toys could be donated to the pediatric patients at Watauga Medical Center.

D'Artagnan McCoy with the toys for pediatric patients

D’Artagnan McCoy with the toys for pediatric patients

Tanion, now age eleven, is the son of Doc and Trina McCoy, owners of Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine, a local business who has been a huge supporter of the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center.  Since 2012, more than 5,300 pediatric patients have been able to enjoy Tanion’s gift.

By hosting events and raffle drawings, the McCoy’s have donated more than $19,000 to the cancer patient emergency fund. Each year in October Doc’s Rocks hosts Mining for the Cure, an event in which 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Cancer Center.  October 10th will be the 6th year of this event. The McCoy’s also serve on the Cancer Resource Alliance Board and donate pink gems for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s annual Pink Day event raffle – also held in October.

To continue the tradition this year, Tanion had a pool party with more than 25 guests – all bringing presents for the pediatric patients at Watauga Medical Center.

“Tanion is a different child; he is special.  He has an old soul in a young body, shared his grandmother, Marsha DeWeese.  “He has a compassion for others that not many have, especially at his age.”

When asked why he keeps giving, Tanion stated, “It’s just a good thing to do.”
For more information about how you can help patients in the hospital, call (828) 262-4391.

Raising Awareness – MedicAlert Bracelets

When Isabelle was two years old, her mother fed her a peanut butter sandwich for the first time, and the toddler had an allergic reaction that sent her to the hospital. Immediately after that hospital visit, Isabelle received her first MedicAlert bracelet. Like most moms, Isabelle’s mother had great plans to be vigilant, and eliminated anything with peanuts from their home right away and told all her friends and family not to feed Isabelle anything with peanuts. But Isabelle’s mom was also a nurse in the emergency room of a hospital, and had seen first-hand how dangerous it could be to try to treat someone who comes in unconscious and alone, without knowing whether they suffered from a chronic illness or have allergies. While she had the best of intentions of protecting her daughter as much as possible, she knew it would be impossible to be with Isabelle at all times, but that MedicAlert bracelet could be.

August is MedicAlert Awareness Month, and the story of Isabelle is just one example of who should wear medic alert bracelets. The MedicAlert Foundation was begun over 50 years ago by a surgeon much like Isabelle’s mother, who had a daughter with a life-threatening condition. He created this system to help alleviate some of the fears that weigh on parents’ minds to allow kids to be kids.

http://www.medicalert.org/sites/default/files/styles/product-350/public/A651_2.jpg?itok=JBYyavb2In the decades since the foundation’s inception, the bracelets have become important for many people, not just young children. They are important for anyone with food or medicine allergies and people who suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, and COPD, to name a few. If you or a loved one could fall into a coma or become unconscious due to your illness, the information that’s on your bracelet can help medical professionals know how to start treatment. If you are allergic to something and go to the hospital unable to communicate, the information on the bracelet could save your life by preventing the medical staff from giving you something that could cause an allergic reaction.

A new use for the MedicAlert bracelet is for people suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. MedicAlert has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program for an additional safety program. This is a 24-hour emergency response system that alerts a community support network, including law enforcement agencies, as soon as a caregiver reports the person missing.

Caring for a loved one with a chronic illness, a life-threatening food allergy or dementia can be a stressful and exhausting endeavor. For more information about MedicAlert bracelets, talk to your medical provider and visit www.medicalert.org.

*Isabelle and her mom are fictional people in the scenario above. 


Ribbon Cutting: New multi-specialty medical practice to open at Boone Point

Appalachian Regional Medical Associates is pleased to announce the opening of Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists (ARIMS) on Monday, August 24. The multi-specialty practice is located in the Boone Point Building at 148 Hwy 105 Extension, Suite 104 in Boone.

Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists.

Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists.

This multi-specialty practice will include Rheumatology, Pulmonology and Internal Medicine. Dr. James Logan of Appalachian Regional Rheumatology and Dr. Kevin Wolfe of Appalachian Regional Pulmonology will join new providers, Dr. Richard Stark and Stephanie Walker, FNP.

The newest member of Appalachian Regional Medical Associates (ARMA) is expected to improve accessibility for both primary and specialty care services through its “all in one” design. The 6,000 square foot, state-of-the-art medical practice will include an infusion room with wall-to-wall windows and an on-site pulmonary function test center – the first in the region not located within a hospital.

“We are very pleased to open Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists to provide better access to healthcare to the High Country community,” said Robert Johnston, Director of ARMA.

“We are building the clinic around the patients and their needs in one location. That is specifically why we have combined internal medicine, pulmonology, rheumatology, pulmonary function testing, a state of the art infusion center, and on-site lab draw center, in one central location.”

The public is invited to an Open House/Ribbon Cutting event on September 2 from 4 to 6 pm.

To learn more about Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists or to schedule an appointment, please call 828-386-2746. For more information about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System visit www.apprhs.org.

Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers

Did you know:baby

  • Breastfeeding decreases the possibility that babies will get ear infections, diarrhea, and a variety of infectious diseases?
  • Children who were breastfed have lower rates of obesity and higher intelligence scores?
  • Moms who breastfeed return to their postpartum weight faster?
  • Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of ovarian cancer?

For these and other reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics supports breastfeeding and provides education to help new mothers and give them the resources they need.

At Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, we also provide resources and support for breastfeeding moms through our Marchese Birthing Center at Watauga Medical Center. Our lactation consultants and lactation educators are available during the hospital stay and even after mom and baby go home. They can be contacted by calling (828) 262-4285.

This week, August 1-7, is World Breastfeeding Week, a time set aside to promote breastfeeding and provide education. Efforts like this and promotions from other organizations have definitely helped spread the word. According to the CDC, breastfeeding rates continue to rise, and in 2011, 79 percent of newborn infants started to breastfeed. Yet in many cases, breastfeeding doesn’t continue for as long as recommended. Of infants born in 2011, 49 percent were breastfeeding at 6 months, and 27 percent at 12 months.

This decline is part of what inspired this year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week, “Let’s Make it Work.” Some of the objectives of this year’s initiatives include helping making workplaces more family friendly and to encourage employers to actively facilitate and support employed women who continue to breastfeed once they return to work.

There are many different reasons why women might not continue to breast feed longer than the first few weeks or months of their baby’s life. Sometimes it is a painful process, or the baby has problems latching on. Sometimes the mother simply doesn’t produce enough milk. And in some cases, it is just too hard to find a way to pump at work. We are supportive of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week initiative, because we know how important it is to breastfeeding mothers to have an encouraging environment at work. ARHS has a nursing mother’s room for employees at Watauga Medical Center, Cannon Memorial Hospital and Blowing Rock Rehabilitation that provides a private, comfortable setting for a lactating mother to express breast milk for her nursing child. Breast pumps are available in each room and pumping kit supplies can be ordered for employees at cost. A cooler for storing the expressed milk is provided free of charge.

Our society has come a long way in supporting breastfeeding, but we still have a long way to go. We encourage all new mothers to take advantage of the resources available at the Marchese Birthing Center. The support we give continues long after you and your baby are discharged, and having a good support network during breastfeeding can make a big difference in how long new moms continue their efforts.

For more information, call (828) 262-4285.