Cancer Center’s 2nd annual Lighting of the Tree scheduled for December 3

The Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center’s 2nd annual Lighting of the Tree ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, December 3 from 6 – 7 pm in Watauga Medical Center’s auditorium atrium located at 336 Deerfield Road, Boone, NC. The public is welcome to attend and honor and/or remember loved ones who have faced cancer, no matter where they were treated.

The ceremony will feature the lighting of the tree, refreshments, live music and an opportunity to fellowship with Cancer Center staff, neighbors and friends. In addition, participants may purchase commemorative porcelain ornaments in honor/or memory of a loved one that will be placed on the tree prior to the ceremony. A volunteer decorating committee will carefully hand paint each honoree’s name onto their respective ornament. Ornament orders are by donation only and must be received by December 1st to ensure they are completed in time for the ceremony. All donations will benefit the Cancer Resource Alliance (CRA), a Seby B. Jones Cancer Center program designed to help cancer survivors and their families find support during and after diagnosis and treatment.

The Lighting of the Tree ceremony is open to people of all faiths. In addition to the ceremony tree located at Watauga Medical Center, the Cancer Center staff will also decorate a second tree in the Medical Oncology lobby on the first floor of the Cancer Center.

To order an ornament or to learn more about the Lighting of the Tree ceremony, call 828-262-4332 or visit

It’s Time to Quit Smoking!

We live in a state that for many years depended on tobacco as a major cash crop. It’s no wonder that the percentage of adults who smoke in North Carolina (20%)  is higher than the national average of 18%.  The good news is the number of people who smoke cigarettes is declining. The bad news is smoking is still the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Smoking increases your risk of cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and lung disease, but for people who have smoked and can quit, those risks go down.

stop_smokingThe problem is, for most people it is very hard to quit smoking. Anyone who has ever tried to quit or seen a friend or loved one try to quit knows just how addictive cigarettes and other tobacco products can be. Luckily, there are great resources out there to help people quit smoking. One of those happens to occur this month! The Great American Smokeout is November 19, a day when the American Cancer Society encourages everyone to try to quit smoking. It’s always easier to do something like quitting smoking with a group of people, that way you have additional support to help you through the rough times.

Of course, any day is a perfect day to quit smoking. If you are interested in trying to quit you should talk with your doctor or healthcare professional. They will be able to provide materials and talk with you about options available to assist in quitting.

You can also take advantage of a great resource, the NC Quitline. This hotline provides one-on-one coaching, as well as free services, materials and support.

Call today- 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).




Cannon Memorial Hospital Receives National Recognition for Performance Leadership in Quality

Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital was recently recognized by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in Quality, reflecting top quartile performance among all critical access and acute care hospitals in the nation. The quality recognition announcement comes in conjunction with National Rural Health Day, celebrated annually on November 19.

“We feel honored and validated to be recognized for our steadfast commitment to quality patient care,” said Carmen Lacey, President of Cannon Memorial Hospital.

Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital

Charles A. Cannon Jr. Memorial Hospital.

The quality rankings, designated by the Hospital Strength INDEX™, are the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of hospital performance. In partnership with NOSORH, iVantage Health Analytics has developed a data-driven program designed to identify excellence across a broad spectrum of indicators relevant to hospital performance and patient care. The Hospital Strength INDEX™ captures performance metrics for more than 4,000 acute care hospitals, including over 1,300 rural and Critical Access Hospitals. Leveraging data from public data sources, INDEX aggregates data from 66 individual metrics into three major categories and nine pillars to derive a single strength overall rating for each facility.

In addition to Cannon Memorial Hospital, nine other North Carolina rural hospitals were recognized for excellence in quality in 2015:

  • Alleghany County Memorial Hospital
  • Carolinas Health Care System Anson
  • Carolinas Healthcare System Lincoln
  • Northern Hospital Of Surry County
  • Novant Health Franklin Medical Center
  • Pender Memorial Hospital
  • Sandhills Regional Medical Center
  • Vidant Edgecombe Hospital
  • Vidant Roanoke Chowan Hospital

To learn more about National Rural Health Day visit

Education Matters with Diabetes

Did you know that about 9% of North Carolinians over the age of 20 are diagnosed with diabetes? That means that for those of you reading this, it’s likely that you know someone living with diabetes, or you are yourself. In addition, almost that same number of adults in North Carolina are undiagnosed or have prediabetes.

diabetesThe number of people with diabetes is large, and unfortunately it’s increasing. That’s one reason why the work of the American Diabetes Association to raise awareness and provide education is so important. People living with diabetes have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney failure, and eye disease than people without diabetes. But many of these complications can be avoided by learning how to manage the disease by controlling blood sugar levels through healthy diet, regular exercise, and medication if necessary.

“Eat Well, America!” is the theme this year for the American Diabetes Association’s November Diabetes Awareness month. The goal is to provide information, meal planning tips and recipes to help people with diabetes, as well as the general public, learn about and fill their plate with foods that are both delicious and nutritious. Check out the American Diabetes Association’s website at for further information. Some other great resources include Cooking Light’s Diabetic recipes or Mayo Clinic’s diabetes meal planning.

In addition to online resources, there are also ways to learn more about managing your diabetes within our community. We are excited to be hosting a Diabetes Health Fair at the Paul E. Broyhill Wellness Center on November 14 from 8 am- 9:45 am. In addition to providing information on eating well, participants will be able to have a diabetes risk assessment including these free screenings -finger stick blood sugar, blood pressure check, foot screening, and body

composition. The event concludes with a Health Talk on Living with Diabetes by Dr. Jay Krakovitz at 10:00 a.m. This is a great opportunity to learn ways to manage your diabetes and find support from other people within your community.

Watauga Medical Center also offers a diabetes management program with access to registered dietitian, classes and support groups. For more information, call (828) 262-4177.





Diabetes Health Fair & Health Talk to be held on November 14 at the Wellness Center

In observance of National Diabetes Month, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) is offering a free Diabetes Health Fair from 8 am – 9:45 am and a Health Talk from 10 am – 10:45 am on Saturday, November 14 at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center, 232 Boone Heights Drive in Boone.

The Wellness Center will host a free Health Fair and Health Talk on Saturday, November 14.

The Wellness Center will host a free Health Fair and Health Talk on Saturday, November 14.

The Health Fair will feature a variety of free screenings including blood pressure checks, a diabetic foot screening, glucose level checks, body composition screenings, Body Mass Index (BMI) readings, height and weight measurements and onsite nutrition information. Participants seeking a glucose level are encouraged to fast 12 hours prior to the health fair to ensure accurate results; a free light breakfast will be provided. In addition, Dr. Jay Krakovitz of Watauga Internal Medicine will give a one hour complementary Health Talk entitled Living with Diabetes at 10 am in the Wellness Center classroom. All participants will be granted free admission to the Wellness Center that day and entered to win door prizes.

“Our goal this month is to raise awareness in regard to diabetes,” said Kris Hartley, Fitness and Clinical Programs Manager at the Wellness Center. “By providing education, screenings and programs that encourage healthy lifestyle changes we hope to improve health outcomes in our community.”

Outside of November, patients with diabetes can also find assistance through Watauga Medical Center’s Diabetes Self-Management Education Program and Diabetes Support Group. The program, led by Certified Diabetes Educator Linda Bond, RN, BSN and a team of registered dietitians, provides patients with the skills needed to manage their diabetes. The Self-Management Classes require a referral. The Diabetes Support Group meets once a month, May through October, at Watauga Medical Center.

“Diabetes is a challenging disease that affects the entire family in many ways,” said Bond. “As a diabetes educator, my goal is to work with the team to educate the community about the risks of diabetes and to improve the quality of life for people who live daily with diabetes.”

To learn more about the Diabetes Health Fair or Health Talk, contact Candy Jones, RN, Community Outreach Nurse at 828-268-8960 or email her at For more information about Diabetes Programs offered through Appalachian Regional Healthcare System call Linda Bond at 828-262-4177.