Sleep Better in Better Sleep Month

Sleep. For many of us, haggard from busy days rushing from work to the gym to after school activities such as soccer, dance class or karate, only to finally make it home and have mountains of laundry to tackle, and a sink full of dishes, sleep is a magic word. It might seem like an unreachable goal to get the recommended amount of sleep. Even though it is hard to do, it is very important to get a good night’s sleep. Being well-rested helps us stay more alert, have more energy and keeps our bodies healthier.Sleeping_atDesk

The trick is to figure out what the right amount of sleep is for you. Some people might be perfectly fine with five hours of sleep, while others need 10 to be fully rested.

The National Sleep Foundation recently conducted new research on how much sleep we need, and revised the standards from previous years. They have added a young adult and older adult category, and expanded the hour-range of how much sleep each age segment needs.

For some people, this chart might be a relief. If you’re 70 years old and were worried because you weren’t sleeping eight hours a night, now you know that as little as five hours might be all you need.

The amount of sleep a person needs varies from person to person, and also changes depending on your age. But no matter how much sleep you need, it’s important that when you do go to bed you can get to sleep and sleep well during the night.

Here are a few tips for a good night’s sleep.

  • Create a sleep routine. Bedtime routines aren’t just for babies. Doing things right before going to bed that help you relax and release the stress of the day can help you go to sleep. It might be dimming the lights and brushing your teeth, but whatever it is, you’re getting ready for bed.
  • Take the TV out of your room. Studies have shown that turning off electronics — the TV, our phones, even tablets — helps people get a better night’s sleep.
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow. You should change your pillow periodically anyway, because they can collect dust mites, but having a pillow and mattress of the correct firmness helps you relax and keeps you from tossing and turning during the night.
  • Keep to a sleep schedule. It’s tempting to want to sleep in late on the weekends, but it’s better if you try to go to bed and get up at about the same time every day.

Click here for more tips for a good night’s sleep.

For some of us, no matter how careful we are with our sleep hygiene, a good night’s sleep still escapes us. Luckily, there are some great resources at The Sleep Center.



Celebrating Healthcare in Blowing Rock: National Nursing Home Week

Blowing Rock Rehabilitation and Davant Extended Care Center (BRRDECC) will celebrate National Nursing Home Week, May 10 – 16, 2015. This year, BRRDECC plans to use the week to acknowledge its history, appreciate its patients, applaud its staff and anticipate its future.


Blowing Rock Rehabilitation and Davant Extended Care Center.

Blowing Rock Rehabilitation and Davant Extended Care Center.

It all began in 1948, when former Blowing Rock Mayor Grover Robbins. Sr., asked a young Dr. Charles Davant. Jr., to serve as the community physician. Dr. Davant graciously accepted the position and began seeing patients on weekday afternoons and on Sundays. In 1951, The Blowing Rocket acknowledged Dr. Davant for his role in bringing a hospital to the region. “As everyone in the community knows, the driving force behind Blowing Rock Hospital, now known as Blowing Rock Rehabilitation & Davant Extended Care, is Dr. Charles Davant.”

Today, Dr. Davant’s legacy lives on though his son, Dr. Charles “Bunky” Davant, III. Dr. Davant has faithfully served patients at both Blowing Rock Medical Clinic and BRRDECC since 1975. In addition to Dr. Davant, Dr. John Davis and Dr. John Whitlock serve the community and patients at the facility.


Since joining Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in 2007, BRRDECC has served as an invaluable member to the healthcare system’s continuum of care. The 72-bed post-acute care facility specializes in short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. BRRDECC specializes in state-of-the-art rehab which supports patients in transition from the hospital to the home and offers long-term care as an alternative for those who can no longer live at home.

The skilled nursing facility has a depth of experience in all areas of service including: Rehabilitation: 30 years, Nursing: 30 years, Dietary: 30 years, Maintenance: 27 years, Environmental Services: 39 years, Social Services: 18 years and Activities: 25 years.


Throughout the years, BRRDECC has made every effort to meet the growing needs of the community. After conducting a needs assessment, ARHS determined that it would be in the best interest of the region to replace the existing facility with a larger, modernized 112-bed post-acute care center. This new facility will be called Chestnut Ridge.

Future rendering of Chestnut Ridge.

Future rendering of Chestnut Ridge.

Chestnut Ridge will enhance the region’s medical access to short and long-term post-acute care services. It will provide memory support, palliative care, rehabilitation services, skilled nursing care and a primary care clinic on a 68 acre tract alongside US 321 in Blowing Rock, NC.

The ARHS Foundation is currently engaged in a capital campaign to raise $11.5 million for Chestnut Ridge. Through the generosity of donors, ARHS is well on its way to reaching this goal.

Chestnut Ridge is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016. One quote pulled from The Blowing Rocket in 1968 pertaining to healthcare remains true today, “The story has not ended, there are many chapters remaining. The past has been an inspiration to further accomplishments.”

To learn more about National Nursing Home Week or Blowing Rock Rehabilitation and Davant Extended Care Center visit For more information about Chestnut Ridge visit

Healthcare System to offer summer Health Talk series

This summer, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System will host a 3-part community Health Talk series at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center. The series is free and open to the public.

Thursday, May 14
Peripheral Artery Disease
Dr. Peter Purcell – Vascular Surgeon
Wellness Center Classroom – 6:30 pm

Thursday, June 11
Neck and Back Pain: Treatment Options at Watauga Medical Center
Dr. James Califf – Orthopaedic Surgeon
Wellness Center Classroom – 6:30 pm

Thursday, July 9
State of the Art Techniques to Prevent and Manage Knee and Shoulder Pain
Dr. Evan Ekman – Orthopaedic Surgeon
Wellness Center Classroom – 6:30 pm

Space is limited. Please call 828-268-8969 or email to RSVP. To learn more about the Health Talk series or Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, visit

Blessed be the Nurses

Blessed be the hands of the Nurses of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS)
Hands that hold and touch and push wheelchairs
Hands that expertly administer injections and tenderly bandage wounds
Hands that navigate electronic forms and tedious paperwork
Blessed be the hands of our Nurses

Blessed be the feet of the Nurses of ARHS
Feet that push heavy stretchers with precious cargo
Feet that stand long days and nights
Feet that wear out the floors treading back and forth to patient rooms
Blessed be the feet of our Nurses

Blessed be the eyes of the Nurses of ARHS
Eyes that watch monitors with critical attention
Eyes that perceive subtle changes in their patients and intervene for life
Eyes that observe the faces of pain, sadness, and grief and respond with care
Blessed be the eyes of our Nurses

Blessed be the ears of the Nurses of ARHS
Ears attuned to newborn cries and the cries of the bereaved
Ears that listen carefully for a regular heartbeat
Ears that drink in hundreds of stories, songs, and memories of near-strangers
Blessed be the ears of our Nurses

3-nursesBlessed be the hearts of the Nurses of ARHS
Hearts softened by the suffering of others
Hearts beating passionately to make a difference
Hearts touched and hearts that have touched us
Blessed be the hearts of our Nurses

And now, blessed be the celebration and camaraderie of this exceptional staff that we honor today.

Blessed be – Amen

Rev. Melanie Childers
Director, Pastoral Care

With Stroke, Act FAST!

Have you ever been in a situation where you think you should call 911, but you hesitate? Maybe you’re not exactly sure what’s going on, and you don’t want to bother the people on the other end of the line, in case they have to deal with a “real” emergency. Just remember, the reason 911 is there is to get help to you, fast. And there’s never a better time to reinforce the fact that the emergency workers are here to help than during National Stroke Month.

MayStroke is the leading cause of disability in the United States and the fourth leading cause of death. But knowledge about strokes and treatments have improved immensely over the years, which means if you recognize the signs of stroke and get your loved one help as quickly as possible, they have a better chance of recovery. It is important to act fast, because the sooner the treatment protocol is begun the better for the patient.

Luckily, you don’t have to go far for help. Watauga Medical Center has been designated a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, which means our staff has been trained in the stroke protocol and is able to start treatment as soon as the stroke has been diagnosed.

It is so important to act fast when a person is having a stroke that it has even become an acronym for teaching people to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke: Act FAST.

Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

While it is important to know the signs and symptoms of stroke and know to act fast, it is also important to take care of yourself and lead a healthy lifestyle, to hopefully prevent a stroke from occurring. According to the North Carolina Stroke Association, 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke:

  • Stop smoking
  • Manage your blood pressure
  • Have your cholesterol checked and manage it if high
  • Keep diabetes under control
  • Eat a healthy diet low in calories, salt, saturated and trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Exercise regularly

Visit our Stroke Center for more information on strokes and the resources available at Watauga Medical Center.

If you are interested in supporting the North Carolina Stroke Association, click here.