Monthly Archives: August 2011

Local Agencies Participate in Emergency Exercise

“I would like to thank our community partners from local emergency services, law enforcement and emergency management for their support and assistance in planning, developing and implementing the drill this past Saturday. I think ARHS and Watauga County demonstrated their commitment to excellence in the successful recovery of the patient and our community’s unique ability to come together during situations like this scenario for a successful outcome.”

– Shawn Peele, Chief – ARHS Police

Volunteer Program Presents Healthcare Scholarships to area Students

The Volunteer Program at Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital is proud to announce the presentation of $6,000 in scholarships to students from area schools pursuing a degree in the healthcare field.

In June 2011, at the Avery County High School awards night ceremony, Luke Johnson was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and Katelyn Beverly was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. All of these students will be pursuing a career in healthcare.

On August 15, 2011, Paul Hagen, Chair of the Cannon Memorial Hospital Volunteer Scholarship Committee, presented scholarships to six students at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville, NC.

Janet Hager of Granite Falls received a $750 scholarship. Ms. Hager is enrolled in the Ophthalmic Medical Assistant program at Caldwell Community College.

Justin Wright and Kayla Knecht, both Cannon Memorial Hospital volunteers and residents of Avery county, received scholarships in the amount of $750 each. Mr. Wright is enrolled in the pre-med program at ETSU and Ms. Knecht, also attending ETSU, is in the physician’s assistant program.

Karen Shooter of Banner Elk, received a $750 scholarship. Ms. Shooter is enrolled in the nuclear medicine tech program at Caldwell Community College.

Janet Barnes of Newland, received a $500 scholarship. Ms. Barnes is enrolled at Mayland Community College pursing her associate degree in nursing.

Melissa Phillips of Granite Falls, received a $500 scholarship. Ms. Phillips will pursue an associate degree in nursing at Caldwell Community College.

CMH volunteer scholarship chair Paul Hagen; Melissa Phillips; Karen Shooter; Kayla Knecht; Justin Wright; Janet Hager; CMH volunteer Dee Humphrey; and CMH volunteer Rose Cole

The Volunteer Program at Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital congratulates each of these outstanding individuals and wishes them success as they pursue their futures in the healthcare field. For more information about the Volunteer Program at Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital or the scholarships for students, contact Sallie Woodring at (828) 737-7538 or send an email to

Back to School: Keeping Kids Healthy

Chris McCracken, MD

School has started back and every parent knows that colds/flu are just around the corner.  So, we asked our own Dr. Chris McCracken for his thoughts…

Make sure your kids are up-to-date on immunizations, including Flu shots in September or October. They need a healthy diet and lots of activity. Getting sick is part of being a kid, but healthy active kids should be able to shake off most colds pretty easily. The more colds kids get, the better their immune system will be, overall.

– Chris McCracken, MD
Appalachian Regional Adult & Family Medicine

A Magical Fashion Show Fundraiser

The 34th annual Blowing Rock Hospital Fashion Show and Luncheon was host to over 300 guests at Blowing Rock Country Club on August 5, 2011.  The four events associated with the fashion show grossed more than $79,000.00, with $16,425.00 raised from a live auction at our “Evening of Magic” held at the home of John and Ruth Ellen Weems.  Michael and Mary Bost Gray hosted the “Evening Under the Stars” Patron’s party at their house, and Joellyn Gibbons hosted the “Wine and Women” kick-off party in June.

Proceeds will be directed toward a building fund for a planned new post-acute care facility in Blowing Rock.  Fashions were provided by 13 stores in the Village of Blowing Rock.  Our honorary Chairwoman was Harriet Davant, and the Chairwomen were Janis Fite and Pat Sevier.

ARHS Receives NC Prevention Partners Red Apple Designation

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) comprised of Blowing Rock Hospital, Cannon Memorial Hospital, and Watauga Medical Center was recently awarded the title of “Red Apple Hospital” by the North Carolina Prevention Partners. The Red Apple program, part of the Healthier Food Environment initiative started by NC Prevention Partners, is outlined by 5 core Guidelines: Access, Pricing, Marketing, Employee Benefits and Education that all aim to make it easier for hospital employees and visitors to eat healthy.

To implement this initiative within ARHS, a Red Apple Task Force was developed. This Task Force is a multi-disciplinary group comprised of Executive Leadership, Nutrition Services, Employee Wellness, Volunteer Services/Career Pathways, and Corporate Communications.

Since its inception in July 2010, the Task Force has introduced many new and exciting things to ARHS cafeterias and vending:

  • ARHS Healthy Choice SymbolSeptember 2010:  The Taste of ARHS and the “Healthy Symbol” is unveiled.
  • October 2010:  Healthy Pick of the Day was introduced, giving guests and employees a new (and inexpensive!) way to make healthier choices in the cafeterias.
  • October 2010:  New pricing structure in ARHS cafeterias is launched – offering healthier items at discounted prices.
  • April 2011:  The Taste of ARHS Vending and the Healthier Vending launched – offering healthier snacking alternatives at discounted prices.
  • Coming in August!  Ala cart items in ARHS cafeterias will now have nutrition labels. It will be even easier for you to make informed, healthier choices while navigating the cafeteria.

As a community leader in promoting good health habits and helping people lead healthy lifestyles, ARHS wants to lead by example and show people that eating healthy is easier if you make healthy options available and make them easily identifiable. ARHS invites the community to come dine at one of our cafeterias and look for the healthy choice symbol in the cafeteria or at our vending machines for the healthier choices.