Watauga Medical Center

Give the Gift of Life: Give Blood

The slogan used by the American Red Cross has become familiar to us over the years, but don’t let its familiarity weaken its impact. What they’re saying is true. Every time you donate blood, you’re giving the gift of life to another person. And what better time to do that then now, during the holidays when gift-giving season is upon us?

blood dropBlood donations typically fall during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is understandable as so many of us are busy with parties, shopping trips, baking special treats and spending time with extended family. But taking an hour or so out of just one day to help keep the blood banks filled can make a big difference in someone’s life.

What is your blood used for? Blood transfusions are used in many different ways to treat people, including:

  • Cancer patients
  • Burn patients
  • Premature babies
  • Victims of traumatic injuries
  • People undergoing various forms of surgery

In addition to helping others, taking time to donate blood can also be helpful for you. Before you can be stuck with the needle, someone will take your blood pressure, check your pulse and record your hemoglobin, so it’s like a free health screening!

The American Red Cross makes it easy to find a blood drive near you with their Locate a Blood Drive page, and there are quite a few in our area during the month of December, including one at Watauga Medical Center on December 29. See you there!

The North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition Presents Watauga Medical Center with a Golden Bow Award

YOU ARE INVITED to a Golden Bow Award Ceremony, at which the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition will honor Watauga Medical Center’s efforts to protect and promote the health of mothers and children. The Ceremony will be held in the waiting room area on the third floor of Watauga Medical Center on Wednesday, October 29, at 5 pm.

The North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition (NCBC) is awarding Golden Bow Awards to select maternity facilities that refuse to advertise on behalf of infant formula companies, and therein support the health of mothers and babies.

The Golden Bow Awards are a way to commend hospitals for stopping the distribution of infant formula companies’ bags to new mothers. Members of the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition are prepared to support their local hospitals in making this same decision. And, when the formula bags are out of the facilities, the Coalition will proudly honor hospital leaders with Golden Bow Awards.

Formula manufacturers label their bags as “free gifts,” but Golden Bow Award recipients choose instead to promote health and are therefore denying formula companies opportunities to advertise infant formula – a product that has negative economic and health consequences for mothers and babies. Research indicates that the marketing of breast milk substitutes in healthcare settings decreases the rates of breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity. The removal of these powerful forces of formula marketing from these hospitals means that North Carolina women will be more likely to give their babies the best start in life through breastfeeding.

The North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition brings together breastfeeding advocates, health care providers, agencies, individuals, organizations and families to support, protect and promote breastfeeding in the state of North Carolina. Founded in 2005, NCBC provides a forum for development and exchange of resources for families and breastfeeding professionals. The vision of NCBC is to ensure that exclusive and continued breastfeeding is the norm in North Carolina.

To learn more about the Golden Bow Award call 919-630-4460 or visit www.apprhs.org/golden-bow.  To learn more about Watauga Medical Center visit www.apprhs.org.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System plans for events and programs during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is here. For most people that means it’s time for pumpkins, mums, trick or treating and football games. But for those who have fought breast cancer and for much of the healthcare community, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October is not colored orange. October is pink.Mammography

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) has several exciting programs and events to help highlight breast cancer and the breast health services they provide. For starters the Outpatient Imaging and Lab Center (OPIC) is offering extended hours in October for mammograms. Fridays from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Saturday, October 18th from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. have been added this month. According to Gloria Payne, Chief Mammographer, more dates and times may be made available throughout the month if needed.

Furthermore anyone who has a mammogram in the month of October at either Cannon Memorial Hospital (CMH) or the OPIC is automatically eligible to win one of two amazing gift baskets. These gift baskets include a Kindle e-reader, gift cards and many fun surprises.

For women over the age of 35 who’ve never had a screening mammogram, the Wilma Redmond Fund ensures that it is free at either the OPIC or CMH. The fund was established to honor long-time Watauga Medical Center (WMC) mammographer Wilma Redmond, who lost her battle to breast cancer in 2002.

Pink Day
In an effort to raise awareness about breast cancer, ARHS is inviting anyone and everyone to put on their pink and join them for Pink Day on Friday, October 10. From 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. breast cancer survivors, fighters and supporters will gather at the lobby of CMH for healthy refreshments that are not only pink but also promote breast health. A program featuring survivors, healthcare representatives and community members will last from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. The event will be repeated at WMC’s Auditorium from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. with the program scheduled for 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Doorprizes will be given throughout both events.

Representatives from the ARHS mammography department will be available to answer questions and schedule mammograms at both locations.

At 4 p.m. a drawing will determine the 11 winners of the stunning Rose Quartz jewelry pieces provided by Doc’s Rocks. These pieces, including a custom made brooch, an 18ct pendant, 11.5ct ring and several necklaces, pairs of earrings and bracelets, all can be viewed at www.apprhs.org/pinkday. Raffle tickets are available at both WMC and CMH for a $5 donation or $20 for 5 tickets. All proceeds go to the Wilma Redmond Mammography Fund and the Cancer Patient Emergency Fund.

At CMH, tickets are available in the gift shop and through Martha Daniels in the Imaging Department.  At WMC, tickets are available in the gift shop as well as through Gloria Payne at OPIC; Shannon Moore or Beth Miller at Inpatient Imaging Department; Sandi Cassidy at the Cancer Center; Christine Spencer in Materials Management; Candy Jones in Community Outreach and through Volunteer Mary Morgan. For more information on Pink Day, please visit www.apprhs.org/pinkday

To schedule a mammogram at either Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville or the Outpatient Imaging and Lab Center in Boone, call (828) 268-9037.

New & Improved: Watauga Medical Center renovates Operating Rooms

Healthcare is a rapidly changing industry. In order to adapt to these changes while continuing to provide superior patient care, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) has taken every step possible to stay ahead of the curve.

Newly renovated and state-of-the-art Operating Room 6 at Watauga Medical Center.

Operating Room 6 at Watauga Medical Center.

One of those steps was taken earlier this year in the Surgical Department of Watauga Medical Center (WMC) when two operating rooms (OR 5 and OR 6) were fully renovated with the latest in state-of-the-art technology.

“From a healthcare perspective, not only is it important for ARHS to recruit highly trained physicians and staff, but it is equally important to provide a top-of-the-line medical facility for the High Country community,” said Joan Messner, Director of Surgical Services at ARHS.

In order to enhance surgical cases in all services lines, including orthopaedics, spine, general, vascular, gynecological, ENT, urology, plastics and minimally invasive procedures operating room 5 and 6 have been expanded to 650 square-feet, equipped with new shadow eliminating LED lights and upgraded with three new video monitors. One of the new monitors, 55-inches in length, is mounted on the wall while the other two monitors, 27-inches in length, each hang suspended on either side of the operating table. Surgeons may project their real time, laparoscopic camera images on each of the monitors for optimal visualization during surgery. This new functionality also allows images from various pieces of equipment such as microscopes, ultrasound machines and x-ray machines to be displayed on any monitors at any time.

In addition, both operating rooms were also outfitted with a new nurse workstation. The workstation allows nurses to have remote, touch screen control over all operating room devices and equipment during surgery.

“Now that the renovations are complete our next step is to educate the community,” said Messner. “WMC’s Surgical Department, which is home to six operating rooms, two endoscopy suites and a procedure room, is in most cases, equally capable of providing patients with the same cutting edge surgical technology as larger metropolitan hospitals.”

These renovations, like so many others taking place around the healthcare system, are viewed as one of the many steps ARHS is taking to continually enhance the quality of care available in the High Country.

To learn more about Surgical Services at Watauga Medical Center, visit www.apprhs.org/surgical-services. For more information about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System visit www.apprhs.org.

Plaque Dedicated in Honor of Leonard Solomon

On September 19th, a plaque will be dedicated in the Watauga Medical Center Lobby in memory of Leonard Solomon, a long time supporter of the High Country community. The ceremony will take place at 12:00 p.m., with a reception to follow. Friends and family of Mr. Solomon and the community are invited to attend. Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation would like to thank his wife, Sandi Finci Solomon, for her generous and continuous support of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.

Leonard Solomon

Leonard Solomon

Mr. Solomon was a driven and generous individual. He supported many causes around the world including the Global Hunger Project, Salvation Army, JAFCO, The Mayo Clinic, the Temple of the High Country, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, and Appalachian State University.  At the age of 53, he was only one of thirty-two cyclists to complete a TransAmerica Bike Marathon to end hunger. The route took him from Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco, a total distance of 4,200 miles. Through his philanthropic efforts he met three former presidents and was invited to the White House.
In 1984, he ran with the Olympic torch. At age 71, Mr. Solomon roller bladed 150 miles in 17 hours to raise money for Kids Ecology Corps, an organization he’d co-founded, and at the age of 80, he completed a 150 mile bike ride to benefit Multiple Sclerosis.

Mr. Solomon was also a successful entrepreneur, reflected in his first business venture, Home Inc.  Additionally, Budget Rent-a-Car was one of his company’s original franchisees. He co-founded the Northern Virginia Racquet Club and Heritage Motor Car Company in addition to being a franchisee of a Wuv’s and Kilwins Ice Cream.

Mr. Solomon’s generosity and kindness have both benefited and inspired many people with whom he crossed paths. He and his wife, Sandi, have been and continue to be incredibly generous to the mountain community. They have inspired others and are highly respected for their philanthropy. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is honored to dedicate a plaque in his memory in hopes that it will continue to encourage and inspire others by the legacy he created.