Watauga Medical Center
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:
- September 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.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) will be participating in an Emergency Exercise on Saturday, August 27, 2011. This is ONLY a practice exercise and will involve the following local agencies… Blue Ridge Parkway Rangers, Blowing Rock Police Department, Watauga County Emergency Management, ARHS Police, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office, Watauga County Rescue Squad and Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue.
Residents and visitors in the high country may see emergency vehicles entering the property (via Summit Meadow, between Hwy 321 and the Blue Ridge Parkway), but otherwise the exercise should not interfere with the normal Saturday morning activities in the area.
Gillian Baker, Vice President for Corporate Communications for ARHS shared, “Practicing our hospitals responses during a disaster is a requirement from the Joint Commission, but also a necessary part of what ARHS does to ensure that our staff are always ready for the unthinkable.”
This Emergency Exercise will provide exercise participants the opportunity to evaluate current emergency response concepts, medical surge response operations and law enforcement response to a location. The exercise will also emphasize emergency response coordination, resource integration, problem identification and resolution between agencies.
August 1-7 is designated as World Breastfeeding Week by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. In celebration of this and of Watauga Medical Center’s exceptional breastfeeding initiation rates, the John R. Marchese, MD Birthing Center plans to initiate a special footprints project.
Beginning in August, with the mother’s consent, Watauga Medical Center will take an extra set of footprints from each baby whose mother plans to breastfeed and create a collage. Each print will be identified with the infant’s initials and date of birth.
The footprints will be arranged as if walking on a path and will have the heading “My mother started me on the path to good health by giving me breast milk.” The project will last one year and once completed, the footprints will be displayed on the walls in the Marchese Birthing Center.
“We are thrilled about this project and think it’s important that mothers who choose to give their babies breast milk be recognized,” shared Melonie Formwalt, Outreach & Ed Coordinator for the Marchese Birthing Center. “As healthcare professionals, we believe that breast milk is the best choice for babies. Not only does it meet all their nutritional needs, but it has also been shown to reduce the rates of some of our most common diseases including diabetes, cancer and obesity. By encouraging and assisting our mothers to breastfeed, we’re hoping to improve the health of future generations.”
For more information, call Melonie at (828) 262-4285.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is partnering with Shred-it North Carolina to offer a Free Community Shred Day on Saturday, June 18, 2011 from 9 am tuntil 1 pm. The Shred-it truck will be located in the main parking lot of Watauga Medical Center at 336 Deerfield Road in Boone.
The shredding of documents with personal, confidential information is recommended by the State Attorney General’s office, along with Shred-It North Carolina as an effort to protect you from identity theft. This event is free and open to anyone in the area who has items they wish shredded.
In addition to the Shred-It truck, a representative from the NC Attorney General’s office will be on-site at the event to provide information about identity theft and tips on ways to protect your identity.
Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) hospitals are seeing an increase in patients with influenza-like illnesses and positive flu screening tests. As a result, ARHS asks the public to voluntarily refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends, as well as those persons at the hospital for an outpatient procedure, if the visitor is sick with flu-like symptoms. Continue reading
After undergoing an on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Watauga Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for certification as a Primary Stroke Center. Watauga Medical Center is the only hospital in the Northwest region of the state with this distinction.
“We’re proud to achieve this distinction from The Joint Commission,” says Claire Cline, Vice President for Patient Care Services. “We are pleased to have The Joint Commission recognize our commitment to providing the best care to our patients and our community.”
Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.
If you suspect someone is having a stroke, act FAST. Check the following:
Face – Does one side of the face droop?
Arms – Is one arm weak or numb?
Speech – Is the person’s speech slurred?
Time – if yes to any of these, call 911!
Joint Commission’s Primary Stroke Center Certification is based on the recommendations for primary stroke centers published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association’s statements and guidelines for stroke care. The Joint Commission launched the program—the nation’s first—in 2003. A list of programs certified by The Joint Commission is available at www.qualitycheck.org.
Vertebral compression fractures, often a result of Osteoporosis, can cause pain (often without significant injury and which may be worsened by sitting or standing), increase spinal bowing and decreased height. Balloon Kyphoplasty, offered at Watauga Medical Center, may alleviate both the pain and the consequences of vertebral collapse.
Balloon Kyphoplasty requires only mild sedation, usually lasts about an hour, depending on the number of fractures being repaired, and is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Tiny incisions are made on each side of the spine through which balloon catheters are inserted. These balloon catheters are inflated with contrast to restore the normal anatomy/biomechanics of the vertebral bodies as much as possible. The balloon catheters are removed and the remaining spaces filled with bone cement which serves as an internal cast. This stabilizes the fracture, and pain relief, often dramatic, usually occurs over the next several days. Continue reading
Watauga Medical Center’s Diabetes Self-Management program announces their recent accreditation by the American Diabetes Association.
Crucial to a diabetic patient’s success, diabetes education promotes behavior change and evaluates patient outcomes. This ADA accreditation requires that the medical center meet strict standards in diabetes education. It also further demonstrates Watauga Medical Center’s commitment to quality, comprehensive diabetes education and care.
Patients participating in the Diabetes Self-Management program meet with a Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian to learn the ABC’s of diabetes – how to check blood sugar and give insulin if needed; what their medications do; proper skin care; short-term and long-term complications; where to find resources, and how to manage their diabetes. Upon completion, patients receive an end of program assessment and recommendations for follow-up.
The Diabetes Self-Management program accepts Medicare, Medicaid and private pay insurance. To participate in the Diabetes Self-Management program, patients must have a referral from their health care provider.
For more information, contact Linda Bond, Certified Diabetes Educator at (828) 262-4177.
Upon congratulating the first pre-licensure class, Richard Sparks stated, “What an honor for you, because you are the first class…something that has been a dream, a vision for many, many, many years.”
Dean Whitt spoke about how crucial Appalachian State University’s partnership with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System has been for this project, “Having partnerships is critical to this. It is one thing to have bricks and mortar, it’s one thing to have a program, to have faculty, but none of the things that we will do in Health Sciences can be very efficient or very productive or meaningful with out really good partnerships; to have this partnership with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, which won’t just be at this hospital, but others in the area and not just in nursing, but in nutrition, speech pathology and many other disciplines is critical to our mission.”
The students will receive clinical instruction from Wendy Miller, DNP, RN Director of the Pre-Licensure Program; Linda Johanson, PhD, RN, clinical coordinator for Adult Health Nursing Clinic; and Dana Brackney, PhD, RN, Clinical Instructor, as well as nursing and education leaders from Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s member hospitals, Watauga Medical Center, Charles A Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital and Blowing Rock Hospital.
The students will complete five semesters of clinical rotation as part of their nursing degree. Over the course of their studies, students will have clinical experiences in several areas including adult health, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics, community health and their clinical rotation is concluded with an internship.
Appalachian State University now offers two types of nursing programs. The new program, for pre-licensure students complements the RN to BSN program, which began in 2006.
For more information about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, visit www.apprhs.org; for more information about Appalachian State University’s College of Health Sciences, visit http://healthsciences.appstate.edu/