Boone NC

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.



Safety First with Winter Sports

skiier We are lucky to live in an area that is the perfect setting for enjoying winter sports. Not only are there great ski slopes and tubing opportunities around, at Appalachian Ski Mountain, Beech Mountain, Hawksnest and Sugar Mountain ski resorts, but there are also plenty of days perfect for sledding, hiking through the snowy woods and even cross-country skiing.

Staying active, especially in the fresh air and sunshine of the outdoors, is a great way to stay healthy and improve your mood. Winter sports are fun, but like any activity, accidents can happen at any time. There’s a reason why January is designated as Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month by the Johnny O. Foundation. Skiing and sledding at high speeds can lead to dangerous falls. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Here are a few tips to help keep you safe while you’re out enjoying the beauty our winter has to offer.Sledding

  •  Dress in layers. A moisture wicking material against your skin will help keep you dry, while you want to have wind and water-resistant coats or jackets for your outer layer.
  • Wear sunscreen. It’s not only in the summer that you can get a sunburn, those rays are bright when reflected off the white snow!
  • Wear a helmet. Some ski resorts have made it a rule, but it’s a good precaution whether you’re skiing, snowboarding or even sledding.
  • Skate only on approved ice.
  • When sledding, make sure you’re sledding on packed snow, not ice. And only use sleds that were meant to be sleds, no garbage pail lids!
  • In addition to a helmet, make sure you have the right equipment for your sport, and that it fits properly.
  • Always go with a buddy. That way if something does happen, you have someone who can go for help.

The Rehabilitation Center, with locations in Boone and Linville, have specially trained physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists that can evaluate and treat injuries resulting from winter sports including concussions, sprains, strains, poor balance and coordination, fractures, speech impairments, memory loss and other problems.  For more information, call (828) 268-9043 or (828) 737-7530 or visit

Healthcare System Requests Voluntary Visitation Restrictions

December 29, 2014 – Appalachian Regional Healthcare System asks that anyone sick with the flu or flu-like symptoms voluntarily refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends, as well as those persons at the hospital for an outpatient procedure. It is also important that during this time of increased flu and flu-like illness in our area, visitors 12 and under should refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends.

Taking temperatureAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, flu activity is on the rise in the U.S. with all 50 states reporting sporadic to widespread illness. North Carolina is reporting widespread illness.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s hospital emergency rooms, along with the physician offices and AppUrgent Care, have seen an increase in the number of people presenting with influenza-like illness.

“Patients are very vulnerable while in the hospital, so we are appealing to those community members who may be ill with the flu, or exposed to the flu, to refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends in order to help us protect the patients in our facilities,” stated Dr. Herman Godwin, Chief Medical Officer for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. “Our top priority is to take every appropriate precaution to keep our patients safe.”

Flu viruses spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes an individual may catch flu by touching an object infected with the virus and then touching the eyes, mouth, or nose. There are several things you can do to prevent catching or spreading the flu: Protect yourself, your family and your community

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not into your hands.
  • If you get sick with flu, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from making them sick.
  • Get the recommended seasonal flu vaccine.


  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Most people recover from flu after about a week without lasting effects.

Seek emergency medical care if you or a family member has any of these symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and worsening cough
  • In babies, bluish or gray skin color, lack of responsiveness or extreme irritation

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is working diligently to prevent the spread of flu and appreciates any assistance the public can provide. For more information about the flu, visit or


AppUrgent Care Center Receives Certified Urgent Care Designation from the Urgent Care Association of America

AppUrgent Care Center

AppUrgent Care Center

AppUrgent Care Center has received the Certified Urgent Care – Category I designation, which distinguishes it as a true urgent care center staffed by board certified licensed physicians. The clinic provides patients with walk-in, extended-hour medical attention with licensed providers for a large scope of medical conditions and has met all of the Urgent Care Association of America’s established criteria.

“With the ever changing healthcare environment, it is extremely important for patients to understand their treatment options,” said LaRaye Rudicile, RN, Operations Manager for AppUrgent Care. “Urgent care is a convenient and viable option for medical conditions that cannot wait for a scheduled appointment with a primary care physician.

CUC logoAppUrgent Care Center, part of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, provides convenient, walk-in care to patients with non-life threatening illness or injury such as sore throats, strains, sprains, fever, flu, cuts and other conditions that do not require a visit to the emergency room. Staffed by board certified physicians, AppUrgent Care fills the gap between primary care and emergency room care, offering increased convenience and cost savings. The facility also offers visitors the opportunity to seek care while remaining close to their leisure activities.

With its certification, AppUrgent Care Center and the Urgent Care Association of America demonstrate their commitment toward providing patients with access to appropriate levels of care.

Dr. Amor and Dr. Stafford

Dr. Amor and Dr. Stafford

AppUrgent Care, located at 2146 Blowing Rock Road in Boone, NC, is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 7 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.

For more information, visit or call (828) 265-5505.

Surgery Brings NFL Brothers Closer Together

When it comes to relationships, few are stronger than those established by blood and rooted in football. For California natives, Kaelin, 25, and older brother Kevin Burnett, 31, making it into the NFL was a goal they both worked toward since childhood. So, ending up on the same NFL team, the Oakland Raiders, in 2013 was a dream come true.

The dream was threatened, however, after Kaelin, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker tore his meniscus during a 2014 preseason practice. Disappointed and eager to return to the field he asked his older brother, a 10-year NFL veteran, for advice.

“Kevin recommended that I ask Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Evan Ekman to take a look at my knee. I learned that Dr. Ekman had preformed several surgeries on my brother over the last decade which has allowed him to continue to play on Sundays,” said Kaelin. “So, with my agent’s blessing, I decided to travel across the country (Oakland, Calif. to Boone, N.C.) to have this highly recommended surgeon take care of my injury.”

Kevin Burnett, Kaelin Burnett and Dr. Evan Ekman

Kevin Burnett, Kaelin Burnett and Dr. Evan Ekman

Dr. Evan Ekman is the Medical Director of Appalachian Regional Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center (AppOrtho), in Boone, N.C. The practice is an extension of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS), which proudly serves patients in Western, N.C. and Eastern, Tenn. AppOrtho is also the official sports medicine provider for Appalachian State University Athletics.

After flying into Charlotte, with Kevin at his side for support, the brothers enjoyed their scenic medically inspired commute to the Blue Ridge Mountains of N.C. Upon reviewing Kaelin’s MRI, Dr. Ekman explained that he could repair the torn meniscus by performing a Knee Arthroscopy with a Partial Lateral Meniscectomy. This minimally invasive procedure would allow Kaelin to return with full functionality to the gridiron this season. The surgery was scheduled two days later and conducted in one of Watauga Medical Center’s newly renovated and state-of-the-art operating rooms.

Dr. Ekman began the procedure by placing an arthroscope inside one of two tiny pinhole incisions made in the knee. The camera projected high definition footage from inside the knee onto three large screen monitors suspended around the operating table. With clear visibility, he was able to use the other pinhole to insert a trimmer and correct the torn meniscus without complication.

At the conclusion of the twenty minute outpatient procedure, Kaelin was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was able to maneuver, pain free, within the hour. He is scheduled to participate in a short-term rehabilitation program and be NFL ready in a matter of days.

“As always, my big brother laid the blueprint and I’m glad I followed his recommendation,” said Kaelin with a grin.

“Surgery, like every other big decision in a person’s life, is only agreed to when the patient feels a great deal of trust has been established.” said Dr. Ekman. “It is always rewarding to be able to provide care, based on that trust, for multiple members of one family.”

For more information about the Appalachian Regional Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center, call 828-386-BONE or visit