Watauga Medical Center

Hospitals to conduct Emergency Preparedness Exercise

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) will conduct an emergency preparedness exercise at Cannon Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, April 14 and at Watauga Medical Center on Wednesday, April 15.

The exercise is intended to improve the local response and collaborative decision-making ability of the hospitals, local fire departments and local emergency services.

Emergency Sign

The emergency exercise scenarios at both hospitals will be caused by a plausible yet fictitious fire on campus. There will not be an actual fire during either exercise, however, the public may witness smoke rising from Cannon Memorial Hospital on August 14 and from Watauga Medical Center on August 15.

The exercise will take place in unoccupied patient units and will utilize staff not assigned to work that day. Patients at both facilities will not be affected or at risk at any time during the exercise. All services and scheduled procedures will continue as normal. The exercise time will not been made public to preserve the integrity of the event.

The annual emergency preparedness exercises are another way that ARHS and local emergency agencies partner to make life better and safer in the High Country.

For more information contact Gillian Baker, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, at 828-262-8958.

Keep Your Blood Flowing with Healthy Arteries

Think of your heart as a central traffic hub, and your arteries are the freeways that allow things to keep moving. No one wants a traffic jam in their bodies. When blood can’t flow through at the rate it’s supposed to, it puts us at a higher risk for blood clots, stroke or a heart attack.

February is Heart Month, and we’re celebrating in many ways. Maybe you attended our Heart Shape event, or you’re wearing red to bring attention to the incidence of heart disease in women.

We also have another event that will help you find out just how much of your arteries are clogged, and whether the freeways in your body are running smoothly or are starting to look like a 5:00 traffic jam in Atlanta.

On Tuesday, February 24, Watauga Medical Center is offering an AngioScreen® vascular screening, for $20. The screening is a simple procedure that provides you with information about your heart rhythm, neck and leg arteries and your circulation, giving you a sense of your own risk for heart disease and stroke.

Healthy ArteryKnowing your AngioScreen® score is helpful in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but there are other ways to help prevent clogged arteries as well. One way to help prevent clogged arteries is by controlling your cholesterol levels through diet. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables while staying away from saturated fats is the best way to keep your cholesterol levels in check. That means meals with broccoli, leafy greens, zucchini and peppers. For proteins, switch out red meat for fish, turkey or chicken for a lighter, lower cholesterol option.

It’s also important to limit your sodium intake. The average American eats 3,600 mg of sodium a day, but the American Heart Association says we should aim for no more than 1,500 mg per day. Eating fewer processed foods, limiting the amount of salt you use when you cook, and buying low or no-salt versions of canned foods are all simple ways to decrease your sodium intake.

And of course, regular exercise is an important part of warding off cardiovascular disease. Get yourself moving by walking your dog, riding your bike, or running with a friend, and your heart will thank you!

To reserve your appointment time for a vascular screening, call (828) 268-8960.

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.