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Features Health & Wellness

Pie, mashed potatoes, cookies, and carved ham – these are just a few of the popular seasonal dishes we tend to consume more of during the holidays. According to Katie Ferraro, M.P.H., R.D., C.D.E., nutrition expert for TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, the holidays don’t have to sabotage your healthy meal planning.

“Use parties and family get-togethers as an opportunity to try out new, healthy recipes and incorporate several of the following tips into your upcoming celebrations,” says Ferraro. “Special holiday recipes prepared healthier with simple substitutions can add nutrition and won’t break the calorie bank.”

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Western Carolina University’s master’s degree program in nurse anesthesia was recently granted reaccreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, becoming one of just a handful of such programs in the nation to receive the organization’s stamp of approval for the maximum 10-year period.

In a letter notifying WCU officials of the reaccreditation, council Executive Director Francis Gerbasi wrote that very few nurse anesthesia programs are granted accreditation with no progress reports required, and even fewer programs achieve the maximum accreditation of 10 years. “Therefore, the directors of the COA are particularly pleased to offer their congratulations to everyone at the program who has demonstrated their commitment to meeting the requirements for continued accreditation,” Gerbasi wrote.

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The Rathbun Center, a hospitality house for the families of patients receiving medical care in Asheville, will join Mission Health in early January 2013. Designed to ensure the sustainability of The Rathbun Center, the agreement calls for Mission to assume responsibility for The Rathbun Center. The announcement was made jointly by Adelaide Key, founder of The Rathbun Center and Ronald A. Paulus, MD, president and CEO of Mission Health.

“The Rathbun Center has been a driving force in my life for over 20 years,” said Key. “I am very proud of its operation – and I know that The Rathbun Center will be in good hands with Mission Health.”

As part of the agreement, Mission Health will employ The Rathbun Center staff and merge its volunteers into the Mission Volunteer program. The physical facilities will be contributed to the Mission Foundation.

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Limits due to an increase in flu incidence

Due to an increase in influenza (flu) activity throughout North Carolina, Mission Health is asking that family and friends limit their visitations to patients in the hospital. In particular, Mission Health is asking children under age 12 and people who do not feel well, to call patients rather than visit them. Mission Health has implemented this precaution at all Mission Heath member hospitals in Western North Carolina: McDowell Hospital in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine and Angel Medical Center in Franklin.

In addition to limiting exposure, the spread of the flu can be controlled with frequent hand washing. All visitors to the hospital are urged to wash their hands before and after visiting. Limiting visitations is a precaution often taken during flu season when flu activity reaches a certain level. Should the flu activity level increase, further restrictions may be implemented or recommended.

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