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Features Health & Wellness

Western Carolina University’s School of Nursing is the recipient of nearly $700,000 in federal grant funding to help address a shortage of primary health care providers in Western North Carolina.

The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding $349,877 annually over a two-year period to increase student enrollment in WCU’s specialized master’s degree program for family nurse practitioners.

The funding will be used to support second- and third-year graduate students in the university’s FNP program by providing up to $11,000 annually to each student to help defray the cost of education, including assistance with the cost of tuition, fees, books and reasonable living expenses.

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It’s the beginning of the New Year, and resolutions abound for many. Losing weight, exercising more frequently, and eating more healthfully are common goals. What if you could do all of the above and save a few dollars at the same time? This January, consider the following strategies from TOPS Club Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, to create flavorful, nutritious meals that won’t hurt your wallet.

Eat In More and Out Less

While they require more planning, home-cooked meals are an excellent way to minimize your grocery bill, and they are typically healthier than the options you may find when dining out.

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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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