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Features Health & Wellness

Commissioner gives testimony at Medical Facilities public hearing in Asheville

Last week, Macon County received an extension granting it extra time to complete a petition seeking special needs consideration from the state for a dialysis center. Many residents of Macon County who require dialysis for kidney disease must travel across Cowee Mountain into Jackson County to access the nearest facility offering such treatment.

In recent months, citizens and local officials have mounted an effort to seek special consideration to establish a center in the county. The State Health Coordinating Committee, the body charged with making determinations of need for healthcare facilities throughout the state, publishes its findings in the twice annual State Medical Facilities Plan.


America has one of the safest and most abundant food supplies in the world; but even in this country, too many people get sick from the food they eat.

This year, one in six Americans will get food poisoning – that’s 48 million people. 128,000 will end up in the hospital, and 3,000 will die. These aren’t just statistics. These are real people, real families, impacted by the food they put on the table.

We can do better. The U.S. Department of Agriculture are more committed and united more than ever before to reduce the rates of food-related illnesses. We are doing that, first of all, by making sure the food industry provides the safest products possible.


Susan, 82, was overjoyed when her youngest daughter, Nancy, 48, asked if she could move back home.

Since Susan’s husband died the previous year, she’s been lonely; adding to her loneliness are several health issues which leave Susan more and more isolated from the community. Susan quickly agreed to Nancy’s request to move in with her, thinking it would be a good time to bond with her daughter during her final years.

For the first few months, Susan really enjoyed having Nancy around. They shared meals together, reminiscing of days gone by. Then Nancy started “borrowing” money, promising to pay Susan back once she landed a job. Susan had a nagging feeling in her gut that what Nancy was doing was wrong, but she felt as though she needed to help her daughter.


MedWest Health System is nearing completion on the new Urgent Care Center in the Wal- Mart Plaza in Sylva. Renovations to the space are almost complete and the opening day is set for Aug. 1.

“We are excited to provide this service to the residents of Jackson County and surrounding counties,” said Jeff Lee, director of MedWest’s Urgent Care Centers. “There is no other Urgent Care Center in Jackson County. This center will offer walk-in examinations for non-emergency illnesses or injuries.”

The waiting time and cost is less than that of an emergency department visit, Lee said. Urgent care centers are primarily used to treat an injury or illness that requires immediate care and can not wait for a regular medical appointment, but is not serious enough to warrant a visit to an emergency department.


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