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Features Health & Wellness

Dr. James Melzer, Jr., an active member of the Alabama Air National Guard recently assumed ownership of Appalachian Dental Associates in Franklin. He is also a major with the 187th Fighter Wing based in Montgomery, Ala. Dr. Melzer understands the military standards and expectations in maintaining deployable status for dental health. Proper dental health is considered just as important as any other area of health requirements for current guard members and reservists. Dr. Melzer offers a free dental screening and assessment including x-rays to the men and women currently serving in the reserve and National Guard.

Dr. Melzer is continuing to offer the same high quality services established by the former dentist of Appalachian Dental, Dr. James Redmond. In a letter announcing his retirement, Dr. Redmond said, “I trust Dr. Melzer and believe wholeheartedly that he possesses the highest qualifications and is extremely well-skilled in all phases of dentistry.”


Mission Health understands that listening to patients is the most reliable way to ensure that the Asheville, N.C.-based health system is delivering the best possible health care. To that end, Mission Health is launching the industry’s first online collaborative discussion, called The Mission Health Patient and Family Forum, for patients and families to share their ideas and help create solutions to ensure that health care in western North Carolina is the nation’s best.

“Our goal is to be the best health care system in the nation, and listening to our patients is a critical part of achieving that,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. “Our patients and families are the only reason that we exist, and we are continuously learning from them and other community members about how we can improve the way we deliver health care and our overall patient experience. The Mission Health Patient and Family Forum is another step toward achieving our BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family.”


County health departments define role

April marks the time when health departments across the state celebrate Public Health Month by disseminating information about the role of Public Health in their communities.

“Many of the activities the health department does on a daily basis often go unnoticed. Most people don’t realize that Public Health infuses itself into many aspects of our day-to-day life by way of our State’s General Statutes,” said Macon County Health Director Jim Bruckner.



Harris Regional Hospital’s outpatient lab, the lab at Urgent Care Sylva, and the lab at Center for Family Medicine in Franklin received outstanding scores upon a recent Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA) inspection.

COLA is a leading accreditor of laboratory facilities, including hospital inpatient labs, physician office labs, and outpatient facility labs. The organization was founded to help laboratories ensure compliance with the guidelines of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), an agency of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which defines laboratory standards and regulates all laboratory testing. COLA standards are also recognized by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the leading accreditor of hospitals nationwide, and COLA is also sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.


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