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Features Health & Wellness

Dr. Dan Mackey, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently joined the WestCare family as the medical director of LifePath Palliative Care and Hospice.

Dr. Mackey brings to WestCare a wealth of experience in adult and pediatric palliative and hospice medicine, having received extensive training in both areas of practice, including completing Harvard Medical School’s Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice and a program in pediatric pain management.

Mackey obtained his medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1996. After completing a residency at Baystate Medical Center in combined internal medicine/pediatrics, he became an emergency physician for Mercy Hospital in Massachusetts, where he also worked in the pediatric medicine department. Mackey also completed a three year fellowship in pediatric critical care at University of Virginia Health System, where he later taught pediatric intensive care for two years as an assistant professor.


Angel Medical Center has a new GE Optima 660 to provide the most advanced scans for its radiology patients. The GE Optima 660 is the same type of scanner that was used in the Olympic Village, at the 2014 Olympics in Russia.

Lori Smith, director of the Radiology Department, emphasizes that this new scanner is providing differences in dosage reduction and an increase in the amount of slices that can be taken and viewed. Compared to the older version, which could only take 16 slices at a time, the new version takes up to 64 slices. This new technology is providing faster results with better patient comfort at the forefront of the scanning time. The scanner also has an instructional video screen to help the patient understand what to do and provides relaxing videos during the scanning.


Angel Medical Center has announced that Dr. J. Christopher Rowland has joined the team at Angel Pediatrics.

Dr. J. Christopher Rowland began his medical career by earning a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, at the University of Kansas in Kansas City, Kan. Then he obtained a Doctor of Medicine, at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and completed his Residency in the Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Rowland has also obtained certifications from the Diplomat, American Board of Pediatrics and Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics, N.C.

Dr. Rowland transferred from Marion, N.C., where he practiced in General Pediatrics, at Blue Ridge Pediatrics. Dr. Rowland will work with Dr. Sheryl Gravelle-Camelo’s team at Angel Pediatrics, located at 56 Medical Park Drive in Franklin. This addition reinforces Angel Medical Center’s commitment to quality pediatric services, for our community and the surrounding area.


Michael Murray, superintendent of Jackson County Public Schools, speaks at a diversity conference for nursing educators, health-care professionals, secondary educators and community leaders held Friday, April 4, at Western Carolina University.

The conference, the first of three such annual gatherings, was titled, “Meeting the Challenge: Health and Education in Appalachia and Cherokee.” Participants explored issues connected to increasing the numbers of underrepresented ethnic minority students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds in nursing, secondary education and health care professional settings.

The event was sponsored by the WCU School of Nursing and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which awarded a $1 million workforce diversity grant to WCU to help increase the number of students from underserved rural populations who enter the nursing profession, including members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.


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