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Features Health & Wellness

Union Academy Principal Diane Cotton and Macon County Public Health are serious about helping Union students not use tobacco products.

On Jan. 27, Union Academy partnered with Macon County Public Health and hosted a student assembly at which Paul Turner, Director of NC Spit Tobacco Education Program was invited to speak. Turner is a former director of Oral Health America’s National Spit Tobacco Education Program and has worked with Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, the Professional Baseball Trainers Association, the dental community and the tobacco control community to educate youth, parents, athletes and coaches that spit tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking. He retired as Deputy Director of Oral Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to the use of spit tobacco, Turner discussed the dangers of using all tobacco products, including smoking and ENDS products (electronic nicotine delivery systems), such as e-cigarettes. He explained the dangers of all tobacco products and dispelled some myths about the use of ENDS safety. ENDS still contain nicotine and, since manufacturers are not required to publish what chemicals are also contained in them, it is unknown what toxins are being inhaled. Nicotine in itself is addictive.


The College of Health and Human Sciences at Western Carolina University has launched a pro bono clinic to provide physical therapy services to underserved and underinsured populations of Western North Carolina.

The clinic, operated by students in WCU’s doctoral program in physical therapy under the supervision of faculty members, is open from 6 until 8:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of every month. It is located in Carolina West Sports Medicine clinic space on the first floor of the Health and Human Sciences Building on Little Savannah Road on WCU’s West Campus.


Public health holding weekly heart healthy events.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. Everyone has been affected by this disease or knows someone who has been affected. Macon County Public Health is taking this opportunity to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease in February, American Heart Month by hosting a heart healthy event every Thursday evening during February starting at 5:30 p.m. for the community. Show yourself some love and come out and participate in heart healthy activities and education free of charge.



Macon County Public Health feels strongly about reaching people with diabetes. A combined program of Diabetes Self-Management Training and Chronic Disease Self-Management is continuing in partnership with Macon County Senior Services. The next class begins Feb. 12, and continues on Feb. 19.

Recognized by the American Diabetes Association®, the Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMT) combines science and results to help children and adults successfully manage diabetes. The program includes health coaching with a registered dietitian and two exciting workshops. Most insurance companies cover the cost of the program, but a sliding fee scale is available for those without insurance coverage.


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