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Features Health & Wellness

February is national Children’s Dental Health month and it’s a good time to focus much needed attention on kids’ oral health.

“As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday,” says Dr. Scott Cashion, a Greensboro, N.C., pediatric dentist.

Even though this first visit is mostly for the dentist to examine a child’s mouth and check for growth and development, it’s also about the child being comfortable in the dentist’s office.


Western Carolina University will host the first of three annual diversity conferences for nursing educators, health-care professionals, secondary educators and community leaders on Friday, April 4.

The conference, titled “Meeting the Challenge: Health and Education in Appalachia and Cherokee,” will be held in Room 204 of WCU’s Health and Human Sciences Building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Although the focus of the conference is on Appalachia and Cherokee, conference organizers say the content is applicable to any region where increasing diversity in nursing schools, secondary education and the nursing profession is a goal.


On Friday, Jan. 31, officials with Highlands-Cashiers Hospital (HCH) and Mission Health completed the legal process required to bring HCH on as a full member of Mission Health. This action follows approval of the arrangement by the HCH and Foundation Boards of Directors as well as Mission Health’s Board of Directors during their respective meetings on Jan. 23.

“This is an exciting time for our hospital and the community we serve,” said Charlie Sheehan, Chair of the Highlands- Cashiers Hospital Board of Directors. “When we began this initiative, our Board wanted to partner with an organization that would maintain local governance, enhance our focus on quality patient care, facilitate physician recruitment and retention, improve the hospital’s financial viability and expand our community’s access to a broader spectrum of health services. I could not be more pleased with how our relationship with Mission Health – one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems – has developed. I believe the results will be exceptional for our hospital, and more importantly for our community. “


U.S. Senator Kay Hagan’s Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act passed the Senate Wednesday, Jan. 29. The bipartisan bill, which Hagan introduced with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), makes critical improvements to the country’s newborn screening system and ensures potentially life-threatening conditions are detected, diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. It now moves to the House of Representatives.

“I am so pleased that the Senate made important progress toward helping to save the lives of thousands of infants,” said Hagan. “As a mom, I can remember being singularly concerned with one thing – was my new baby healthy? Improving these screening systems will help put more parents at ease by ensuring that potentially serious or fatal conditions are caught right away so they can quickly receive proper treatment. Newborn screening saves lives, and I urge the House of Representatives to act quickly so that more children in North Carolina and across the country have a greater chance to lead a full life.”


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