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Features Health & Wellness

Shuttered 12 years ago due to changes in Medicare funding, the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program is returning to Southwestern Community College.

Mitch Fischer, dean of health sciences at SCC, announced earlier this month that students will be selected in the spring and that classes will resume in fall of 2014.

“The Medicare funding formulas have changed again, allowing us to offer the program,” Fischer said. “Since we’ve not offered the program since 2001, there is a real need for Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants in Western North Carolina. This program complements our already strong health science program offerings and allows us to further create a collaborative model within our division that we believe can be a model for other schools.”


It’s a common scenario that many people often find themselves in: eating and overeating without rhyme or reason. Perhaps you always seem to feel hungry or eat “just because.” TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, explains the triggers that cause these behaviors and offers solutions to help curb thoughtless overindulgence.

Because it’s there

“It’s Monday, and we could all use a pick-me-up after the weekend,” says a co-worker. The local sandwich shop offers a free cookie with the purchase of a combo meal. The auto body shop replenishes a spread of sweet treats throughout the day while you wait for your service to be completed. When food is in plain sight, it’s convenient to grab a handful simply because it’s there. Be mindful, take personal inventory, and ask yourself if you are truly hungry at that moment. There are times when you may need to remove yourself from the situation or move the temptation out of reach, if necessary.


Macon County Public Health reviews health concerns

Macon County Public Health recently issued Macon County’s State of the County’s Health Report (SOTCH) for the calendar year of 2013. The purpose of this report is to inform community members, leaders, and organizations about Macon County’s progress on certain health issues. It also provides the most current data on a number of leading health indicators such as county demographics, leading causes of death, chronic disease mortality, access to care, and health promotion.

The SOTCH Report highlights the county’s achievements and set-backs realized during the year in relation to the three health priorities identified in the 2012 Comprehensive Community Health Assessment. These priorities included reducing the incidence of chronic diseases related to obesity; reducing the incidence and mortality rates associated with breast, colorectal, and lung cancers; and promoting the recruitment and retention of primary care physicians and dentists.


WestCare recognizes three staff members quarterly with the 212° Award for consistently outstanding job performance. Referring to the point at which water boils, the award was named 212° to honor those who are doing their jobs “at 212 degrees.”

Winners for the fall quarter included Becky Wilkes with Human Resources, Mike Gibson with Food and Nutrition Services, and Sarah Rish, RN with Harris Radiology. Winners are selected through a voting process by the ESP (Every Single Patient) Council, which is made up of staff representing all work areas in the organization.


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