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Features Health & Wellness

Families from three Western North Carolina counties lined up in the parking lot of the Franklin Fun Factory on Sunday to have their car seats checked by certified technicians for the 2nd annual Buckle Up, Baby safety clinic.

Certified technicians with the Macon County Sheriff's Office, the Franklin Police Department, and the Highlands Police Department checked about 60 car seats on Sunday, and helped educate parents on the importance of child passenger safety. During the event, technicians found that about 60 percent of the car seats checked were improperly installed, and needed to be corrected. Five of the car seats had to be replaced by officers because they were expired, had been recalled, or had been in an accident.

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Western Carolina University recently joined 19 North Carolina universities, colleges, organizations and health agencies in the creation of a new statewide alliance designed to increase minority representation in the health professions.

Called the North Carolina Alliance for Health Professions Diversity, the partnership between academic institutions and state agencies will work to reduce disparities in health status and health care by increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the state’s health care workforce.

Representatives from the participating schools and organizations came together March 27 at Winston-Salem State University to sign a memorandum of understanding launching the new alliance. Rebecca Lasher, assistant professor of social work, represented WCU at the signing ceremony.

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The North Carolina Chapter of March of Dimes announces the introduction of legislation aimed at detecting Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) in infants. The Baby Carlie Nugent Bill/House Bill 698 sponsored by Representative Charles Jeter (Mecklenburg), Representative Donny Lambeth (Forsyth) and Representative Gale Adcock (Wake) will add SCID testing to the state newborn screening panel.

SCID is a defect in which a baby is born without an immune system, thus causing the most common of ailments and vaccinations to be life threatening as the baby’s body cannot defend itself.

“Delayed diagnosis of SCID not only has a devastating consequence on the affected infant but also on the family. Without the proper treatment, these infants die from infection before their first birthday,” said Dr. Rebecca Buckley, Pediatric Immunologist and SCID Bone Marrow Transplant Specialist at Duke University. “Many times these infants are seen by multiple physicians before the diagnosis is even considered, because the patient appears outwardly normal and SCID is thought to be very rare. The family of course is frustrated and devastated while watching their infant’s health worsen before their eyes.”

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If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or you’ve adopted the diet to simply become healthier, you know that you have the knowledge and willpower to stay away from gluten. But liking, much less loving, your new diet? Well, that’s another matter entirely. Many individuals who live a gluten-free lifestyle find themselves missing their old diets, and they especially dread being taunted by friends who seem to gobble gluten at every turn.

If this sounds familiar, Danna Korn has some welcome encouragement: Hang in there. You can learn to live—and love—this lifestyle.

“Going gluten-free is a physical transition, yes—but it’s also a psychological one,” says Korn, author of Living Gluten-Free For Dummies®. “It’s natural to experience feelings of loss and jealousy regarding ‘forbidden foods,’ but the good news is that you can learn to think of your gluten-free lifestyle in very positive terms.”

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