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Prayers answered Mountain Spine Care Changes Lives


New Support Group Helps Stroke Survivors

ways to save your own life

Diabetes Class Focuses on Healthy Lifestyle

Ask a Doc Q: Is my child at risk for HPV? A: Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a very common sexually transmitted virus – nearly 80 million people or about 1 in 4 – are currently infected in the U.S. HPV can cause certain cancers in women and men. HPV vaccination can prevent most of the cancers and is recommended by the CDC at ages 11 or 12 for girls AND boys. For more info: Dr. James Guerriere, Pediatrician, Mountain Pediatric Group

Q: What are the recommendations for pelvic exams now? A: An annual well-woman exam including annual pelvic examination should begin at age 21. Routine pap smear, by new guidelines, should start at age 21. The American Congress of OB/GYN recommends annual visits without pelvic examination in adolescents starting between age 13-15. For more info: Dr. David Kirk, OB-GYN, Haywood Women’s Medical Center

Q: I am 51 years old and a current smoker, should I be screened for lung cancer? A: At this time, lung cancer screening is recommended (and covered by most insurance plans and Medicare) for people between the age of 55 and 80, who have at least a 30year history of smoking (1 pack per day for 30 years, 2 packs per day for 15 years, etc.) and are either current smokers or have quit in the last 15 years. This is the highest risk group and was found to receive the most benefit from screening. There is currently ongoing research to determine if other groups may benefit as well — but at this time lung cancer screening is not recommended unless you are in this highest risk group. For more info visit Dr. Scott Skibo, Pulmonologist, Pulmonary Specialists of WNC

Submit your general health questions at and your question may be answered in an upcoming issue. 2


HEALTHY HAPPENINGS Volume 1 · Issue 2 On the Cover:

Glenn Trent, MD, and William Miller, MD of Mountain Spine Care. Contributing Writers:

Julie Keiper, Shelby Cannon, Jon Ostendorff Creative & Photography:

Travis Bumgardner, Micah McClure, Jon Ostendorff

Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

262 Leroy George Drive Clyde · North Carolina 28721 828.456.7311



On the Cover:

Mountain Spine Care Changes Lives

From the CEO


s we say goodbye to the winter months and usher in the first glimmers of spring, many are reminded of new beginnings and growth, and I can see that happening directly in our hospital. I am excited to share with our community a glimpse of our hospital’s accomplishments. I am proud to say that our hospital continues to grow – in terms of the number of patients we serve to the scope of service we provide. I am pleased to share that amidst our growth, we have continued to improve the overall patient experience. In fact, right now, our hospital is ranked in the 92 percentile for patient satisfaction when it comes to emergency care! This is a testament to the high-quality, safe and compassionate care that is being delivered daily at Haywood Regional. This edition of Healthy Happenings offers an overview of our hospital’s long legacy of care with a sneak peek at some of the exciting developments in the works. This year, we will introduce a brand new GI Center and Breast Care Center, expand our behavioral health unit, reno- Rod Harkleroad, CEO vate our Emergency Department, introduce hyperbaric wound care and 3D mammography, and complete some overall hospital renovations that are designed to better serve you. The spring season also offers us all a chance to start anew — start new routines and get more active. Haywood Regional wants to help you stay healthy and happy with seven ways to save your life this year. In this issue of Healthy Happenings, you’ll learn about small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on your everyday and long term health. Also, you’ll learn about a number of upcoming events such as our monthly Talk with a Doc series, Walk with a Doc on Saturdays and Seniors Eat Free nights at the Tourists baseball games. You will also find patient stories about stroke, osteoporosis, and diabetes in this edition. On behalf of our team of providers and employees, thank you for choosing our hospital. We look forward to continually building a legacy of exceptional health care for you and your family in the years to come. Enjoy spring! Healthy wishes, Rod Harkleroad, RN, MMHC — Chief Executive Officer Haywood Regional Medical Center

Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC)

6 7 8 10 12 14


7 Ways to Save Your Own Life


Haywood Regional Aims to Lower the Amount of Cardiovascular Disease in WNC New Providers on Staff 90 Years of Making Our Community Healthier A Stroke Can Strike Anyone Osteoporosis Center Leads in Region Diabetes Class Teaches Healthy Lifestyle



Bill Miller, MD and Glenn Trent, MD of Mountain Spine Care.

Mountain Spine Care Changes Lives


reating patients as if they are family is a hallmark of the service that has made Mountain Spine Care a top practice in Western North Carolina that cares for patients in five area counties. More than 60 percent of patients travel one to two hours to be treated by Glenn Trent, MD and Bill Miller, MD – spine surgeons dedicated to providing a non-operative and operative approach in treating acute and chronic spinal conditions. One patient, Vickie Hoxit, got her start in healthcare as a candy striper volunteer

and has worked as a nurse all over the country. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004. But, that didn’t slow her down until last year, when muscle weakness in her spine caused scoliosis to curve her back and led to pain and severe deformity. “The more I worked, the worse the curves got in my spine,” she says. “I was almost to the point that I couldn’t walk. To myself, I was just horrid looking.” When it became so severe that she quit working, she was referred to Mountain Spine Care and Trent took her case. “He just made me feel so at ease,” she

says. “He told me ‘I don’t know that you’ll be perfectly straight, but I think I can get you better than what you are.’” Trent performed a thoracic and lumbar fusion procedure, which took more than six hours, but had her upright and walking the next day. On the fourth day after surgery, Hoxit grabbed a walker and started pacing the halls. Today, her spine is straight, and she has the energy to enjoy life with her family. “Dr. Trent, he was my prayer answered,” she says. William “Bill” Blizzard is another patient with a new lease on life thanks to Mountain

“The more I worked, the worse the curves got in my spine. I was almost to the point that I couldn’t walk. To myself, I was just horrid looking. — Vickie Hoxit 4


Spine Services Mountain Spine Care provides total care service, from diagnosis through treatment, surgery and recovery for conditions including: • Stenosis • Scoliosis • Degenerative conditions of the spine • Spine deformities • Fractures

Spine Care. He was working in his greenhouse near Andrews, NC, when he fell on his hip. The fall resulted in ongoing pain, but he continually shook it off. Even though an X-ray did not show any injury, his orthopedic physician in Murphy, NC, referred him to Miller at Mountain Spine Care. Miller realized it wasn’t a hip problem and identified nerve damage as the cause of the pain in his spine. Dr. Miller performed a microdiscectomy (surgery to remove portion of a herniated disc) which effectively resolved his pain. Today, Blizzard is back growing elderberry plants at his greenhouse. He credits Miller’s skill and the care at Haywood Regional Medical Center. “I have never been in a hospital as clean and professionally staffed as Haywood Regional,” he says. Miller built Mountain Spine Care from the ground up in 2002 after completing his fellowship in spine surgery at OrthoIndy in Indianapolis, Indiana. Trent joined the practice about a year ago after Miller’s former partner retired. But, the two go way back. Trent was one of Miller’s mentors during his residency in Greenville, SC. Trent has been a spine surgeon since 1983. The longstanding relationship creates a common vision at the practice. Both doctors believe in treating patients like family. “The team that we have, from our fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians to the OR team, as well as physical therapy and radiologists offer top quality orthopaedic care, which is the key to successful treatment outcomes,” Miller says. Miller explains that most spine injuries and conditions can be effectively treated though conservative techniques. However, if surgery is absolutely necessary to ensure a complete recovery, our spine surgeons are able to offer the latest advancements in state-of-the-art spine surgery to offer a return back to active living.

Talk with a Doc A complimentary dinner program that features a variety of healthcare providers speaking on health topics of interest to you. Held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 pm at the Haywood Regional Café. RSVP required: 800.424.DOCS (3627) Spine Health, June 20; Better Sleep - Better Health, July 18; Sports Medicine for the Weekend Warrior, Aug. 15; Healthy Aging Panel, Sept. 19; Breast Cancer Panel, Oct. 17; Winning the War on Lung Cancer, Nov. 21

Haywood Regional Medical Center is the proud sponsor of

Seniors Eat Free Every Tuesday home game for the Asheville Tourists Stop by and see us on the concourse before the game! HEALTHY HAPPENINGS


Community Involvement Haywood Regional Aims to Lower the Amount of Cardiovascular Disease in WNC


aywood Regional Medical Center recently became an accredited Chest Pain Center by the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, which involved a rigorous and lengthy evaluation in the ability to assess, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack. A part of the top-notch recognition includes Haywood Regional engaging in ongoing community outreach and education on heart health. One outreach program took place during the month of February 2017, which is designated as American Heart Month. The pop-up events “Know Your Numbers — Heart Month Screening”, promoted awareness of signs and symptoms of a heart attack, heart health, “Survive – Don’t


Drive” education, and hands-on CPR training. Clinical staff also offered free body mass index and blood pressure screenings. “We really enjoyed being able to connect with our community outside of the hospital walls,” said Jennifer Robinson, RN, PCCN. More than 100 people in the community were screened and provided with education during the first wave of events. Those with higher than normal readings received education about risks associated with hypertension and were urged to follow up with their primary care provider. Information was also given to those without a primary care provider to connect them with one of the many physicians in Haywood County who are accepting new


Accreditation standards Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. To Western North Carolina, this means that processes are in place that meet strict criteria aimed at: • Reducing the time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis and treatment. • Treating patients more quickly during the critical window of time when the integrity of the heart muscle can be preserved. • Monitoring patients when it is not certain that they are having a heart attack to ensure that they are not sent home too quickly or needlessly admitted to the hospital.

New Providers on Staff

Jody Schmit Certified Nurse Midwife

Scott Skibo MD Pulmonologist

April Whitaker MD Pathology

patients. At a screening, one attendee was shocked to find she had a critically high blood pressure reading. She had no symptoms, which is very common. “We want to make a difference by educating people on how to recognize signs and symptoms of a heart attack, and what to do to get help while also helping them understand their own risk factors and what they can do to prevent heart disease,” said Denise Ebert, director, intensive care and progressive care at Haywood Regional. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to increase to 23.6 million by 2030. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention notes that every 43 seconds someone in the United Sates has a heart

Catherine Li MD Pathology

Members of the community are screened for heart health by Haywood Regional.

attack. “Those frightening numbers are why education in our community is so vital,” said Steven Gore, MD, cardiologist. “We hope to lower the amount of heart traumas and disease we see in Western North Carolina.” HEALTHY HAPPENINGS

Kristina Spivey Family Nurse Practitioner These providers are employed by an affiliate of Haywood Regional Medical Center.






A Stroke Can Strike Anyone


t can happen to anyone. Patrick Johnson’s experience illustrates that anyone at any age can have a stroke, and that quick treatment prevents further damage. As a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, Johnson had just received an excellent score on the fitness exam, yet three days later, he suffered a stroke. Johnson’s wife, Kathie, who is a nurse, called 911 immediately. He arrived at the emergency room with complete left-sided paralysis, facial droop, and slurred speech due to an ischemic

Signs of a Stroke F.A.S.T. is the best way to remember the signs of a stroke!




Stroke Support Group • Starts May 16 • Meets monthly on the third Tuesday 11 am – 12 pm • Location: Haywood County Health Department training room • Light refreshments provided • 828.356.2244

May is Stroke Month • Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke • Nearly two million brain cells die each minute a stroke goes untreated • Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability Learn more at

stroke. Ischemic strokes account for the majority of all strokes and occur when a clot blocks a vessel supplying blood to the brain. Emergency room staff delivered a tissue plasminogen activator medication, which dissolves blood clots. Many people miss this key brain-saving treatment because they don’t arrive at the hospital within hours, which is why it’s so important to identify a stroke and seek treatment immediately for the best recovery. Johnson’s stroke recovery began days later with rehabilitation program. Speech language pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists take a patient-centered approach to individualized treatment to minimize the damage of stroke. Rehabilitation may include: • Self-care skills such as feeding, grooming, bathing, toileting and dressing. • Mobility skills such as transferring, walking or self-propelling a wheelchair. • Communication skills in speech and language. • Cognitive skills such as memory or problem solving. • Social skills for interacting with other people. Rehabilitation doesn’t reverse the effects of a stroke. The goal is to build strength, capability, and confidence to continue daily activities despite the effects of stroke. Within months of his successful rehabilitation, Johnson resumed his lifelong passion of running. He also joined a stroke survivor group for the social support and connection with others who have had a stroke and access to additional resources. “It is a challenge for every survivor and caregiver. We all need some help to improve our health and stretch our limits after a stroke,” he says. “Now, I’d like to do the same in our community.” In his role as public health services director for the Haywood County Health & Human Services Agency, he will be launching a new stroke recovery support group for fellow survivors and caregivers in collaboration with the rehab team at Haywood Regional Medical Center. “As a stroke survivor and a public health professional, I talk about stroke whenever the opportunity presents because awareness saves lives,” he says. “I can’t say I love my stroke residual, but I take every opportunity to speak about it.”

Join Us Saturdays at 10 am Lake Junaluska Kern Center and Canton Rec Park Location Varies Walk with a Doc is a unique, physician-led walking program focused on encouraging physical activity among patients. Each walk is hosted by a physician speaking about a health topic of interest.

Every walk is FREE and pre-registration is not required.

For more information, walk locations, and schedule visit: or like us on Facebook at



Learn more:

Participant, Christa McMullen, center, uses exercise to control osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis Center Leads in Region


hen Christa McMullen was diagnosed with osteoporosis, she talked to her doctor about the best ways to manage the condition. She connected with services available through Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center, and today she credits the support and guidance of the osteoporosis team with her success. “It has helped,” she said. “I have avoided medication so far.” McMullen now exercises three times a week. She takes the Bones and Balance class, the Zumba class, a spin class, lifts weights, and eats well. “I feel super,” she said. “I feel terrific.” McMullen is one of the many participants who have benefited from the services at the Haywood Regional Osteoporosis Center, a leader in the region for more than two decades. Since 1992, the center has been an advocate for quality bone density testing, and a resource for medical and 12

community education. Before that time, patients traveled to Atlanta, GA or Charlotte, NC, for bone density testing. The center is the only facility in the region that has added a new technology called Trabecular Bone Score (TBS). It allows caregivers to evaluate the amount of bone and the structure or “architecture” of the bone, which is a key component of bone strength. TBS is calculated at the time of bone density testing. Bone Connections is one of the unique programs offered by the team at the osteoporosis center. Beginning with a doctor referral and a physical therapy evaluation, the course is an interactive program in two sessions offered on Monday afternoons. The course focuses on general osteoporosis knowledge, dietary guidance, the role of medications, and the critical importance of physical activity and safe movement. Balance skills are critical to fall and fracture prevention. Matter of Balance, an


• Talk to your doctor about screening for osteoporosis and osteopenia, and your risk for developing the disease. • If you already have a diagnosis, ask your doctor to refer you to the osteoporosis center programs at Haywood Regional. • Schedule an appointment with a physical therapist to evaluate your balance and strength. Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center also offers and encourages participation in the many ongoing fitness classes for osteoporosis patients or patients who have a high risk of falling, including: • Tai Chi: improves balance and prevents falls. • Bones and Balance: combination of low-impact weight-bearing exercises, balance and gentle fullbody strengthening exercises. • Yoga for Osteoporosis: yoga postures adapted specifically for those seeking to prevent or manage osteopenia and osteoporosis.

evidence based program, helps individuals with poor balance gain confidence and make wise decisions to reduce the risk of falling. Back by popular demand, this program also begins with a doctor referral and physical therapy evaluation, followed by an 8-week free course taught by certified instructors.

7 Ways to Save Your Own Life By Emily Watson, PA-C


Get screened – Be proactive and invest in your health. Have an annual exam with your primary doctor and have those regular screening tests done like colonoscopies, mammograms, bone density scans, blood pressure and cholesterol checks, etc. These can help prevent diseases before they have a chance to begin. Maintain a healthy weight – If you are overweight or obese, you are at higher risk of developing serious health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, breathing problems, and certain cancers. Making small lifestyle changes such as cutting out soft drinks, increasing your steps by parking farther away, and staying hydrated can make a big difference in your overall health. Plus, a healthy weight helps you feel good about yourself and gives you more energy to enjoy life.



Eat a healthy diet and stay active – It’s crucial to fuel our body with the proper nutrients to stay healthy. A few tips to keep in mind: eat in color, read labels, eat smaller portion sizes, order lunch sizes while dining out, and find healthier alternatives such as low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream. And, with spring time finally here, it is a perfect time to embrace getting outside to be active — try going hiking, biking, or swimming to stay active. The American Heart Association suggests being active at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

Get your recommended vaccinations – Protect yourself against preventable diseases. Adults need immunizations too! While some, like the flu vaccine, are annual, others are one-time only or may require boosters. Ask your doctor what is recommended for you.

4 5

Get the recommended amount of sleep – Over half of all American adults do not get the recommended amount of sleep, which is at least seven hours for adults between the ages of 1860, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Insufficient sleep has been shown to lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, car-

diovascular disease, depression, and weight gain.


Wash up – Sounds so simple, but maybe that’s why it’s not taken as seriously. Washing your hands regularly, especially for children, can help prevent infectious diseases. Since so many infections are transmitted by touch, simply washing those ten fingers can be vital in protecting yourself. Invest in “me time” – Whether it’s a day of fishing, a yoga class, or reading a new book, investing in those moments of pleasure can help you be more positive, happy, and healthy overall.


Emily Watson, PA-C



Haywood Regional Diabetes Class Teaches Healthy Lifestyle


ary Lepak’s book of numbers tells the story. His blood sugar is detailed in handwritten notes: 204, 257, 280. He flips through to recent days and proudly rattles off the new numbers: 85, 83, 75. Lepak lost 29 pounds in a little more than a month after starting a diabetes course through Haywood Regional Medical Center. He cut his insulin intake in half. His wife, Lynn Lepak, has lost enough weight that she’s going to avoid a total knee replacement. Her blood sugar has been normal since she started the class the first


of February. “I feel great,” she says. “I’ve lost weight, and my knees feel better.” The Lepaks are among the many success stories coming out of the Diabetes SelfManagement Education course at Haywood Regional Medical Center. The program is covered by most private insurance and Medicare, and classes are held at Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center. “The program teaches participants how to manage diabetes through lifestyle changes,” says Lauren Teague, diabetes educator and registered dietitian. Many


patients are worried the program will mean drastic changes. But, like the Lepaks, they soon learn Teague is on their side and ready to meet them where they are in life. “They always think I’m going to take their food away from them,” she says with a laugh. “I’m not going to take their food away from them. It’s all about moderation and how we can make it work in their lives.” Teague says diabetes is an extremely dangerous disease, which destroys the body if left untreated. Eye complications can result in lost vision. Neuropathy in the feet

Gary Lepak stands with his wife, Lynn Lepak, while showing his blood sugar log book at Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center.

“I feel great. I’ve lost weight, and my knees feel better.” — Lynn Lepak

and hands can result in amputations. The kidneys can also suffer damage resulting in dialysis treatment. Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and even gum disease. Widespread nerve damage can cause problems with other parts of the body like the digestive system. Lauren Teague, Lifestyle and diet diabetes educator are the top causes of and dietitian Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a forever diagnosis, but proper treatment can lead to remission of the disease. Haywood Regional’s program is a certified American Diabetes Association course, which means it follows rigorous guidelines. It includes an initial assessment and basic meal planning. Participants then get eight

Diabetes Signs and Symptoms Some people don’t realize they are diabetic until they end up in the emergency room. If you experience any of these warning signs and symptoms, talk to your physician about getting tested: • Urinating often • Feeling very thirsty • Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating • Extreme fatigue • Blurry vision • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal • Weight loss - even though you are eating more (Type 1) • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (Type 2) See more at:


hours of a group class on monitoring the disease, short-term and long-term complications, medication management, nutrition, stress management, and exercise. “They get a full overview,” Teague says. “It’s not just food. We are going to come at it from every angle.” At the end, participants get an hourlong follow up with Teague to review their individualized meal plan. “I try to meet them where they are,” she says. “I tend to barter a little bit. I’ll give you a little bit of potatoes if you’ll give me a little bit of broccoli.” Some find the change difficult but others, like those who have been to the emergency room, are usually committed when they walk in the door. The Lepaks say they don’t miss fast food. They love cutting down on medications and avoiding surgery. “You get used to it,” Gary Lepak says. “If you put your mind to it, it’s fine.”


Residential Customer

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Waynesville, NC Permit #19 ECRWSS

262 Leroy George Drive · Clyde, NC 28721 828.456.7311 ·

WE’RE HIRING We have outstanding career opportunities available: • • • • • • • • • •

staff nurses certified nursing assistants medical office assistants ed techs coders/abstractors evs-housekeeping food and nutrition massage therapists radiologic techs physician assistants/family practitioners

To apply online and for additional employment opportunities, please visit our website: BENEFITS INCLUDE: Medical | Dental | Vision | Life Insurance (one year salary at no cost) | 401K (25% matching up to 6%) | Discounts on Health and Fitness Center (Employee & family) | Paid Time Off (accruals effective immediately) 262 Leroy George Dr. | Clyde, NC This facility and its affiliates comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATENCIÓN: si habla español tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-828-456-7311. 注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 1-828-456-7311。

Healthy Happenings Spring 2017  

Haywood Regional Medical Center provides safe and compassionate healthcare for the residents of Haywood County and surrounding counties.

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