2nd Annual Lighting of the Tree – December 3, 2015

Light-the-treeSeby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center warmly invites all High Country residents to help decorate and light a festive tree in honor and/or memory of loved ones who have faced cancer, no matter where they were treated. People of all faiths are welcome.

To attend the Lighting of the Tree:

Please visit Watauga Medical Center’s auditorium atrium at 336 Deerfield Road in Boone on Thursday, December 3rd from 6 pm – 7 pm for a brief ceremony. Enjoy the lighting of the tree, refreshments, live music and share in fellowship with Cancer Center staff, neighbors and friends.

To order an ornament in honor/memory of a loved one:

Elegant porcelain ornaments with a commemorative ribbon have been chosen for this occasion. Each honoree’s name will be hand painted on an ornament. Ornament orders received by December 1st will be placed on the tree prior to the ceremony. Orders placed after December 1st will be added as they are received.

Download the ornament order form

For more information, call (828) 262-4332.

Health Officials Urge Protection Against Flu

A joint release from Appalachian Regional Healthcare System & Appalachian District Health DepartmentAppalachian Regional Healthcare


(Boone, NC) – Appalachian District Health Department and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System are encouraging everyone to seek protection against the flu. Recently, the first death due to flu in North Carolina occurred in the Western North Carolina region.
“Tragically, we lose people every year due to influenza and too often, we delay getting vaccinated when there are so many opportunities available to get this important immunization,” said Beth Lovette, Health Director.
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. Over a period of 31 seasons between 1976 and 2007,  estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people. During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older. The “seasonal flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.
“An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through the community,” stated Dr. Herman Godwin, Chief Medical Officer, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.
There are two types of vaccines:

About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against the influenza viruses in the vaccine develop in the body.

It is especially important for children, older adults, and those that have medical conditions putting them at greater risks for complications from the flu, such as chronic health conditions like diabetes or heart disease, an immune compromised health condition, or pregnancy be vaccinated against the influenza.
To protect you and your family from flu:
  • Get your flu vaccine!
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, aches, fatigue, cough, and stuffy and/or runny nose. If you do become sick, call your healthcare provider or the health department to find out what he or she recommends.
Walk-in appointments are available at the health department and the vaccine is available at local healthcare providers and pharmacy locations. For more information about the flu, go to www.flu.nc.gov or www.cdc.gov/flu or contact Appalachian District Health Department at (828) 264-6635.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Announces New Medical Office

Appalachian Regional Medical Associates is pleased to announce the opening of Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists. The multi-specialty practice will include Rheumatology, Pulmonology and Internal Medicine. Dr. James Logan of Appalachian Regional Rheumatology and Dr. Kevin Wolfe of Appalachian Regional Pulmonology will join new providers Dr. Richard Stark, an Internal Medicine Physician, and Stephanie Walker, FNP-C.


The High Country needed this type of practice and we are happy Appalachian Regional Healthcare saw the need in the area. Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine Specialists will treat the whole person, not just the illness.

  • The internal medicine services focus on prevention and wellness strategies, new treatment options and emerging health strategies.
  • The rheumatology services focus on diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases including arthritis, autoimmune diseases and osteoporosis.
  • The pulmonology services focus on helping you breathe easier specializing in diseases involving the lungs and therapeutic and diagnostic services for respiratory system disorders. The providers are Making Life Better for residents of the High Country.

The public is invited to attend an Open House and Ribbon Cutting on September 2 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Location: Boone Point Building
148 Hwy 105 Extension, Suite 104
Boone, NC 28607


Safe Sitter: Babysitting Training Course – July 21, 2014


Is your child ready to begin babysitting? We have a great training course to get them prepared for their babysitting journey.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is offering a course for young teens age 11 and up. The up-to-date curriculum provides hands-on practice in lifesaving techniques designed to prepare babysitters to act in an emergency. Babysitters also receive instruction on how a child’s age affects how to care for them, how to prevent problem behavior, and how to run their own babysitting business. They also learn basic first aid as well a how to perform infant and child choking rescue and CPR.

*please note- the students receive training in CPR and basic first aid but are not certified.

To graduate from the Safe Sitter course and receive a completion card, students must pass a rigorous practical and written test that indicates their mastery of key concepts and life and safety skills.

When: July 21, 2014
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Watauga Medical Center Auditorium

Fee: The course cost $25. Please make checks payable to Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. No refunds.

Students should bring their own lunch, snacks and drinks for class. Class size is limited. Prepay and registration is required.

For more information and to register, contact:

Candy Jones
ARHS Community Outreach
215 Doctors Drive
Boone, NC 28607
(828) 268-8960

Join in for the 2nd annual Heart Shape event on Saturday, February 8


Did you know February was Heart Awareness month? It’s time to ensure our families are doing all that can be done to have a healthy heart!

Join Appalachian Regional Healthcare System for the 2nd annual Heart Shape event on Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center. Price cannot be an excuse as this is a free event and open to the public.

The 2014 Heart Shape event will feature:

The Cardiology Center & Register for a Pocket EKG
Blood Pressure, Heart Rate & Pulse Oximetry Screenings
Healthy Hearts program & Silver Sneakers program
Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center
THRIVE:Transition to Wellness program & THRIVE scholarships
Cardiac Rehab
Pulmonary Rehab
AppUrgent Care
Diabetes Self Management
Blood Sugar Screening
Stroke Risk Assessments
Seby B. Jones Cancer Center
Grandfather Specialty Clinic & Jefferson Specialty Clinic
Appalachian Regional Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center
Appalachian Regional Medical Associates (ARMA)

Health Talk Speaker Series

Cardiologist, Dr. Andrew Hordes will talk about “Atrial Fibrillation” from 10:00 am – 10:45 am.
Cardiologist, Dr. Joseph Helak will talk about “Cardiac Disease” from 11:00 am – 11:45 am.

Healthy Cooking Demonstrations

Healthy Cooking Demo at noon with Healthy Snacks provided by Earth Fare and Bare Essentials.

Workout Classes

During the event, the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center will provide tours of the facility and will open four classes to the public. Bring your workout cloths and join us for a morning of fitness classes.

Spin Class 9:15 am – 10:15 am
Zumba 9:15 am – 10:15 am
Yoga 10:15 am – 11:15 am
Water Fitness 10:15 am – 11:15 am

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Requests Visitation Restrictions

arhsBoone, NC (January 22, 2014) – Appalachian Regional Healthcare System asks that anyone sick with the flu or flu-like symptoms voluntarily refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends, as well as those persons at the hospital for an outpatient procedure. It is also important that during this time of increased flu and flu like illness in our area, visitors 12 and under should refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, flu activity is on the rise in the U.S. with all 50 states reporting sporadic to widespread illness. North Carolina is reporting widespread illness.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s hospital emergency rooms, along with the physician offices and AppUrgent Care, have seen an increase in the number of people presenting with influenza-like illness. While everyone who presents is not tested for the flu, the System’s facilities have reported more than 320 have been tested for flu since November 2013.

“Patients are very vulnerable while in the hospital, so we are appealing to those community members who may be ill with the flu, or exposed to the flu, to refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends in order to help us protect the patients in our facilities,” stated Dr. Herman Godwin, Chief Medical Officer for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. “Our top priority is to take every appropriate precaution to keep our patients safe.”

Flu viruses spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Sometimes an individual may catch flu by touching an object infected with the virus and then touching the eyes, mouth, or nose.

There are several things you can do to prevent catching or spreading the flu: Protect yourself, your family and your community

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not into your hands.
  • If you get sick with flu, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from making them sick.
  • Get the recommended seasonal flu vaccine.


Sore throat
Body aches
Runny or stuffy nose

Most people recover from flu after about a week without lasting effects.

Seek emergency medical care if you or a family member has any of these symptoms:

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms that improve, but then return with fever and worsening cough
In babies, bluish or gray skin color, lack of responsiveness or extreme irritation

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is working diligently to prevent the spread of flu and appreciates any assistance the public can provide. For more information about the flu, visit www.flu.gov/.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Holds Safe Sitter Babysitting Training Course

Is your pre-teen or teenager ready to become a babysitter? ARHS is holding a babysitting training course to get your child prepared for their first time babysitting.


This course is for young teens age 11 and up. The up-to-date curriculum provides hands-on practice in lifesaving techniques designed to prepare babysitters to act in an emergency. Babysitters also receive instruction on how a child’s age affects how to care for them, how to prevent problem behavior, and how to run their own babysitting business. They also learn basic first aid as well a how to perform infant and child choking rescue and CPR.

*Please note- the students receive training in CPR and basic first aid but are not certified.

To graduate from the Safe Sitter course and receive a completion card, students must pass a rigorous practical and written test that indicates their mastery of key concepts and life and safety skills.

Safe Sitter Babysitting Training Course

Sunday, January 26th, 2104
9 am- 4 pm
Watauga Medical Center Auditorium

Cost $25. Make check payable to ARHS. No refunds. Class size is limited. Must prepay and preregister. Students must bring their own lunch, snacks, and drinks for class.

For more information and to register contact:

Candy Jones
ARHS Community Outreach
215 Doctors Drive
Boone, NC 28607
(828) 268-8960

Teacher battling cancer inspires class to action this Christmas

We received this update from our sponsor Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. It will warm your heart this Christmas!

Corrie Freeman, a fourth grade teacher at Hardin Park Elementary School, taught more than reading and arithmetic to her class this year.

The story began last May when Freeman, a native of Spruce Pine, was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Described by her collogues as “selfless and just awesome,” Freeman decided early on to look for the silver linings.

Her physician, Dr. Beverly Womack of Harmony Center for Women’s Health and Vitality, recommended that she see a gynecological oncologist at Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte.

“Through tears, I remember asking if it would be possible for me to receive my consultations in Charlotte and my radiation treatment here [in Boone] so I could continue to teach,” said Freeman. “I was delighted to find out that Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center, located in Boone, was well equipped to provide state-of-the-art care for my cancer.”

By the beginning of the school year, Freeman, weary from a long summer of trips to Charlotte and radiation treatments in Boone, was more resolved than ever to teach her 16th year of fourth graders.

“My goal from the beginning was to teach the class that cancer is not scary,” said Freeman. “I knew there would be questions, like when my hair began to fall out, but I promised myself from the beginning that if God would allow me to continue to teach, I would continue to pour out His love for others.”

One example of this can be found in a book Freeman read to her class at the beginning of the school year called “Fill a Bucket: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Young Children” by Carol McCloud. Freeman explained to her class that in the year ahead they would grow in areas beyond that of the textbook. That they would learn the importance of using the time they have been given to make a difference in the world.

As the holiday season approached, it became apparent that Freeman’s positive outlook on life proved to be contagious. During a class discussion, a student raised his hand and asked “Miss. Freeman, can we do anything to fill the buckets of other people with cancer this Christmas?”

After several minutes of brainstorming and a few phone calls, the students were delighted to learn that they could donate gifts for patients at the Cancer Center in Boone where their teacher had been receiving care.

Like elves in Santa’s workshop the students all agreed to purchase buckets of their own, 22 in all, and fill them with Christmas candies, ornaments and gifts. They also wrote cards with encouraging words like “You’re brave, strong, courageous, and you have a warrior’s heart.”

bucketsofhopeAs the sleigh, Freeman’s Toyota Camry, was being loaded with buckets the students were delighted to learn that their teachers treatment, over the past seven months, had worked and she would be considered cancer free by Christmas.

“I am so thankful for the love and support of my students,” said Freeman. “The fact that they rallied around me and wanted to help others battling cancer had a huge impact on my own Christmas healing miracle.”

Last week, Freeman, with two of her students at her side, made the special Christmas delivery to the Cancer Center. As the students distributed the buckets with hugs attached, Freeman thanked the staff for their love, support and healing treatment.

For more information about Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center or how you can help “fill the buckets” of patients via donation support, visit www.apprhs.org/cancercenter.

For more info about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System visit www.apprhs.org.

Pediatric Patients Benefit from High Country Boy’s Birthday Party

What could be better than a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed birthday party? For nine year old D’Artagnan McCoy, the answer was simple. McCoy asked his party guests to bring a gift that would be donated to Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) and shared with kids who are hospitalized.

McCoy“I already have lots of toys,” said the rising home schooled fourth grader. “I like to help people, it makes everyone, including myself feel good.”

D’Artagnan, named after the famous leader of the Three Musketeers, lived up to his name when he shared his selfless idea with his parents, Randy “Doc” and Trina McCoy, owners of Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine. Together, the McCoy’s discussed who should be the beneficiary of the birthday gifts, but the final decision was left up to D’Artagnan.

“Being a parent, you wonder if you are doing all the right things,” said Trina with a smile. “However, with D’Artagnan, this certainly is confirmation. He has a huge heart and is a blessing to everyone who meets him.”

The McCoy’s shared the birthday gift idea with their friend, Jessica Powell, MBA, CFRE, the Annual Giving Coordinator at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation.

Powell and the McCoy’s first crossed paths last summer when they notified ARHS that Doc’s Rocks had been fundraising all year for the cancer center and were prepared to donate $6,350 to the Cancer Patient Emergency Fund. The family was moved to support the Cancer Patient Emergency Fund after Randy’s sister lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007. The fund provides assistance to patients undergoing cancer treatments to help with daily life essentials including, medication, gasoline, electricity, etc.

“The McCoy’s are a generous and kind family,” said Powell. “They care so much about our community and their son D’Artagnan is an amazing young man, full of compassion and a heart willing to share with others.”

On June 19, the McCoy family loaded the Doc’s Rocks truck with boxes full of birthday gifts and headed to Watauga Medical Center to make D’Artagnan’s donation. With big smiles on their faces and their arms full of gifts, D’Artagnan, his parents and grandparents entered the hospital and met Powell, who was waiting with a wheeled cart. There were so many gifts; they barely fit on the cart.

Powell led the family down the hall to meet Barbara McGuire Campbell, RN, BSN, BS, MPH, Watauga Medical Center’s Director of In-Patient Operations, while D’Artagnan pushed the cart.

“This young man is an example of family values manifesting into the next generation,” said Campbell. “We are a community and as a community we care for each other. Caring can be anything from a coloring book to a pledge donation.”

D’Artagnan grinned attentively as he sat in Campbell’s office, surrounded by a host of presents, family and admiring ARHS employees, and discussed with Campbell how the gifts would be distributed. The two agreed that it would be best to share D’Artagnan’s birthday presents with children that are admitted to the hospital and with children visiting that would like a toy or coloring book.

Once word got out about D’Artagnan’s generous birthday gift idea, friends, family and customers began stopping by the family’s house and the gem mine to donate an extra gift for his cause.

For the past two years, Randy and Trina have donated the proceeds of each rose quarts gem, the breast cancer stone, cut at Doc’s Rocks to the Cancer Patient Emergency Fund. They also donate the proceeds earned on the last Saturday in October. It’s easy to see why D’Artagnan’s desire to give back has flourished.

“He is with us all day at the mine, and he witnesses others volunteer their time and money,” Randy said proudly. “We like to donate to what we believe in.”

As the McCoy’s left the hospital that day, a multitude of hugs, smiles and high fives where shared with D’Artagnan.

“The impact of a selfless gift is limitless,” said Campbell as she waved goodbye to the family. “A smile, a moment of creativity, a birthday gift shared, all lead to the most important thing, a patient who knows someone cares and a donor who is fulfilled.”

For more information about making a donation, call Jessica Powell at 828-268-9051 or visit www.apprhs.org/foundation.

For more information about Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, visit www.apprhs.org.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare Summer Camp 2013


It is going to be a good summer. The healthcare system is committed to making life better for kids. Their summer blast will start on June 17 and go through August 9. It will be Monday – Friday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.

The summer camp will be for ages 7 – 12.

Join the summer blast camp and enjoy making friends, sports (basketball, soccer, kickball, dodge ball, wiffle ball and more), yoga, zumba, swimming, hiking, weight lifting, aerobics, nutrition classes and more!

An afternoon snack will be provided each day. Participants are expected to have lunch before they come to BLAST.

Payment Options:

All 8 weeks: $500

4 weeks: $275

Weekly: $80

Contact Information:

Randy Azbell, Fitness Leader razbell@apprhs.org (828) 266-1060