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Features Health & Wellness

March 8-14 was National Groundwater Awareness Week and Macon County Public Health joins the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) in bringing attention to the importance of clean groundwater and what steps people can take to protect the quality of their groundwater.

Just as you check your furnace or smoke detector batteries seasonally, spring is a good season to have an annual water well checkup before the peak water use season begins, according to the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

An annual checkup by a qualified water well contractor is the best way to ensure problem-free service and quality water, says Barry Patterson, Macon County Public Health Environmental Health Supervisor.

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Macon County Public Health would like to remind citizens that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and to encourage talking to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy.

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 96,000 new cases of colon cancer were diagnosed in 2014 and more than 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is the one cancer that can actually be prevented. Getting the proper screening done at the right times of your life can save your life. When caught early in the disease process, colorectal cancer has a 90 percent survival rate.

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Macon County Public Health will celebrate Public Health Month by sponsoring a free Healthy Aging educational series during the month of April. “Just for the Health of It” will provide a free opportunity for individuals approaching middle age or beyond to learn more about ways to expand their years of healthy life and enjoy the benefits of developing healthier habits.

The first series of programs will be held on Thursday, April 2nd. Beginning at 4 p.m., Registered Dietitian Jessi Bassett, RD, LDN will present a program on the optimal use of vitamins and supplements. At 5 p.m. local chef Jerri Fifer will provide samples of “power foods” to incorporate into your diet. She’ll also provide recipes and demonstrations about healthy preparations. From 6 to 7 p.m., local OB-GYN, Dr. Carole Peterson will provide information about menopause, hormone replacement therapy, and thyroid health.

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Western Carolina University’s School of Nursing will host its first annual Rural Health Symposium in Asheville on Friday, March 27, to shed light on factors that impact the health of the citizens of rural Western North Carolina.

Regional topics to be addressed include community health needs, health care priorities, effective strategies to meet health care needs, the current state of literacy, health care needs seen by free clinics, and factors contributing to the occurrence of stroke in the region. Community assessments and action plans to address needs also will be discussed.

Nationally recognized rural healthcare expert Lisa M. Harmon will facilitate the symposium. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn Asheville-Biltmore West from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $30 for adults and WCU faculty, and $10 for students. Lunch will be provided.

For more information or to register, visit nursinged.wcu.edu or call WCU’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education at (828)227-7397.

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