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Features Health & Wellness

Summers spent poolside and sunny vacations during winter can do more than provide relaxation. Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays leaves behind lasting damage on the skin - including wrinkles, leathery or sagging skin and brown spots. In fact, more than 90 percent of these visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by the sun. Though sun damage is cumulative, there are ways to repair, and even reverse the damage.

"Contrary to popular belief, the harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation can be almost immediate," said Skin Cancer Foundation Senior Vice President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD. "That's why practicing proper sun protection is so critical. You'll help prevent future damage and you may even reverse some of the damage that has already been done."


As winter begins to set in and temperatures dip below freezing, many residents of Macon County are trying to find ways to keep their homes warm. Whether it be by burning wood or oil, flipping a switch or throwing on some extra blankets—there are many ways to stay ahead of the cold.

With residential heating oil sitting at a state average of $3.37 per gallon some families may feel a crunch on their bank accounts. In the event of that, according to Shaina Adkins, executive director of Macon County Care Network there are avenues to take if one were to find themselves in need of assistance during these winter months.

Currently families can apply for the Emergency Heat Assistance programs (CIP/LIHEAP) at Macon County Department of Social Services (DSS). Aside from that, CareNet is taking referrals from DSS, with limited funds available through the Duke Energy Grant money they have obtained to further aid those that apply for assistance with their disconnect notices at DSS but cannot receive the total amount necessary to avoid disconnection.


After more than a ten-year absence, midwifery returns to Angel Medical Center. Mission Women’s Care has locations in Franklin, Bryson City and Sylva that will be delivering babies at Angel Medical Center, as well as providing other healthcare services for women of all ages. All three offices are now open. Four practitioners – Dr. Elizabeth England and certified nurse midwives Judith Layton, Anne Karner and Cynthia Noland – have been added to the team of compassionate healthcare providers.

“Midwifery care focuses on birth as a normal, healthy process. Midwifery care reduces interventions women experience during prenatal care and the labor process thus decreasing cesarean section rates,” said Judith A. Layton, CNM, MSN. Midwifery is much more than just delivering babies.


The American Cancer Society has scheduled the Great American Smokeout (GASO) for Nov. 20, 2014, to encourage smokers to quit for a day in the hope they may quit for good.

Pharmacotherapies, behavioral therapies, and counseling—including telephone counseling— can help patients quit and increase their chances of not relapsing.

Dawn Wilde Burgess, community health promotion supervisor at Macon County Public Health urges people that are ready to stop smoking to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or register online at To qualify to receive eight weeks of free nicotine patches you must: call or register online on Nov. 20, 2014; be 18 years or older; call from an N.C. phone number; and, commit to a quit date. For service in Spanish, call 1-855-DEJELO-YA or 1-855-335-3569.



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