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Features Health & Wellness

Smoky Mountain LME/MCO, a public managed healthcare organization, has hired a new director to help promote integrated, “whole body” care in Western North Carolina.

Peter Rives, who has 15 years of experience working with organizations that provide or manage care for people with mental illness, substance use and intellectual or developmental disabilities, joined Smoky’s staff in May as Integrated Care Director.

Integrated care means healthcare providers work together as a team to treat both physical illnesses and psychiatric concerns, including mental illness, alcohol or drug use or a developmental disability. Studies have shown that integrated care can improve people’s health, the quality of healthcare services and patient satisfaction while lowering costs.


Suite named in honor of Mr. & Mrs. George Maki.

The first hospice inpatient suite at the future SECU Hospice House has been named in memory of George and Elizabeth Maki, by Joan and Bernard Maki. Jodi and Bernie Maki made a $50,000 donation in November 2014 and at the time, also pledged to make an additional $50,000 donation if Hospice House Foundation raised $50,000 from other community residents by April 15, 2015. The challenge was met; thanks to the generosity of many community visionaries. The Makis’ second $50,000 gift, bringing their total contributions to $100,000, entitled them to the naming rights of an inpatient suite.


Harris Regional Hospital (HRH) has learned that a handful of patients in the community have received phone calls from an 866-area code requesting personal information to update HRH’s records. These calls are not being conducted by Harris Regional Hospital, or any representatives of the hospital.

Patients should not give any information if they receive this type of phone call.

In light of this situation, here are some important tips to avoid falling victim to phone scams:

  • Harris Regional Hospital will never call a patient asking for personal information or to “update records”.
  • If you are on the receiving end of a call from an individual or automated system claiming to be with a particular company, you should never share your social security number or financial information.
  • These scams can also be conducted through text message. Harris Regional Hospital will never ask for any personal information via text message or send you a message asking you to click on a link.
  • If you have an appointment or procedure scheduled and are unsure of the nature of a phone call you receive, hang up and call back the appropriate department of the hospital to ensure the caller’s identity.

As warmer weather approaches, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health (DPH) encourages North Carolinians to be aware of their surroundings and practice precautions while enjoying the outdoors with family, friends and pets, to prevent the spread of rabies.

Rabies is a deadly viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals, particularly mammals. In North Carolina, raccoons and bats serve as the source for most rabies viruses. These species may infect other animals such as skunks, red and gray foxes, coyotes, groundhogs and beavers. Any animal infected with rabies poses a human health risk. In 2014, more than 350 cases of animal rabies were reported in North Carolina.


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