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Features Health & Wellness

Southwestern Community College’s (SCC) Medical Assisting program has joined the national effort to celebrate National Medical Assistants Week Oct. 17-21. Since its inception four years ago, SCC’s Medical Assisting program has continued to grow and currently has a full enrollment of 18 students.

The theme for this year’s Medical Assistants Week is “Healthcare with a Human Touch,” which the students at SCC have fully embraced and are working to spread the word throughout the community.


Macon County commissioners unanimously voted to declare October Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Macon County. During October’s regularly scheduled board meeting of Macon County’s commissioners, Bonnie Peggs, Director of Marketing and Public Relations with Angel Medical Center presented commissioners with the proclamation which ultimately allows Macon County to join in the national effort surrounding the importance breast cancer awareness. Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, and is the second leading cause of death in women (after lung cancer).

“Our goal is to eradicate death caused by breast cancer in Macon County,” said Peggs. “No one else needs to die from it, especially when it is treatable if found early enough — early detection is the key, which is what this month is about.”


Macon County Public Health has scheduled a series of seasonal influenza vaccination clinics at locations in Franklin, Highlands and Otto. This year, seasonal influenza vaccine provides protection against three strains of influenza, including H1N1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a yearly flu vaccine. Children under 9 years of age who haven't been vaccinated against the flu in the past will need two doses of flu vaccine.

Appointments are not needed for these clinics and vaccine will be given on a first come, first serve basis. Individuals unable to wait in line may have someone wait in line for them and a nurse will take vaccine to their vehicle.

At the present time, seasonal flu shot clinics will be provided by Macon County Public Health as follows:


Two additional cases of La Crosse encephalitis confirmed in Macon County

Macon County Health Director, Jim Bruckner announced on Monday that two additional cases of La Crosse encephalitis were confirmed in Macon County. Bruckner confirmed that both patients were admitted during September to Memorial Mission Hospital and both patients are currently recovering at home. Laboratory testing to confirm La Crosse encephalitis relies on antibody testing which can take up to two weeks to produce a definitive result. These two cases of La Crosse encephalitis brought Macon County’s total to three for the year, with the first case being diagnosed back in June.

Stan Polanski, Physician Assistant at Macon County Public Health said the La Crosse encephalitis virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.


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