Author Archives: Christina Corey

Nurse Leaders Promote Positive Change

It’s National Nurses Week, and we’d like to recognize the work North Carolina Nurse Leaders do as activists for better patient care. We congratulate our own Cindy Stephens, DNP, RN, FNP-BC on her work to support these two bills at the NC government level:

Local Nurses have been supporting HB 655, the NC Health Care for Working Families Act. While other states have closed the coverage gap, NC still has many un-insured who are forced to seek expensive care at local emergency rooms instead of being involved in pro-active care which can be delivered by primary care physicians, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. We can’t expect legislators to be health care experts, and in fact very few actually are. The North Carolina Nurses Association recently hosted a “ Nurses Day at the legislature” and encouraged nurses from across our great state to share stories and the dilemma’s of caring for citizens who for many reasons are not insured.

HB185 – The SAVE Act
NC Legislators Introduced the Bipartisan SAVE Act to increase access to quality healthcare. Primary sponsors of the bipartisan SAVE Act (SB 143/HB 185) include Sen. Ralph Hise, Rep. Josh Dobson, Rep. Donny Lambeth, Rep. Sarah Stevens, and Rep. Gale Adcock. The full title of the bill is: An Act to Deliver Safe, Accessible, Value Directed and Excellent Health Care throughout North Carolina by Modernizing Nursing Regulations. Research specific to North Carolina shows that the SAVE Act would be a major economic windfall for the state. According to a 2015 study by Dr. Chris Conover from the Duke University Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, this type of legislation will save North Carolina between $433 million and $4.3 billion per year and create more than 3,800 jobs.

The Family Health Centers Proudly Congratulates Cindy Stephens, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

In September 2018 The North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) honored nurses and nursing advocates at its 111th Annual Convention. The Awards focus on people who are having a tangible impact on improved patient care around the state.

Included in this year’s ceremony was NCNA member Cindy Stephens of The Family Health Centers who was given the Outstanding Service Award. This award is given by the  NCNA Board of Directors to a nurse member who demonstrates persistent and extended commitment to the promotion and advancement of NCNA and who also depicts an awareness of NCNA and its values and goals in both the education and practice arenas. Congratulations Cindy! AshevilleNurseAchievesStateAward_2018

Alcohol Awareness Month in Beer City – how much is too much

By Jason T. Cook, MD

Living in the vacation hotspot we lovingly know as Asheville, we often find ourselves surrounded by various forms of alcohol. Whether it’s a new brewery, a hot new restaurant serving craft cocktails, or the Thirsty Thursday dollar beer night at the Asheville Tourists baseball club, sometimes it seems like all Asheville does is drink.

It’s one thing if you visit for a week of vacation once a year, but it’s another thing altogether if it is part of your everyday life. Alcohol occupies an interesting place in our collective psyche as Americans: it is often thought to be perfectly acceptable, sometimes encouraged as a social norm, sometimes even promoted to have health benefits. One thing we do know is that America likes alcohol. It is the most commonly-used addictive substance in the United States, with over $220 billion in annual US sales.

So, is alcohol good or bad? Most physicians think that alcohol in moderation is okay for many adults, but there are millions of Americans for whom a drink is not just a casual social lubricant. Over 17 million people in the US suffer from alcohol abuse of dependence, and millions more engage in binge drinking patterns that can lead to dependence. The disease of alcoholism affects all aspects of a person’s life, causing physical and mental illnesses, ruining families, careers, and finances. Alcohol overuse causes 88,000 deaths annually, and it is the 3rd leading preventable cause of death in the US.

How much is too much? The concept of moderate drinking is often misunderstood. The general medical recommendation for alcohol moderation is no more than 14 drinks a week for men or 7 drinks a week for women, on average. It also stipulates that on any single occasion, men should limit their intake to no more than 4 drinks, and women should have no more than 3 drinks. Also, people often have different ideas about what constitutes “one drink.” Technically, a drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer or malt beverage, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of liquor. So remember, that 32 oz beer on special at the Mexican restaurant is actually almost 3 drinks, and there are in fact 5 glasses of wine in a standard 750ml bottle.

Even with that recommendation, deciding if a person drinks too much can be more complicated. Alcoholism is not just defined by how much, for how long, or what type of alcohol a person drinks, but also why they drink. Alcoholics often use drinking to attempt to treat underlying stress or other mental health problems, to numb themselves from certain unpleasant feelings, or just to satisfy an intense, unexplainable craving. Several types of validated screening questionnaires have been developed to help physicians and patients determine if someone’s drinking behavior is problematic, and we regularly use these in our offices.

If you are concerned about how alcohol is affecting your life or that of a loved one, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. You may also read more about alcoholism at .

Best of WNC 2018 – We appreciate your vote!

Did you know that The Family Health Centers was voted “#1 Family Medical Practice in Western North Carolina” by readers of the Mountain Xpress in 2016 and 2017?  We could not be more grateful – or humbled – by this honor. We hope to have earned your vote again this year. To cast your vote for 2018, visit

Thanks for being a patient of The Family Health Centers!