Affordable Care Act Enrollment Has Started

— press release from Legal Aid of North Carolina

Enrollment for 2018 Affordable Care Act coverage starts Nov. 1

Financial help and in-person enrollment help still available for NC consumers; Shortened enrollment period ends Dec. 15

RALEIGH • Oct. 31, 2017 – Tomorrow, Nov. 1, is the start of the Affordable Care Act’s fifth – and shortest – open-enrollment period. Consumers will have until midnight on Dec. 15 – just 45 days, which is half the length of past enrollment periods – to enroll in 2018 coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace <>.

Due to the shortened enrollment period and general confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act – a Kaiser Family Foundation study<> found that many consumers do not know the dates for the 2018 enrollment period – it is more important than ever for North Carolina consumers to know that they can rely on an experienced, fully funded<> corps of Marketplace navigators to provide them with free, local, in-person enrollment help all across the state.

Consumers can schedule a navigator meeting by visiting<> or calling 1-855-733-3711 (toll-free). They can also attend one of the free enrollment events that will be held around the state throughout open enrollment (see the events listing on<>).

Here are some other important facts for consumers to know:

* The Affordable Care Act is still the law, and Americans must be enrolled in health insurance in 2018 to avoid paying a fine.

* Subsidies to help consumers pay their monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs – copays and deductibles – are still available. Nine in 10 North Carolinians who enrolled in the last open enrollment period received some financial help to cover their premium costs.

* Consumer subsidies go up or down along with premium rates, so most consumers should not feel the premium increase in their wallet.

* Consumers who already have Marketplace coverage should come back to review the new plans available for 2018, rather than automatically re-enrolling. New plans and prices are available, so consumers should make sure they are enrolled in the best plan for their family’s medical needs and budget.

* All plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace cover comprehensive care, including doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, emergency services, hospitalization, preventive and rehabilitative care, and more.

”The most important message for consumers is: do not delay!” Jennifer Simmons, director of the NC Navigator Consortium, said. “Given the shortened enrollment period, it’s more important than ever for consumers to act now. If you have questions or don’t know where to start, our navigators are here for you. Visit our website or call us as soon as possible.”

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TNH Foundation’s Grant Awards Top $1 Million

— press release

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation’s Grant Awards Top $1 Million

By Val Short,
Executive Director
Triangle North Healthcare Foundation

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation has achieved a new milestone with the recent approval by the Board of Directors of $300,000 in grant awards to local organizations in the Foundation’s fifth grant cycle. The 2017 grant awards raises the total funds awarded by the Foundation to $1.1 million, since the Foundation began grantmaking in 2013. The 2017 grant awards were presented at a reception on October 12.

“The Foundation’s mission is to invest in grant projects and programs that will improve health in our region,” said Val Short, executive director for the Foundation. “The 2017 grant awards will fund projects that focus on community health and healthy lifestyles throughout our four-county region. Our hope is that these grant awards will result in improved health and healthier outcomes for children and adults in Vance, Warren, Granville, and Franklin counties.”

Most of the 2017 grant projects focus on chronic disease management and prevention, success in school, and substance use disorders. The TNHF grantees will provide a broad range of approaches to improving health– from programs that develop fitness and self-esteem in teens, to enabling access to primary care for homeless men, to teaching social skills and relationship boundaries for the developmentally disabled, to teaching water safety skills to Vance County second graders. “For all of our grant programs, health and wellness are at the heart of the work they will do,” said Short.

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation has established five major funding priorities that include, Chronic Disease Prevention, Nutrition and Physical Fitness, Success in School—as it relates to health and fitness, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Reproductive Health.

A list of the grant recipients and their projects for 2017-18 includes:

• Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central NC – SMART Girls Outdoors – a health, fitness, and self-enhancement program for girls ages 8-16, which is designed to encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles that will enable adolescent girls to develop their full potential; program will partner with YMCA’s Girls on the Run.

• Community Partners of Hope – Health Interventions – a coordination of access to primary care, behavioral health, and dental services for 40 homeless men served by Hope House and the Emergency Shelter; skills for self-management of chronic illnesses will be taught to all participants.

• Community Workforce Solutions, Inc. – Healthy Boundaries – Safe Living – using the Circles curriculum to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities navigate social situations, learn healthy relationship boundaries, and to recognize and react appropriately to sexual abuse or exploitation.

• Franklin-Granville-Vance Smart Start – Teens Fit for Life – the existing Adolescent Parenting Program will expand to include a Nutrition & Fitness component in partnership with the YMCA and Cooperative Extension.

• Franklin County Health Department – MIT Care for a Healthier Franklin County – staff training to implement evidence-based practices of motivational interviewing, integrated behavioral and physical care, and trauma-Informed practice to improve patient-provider engagement and improve health in the priority areas of heart disease and obesity.

• Granville-Vance Public Health – 1)Improving Child Health & Academic Achievement in Vance County – collection and analysis of baseline anthropometric data in at least 7 elementary schools to be used to pilot child health and obesity prevention project in at least one elementary school; 2)Improving Birth Outcomes in Granville & Vance counties – expanding the evidenced-based Centering Pregnancy program to Vance County; provides prenatal care and learning activities to address and improve high rates of infant mortality and significant disparities in birth outcomes.

• Henderson Family YMCA – 1) Girls on the Run/STRIDE – a self-esteem, self- respect and healthy lifestyles program for girls & boys culminating in a 5k run/walk at the end of each semester; 2) Safety Around Water – teaches water safety and drowning prevention skills to 2nd graders in Vance County.

• NC Med Assist – Free Pharmacy Program & Over-the-Counter Giveaways – provides free medications and support for low income and uninsured individuals in the Triangle North Region. In addition two over-the-counter medicine giveaways will be implemented this year in Vance and Granville counties.

• Occoneechee Council, Boy Scouts of America – SCOUT Strong – expands existing alcohol & drug prevention program designed for boys and girls ages 5 to 20. Emphasizes healthy living, physical fitness and the dangers of substance abuse.

• Strength and Mending (S.a.M) Child Advocacy Center – Child Forensic Interviews – provides a centralized, child-centered approach to investigation that reduces the risk of trauma to the children who are victims of abuse; increases opportunities for healing for the child and non-offending family members.

• TROSA (Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, Inc.) – Rebuilding Lives: Mental Health & Substance Abuse Recovery – provides a two-year residential recovery program with treatment, education, vocational training and care for residents of the Triangle North region who suffer from alcohol and substance abuse, free of charge.

• Westcare North Carolina, Inc. –Staff Certifications in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Substance Abuse Counseling – training for staff to become certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy so a higher level of therapy can be provided to the adolescent women who are served by this residential treatment facility in Manson for teen girls who are classified at a Level 2 adjudicated status.

Located in Henderson, Triangle North Healthcare Foundation provides grants to nonprofits organizations, governmental agencies, and schools in Vance, Warren, Granville, and Franklin counties. The Foundation’s grant funding mission has been made possible by the endowment that was established after Maria Parham Medical Center merged with the for-profit Duke-Lifepoint in 2011.

A new grant cycle will be launched next March, but in the meantime, the Foundation staff is available to discuss ideas for grant projects or to provide assistance with grant writing. Information about our grantees and future grant opportunities is available on the website at or call 252-598-0763.


Maria Parham Regional Home Health

— press release from HomeCare Elite

Maria Parham Regional Home Health named as a top agency of the 2017 ABILITY | HomeCare Elite

HENDERSON, N.C. – Maria Parham Regional Home Health today announced that it has been named a top agency of the 2017 HomeCare Elite®, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. For 12 years, HomeCare Elite has annually identified the top 25 percent of Medicare-certified agencies and highlights the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

Maria Parham Regional Home Health, a local provider of home health services in Henderson, is part of LHC Group, a national provider of post-acute care services with over 14,000 employees operating more than 400 locations in 27 states.

“We commend our team members at Maria Parham Regional Home Health for their hard work and dedication in achieving this honor,” said Keith G. Myers, LHC Group chairman and CEO. “Quality patient care is the top priority at all LHC Group locations and providers. We are proud to have 217 locations – more than 70 percent of our home health agencies – earn HomeCare Elite recognition.”

The ranking is developed by ABILITY® Network, a leading information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare; and sponsored by DecisionHealth, publisher of Home Health Line and the Complete Home Health ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Coding Manual.

HomeCare Elite agencies are determined by an analysis of performance measures in quality outcomes, best practices implementation, patient experience (HHCAHPS), quality improvement and consistency, and financial health. In order to be considered, an agency must be Medicare-certified and have data for at least three outcomes in Home Health Compare. Out of 9,064 agencies considered, 2,268 are recognized on the 2017 HomeCare Elite winners list overall.

“The team at Maria Parham Regional Home Health has demonstrated an impressive ability to deliver great patient care,” said Christine Lang, senior director for ABILITY Network. “This is due to the skill and dedication of their clinical professionals, as well as the proficiency and efforts of their quality team tracking, measuring and interpreting the data that supports the delivery of care. Together, they have earned this recognition as one of the top home care agencies in the country.”

About LHC Group, Inc.

LHC Group, Inc. is a national provider of non-acute healthcare services, providing quality, cost-effective healthcare to patients primarily within the comfort and privacy of their home or place of residence. LHC Group provides a comprehensive array of healthcare services through home health, hospice, community-based services, and facility-based services.

About ABILITY Network

ABILITY® Network is a leading healthcare information technology company helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare through innovative applications and data analytics. ABILITY is headquartered in Minneapolis with principal offices in Boston and Tampa. For more information visit or write to For more information about HomeCare Elite, call 888.572.4009, write to or visit

About DecisionHealth

For over 30 years, DecisionHealth, an H3.Group brand, has served as the industry’s leading source for news, analysis and instructional guidance with brand names such as Home Health Line and Part B News. Our unique blend of award-winning on-staff journalists and unmatched access to health care executives, providers and their administrative staffs results in business management advice and operationally focused editorial that has captured the attention of nearly 100,000 home health care professionals and specialty physician practices.


(Maria Parham Health is a paying advertising client of WIZS.)

Maria Parham Cancer Center

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Early detection helps save lives.

The Cancer Center at Maria Parham Health is having a free lung cancer prevention and screening event.  It will take place November 2, 2017 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Maria Parham Health, 566 Ruin Creek Road.

Call 800.424.DOCS (3627) for details and to register.

A flyer sent to WIZS News about the event says, “Join us for a free event to learn about the latest advancements in lung cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. Take this opportunity to meet members of the cancer care team at Maria Parham Health and have an opportunity to ask questions regarding lung health.”

There will be refreshments, door prizes, information and resources.

(Maria Parham Health is a paying advertising client of WIZS Radio and

Granville Vance Public Health Logo

Opioid Abuse In Our Area

If you live in Vance County or the surrounding area, then you know that opioid abuse, addiction and overdose is a real issue.

Tuesday at Vance Granville Community College, leaders and interested parties gathered to discuss awareness and prevention.  It was put on by Granville Vance Public Health and other agencies.

There are stats everywhere which show the sharp increase in overdose deaths nationally too, especially when you look at heroin and the misuse of prescription drugs.  You won’t search long before you see headlines that drug overdoses kill more people annually that car crashes or gun violence.

At the forum Tuesday, Dr. Anderson Brown with Cardinal Innovations spoke and said it all starts with prevention. It’s at different, earlier ages and with different outcomes that we see young adults becoming addicted now.

Dr. Shauna Guthrie, the Granville Vance Public Health Medical Director, said the right amount of prescription is where we need to start. Just a few pills can cause a young to middle age adult to be addicted.

Over prescribed drugs, in terms of the number of pills given for example just in an initial prescription, are a problem.  Problems arise when the intended recipient of the drug uses too much and also when the pills are not completely used and then fall into the wrong hands.

Dr. Lawrence Greenblatt, the Northern Piedmont Community Care Medical Director, said there are patients out there that need prescriptions but to a certain point. Cutting back on the amount of prescriptions is something that is needed.

A big issue is how early children are affected, including the fact that some children are born with a drug addiction because of the habits of the mother.  In other cases, it was stated that children as young as 10 years old now experiment with drugs.

What are we doing locally?  Educating youngsters at an early age, making sure treatment is available for those in need and making the public aware of treatment options.

There is improved access with 24 hour hotlines like 1-800-939-5911, which is Cardinal Innovations 24-hour crisis line.

There are more drop boxes for unused medications.  Most any local pharmacy has one or will take the unused meds during normal business hours.  October 28th is National Drug take back day.

Resources are being provided, and there are free training options.  Nidhi Sachdeva, with the N.C. Division of Public Health, works closely with the local community.


Daymark Recovery – 5 Counties but focus on Warren, Granville and Vance.


Vance Recovery – all age groups


Back on Track – Group Therapy, Transportation, Medicaid.


Mens Halfway House – Staffed 24/7

Boys and Girls Club Welcomes New Members

Vance County

Please join our Vance family in welcoming Mr. Qundarious Freeman back for the 2017-2018 school year. Qundarious has been a member for almost a year now. Though the start of his membership was rocky he has truly become a member that recognizes and accepts positive change.

Granville County

We are so excited to welcome a ton of new members this school year, including Jayla!

Jayla is a spunky 4th grader that has really been enjoying her first couple weeks at the club. She stated that she was most excited to start Boys & Girls Club so that she can make new friends. Jayla has made made some great friendships already, but her favorite thing so far is joining cooking club! She loves cooking at home & is looking forward to learning more in the kitchen!

Warren County

Terrance Wiggins is a club member at the Mariam Boyd Extension of the Warren Unit! He is an exceptional young man, always willing to help other club members and staff. Very respectful and a model club member! He enjoys playing basketball and computer time at the club! He’s a great joy to be around and admired by his peers. He’s excited about finishing up his Elementary journey and heading to the middle school next year.

Franklin County

Meet Georgia! She is a 1st grader who is attending our Franklin Unit for the first time this year! Some of Georgia’s favorite things to do at The Boys & Girls Club is play dodgeball and compete in Hula Hoop competitions! Georgia has already made some new friends at the club and enjoys playing with Trinity and Jesus.

She is most excited about having fun with her friends, doing science experiments and reading all of the books in our library!!

Halifax County

Please welcome Amura Minggic. This is her first year at the Boys and Girls Club of North Central North Carolina, Halifax Unit! Amura is a tomboy who loves learning!  Her favorite subject in school is math.  Amura also loves to read!  Her favorite thing about the club is all the FUN she has at the club.  Amura is always willing to help out however she might be needed;  from helping others with homework to helping staff with projects!  Amura is extremely excited about the upcoming school year!!!

Warren County Beautification Committee Plans Litter Pick-Up Day

by Craig Hahn

The Warren County Beautification Committee is planning a county-wide trash collection day on Saturday, September 16, 2017 in conjunction with NCDOT. The DOT will furnish vests, bags and some manpower. I just heard this week that bags and vests are now available at the Warren County Board of Election Office on North Main Street in Warrenton.

Now’s the time to start forming your group and determining which roads you plan to clean. Questions? You can contact any committee member or Debbie Formyduval via email at or Frank Carpenter at the Warren DOT office.

ICYMI: N.C. SBI and Virginia State Police Coordinate Marijuana Eradication Operation

RALEIGH – A joint North Carolina-Virginia marijuana eradication operation July 25-26 yielded more than 800 plants seized in Granville, Vance and Warren counties. Two stolen vehicles were recovered as well. On the north side of the state line, the Virginia State Police seized 25 plants and 20 guns. Charges are pending on one individual. 

North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police coordinated the multi-agency operation that took place along the border of the two states.

“The partnerships we have at the state and local level and with our partners to the north made this operation successful,” said Lynn Gay, assistant special agent in charge of the SBI’s Capitol District.  “No one agency brought more to the table than another.  It was a group effort, and everyone’s input helped achieve our goal of putting illegal growers out of business.”

The N.C. State Highway Patrol, the N.C. National Guard and the SBI provided aerial surveillance. Other participants included the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the sheriffs’ offices from the three counties.

“In my years of being with the Virginia State Police, I have never seen a joint eradication operation between the two state bureaus to include local departments on both sides of the state line,” said Fst. Sgt. Tony Barksdale of the Virginia State Police. “I deem the operation a success and praise the efforts put forth by all agencies involved.” 

“The season is not over for the Marijuana Eradication Program,” Gay said. “We have agents trained to spot grow operations from the air and we will be back.”


Boys and Girls Club Offers Summer Update

Vance County

According to the Old Chinese Proverb “Tell me, I’ll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me, and I’ll understand.” The Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central NC Vance Unit are delighted to share that our  2017 Summer Program participants have had a visit from a slew of community representatives  that range from Nutritionist , Military (Army & Navy), Youth of the Year, and Henderson Fire Department.

Anticipating that the Members will be inspired at this young and hoping that some may remember down the road and get involved. Members are looking forward to meeting and talking with our remaining line up of guest.

Featured here our most recent visitor Lieutenant Corey Adams City of Henderson Fire Department Division of Fire Prevention.

Granville County

Summer is always a blast & our members love a wide array of activities. Swimming & dodgeball top their lists, but BGCNCNC wanted to focus on leadership among our older youth this summer.

One of the highlights of our summer has been our partnership with the Penn Ave Soup Kitchen. At the BGC, we are teaching our middle schoolers & high schoolers that they are role models for our younger youth & our community. It has been so exciting to see our teens step up & serve the community. We are so proud to be a place for them to learn & grow. Below, you will see our youth preparing plates & assisting the soup kitchen with their set up.

Warren County

The club kids at Warren County enjoyed our “Around the World” Summer Camp.  We studied France, Mexico, South Africa and Japan! We learned about the culture, landmarks, food, currency, and language of each country.

Each student received a Camp Passport to virtually travel to each country.

Students also enjoyed various field trips.  We visited Aycock Recreation Center for swimming, Market Place Cinema, the Skateeum, and Galaxy Fun Park in Raleigh.

Franklin County

The Franklin Club has been busy this summer! With ages ranging from 5 to 16 all members have been actively participating in Summer Brain Gain each day.

Members participating in hands on activities focusing on leadership, decision making, innovators, and the invention of bubble gum!! Members also enjoyed field trips to swim at Aycock Recreation Center, Brooks St. Bowl, and Jellybeans Skatteum! Members have also enjoyed water relay races, water balloon fights,
and water contests!

Halifax County

We have learned how to stay safe this summer; we have learned how important it is to keep moving.

We have traveled the world, China, Italy, Fiji, France and Mexico only to discover how proud we are to be Americans.

Even with all that we still have plenty of adventures left ahead of us this summer;  more visits to the pool, more art, learning to cook and so much more!!

New EMS training program to be offered at VGCC

Vance-Granville Community College will soon expand its Emergency Medical Services training options to include the internationally-recognized Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) program.

Developed by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians in cooperation with the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma, PHTLS is the leading continuing education program for prehospital emergency trauma care. The stated mission of PHTLS is “to promote excellence in trauma patient management by all providers involved in the delivery of prehospital care through global education.” The courses are intended to improve the quality of trauma care and, in turn, to save patients whose lives are in danger before they can reach the hospital. 

PHTLS promotes critical thinking as the foundation for providing quality care. It is based on the belief that, given a good foundation of knowledge and key principles, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) practitioners are capable of making reasoned decisions regarding patient care. The PHTLS course is continuously updated and revised to keep up with advances in the field.

“Adding this program will help our local responders have a better understanding of trauma and how to treat the patient,” said Stephen Barney, VGCC’s coordinator/instructor for EMS Programs. “It will bring students up to the national standard of trauma care. This will allow providers to give better care to patients.”

There are several different PHTLS courses, which, Barney said, VGCC will offer as needed, starting in the fall. The offerings include a 16-hour “Provider Course” for emergency medical responders, EMTs, Paramedics, nurses, physician assistants and physicians; an 8-hour “Refresher Course” for individuals who have successfully completed the PHTLS provider course within the past four years; a four-hour “Instructor Update,” and an 8-hour “PHTLS for First Responders” course for emergency medical responders, police officers, firefighters, rescue personnel and safety officers to prepare for rendering care to trauma patients until EMS personnel arrive. Barney said that VGCC will become one of several North Carolina community colleges offering PHTLS, while many others use the “International Trauma Life Support” training course.

VGCC offers EMS training from the basic to the Paramedic level, in addition to continuing education. For more information, call Stephen Barney at (252) 738-3273.