Pisgah Family Health News

December 2010

Office News

Medical News

Contact Us



Merry Christmas! Pisgah Family Health has the spirit of the season

Office News

Welcome Melissa Godley


For the next several months, patients in our office are likely to meet a new provider-in-training, Melissa Godley. Melissa Godley, PA-C has been a Physician Assistant since 1999. She worked for 5 years in Florida, practicing in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics before moving to Asheville in 2006. As part of her licensing in the state of North Carolina, Melissa is completing her re-entry training at Pisgah Family Health. She will work in the office through the Fall and Winter months.

Office Hours

Our normal office hours are 9-5 Monday through Thursday, and 9-12 on Friday.   When the office is closed, emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers, and at Mission/Saint Joseph hospitals ER.  Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873.   Telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran and his call partners.

  • December 23-24: closed for Christmas holiday
  • December 31: closed for New Year's holiday

Office Reminders

Remember to bring your insurance card to each visit and present it to the receptionist when you check in. This ensures we have the most current insurance information for you.

Please notify our office if you have a new mailing address or phone number.

If you are not able to keep your scheduled appointment, we kindly ask for 24 hours notice. During cold and flu season, we have a high demand for same day sick appointments and notice of cancelations allows us to accommodate sick patients.

If you are sick and get a same day work in appointment, please understand we are working you in for your illness. If you have multiple issues, we may not be able to address these issues at this work in appointment. It may require another scheduled appointment.

If you are sick, please put on a mask at the front desk. This ensures the health of our other patients as well as our staff.

Medical News

Outdoor Exercise

Winter Running

During the winter months, the average American gains 5 pounds. Between the extra holiday eating and the difficulty exercising outdoors, it is easy to pack on the weight. However, if you can get outdoors during the winter, you can avoid this trap. Outdoor exercise is the best way to beat the winter doldrums, and keep yourself healthy.

If you're like a lot of people, just thinking about exercise is a drag. But if you are trying to lose weight, you know that burning more calories will help the process. The key is to make burning calories fun! Here are seven winter activities that can burn a lot of calories. You can enjoy the beautiful, sparkly snow, get some fresh air, and keep fit without having to drag yourself to the gym.

  1. Downhill Skiing: 535 calories an hour. Seems like you're not doing any work and just along for the ride!
  2. Cross Country Skiing: 700 calories an hour. Now this seems like a little more work until you get into the swing of it.
  3. Shoveling Snow: 400 calories an hour. It's a necessary evil anyway--you might as well see the benefit of burning the fat while you're out there.
  4. Walking in the Snow: 270 calories an hour. A little tougher than walking on flat ground--you'll feel it tomorrow!
  5. Building a Snowman: Go ahead, have some fun with the kids and burn 250 calories an hour.
  6. Sledding: 420 calories an hour--not if you're sitting on the sled the whole time, but that walking uphill really does it!
  7. Ice Skating: Enjoy gliding along as you burn 300 calories an hour (more if you skate faster!

Go ahead and take advantage of these winter activities while you can. For every additional 500 calories burned each day you can lose another pound each week! If you're trying to maintain your weight, this means you can eat an extra few hundred calories and enjoy knowing you've already burned them off!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Laurie_Beebe

Winter Safety


Winter is a special time in Western North Carolina. Our mountains gather more snow and ice than other parts of the state, turning the outdoors into a glistening wonderland. However, winter also brings new hazzards, not seen in warmer seasons. Be aware of weather predictions during these months. If cold and snow are predicted, take precautions. Here are a varity of tips on staying safe this winter.

Keep Children healthy outdoors and in the cold with these tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

The Centers for Disease Control offers these tips for surviving winter and extreme cold:

Winter Home and Outdoor Safety tips:

Safe Winter Driving tips from Weather.com:

The NC Red Cross offers these winter safety tips:

Winter Driving tips from the NC Crime and Safety Control:

Drunk Driving Prevention Month

drunk driving

Each December we turn our attention to the problem of drunk driving by observing National Drunk Driving Prevention Month. Though the holidays bring joy in celebrations with family and friends, they also bring a tragic increase in the incidence of impaired driving. This season, avoid driving while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and stop others from driving in an impaired condition.

Despite many efforts by States, communities, and citizen groups to stop drunk and drugged driving, many Americans continue to risk their lives by driving while impaired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that last year alcohol was involved in 40 percent of fatal crashes and in 8 percent of all crashes.

Every person should take a personal responsibility to drive free of the influence of alcohol or drugs and to prevent others from driving under the influence. We can prevent impaired driving by designating a sober driver, stopping impaired family members and friends from getting behind the wheel, reporting impaired drivers to law enforcement officials, and teaching our young people safe, alcohol-free and drug-free driving behaviors.

As we celebrate the holiday season, we can help save lives by preventing impaired driving. In order to ensure the safety of our roads for all travelers, continue to fight drunk and drugged driving throughout the year.

  • Don't risk it - If you plan to drive, don't drink.
  • Choose a sober designated driver before partying.
  • Take mass transit, a taxicab or ask a friend to drive you home.
  • Spend the night where the activity is being held.
  • Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
  • Always wear your safety belt - your best defense against an impaired driver.

Toxic Christmas Plants

Tree with lights

While ornamental plants are festive and can make great holiday gifts, remember that some may pose a health threat. Up to 20% of all calls to the Poison Control Center involve plants. If you are afraid your child or pet has ingested a toxic plant, call your local poison control center. With the exception of poinsettias, the following Christmas plants are considered to be toxic.

Mistletoe The white berries on mistletoe are poisonous. Mistletoe, a common Christmas decoration, grows in the wild. The mistletoe sold at Christmas usually comes from Texas and Oklahoma. The white berries that appear on the plant in winter are toxic to children and pets. To reduce the risk of poisoning, some sellers substitute plastic berries for the toxic real berries on mistletoe plants sold during the holidays. Toxins in the berries can slow the heart and cause nausea and vomiting. Keep away from children as swallowing even a few berries can be serious for a toddler. The stems and leaves of the mistletoe also contain toxins, but in lesser amounts.

Holly Holly berries are toxic. The berries of the holly plant are extremely toxic. They contain ilex acid which irritates the stomach, resulting in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea when ingested. Consuming 20 berries can be fatal.

Bittersweet Bittersweet is commonly used in floral arrangements and wreaths, mainly in the fall and winter when red berries are present. Although the entire bittersweet plant is poisonous, the unripe berries are the most toxic part of the plant. They contain solanine which decreases the heart rate and causes drowsiness and headaches.

Boxwood Boxwood branches are often used to make wreathes and swags. The twigs and leaves of boxwood branches contain buxene, a toxic alkaloid. Ingestion of this substance can cause stomach upset, convulsions, and severe respiratory problems.

Pine Pine trees also contain toxins. While small amounts may result in irritation and stomach upset, ingesting large amounts can be highly toxic. Handling pine material may also result in skin irritation.

Jerusalem Cherry Like bittersweet plants, the berries of Jerusalem cherry plants contain solanine. Ingesting these yellow to red berries can cause stomach upset, lowered heart rate, low blood pressure, shallow breathing and even coma. This is one of the most toxic plants commonly used for Christmas decorations.

Poinsettia Long thought to be toxic, the poinsettia plant poses little health risk. Studies have shown that a toddler would have to ingest 250 poinsettia leaves a day to cause a serious problem. Like other plants, ingesting leaves and stems can lead to stomach upset, but poinsettias are now considered to be non-toxic.


Health Links

For local health events, check out these links:

A few of the most-trusted health information links:

  • WebMD.com A web service with health advice on hundreds of topics.
  • FamilyDoctor.org Patient-oriented information from the American Academy of Family Physicians.
  • CDC.gov The Center for Disease Control features credible information on almost every health topic.

About our Newsletter

Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients.  Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics.  We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news.  The newsletters will also be archived on our website, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/

Privacy:  We promise to use your Email address only for the purpose of sending this newsletter.  We will not give your Email address to any other organization.  We do not use Email to discuss personal medical issues.  If you want to be removed from our Email list, reply to this newsletter with the subject “unsubscribe me”.

Junk Email? Some Email servers will mark this newsletter as Junk Mail, due to the large number of recipients. You can tell your server not to mark this as Junk by following these steps.

  1. If you are not in the Junk E-mail folder, switch to that folder. (If you use Norton, switch to the Norton Antispam folder)
  2. Right click the header for the PFH newsletter.
  3. On the shortcut menu, click Junk E-mail (or Norton Antispam)
  4. On the sub-menu, click "Mark as not Junk" (or "This is not spam")
  5. You will be prompted to add this sender to your Safe Senders list. (or Allowed List)