Pisgah Family Health



September 2008






About the Newsletter


Office Hours

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

  • We will be closed Friday, October 3rd for CPR training.
  • We will be open only for Flu shots on Friday, October 10th.
  • We will be closed November 26-28 for Thanksgiving holiday.
  • We will be closed December 24-26 for Christmas.

Julie's Leave

As you may know, our office manager, Julie Austin is expecting her first child on October 18th. To prepare for her maternity leave, Julie is training our new employee Kitty to cover some of her duties in her absence. Kitty will be working with Julie starting in September, and will be with us until Julie returns. Julie is hoping to continue working until her baby arrives and is planning on returning 6 weeks after the birth.

Office Reminders

Federal law (HIPPA) states that we can not release any of your information without your written consent. Please let us know if you want to authorize us to release information to your spouse or a family member.

Please remember to have all forms completed prior to your appointment. Many forms are available on our website. If you are dropping forms off for Dr. Curran to complete, please allow 2 weeks.

Please be courteous to the staff and other patients. Turn your cell phones off when you arrive at the office. If you must speak on your cell phone, please step outside.

Flu Shot Clinic

Pisgah Family Health will be offering a Flu Shot Clinic on Friday, October 10th. We will try to vaccinate as many of our patients as possible on that day. If you would like to get a Flu Shot this year, please call to schedule an appointment. You can also get a Flu Shot at your regular visit from October through December.

Unlike previous years, there should not be a shortage of Flu Vaccine this year. We have received our full supply, and do not expect any rationing of the shots. This year's vaccine contains entirely new flu strains, to try to correct for the 50% effective rate last year. The flu vaccine is most effective if administered between October and December.

Patients with the following risk factors should be sure to get the flu vaccine every year.


  • children ages 6-23 months
  • people over 65
  • people ages 2-64 years with chronic medical conditions
  • women who will be pregnant during flu season
  • residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
  • health-care workers involved in patient care
  • caregivers of children younger than six

If you have symptoms of the flu (fever, muscle aches, fatigue) it is too late for the flu vaccine.  Make an appointment to be evaluated.  Antibiotics do not cure the flu, but an antiviral such as Tamiflu® can shorten the course of illness.

Our Fourth Anniversary - Splash Country

August 15th marked the fourth anniversary of Pisgah Family Health. To celebrate the occasion, our staff and families took a day trip to Dolly Parton's Splash Country Water Park in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Although the water was chilly at first, the sunshine quickly warmed us up, leading to a fun day for all. From relaxing on a ride down the lazy river to a breathtaking plunge down the 70-foot high Fire Tower Falls, there was something for everyone.

Thanks again to Dr. Curran for taking our staff and families on this trip. We look forward to the many years ahead here at Pisgah Family Health.

PFH staff at Splash Country

Medical News

October 19 is National Mammogram Day

PinkRibbon (3K)

Every day we learn more about breast cancer and how to win the battle against it. One fact is very clear - early detection can save a woman's life. Fortunately, breast cancer is highly detectable through digital mammography screening. And if it's detected early, before it spreads, 95 percent of women will be alive five years later.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray screening of the breast. It is the most valuable tool in early detection of breast cancer. A mammogram allows your doctor to identify breast cancer before a lump or mass can even be felt. The earlier the detection, the more treatment options you may have available to you, and the better your chance to survive cancer.

How is a mammogram performed?

The procedure involves one x-ray from the side of the breast and one from the top. The breast is compressed for the duration of the x-ray to improve the image, but it only takes a few seconds. A female registered radiologic technologist performs the exam.

It is important for women to practice the elements of good breast health. It is suggested women:

  • Obtain regular mammograms starting at the age of 40
  • Obtain annual clinical breast exams
  • Perform monthly breast-self exams
  • Obtain a risk assessment from a physician

The following centers in Buncombe County perform mammograms:

To find out if you qualify for a free or low-cost mammogram and where to get screened, call:

  • National Cancer Information (statewide)
    Phone: 1-800-422-6237
  • Buncombe County Health Department (local)
    Phone: 828-250-5000 or 828-250-6006


September is Healthy Aging Month

Healthy Aging

"because there's lots of living left to do..."

Healthy Aging Month is an annual observance designed to focus attention on the positive aspects of growing older.

Healthy Aging is Physical Fitness

What's good for the body is good for the spirit as well. As you grow older, it is ever more important to keep motivated, to say to yourself, "I can do it." Regular exercise is more important for seniors than other age groups. The risk of disease and immobility is greater and the positive effects of exercise are realized more quickly. But, as we all know, the hardest part is getting started. . .

Tips for getting started:

  • Look for daily opportunities to exercise in work and play. Force yourself to walk by parking your car several parking aisles away from the store or your office entrance and walk briskly!
  • Choose an exercise you like and stick with it.
  • Use the buddy system. Arrange to have a friend meet you - It's harder to say no to exercise when you exercise with a friend.
  • Walk, swim, climb, bicycle, dance, fish!
  • Join a walking group or visit your local Y, recreation center, park, church, or senior center.

Healthy Aging Includes Good Food

Too often, when we think of "healthy cooking", we think that every meal must be bland and flavorless. Cooking and eating are among life's greatest pleasures. Cooking for people is one of the ways to maintain a positive attitude and add meaning to life!

Healthy Aging is Mental Wellness

If you think old, you ARE old. A decline in memory is not always a function of serious disease, like Alzheimer's. Sometimes memory loss is caused by factors that can be changed -- such as diet, medication misuse, depression, etc...

At the National Institute on Aging, research is showing that memory may be like other parts of the body. Research showed that the very gradual declines in memory take place until age 70 -- when the pace increases, but not so much as to impair us. The conclusion? The processes of normal aging does not rob you of your memory.

The greatest enemy to the healthy senior mind is depression. New activities, hobbies, and exercise are wonderful anti-depressants. If you truly are depressed, don't bear it alone -- SEEK HELP!

Stay active doing things that use your memory:

  • Take a class, play games, be with people
  • Pick up the phone now and call someone, just to "chat"
  • Volunteer your time. Get involved with a cause you believe in or in something that interests you
  • Seek out variety and challenge in your daily life

Healthy Aging is Social Wellness

  • See the World/Expand Your Mind. After a lifetime of raising children and working, older Americans love to travel -- to see new things and experience new cultures. TIP: Begin to plan a trip. Half the excitement is in the planning!
  • Watch Game Shows. Watch Jeopardy! to keep your mind razor sharp.
  • Laugh Loud, Laugh Often. A good sense of humor is essential. Start the day off on a light note by reading the comic sections of your local newspaper. If you're over 60, you might refer to this section as "the funnies".
  • Give of Yourself. Be generous with the most important thing you own -- your time. Volunteer: how about the Peace Corps, a local nursing home, or teach a youngster to swim.
  • Seek Inspiration/Keep the Faith. Belief in a higher power is of paramount importance according to the contest entrants.
  • Be a Beauty Queen. An astonishing number of women said they enjoy competing in beauty pageants, such as the Ms. Senior America program. Sign up today!
  • If You're a Man, Get Married! Many married men attributed their longevity to the loving care and companionship of their wives. Women, on the other hand, didn't claim their husbands helped them live longer. What are you waiting for?

Healthy Aging is Financial Wellness

Just as physical and mental fitness are important to Healthy Aging, so is financial well-being. Many people who are retiring at age 60 or 65 may have another 20 or 30 years to live. And, they may be living on a fixed income. So, it's very important that people take a hard look at their finances and goals.

To find local Aging Events in the Asheville area:

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  asten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

  xamine treats before eating them for choking hazards and tampering.



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  lways test make-up in a small area first to prevent skin and eye irritation.

  ook both ways before crossing the street and use crosswalks wherever possible.

  ower your risk for eye injury by avoiding decorative contact lenses.

  nly walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

  ear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

  at only commercially-wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats unless you know the chef.

  ntering homes for treats should be avoided unless accompanied by a trusted adult.

  ever walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.



Health Links

For more health information, check out these links:

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”.

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