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Today’s Email Announcements

Grandfather Mountain in December, 12/10 and 12/17

To Build a Fire

Date: 12-10-17

Time: 1pm

Location: Profile Trail (4198 Hwy 105 S.)

Fire is one of the cornerstones of human civilization that many of us take for granted in today’s modern lifestyle.  Could you build a fire if necessary? Join a Park Ranger at Grandfather Mountain State Park to learn techniques on fire building and emergency fire starting for camping, heating or survival. Appropriate for age 7 and up.  Children must be accompanied by an adult and please leave pets at home.     


Winter Tree Identification

Date: 12-17-17

Time: 1pm

Location: Profile Trail (4198 Hwy 105 S.)

Join a Ranger for a short hike along the Profile Trail to learn how to identify local trees without the aid of leaves. 

Participants should be dressed for the weather conditions and are encouraged to bring field guides and binoculars. This hike is appropriate for all ages but please leave pets at home. 

Monthly Torch Club Meeting, 12/11

The monthly meeting of Torch:A Forum For Reasoned Discourse will be Monday, December 11 at the Sagebrush Restaurant in Boone.  Those arriving at 11:30 am may choose from a $10 menu and enjoy the presentation at noon.  The topic this month involves climate change presented by retired ASU professor Harvard Ayers.  Guests are welcome.  Information: 828-264-8811 
AppOrtho to Expand Services in Watauga and Ashe Counties, 12/11
Boone, NC (December 4, 2017) – Appalachian Regional Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center, also known as AppOrtho, will move from its current location on State Farm Road to 194 Doctors Drive in Boone, NC, on December 11, 2017.
“The decision to move the practice was made to improve access for our patients,” said Robert Johnston, Vice President of Ambulatory Services and Clinical Integration at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). “The new space gives us the room we need to meet the demands of the local community.”
Strategically located in the heart of the Boone Wellness District and across the street from the hospital, AppOrtho consists of four orthopaedic surgeons, one family & sports medicine physician and three physician assistants who bring new expertise and advanced treatment technologies to the High Country. The “home team” providers specialize in arthroscopic orthopaedic surgery, spine surgery, advanced knee and shoulder surgery, total joint replacements (hip, knee, and shoulder) and hand surgery, as well as many minimally invasive techniques.
Since 2013, AppOrtho has proudly served as the official sports medicine provider for Appalachian State athletics. In addition to providing sports medicine coverage for App State athletics, AppOrtho offers same-day appointments and is the only orthopedic practice in the High Country that performs surgeries at Watauga Medical Center.
“Our goal is to provide the best patient care and the best patient experience in a healing environment close to home,” Johnston continued. “AppOrtho works closely with Watauga Medical CenterThe Rehabilitation CenterPaul H. Broyhill Wellness Center, and The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge to make it easier for patients to get the care they need, right here in our community.”
AppOrtho in Ashe
AppOrtho will expand its services by opening an office in Ashe County next to Ashe Memorial Hospital. The new office, set to open on December 11, will offer general orthopaedic care and same-day appointments to increase access for patients.
To schedule an appointment at either AppOrtho location, call 828-386-2663. To learn more about AppOrtho visit apprhs.org/apportho.

Changes to Medicare Part A and B for 2018

RALEIGH – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have announced the changes to Medicare Parts A and B for 2018.  Each year, Medicare costs are reexamined to determine if changes need to be made to deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums.

SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, is available to Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to help them understand how the coming changes will affect their coverage in 2018.

Part B – Medical Insurance

The standard Part B premium amount in 2018 will remain at $134 (or higher depending on your income). Some beneficiaries who were held harmless against Part B premium increases in prior years will have a Part B premium increase in 2018, but the premium increase will be offset by the increase in their Social Security benefits next year.

The Part B deductible will remain at $183 in 2018.

Part A – Hospital Insurance

Hospitalization costs for Medicare beneficiaries will increase slightly in 2018.

Hospitalization Costs 2017 2018

First 60 days $1,316 deductible $1,340 deductible

Days 61-90 $329 per day $335 per day

Days 91-150 $658 per day $670 per day

Medicare will continue to pay 100 percent of approved costs for the first 20 days of Post-Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility Care. For Skilled Nursing Care between 21 and 100 days, the charge per day is $167.50 for 2018, an increase from the 2017 charge of $164.50.

The premium for Medicare Part A will continue to be $0 for eligible beneficiaries. For those ineligible, the premium for Part A increased to $422 per month for those who worked fewer than 30 quarters, and $232 per month for those who worked between 30 and 40 quarters.


Medicare Supplement Plans

The Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans in 2018 will increase for the out-of-pocket limit for Plan K at $5,240, and the out-of-pocket limit for Plan L at $2,620. The deductible for the Plan F Prime is increasing to $2,240.  

SHIIP, a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, can help answer any questions about Medicare costs and coverage over the phone or in person. Trained SHIIP counselors are available for free, unbiased counseling appointments in all 100 North Carolina counties. For more information, contact SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 or visit www.ncshiip.com.

Brahm December Events, 12/7 and 12/8

Scholars and Scones: Cecil and Maud in the Laurel Valley

Thursday, December 7, 2017
11:00 am-12:00 pm

Free for members, $5 for non-members.

Join ballad singer and storyteller Joe Penland as he discusses the journey of song collectors Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles, who collected ballads in western North Carolina in 1916. This talk will complement BRAHM’s exhibition of the historic photographs taken by Sharp on his journey through Appalachia. (These photographs are on display with permission from the English Folk Dance & Song Society, Cecil Sharp House, London.)

Complimentary breakfast goods and locally-brewed coffee will be served.

BRAHM is a proud friend of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina.


Gift Shop Ribbon Cutting

Friday, December 8, 2017
4:30-5:30 pm

Join us for a ribbon cutting celebration at the NEW gift shop at BRAHM! While you’re there, be sure to do some holiday shopping! It’s a great opportunity to pick up something special for family or friends!

Beer, wine & champagne will be provided – it’s a celebration!

The gift shop features original art, local artisan pottery, paintings, photography, weavings, wood items, note cards and jewelry. The shop also offers a children’s section with books & creative kits, adult design books, beautiful glass art, several fun stocking stuffers and more!

This event is co-hosted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce and BRAHM.


Meetings Board Of Trustees Of Appalachian State University, 12/7- 12/8

The Board of Trustees of Appalachian State University and its several committees will meet on Thursday and Friday, December 7 & 8, 2017, at the Plemmons Student Union (PSU) on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.  Meetings will be held according to the following schedule:

Thursday, December 7:

2:00 p.m.            Academic Affairs Committee 
                           Room 415 – Rough Ridge Room
2:00 p.m.            Student Affairs Committee 
                           Room 417 – Beacon Heights Room 
3:00 p.m.           Audit Committee
                          Room 417 – Beacon Heights Room
3:00 p.m.           Business Affairs Committee
                          Room 415 – Rough Ridge Room
4:00 p.m.           Athletics Committee
                          Room 415 – Rough Ridge Room

Friday, December 8:

8:00 a.m.           Trustees’ Breakfast with Chancellor Everts
                          Room 417 – Beacon Heights Room

9:00 a.m.           Board of Trustees 
                          Room 420 – Parkway Ballroom