Health forum at Saluda’s Senior Center on Monday

Published 1:47 pm Friday, June 12, 2009

Are you concerned with the rising costs of health care?

To learn the possibilities that today&squo;s Health Care Reform Debate in Washington could deliver, everyone is encouraged to come to the Community Health Care Forum Monday, June 15th at the Saluda Senior Center, at 64 Greenville Street.

Refreshments&bsp; will be served at 6:30 p.m. Then the short film: &dquo;Sick Around the World&dquo; will be shown at 7 p.m. The film examines tried and tested ideas of five countries that deliver health care to all and what might help the U.S. reform our health care system.

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Following the film, a panel of distinguished professionals will lead a community discussion on health care reform. &bsp;

Dr. Faith Weathington is the forum moderator. Members of the panel are: Dr. Garrett Snipes, Dr. Becky Collins, Erik Bundy, Todd Neel and Jim Van Hecke.

Dr. Faith Weathington, forum moderator, is a counselor and professor at Gardner- Webb University. Her experience includes working in rehabilitation with the sensory impaired, coordinating a university counseling center and working in private practice. &bsp;

Becky Collins, PhD Nursing, is a Tryon resident for the past eight years and is retired from the College of Nursing, Clemson University. She&bsp; serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Luke&squo;s Hospital and on the Board of the Polk County Health and Wellness Center.

Todd Neel, a Saluda resident, practices in Henderson County. He has worked as a nurse practitioner in Western North Carolina since 1996, first in adolescent health and then family practice with Blue Ridge Community Health Services. Todd now works in palliative care with Four Seasons in Henderson County.&bsp; He is a member of Physicians for a National Health Program. He received his degrees at Vanderbilt University.

Erik Bundy was a Navy medical corpsman for four years,then worked for the government as a civilian contracting officer for 26 years.&bsp; While in government service, he and his family lived overseas for 21 years, where they experienced first hand the benefits of national health care in Saudi Arabia, Holland, Germany and Belgium.&bsp; Erik is currently retired and works as a volunteer for the Thermal Belt Outreach.

Jim Van Hecke, Polk County resident for 10 years, helped move Pavillon to Polk County and served as its Director until 2003.&bsp; &bsp;

Van Hecke then established Addiction Recovery Institute as a nonprofit corporation providing leadership training and professional development services to the mental health and substance abuse field.&bsp; He currently serves as Board Chair for the Polk Wellness Center, an integrated care facility in Columbus that provides primary care, mental health substance abuse education/prevention and wellness services.

Dr. Snipes is a family medicine physician, now specializing in palliative medicine, and works for Hospice of the Carolina Foothills.&bsp;&bsp; Everyone is encouraged to come and discuss the options and what citizens should do to&bsp; get the health care system that best serves all.