Health Briefs

Two locations available for caregiver support

The Caregiver Support Group at Blount Memorial Hospital meets at two different locations each month. The group meets every Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. on the hospital’s 3-east floor. The group also meets from 10-11 a.m. every first and third Tuesday at the Everett Senior Center at 702 Burchfield St. in Maryville.

The Caregiver Support Group is a free service for any adult who is caring for another adult. There are no membership requirements.

For more information, call Blount Memorial Senior Services at 865-977-5744.

Dr. James Howell joins BMH active medical staff

Family medicine physician and Blount County native Dr. James Howell has joined Blount Memorial’s active medical staff. He will see patients at the Blount Memorial Family Care Center at Springbrook office located at 230 Associates Blvd. in Alcoa.

A 1994 graduate of William Blount High School, Howell graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1998. He received a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Penn. in 2005.

Howell completed an internship at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville and a residency in family medicine at Florida Hospital in Orlando.

Dr. Robert Schumaker joins BMH active medical staff

Hematologist/oncologist Dr. Robert Schumaker has joined Blount Memorial’s active medical staff. He will see patients at the Tennessee Cancer Specialists office located at 1109 East Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville.

Schumaker received a bachelors’ degree from the University of Oklahoma in Norman in 1990 and a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1994.

He completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a fellowship in medical oncology/hematology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

A member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology, Schumaker is board-certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology.

Harrill lauded for suicide prevention efforts

Six months after retiring, former Blount Memorial Community Outreach director Laura Harrill continues to receive accolades and honors for her work to improve the health and well-being of the entire community.

Harrill recently was named a 2008 recipient of the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network Regional Suicide Prevention Award for her leadership on the Blount County Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Alliance. The award is presented annually to individuals and organizations that have worked to lower suicide rates locally and across the state.

In 2002, when suicide rates in Blount County began to grow and exceed state and national rates, Harrill was instrumental in facilitating a suicide prevention team. While the numbers have declined, the team - which is comprised of representatives from local health care, schools, law enforcement agencies, mental-health professionals, clergy and the business community - continues to initiate efforts to educate the public about the danger signs of the suicidal person.

TSPN is a grass-roots association which includes counselors, mental health professionals, physicians, clergy, journalists, social workers and law enforcement personnel, as well as survivors of suicide and suicide attempts. TSPN works across the state to eliminate the stigma of suicide and educate communities about the warning signs of suicide.

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