‘What a special place’ I couldn’t help but think to myself, as I pulled in the back entrance onto Lambeth drive, and wove my way up the hill through gardens, friendly waves, and the croquet course on my first day on my new job as Medical Director. I can’t help but reflect on those first impressions when asked to write about my new position and the relationship between MAHEC and Deerfield because each subsequent day has only reinforced what a remarkable community it is in which I work. About that work: as Medical Director, I bring another clinical voice to the already strong administrative team that works to keep you healthy when well and care for you when sick. Part of that job is keeping up with the administrative tasks that stem from a complex regulatory environment, but another part is working with the team trying to think innovatively about the same things that matter most to me as a physician—ensuring you are getting the most effective, highest quality care while providing as comfortable of a patient experience as possible. I also am quite excited to be providing direct patient care in both the Independent/Assisted Living Clinic and in the Skilled Nursing facility.

MAHEC (or Mountain Area Health Education Center), my employer, has been working with Deerfield to provide care to Deerfield Residents since 2006. MAHEC is one of several AHEC sites around the state, created by the legislature in the 70’s, to help train more health care professionals to practice in rural areas. The organization has grown dramatically since then, now not only offering primary care and OB-GYN services for thousands of patients in Western North Carolina, but also offering robust, well-regarded Family Medicine and OB-GYN residency training programs, a western hub for the UNC Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, new Psychiatry and General Surgery residencies, not to mention a key center for continuing medical education in Western North Carolina and the Southeast. Our relationship with Deerfield in particular has been a boon for educating our Family Medicine residents, who rotate through the Simonds Skilled Nursing facility, on the vitally important care of older adults. In turn, my goal is that, regardless of your provider, you are receiving the most evidence based, up-to-date medical care possible, while remaining grounded in the relationship with your doctor or nurse practitioner.

I also hope to further engage in the community, and am exploring ways to do this through educational and social events. Until then, I look forward to running into you in the halls or the clinic!

Deerfield’s in-house spa, Riverwalk Spa, invites you to experience the healthful benefits of treatments such as acupuncture and massage. Everyone has heard the old adage “when you look good, you feel good”, and who could deny the interrelated nature of how one looks and how they feel. This outlook has led to a dizzying array of industries generating considerable revenue around the globe in an effort to help us look, and feel good.

Let us consider the possibility that the old saying had it completely backwards all along. Here is where wellness comes in. A much-trumpeted buzzword, already heavily used in the health and beauty segments, it is a concept worthy of further investigation. Wellness, according to the World Health Organization is “a state of physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”, or in the words of The National Wellness Institute, “a conscious, self directed and evolving process of achieving full potential”. The wellness approach could be considered empowering to the individual, holistic in nature, and based on the intention that people feel and look their very best.

A great example of this shift in understanding is massage therapy, once considered a luxury of the wealthy, now increasingly recognized as an alternative medical treatment. Research has shown massage therapy to enhance blood flow and improve general circulation, reduce the bodies production of proteins that contribute to inflammation, stimulates mitochondria-the energy producing units in cells that aid in cell function and repair, reduce cortisol levels and regulate the bodies sympathetic nervous system.

Not surprisingly, most of these benefits directly counter the negative effects that stress has on the body. Is it possible that the damages done to our bodies and spirits in the name of stress could be offset or even prevented by treatments such as massage and acupuncture?

A striking example of the wellness approach is China, one of the largest skincare markets, where acupuncture—which epitomizes wellness there—is widely used for beauty. Even the products we use for facials at Riverwalk Spa are integrated into this wellness approach. Product lines once touted for their ability to cover or correct undesirable symptoms now utilize natural and nourishing ingredients such as Manuka honey, to address the root causes, instead of the symptoms, and heal from within. That is ultimately our goal at the Riverwalk Spa, to nourish mind, body and spirit in an effort to heal from within. Will your next acupuncture treatment make you more beautiful or your next massage make you the picture of health? The answer is for you to decide, but if it feels right, then it may be a good start.

It’s beautiful knowing you are exactly where you belong. From the moment I set foot in the Community Center at Deerfield I sensed a spirit of warmth and generosity. That spirit followed me up the stairs to my new office and continues to greet me each morning when I arrive on campus.

As the new Director of Philanthropy, I enjoy quality unhurried time with residents, getting to know each one and understanding what’s most important to them. I learn of their careers, families, travels, and their transitions to community living. I glean wisdom from their life experience and often leave our times together feeling more hopeful and encouraged then when I arrived. There is no heavy agenda. I don’t show up to lunch with a pledge card. It’s the beginning of a relationship built on growing trust and respect.

With such a broad scope I’m able to help organize volunteers for a Habitat for Humanity build; work with residents on the United Way’s “Back to School Supply Drive;” help plan Deerfield’s Legacy Society dinner in October and our Thanksgiving meal for Meals on Wheels. I’m given the opportunity to assist residents as they explore their values and passions, making decisions about how and where to give their time and leave their legacies. It is an honor and a privilege to do this work and I look forward to meeting you next time you stop for a visit!

Michelle Wooley
Director of Philanthropy

Don Oakley, assisted by his wife, Diane, taught members how to decide which mallet configuration is best for each player, choosing among materials, total weight, handle length and flex, head dimensions and weighting, and prices. Several dozen members of the Croquet Club at Deerfield enjoyed a two-hour presentation and demonstration game on Deerfield’s state-of-the-art croquet court and pavilion. Don founded Oakley Woods, a premier manufacturer of all things croquet over 25 years ago, and is now also a provider of the best in bocce and horseshoes equipment.

Don is currently serving as Vice President, Membership, of the United States Croquet Association, carries a handicap of 4 when competing in official tournaments. He demonstrated varied hand positions for properly gripping the mallet, and techniques for consistently reproducing an accurate swing. Deerfield croquet players then experimented with various mallet models, grips and swings while striking balls on the court. The session concluded with a short demonstration game, emphasizing the strategic elements of croquet.

Please join author Nancy Sprowell Geise as she shares Joe’s remarkable and inspirational story of hope, courage, faith and love in this #1 Amazon Best selling book, Auschwitz #34207 - The Joe Rubinstein Story.

In 1942, 21-year-old Joe Rubinstein was taken from his home in Radom, Poland and sent to Auschwitz. It would be 70 years before he revealed how he survived. Barefoot when he was taken by the Nazis’, Joe would go on to become one of the leading shoe designers in the world.

When holocaust survivor Joe Rubinstein first shared his remarkable story with Nancy Sprowell Geise, she had no idea the impact it would have on both their lives. Shortly after its release, Auschwitz #34207 – The Joe Rubinstein Story, became an Amazon Bestseller ranked #1 in Holocaust Memoirs. Nancy has presented Joe’s story across the United States including the U.S. Library of Congress and at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. where she was presented with their Coin of Excellence Award. The book has recently been added to the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s permanent on-line collection. Auschwitz #34207 – The Joe Rubinstein Story was awarded Book of the Year by several national publishing organizations.

After the June 6th presentation at 4:00 pm, there will be a book signing.

Paperbacks $20; Hardbacks $30.


The Whitings have performed their musical show Nashville to Vaudeville! and Nashville to Vaudeville - New Orleans! at theatres and special events in 26 states, bringing laughs and tears to all who witness this wonderful visit to the theatres of yesteryear. They borrow from the greats of the Vaudeville stage: Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Judy Garland, George Gershwin, W.C. Handy, Jelly Roll Morton, Ma Rainey, Red Skelton, Bessie Smith, Willie The Lion Smith, Fats Waller, Ed Wynn and many others. They play a unique combination of traditional high energy swing, with scatting and singing in harmony, and soulful blues-influenced jazz ballads, adding stand-up comedy and dance to provide a satisfying multi-faceted show. Tammy’s soulful contralto, influenced by female jazz royalty has inspired audiences at every performance. Jamey’s prodigious piano style and his Art Tatum-inspired right hand, is a distinguishing standout in their show. Together they present a show replete with soulful vocals, scatting with harmony, comedy, two-fisted piano and dance.

Deerfield is pleased to welcome Ethan Uslan back for what is sure to be an exciting evening on July 27th! Ethan Uslan is a ragtime/jazz pianist based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a 3-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and has performed all over the USA, Europe, and Cyberspace, where his jazzed-up Für Elise has gone viral.

Ethan now presents his music and storytelling on his very own podcast - The Carolina Shout. His concerts are filled with passion, humor, virtuosity, and a deep love for America’s rich musical past. His vast repertoire includes original arrangements of Civil-War era songs, New Orleans Jazz, 1920s Charleston’s, blues, stomps, Harlem stride piano, swing, Cuban rumbas, jazzed-up versions of classical masterpieces, and one Hawaiian song called Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula.