Archive for the ‘Resources for Injured People’ Category

How to Talk to Your Doctor

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how to talk to your doctorYou’ve been injured, and you’re in pain so you go to the doctor. But once you’re there, you feel like the doctor isn’t saying or doing much. Or the doctor is using words or terminology you don’t understand.

It can be frustrating to feel like you’re not being heard or that you don’t understand what your diagnosis or treatment is. Some patients might not feel comfortable asking questions or questioning their doctor. But the ability to effectively talk with your doctor means he or she will be better able to help you.

Effective communication is a two-way street. There’s a lot of information about how doctors can better communicate with their patients. Some of that information discusses how doctors don’t have as much time to spend with each patient as they like. One study showed doctors spend on average about 15 minutes with each patient. When you think about it, that’s not a lot of time for the doctor to learn everything about your symptoms, your history, physically examine you, make a diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.

So how can you make the most of that 15 minutes? Start by being prepared with a list of your symptoms and your medications, and even your questions. Having your list with you will help you remember everything rather than you trying to rely on your memory when you’re in pain. When you’ve been injured in a car wreck, you probably hurt all over. However, that might not be detailed enough information for the doctor.

Describe in detail how your injury occurred

If you were in a wreck, tell the doctor how it happened. Was it a T-bone wreck or head on? How fast were you going when you were hit? Did your car spin after impact? Did the airbags deploy?

If you fell off a dock at work and now have elbow pain, show the doctor how you landed and use your hands to show how high up the dock is.

Describe your symptoms

Because doctors can’t “see” pain, they only know what you’re telling them about your pain. Try to be descriptive about what’s happening.

For example, is your lower back pain sharp or dull? Is it worse in the morning or at night or with certain activities such as bending over to tie your shoes or sitting at a desk all day? Does the back pain seem to go down your leg?

If you have shoulder pain, does it hurt when you try to put on a jacket? Does it hurt in the front, back or top of your shoulder? Be sure to point to the specific areas that hurt. For instance if you say your lower back hurts, but you’re pointing to your hip, the doctor knows to look there.

Describe how the injury has affected you

Your doctor may or may not know what you were physically capable of doing prior to your injury, so try to share examples. For instance, if prior to your injury, you picked up extra shifts as a CNA, but now you can’t because your legs give out when trying to lift a patient, that’s important information to give your doctor.

Or perhaps you had no trouble working on spreadsheets on a computer all day, but now you’re having trouble concentrating and are making mistakes. Even describing common tasks that you can no longer do such as getting a gallon of milk out of the refrigerator or vacuuming or mowing the yard will be helpful information to your doctor.

Ask questions

If you injured your back lifting heavy equipment at work and the doctor mentions spondylosis or medial branch blocks, you may not know what he or she is referring to. Don’t be afraid to ask. Many doctors may even show you on a chart or a model of a spine what they are suggesting.

Most importantly, don’t wait for the doctor to ask you questions. Most doctors will ask lots of questions, but don’t mistakenly assume that because your doctor didn’t ask, there’s no need to volunteer the information or it must not be important. You best know your body, your job and your home life, so be sure to share the information you have so that the doctor can do the best job to help you recover.

Visit this link for more tips on how to talk to your doctor and how to understand your doctor.

2016 Voter Guide

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The 2016 Presidential and General Election is coming up Nov. 8.

Here are some important dates and things to remember as you head to the polls in North Caorlina:

Oct. 20-Nov. 5 – One-stop early voting
Click here to find early voting locations in your community.

Nov. 1 is the last day to request an absentee ballot in North Carolina
N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form (English)
N.C. Absentee Ballot Request Form (Spanish)

Nov. 8 – Election Day

Do I need to show a photo ID to vote?

Because the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned North Carolina’s voter ID law this summer, registered voters are NOT be required to show an ID when voting in person this fall.

However, certain first-time voters casting their ballots in person or by mail may have to show some form of identification.

Under the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, first-time voters who at the time of their initial voter registration did not provide their North Carolina driver license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number, or who provided a number that could not be validated, will be required to show identification when they vote. This identification does not have to be a photo ID. A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document are acceptable.

How should I vote?

We encourage you to do your own research into the candidates and various state and local races. To help with your decision making, look for our 2016 endorsement guide soon on the blog. You may also print out a customized sample ballot to take with you to the polls on Nov. 8.

Social Security Disability – Spotlight on Migraine Headaches

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Migraine headaches are a very common problem affecting many people. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine headaches affect 38 million men, women and children in the United States.

Most of those afflicted with migraine headaches experience them infrequently, perhaps once a month. But for some they can be frequent and debilitating to the point where it is impossible to hold down a job. According to MRF, more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraines, experiencing at least 15 per month. Most people find it impossible to work or function during a migraine.

Migraine headaches can be the basis of a successful claim for Social Security Disability. It is important to get medical treatment, particularly with a neurologist, who is best trained to diagnose and treat migraines. Regular treatment with a neurologist will hopefully provide you some relief and will also document the nature and frequency of your migraines.

If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you know that it is much more than just a “bad headache.”

Symptoms may include visual disturbances or auras, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face. They can last anywhere from four hours to three days.

Between doctor visits, it is a good idea to keep track of how often you are having severe migraine headaches. You can share this information with your doctor and also with the Social Security Administration as you file your claim for benefits. Use your calendar to document how often you experience migraine headaches and how debilitating they are. Just quickly jot down the symptom, length of the headache and any other specifics.

The chances of winning your Social Security Disability case depends on a lot of factors, including how frequent and how debilitating your migraines are and how well they respond to treatment.

I always recommend people with migraines enlist the help of an attorney to help them present their case to the Social Security Administration. Contact our office to find out how we can help.


Don’t Skip This Important Insurance Coverage

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Anyone who has been in a car accident knows that getting insurance to pay is never as easy as it seems in TV commercials.

The insurance companies have created the perception that simply having automobile insurance will protect you if you’re involved in a car accident. But to get the most out of their insurance, consumers need to make sure they have the right kind of coverage.

If your auto insurance policy does not include Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Medical Payments (Medpay), you could be left with medical bills to pay out of your own pocket even if someone else caused your injuries.

North Carolina law requires all drivers to carry automobile liability coverage. But many people break the law and drive without any liability insurance coverage. Or their insurance policy may not be sufficient to cover all the expenses of an accident.

Minimum coverage amounts

The law states the minimum coverage requirements are $30,000 for bodily injury per person and $60,000 per accident. That may seem like a lot of money, but consider that healthcare costs are rising and just a trip to the emergency room could easily cost more than $5,000 and much more than that if you have traumatic injuries.

If your injuries require extensive treatment over several months, you could have medical bills that exceed the minimum coverage limit. Then what happens?

Doesn’t the liability carrier HAVE to pay my medical bills no matter how much they are?

The surprising answer is not always. If the at-fault driver has no insurance or doesn’t have enough coverage on his policy, you could be responsible for medical bills that exceed his coverage limits. That’s why you have to protect yourself.

How do I protect myself?

This is the easy part. Auto insurance carriers offer Uninsured (UI) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). UI and UIM are typically sold together and listed as separate coverage on your policy.

Uninsured coverage (UI) covers you if the at-fault driver failed to carry liability insurance or if you were injured by a Hit and Run driver. As long as you can prove there was actual contact between your vehicle and the driver who fled, you can recover your damages under your UI provision. If this happens to you, be sure to notify your insurance carrier within 24 hours of the collision.

Underinsured coverage (UIM) covers you if the other driver doesn’t carry enough coverage. An underinsured driver is defined as someone whose liability coverage limits are less than your own and not enough to cover the expenses of the people injured in the accident.

This means that to protect yourself adequately, you should carry more than the minimum limits. You should have at least $50,000 in UIM on your policy and more if you can afford it. UIM will pay the difference between the other driver’s liability limits and your own Underinsured Motorist limits.

Check your policy or contact your agent today to see if you are adequately covered. Tell your agent that you need to have at least $50,000 in UIM on your policy.

Ask your agent about medpay as well since this type of coverage is usually very affordable.

During hard economic times, it can be tempting to get the least amount of coverage required by law, but too frequently we see people who took that risk and ended up with unpaid bills.

Download this handy chart that explains what the different types of auto insurance cover



Social Security Disability – Spotlight on Diabetes

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As a Social Security Disability attorney in North Carolina, I represent a lot of people who have diabetes. Often, my clients will have other health problems that also affect them, but sometimes I represent people whose diabetes, and complications from their diabetes, is the main thing preventing them from being able to work. 

It is not surprising that I see so many diabetics, because according to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012 29.1 million Americans , or 9.3 percent of the population, had diabetes. In North Carolina, according to the CDC, in 2012 some 778,716 North Carolinians were diabetic. This is an unfortunately large percentage of those fine folks who call the Tarheel state home.  

Diabetes can cause many complications that can be debilitating and prevent someone from working. Kidney disease, neuropathy, and blindness or eye problems are just a few examples. The Social Security Administration should take into account all of the complications you may have from diabetes that limit you from being able to work when determining whether you are disabled.  

In my practice, diabetic neuropathy is a common condition that prevents many of my clients from working.  

Neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that can occur over time when you have diabetes that is not under control.

 It typically occurs in the feet (and sometimes hands), and can cause severe numbness, constant burning or stinging pain, and loss of coordination and balance.

Neuropathy can make standing on your feet very difficult for more than just a few minutes, which limits your ability to do the standing required in full time jobs.  It can make walking for any distance excruciatingly painful as well, and may require you to use a cane or other assistive device.

Neuropathy in the hands can prevent you from being able to use your hands for more than just a few minutes at a time, which can greatly impact your ability to do a full time job.  

It is important to try to prevent neuropathy by, among other things, keeping your blood sugar tightly controlled. Unfortunately, once you have neuropathy, according to the Mayo Clinic there is no known cure, and treatment focuses on slowing progression of the disease, relieving pain, managing complications and restoring function.

Neuropathy is a painful complication of diabetes that shouldn’t be taken lightly. My clients would rather work than receive disability benefits, but sometimes the life-altering affects of diabetic neuropathy give them no choice.  


Beware of scam emails: they may look and sound official, but they’re not

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A client recently forwarded me an official-sounding email he received that mentioned his court case and also referenced problems with his Social Security number.

The email, which appeared to come from another law firm, said the client was facing criminal charges for fraud, among other things. It also said his Social Security number had been “put on hold by the U.S. government” until legal matters were resolved. It also said that the client would owe close to $12,000 in legal fees if convicted of these so-called charges.

Our client was smart to be suspicious of this email.

It was a fake. A fraud. It’s what is known as a phishing scam — when Internet fraudsters impersonate a business or government agency to trick you into giving out your personal information. Phishing emails may also be used to transmit viruses to your computer., which investigates and fights cyber crime advises:

Never reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information. Don’t click on links within them either – even if the message seems to be from an organization you trust. It isn’t. Legitimate businesses don’t ask you to send sensitive information through insecure channels. 

Don’t open attachments on emails from people you don’t trust. And even if an email appears to come from someone you know, be careful before opening an attachment. The message that appears to come from your friend or family member may actually be from a hacker or phishing scammer.

Be wary of calling phone numbers included in phishing emails. They may be fraudulent, as well.

If you receive a scam email, you may want to forward it to [email protected]. If the email message mentions a specific bank, company or organization, forward it to them, as well. You also may report phishing emails to [email protected]

If you think you may have been tricked by a phishing email:



N.C. veterans can report problems with VA treatment via confidential hotline

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Undoubtedly, you have heard news reports about the VA scandal that has sparked a wide-ranging investigation into Department of Veterans’ Affairs treatment of veterans seeking health care and benefits.

It’s a story of substandard care, scheduling nightmares and delayed life-saving medical procedures. And fear — with VA doctors, patients and many VA workers afraid to speak up for fear of reprisal. In fact, the scandal may not have come to light but for whistleblowers.

The N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs has established  a hotline where veterans can confidentially share stories of misconduct and substandard care at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in the state, according to the News & Observer.

You can call the hotline, toll free, at 844-624-8387 or file a confidential report by sending an email to [email protected]

The state hotline connects to NCVA executive staff, who will forward tips to the appropriate federal authorities investigating the VA scandal.

The N.C. hotline was started because the state veterans agency received credible “specific allegations of misconduct at USVA medical facilities in North Carolina,” according to news reports.

“Our goal with the Vet Tip Hotline is to be constructive, systematic and transparent,”  state Veterans Affairs Director Ilario said. “We are not looking for scapegoats but rather solutions to get our veterans the care they deserve.”

Two Durham VA Medical Center employees were put on leave in May for “inappropriate scheduling practices,” CNN reported.

In addition to the N.C. hotline, veterans can report wrongdoing to the VA’s Office of Inspector General by calling 800-488-8244 or sending an email to [email protected]


Preventing Workplace Injuries

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We’re always interested in research and programs that are aimed at preventing workplace injuries before they happen.

Three such articles have caught our interest recently, beginning with a program at Boston University that has virtually eliminated repetitive motion shoulder injuries among custodians and reduced the the university’s workers’ comp costs by 85 percent over a three-year period.

Repetitive motion injuries result in an average of 23 days away from work – three times the number of days from other injuries. Shoulder injuries are the most common type of repetitive motion injury reported and the second most frequent injury experienced by janitors and custodial workers.

Julie Collins, a third-year doctor of physical therapy student at BU, set out to change this through education and equipment modification. Researchers studied how each university custodian performed their daily work duties, then developed ergonomics training programs aimed at reducing shoulder injuries. The university also provided custodians with step stools so they wouldn’t have to perform so much work overhead, putting their shoulders at risk for repetitive motion injuries.

“Injury prevention through education and workplace modifications is crucial to reduce the overwhelming expense of musculoskeletal injuries,” said BU faculty member Lee Marinko, who is also a practicing physical therapist at the Boston University Physical Therapy Center. “This project highlights how simple changes can have a significant impact, not only on cost but also on employee health and safety.”

Injury and Illness Prevention Programs — or IIPPs — like the one at Boston University, are becoming important tools in keeping workers safe.  In fact, 15 states now require IIPPs, according to Succeed Management Solutions.

Something as simple as daily stretching can be the key in preventing all types of workplace injuries. 

We found an interesting news release from Industrial Motions, a Raleigh-based company that specializes in workplace injury prevention.

Industrial Motions offers a wellness program called WorkDay Warm-Up that combines stretching exercises with simple strengthening exercises aimed at improving worker safety.

“This unique blend of stretching and strengthening for the workplace has evolved through feedback from the workers themselves,” Frank Murray, the CEO of Industrial Motions, said in a press release. “Traditional workplace exercise programs consist mainly of stretching. Workers and companies were requesting strengthening exercises as well.”

Out of the Garden Food Drive Dropoff Locations

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As we told you last week, we are organizing a food drive to benefit the Out of the Garden Project all this month.

You can drop off nonperishable food donations to our offices in Greensboro and Winston-Salem. All food will be donated to Out of the Garden to feed hungry Guilford County schoolchildren and their families. The need is great, especially at this time of the year.

Our employees have also been working with other organizations and businesses throughout the Triad to set up donation boxes to make it easy for you to donate food to Out of the Garden, no matter where you live.

In addition to our offices at 317 S. Greene St., Greensboro, and 514 S. Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, you may donate food at the following locations:

Abundant Life Church International, 2923 Pacific Ave., Greensboro

Williams Chiropractic, 3831 W Market St, Greensboro

MB-F, 620 Industrial Ave, Greensboro

Copier Specialists of the Triad

Adkins Business Products, 111 Pomona Dr, Greensboro

Sweet Josephine’s, 2209 N. Centennial St., High Point

Community One Bank at Friendly Center, 616 Green Valley Rd, Greensboro

Industries of the Blind, 914 W Lee St, Greensboro

Faithway Baptist Church, 610 E Lake Dr, Greensboro

Providence Baptist Church, 1984 Eden Rd., Stoneville

Christ Church Greensboro, 421 West Smith St., Greensboro

Crossfit Training Valley, 1001 Springwood Ave, Gibsonville

All Star Copying & Printing, 101 S Elm St # 220, Greensboro

Le Salon, 1707 Sykes St., Burlington 

New Covenant Fellowship Church, 1913 Rogers Road, Graham 

Salyer Chiropractic, 180 Brower’s Chapel Road, Asheboro

Trogdon’s Day Care, 329 Newbern Ave., Asheboro

First Steps Early Learning Center, 2511 S Fayetteville St., Asheboro

Fresh Cuts Butcher and Seafood, 1528 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro

We will continue to update this list with more donation locations.

We also want to thank New York & Co. and Lucky Brand Jeans at the Tanger Outlet Center in Mebane for participating in our Out of the Garden food drive. Their employees will be collecting food for the organization. These stores are not public drop-off locations.


Thanksgiving Safety Tips

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We hope you’re having a wonderful holiday week spending time with family and friends you hold dear.

However, the holidays can be a dangerous time with all the cooking, travel, Christmas decorating and Black Friday shopping.

More than 43 million Americans are expected to be on the roads this week. The National Safety Council estimates 436 people will die in traffic accidents over Thanksgiving holiday weekend and 46,600 people will be injured in car accidents.

The roadways aren’t the only danger this weekend.

Every year, 12,500 people wind up in hospital emergency rooms injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks, related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Candles start about 11,600 fires each year, resulting in 150 deaths, 1,200 injuries and $173 million in property loss. Christmas trees are involved in about 300 fires annually, resulting in 10 deaths, 30 injuries and an average of more than $10 million in property loss and damage, according to CSPC.

Every year, people are injured while shopping for Black Friday bargains by other overzealous bargain hunters.

Fierce winter weather this year has already caused 11 traffic deaths, half of them in Texas.

So, our message to you this Thanksgiving weekend is to be safe, as well as thankful.

Here are some Thankgiving travel tips from American Red Cross to ensure you arrive safely at your destination.

If traveling by car:

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels before you get on the road. Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  •  If winter weather is present, bring pets/companion animals inside before you leave the house.
  •  Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Fill your gas tank, check the air pressure in your tires and make sure you have windshield fluid.
  •  Buckle up, slow down, don’t drink and drive, or text and drive.
  •  Make frequent stops on long trips. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and rest.
  •  If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.

If traveling by plane or by train:

  • It’s flu season. If you’ve been sick or been in contact with someone who is sick, consider postponing your trip. You could be contagious for a week before symptoms appear.
  • Remember that everything you touch has to be touched by someone else – luggage handlers, etc. Handle your own belongings as much as possible. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes with you. You can use them to wash your hands or wipe down surfaces such as armrests.
  • Bring your own pillows and blankets – they can act as a shield against the seat itself.
  • Avoid touching your face or eyes. If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your sleeve.


If your holiday plans include decorating for Christmas, heed these safety tips from CPSC:

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” Although this label does not mean the tree won’t catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and do not break when bent between your fingers. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.
  • When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways.
  • Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, which indicates conformance with safety standards. Use only lights that have fused plugs.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.
  • Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Make sure the extension cord is rated for the intended use.
  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Stay away from power or feeder lines leading from utility poles into older homes.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or, run strings of lights through hooks (available at hardware stores).
  • Turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
  • Use caution when removing outdoor holiday lights. Never pull or tug on lights – they could unravel and inadvertently wrap around power lines.
  • Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Portable outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently to household circuits by a qualified electrician.
  • Decorations:
  • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Leaded materials are hazardous if ingested by children.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.
  • In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable, keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to avoid the child swallowing or inhaling small pieces, and avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a child to eat them.
  • Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.

The National Crime Prevention cancel recommends the following strategies to avoid becoming a victim of crime while shopping on Black Friday:

  • Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
  • Shop online with companies you know and trust. Check a company’s background if you are not familiar with it. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
  • Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites.
  • Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.
  • Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle. Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
  • Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.
  • If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Select a central meeting place and make sure they know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help

Signal 88, a personal security firm, also weighs in with these Black Friday shopping safety tips:

  • When you arrive at a crowded place, don’t ignore signs or barricades,
  • which are often placed to control a crowd.
  • Proceed with caution when stores’ doors open; avoid running or pushing.
  • Practice patience, as long lines can lead to short tempers. Expect to encounter potentially frustrating delays if you’re out on one of the major shopping days.
  • Rather than participating in a verbal or physical altercation over a desired item, know when to walk away.
  • Never leave your purse, wallet or shopping cart unattended.
  • Consider using your pockets instead of your purse. Keep valuables close
  • to your body.
  • Walking with a buddy, especially in a dark parking lot, can be a theft deterrent.
  • Lock purchases in the trunk of your car, where they’re out of view.
  • Make sure your doors are locked and your car alarm is activated.
  • If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, leave the area immediately.
  • Contact a store employee, law enforcement or a security officer if you feel unsafe or threatened.

Stay safe this Thanksgiving.

Hunger: A Reality for Many N.C. Families

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If you’re looking for a place to volunteer or to donate this holiday season, we recommend Out of the Garden Project, an organization committed to ending hunger in our community. 

Ever week, Out of the Garden sends groceries home with more than 900 Guilford County schoolchildren so their families have enough to eat. The charity operates thanks to donations of food and money by individuals and businesses.

This holiday season, Deuterman Law Group offices will serve as collection points for Out of the Garden Project. We also are recruiting other businesses to help in these efforts and will be publishing a list of convenient drop-off locations here on our blog soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you the reality of hunger in our local community and tangible ways you can help Out of the Garden Project fulfill its mission.

Rae Marsh, a Guilford County social worker and Out of the Garden Project board member, has seen bare cabinets many times as she visits clients in their home. Often, children and adults will try to hide the fact that they don’t have any food in their cupboards, Marsh wrote in a recent newsletter to Out of the Garden supporters.

“There are so many complex situations within families that can lead to food insecurity. As one who is in the trenches, I’ve gone into homes across the county and have been required to check for food in the home as a part of my assessment. I’ve seen the bare cabinets countless times. I’ve asked the children what they ate for dinner last night as a routine question in my child well-being interview. I’ve seen the discomfort in the parent’s faces when I confront the issue how their children eat. I’ve heard responses such as, ‘Ms. Marsh! We ran out and I can’t get any more until the 8th of next month!’ Or, ‘Ms. Marsh we always eat out while on the go, that’s why my cabinets are empty.’ Even clever responses like, ‘But Ms. Marsh, we go to my mother’s house and eat: she cooks for us.’

Out of the Garden needs support throughout the year, not just during the holidays. But if you are looking for service project to do with your family for Thanksgiving, why not consider volunteering there.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, children will be out of school next week and unable to get their weekly delivery of food. So, Out of the Garden is sending home double bags this week, and they need help from volunteers to pack the bags.

Volunteers are needed Tuesdays from noon-2 p.m.; Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m.; Thursdays 3:30-5:30 p.m. Out of the Garden’s warehouse is at 300 NC Highway 68 South, Greensboro.

If you’re unable to volunteer, consider donating food or purchasing an Out of the Garden Honor Card, a water color painted by Jennifer Edwards, for $5. Tax deductible donations to Out of the Garden can be made through this link.



New low-cost health clinic set to open in Greensboro; still few options for affordable health care

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There’s a bit of good news for people who don’t have health insurance and can’t afford to pay for medical care.

Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine has received a federal grant under the Affordable Care Act to open a health clinic for low-income residents, the Triad Business Journal reported recently.

Unfortunately, the new clinic will not make up for the gap in affordable health care options created by the closing of HealthServe.

HealthServe had about 8,500 active patients — 70 percent of them were uninsured with no way to pay for healthcare. Patients paid on a sliding scale, based on their income. Most HealthServe clients were not covered by Medicaid.

The clinic was their safety net.

The new clinic to be opened by HealthServe’s parent company, Triad Adult & Pediatric Medicine, unfortunately will not serve as broad a population. The new clinic, which will have two medical providers and a staff of about 12 people, will be able to treat about 3,500 patients annually, mostly the homeless and people living in public housing.

That still leaves a large population of people without access to affordable health care. In Guilford County has few options for free and low-cost health care, so many people don’t get the medical care they need.

On our website, we have a listing of health clinics throughout the region offering free medical care or payment on a sliding scale based on income. You can download the list here.

Be sure to also check out the listings at the Guilford County Community Care Network.

There are no details yet on when the new TAPM clinic will open or where it will be located. We’ll continue to share news about that clinic and other low-cost and no-cost healthcare options as news is available.