Calorie-Saving Super Bowl Snacks

Strawberry-Avocado Salsa

(4 ½ cup servings)

1 cup finely chopped strawberries
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 T finely chopped red onion
½ t grated lime rind
2 T fresh lime juice
¼ t sugar
¼ cup finely chopped peeled avocado
2 t finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; toss gently. Serve immediately.


Black Bean Brownies

1 16 oz can black beans
3 eggs
3 TB vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup white sugar
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 square baking dish.
  • Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, and sugar in a blender or food processer; blend until smooth; pour mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 25-30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 brownie out of 16 brownies from an 8×8 inch pan

Calories 110; Protein 3.0 g Total Fat; 4.6 g; Sat Fat 2.7 g; Carbohydrates 15.7 g; Fiber 1.9 g; Potassium 70.4 mg, Iron: 5.1% Foliate: 7.1%, Magnesium: 2.8 % Manganese 3.6% (Based on 2,000 calorie diet)

Peanut Butter Icing
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 TB milk
1/3 cup powdered sugar

  • Combine all ingredients in bowl. Using electric mixer, blend until smooth.





CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Mount Holly Opens

New Facility Will Offer Emergency Care to Gaston, Lincoln and Western Mecklenburg Counties

Today, CaroMont Health celebrated the opening of CaroMont Regional Medical Center – Mount Holly. The new, state-of-the-art emergency department is the first of its kind for the health system, which has a main emergency department on the campus of CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia, NC.

“Our goal is to make emergency care services more accessible to residents in eastern Gaston, southern Lincoln and western Mecklenburg Counties,” said Doug Luckett, President and Chief Executive Officer at CaroMont Health. “This freestanding facility also supports our long-range vision to expand emergency care services throughout our service area. Our investment in this community is indicative of our commitment to the residents, leaders and local economy in Mount Holly.”

Innovative Model of Care

Patients will encounter a new emergency care experience by following a model of care that minimizes wait times.  After check-in, patients will immediately be taken back to one of six Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME) rooms where they will be seen by a nurse or physician to be assessed and triaged based on their condition. After initial assessment, patients will be taken to one of 12 treatment rooms or the Results Lounge, a unique space that allows some non-critical patients to wait for further treatment or consultation in a separate area with comfortable amenities.

“We worked collaboratively with our architect to create an innovative space where the focus on care delivery and patient flow is paramount,” said Kathleen Besson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at CaroMont Health. “The thought and purpose that went into the design of the building balances form with function, and will offer our patients a care experience they won’t find at other emergency departments.”

State-Of-The-Art Facility

The 38,000 square foot facility also includes two resuscitation rooms, a diagnostic imaging suite with CT, X-Ray and Ultrasound, and a laboratory. Staffed with board-certified emergency medicine physicians from ApolloMD and registered nurses, the facility meets the same Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission (TJC) requirements as the main campus of CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia. The space also includes original artwork from several local artists that are reflective of the community and are meant to enhance the patient experience.

Located in a growing area and accessible by several main highways, the facility expects to see an estimated 12,000 patient visits each year.

CaroMont Regional Medical Center – Mount Holly Overview

38,000-square feet of treatment and administrative space

6 Rapid Medical Evaluation (RME) Rooms

10 Treatment Rooms

2 Resuscitation rooms

Results lounge (including two private consultation rooms)

Imaging Suite (CT Scan, X-ray & Ultrasound)

Board-Certified Emergency Medicine Physicians

  • Registered Nurses (certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support)

Top 10 Food Tips for a Healthier New Year

Set a SMART goal. Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. For example, “I will eat 1 cup of vegetable at dinner 5 nights each week.”

Increase fruit and vegetable intake. They are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and are low in calories. Choose old favorites or get adventurous, and try something new!

Eat a healthy breakfast. Trying to lose weight so you skip breakfast? Think again. Set yourself up for success by having a healthy breakfast. For example, try instant oatmeal with low-fat milk instead of water. Toss in raisins or dried cranberries and chopped walnuts, or layer plain, low-fat Greek yogurt with your favorite crunchy cereal and blueberries.

Decrease your “added” sugar intake. Think sugar is only in sweet treats? It’s everywhere! Start looking at sugar listed in nutrition facts or listed in the ingredients list. Some foods have naturally occurring sugar such as milk, fruit and vegetables. These are not the foods the American Heart Association is referring to when they recommend women limit added sugar to 24 g per day and men to 36 g per day.

Eat more real, whole food. These are foods that are minimally processed and likely only have one ingredient, for example, fruit, vegetables, lean meat, low fat milk and yogurt, fish, eggs and nuts.

Don’t skip meals or go too long without food. Sweet treats and other temptations are easier to avoid when you are not starving.

Choose whole grains over refined grains. Try brown rice instead of white, whole grain bread instead of white, or whole wheat pasta instead of white.

Make a plan! Plan meals and make a grocery shopping list. Think out what food you will need for meals and snacks, and write it down before going to the grocery store. Grocery shopping once per week with a well thought out list can save you time, money and calories!

Get “APPY”! Sign up for a free online tracking tool to monitor eating and physical activity. Check out or to name a few.

And finally, if you want to eat healthier or lose weight in the new year, make an appointment with a registered dietitian at CaroMont Health and Fitness Center. Please call, 704.671.7930. Some insurance companies will pay for nutrition counseling.

 Provided by: Pam Corneilus, Wellness Dietitian, CaroMont Health

Visitor Restrictions

Due to an increase in flu cases seen at the hospital, CaroMont Regional Medical Center announced temporary visitor restrictions for children under the age of 13 and guests who have compromised immune systems or are experiencing flu-like symptoms beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, January 2. Click here to read more.

Visitor Restrictions Effective January 2, 2015

Due to an increase in flu cases seen at the hospital, CaroMont Regional Medical Center announced temporary visitor restrictions for children under the age of 13 and guests who have compromised immune systems or are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Those individuals who fall into either of those categories will not be allowed to visit the hospital unless they are seeking medical treatment. In order to protect newborns and their mothers, this restriction also includes visitors to The Birthplace. Visitor restrictions will be effective beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, January 2.

“We constantly monitor the incidence of patients with infectious illnesses, and we have seen a significant increase of patients with flu-like symptoms in our hospital,” said Dr. Todd Davis, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Patient Safety Officer at CaroMont Health. “The decision to implement these restrictions was made by a team of doctors and infectious disease professionals after an extensive review of local, state and national data about the incidence and impact of the flu.”

The restriction announced today was developed and implemented in previous years to address influenza outbreaks. This season’s determination was led by the efforts of a clinical team comprised of: Todd Davis, MD, Vice President, Medical Affairs & Patient Safety Officer; Costa Andreou, MD, Acute Care Service Line Physician Lead; Tom Ashar, MD, Medical Director, Emergency Services; Jason Justice, MD, Medical Director, Critical Care; Harish Marisiddaiah, MD, Acute Care Service Line Quality Physician & Infectious Disease Specialist; Karim Nazer, MD, Associate Director, CaroMont Hospitalist Program and Nancy Harless, RN, Interim Director, Infection Prevention.

“More than 10 percent of our patients are presenting with flu-like symptoms and that number is the indicator which triggers visitor restriction for hospitals across the state and country,” said Dr. Harish Marisiddaiah, Acute Care Service Line Quality Physician and Infectious Disease Specialist at CaroMont Health. “Limiting possible exposure for individuals who are at-risk for contracting the flu is in the best interest of our patients and the community.”

These temporary restrictions are intended to help limit the transmission of the virus and will be lifted when flu levels at the hospital subside.

“This is a serious illness, and we want to be sure we are doing all we can to protect our patients, visitors, employees and volunteers,” said Dr. Davis.

More about the flu:

Typically, the flu virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes near a susceptible person or contact is made with a contaminated surface. Adults tend to spread the virus from the day before symptoms begin through 5-10 days after the onset of the illness. Young children and individuals with compromised immune systems may take longer to present symptoms and are more likely to spread the virus to more people.

Typical flu symptoms include fever of 100 degrees or higher and any of the following:

  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

To avoid contracting the flu, it is strongly encouraged that you take certain precautions such as:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or a shirt sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue in a trash receptacle after each use.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as these areas are vehicles for germs to enter the body.
  • Avoid close contact with symptomatic individuals when possible.
  • Contact your health provider and/or local health departments for the flu vaccine.
  • Drink lots of liquids and get plenty of rest.

Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu.


Behind the Scenes: CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Mount Holly

Adam Orr (17 December 2014) Hurting? CaroMont’s new $24 million emergency center goes live next month The Gaston Gazette. 

CaroMont Health leaders say decades of patient feedback — and hard won lessons — were incorporated into the design of its new Mount Holly emergency department, which will open next month.

“It’s all about decreasing the patient stress,” said Sharon Summer, CaroMont’s director of emergency services. “Everything, from the open design to the higher ceilings, the windows that let in natural lighting, those are all psychological components we built in to help our patients.”

The $24 million project will offer emergency treatment services to all but the most critical patients.

The 38,000 square foot department will serve residents in northeast Gaston County and northwest Charlotte, a growing market CaroMont estimates at more than 20,000 people.

The freestanding emergency department isn’t the only project CaroMont Health has underway. The nonprofit launched a $13 million expansion of its main campus emergency department in July that should allow it to better serve the roughly 100,000 patients it sees each year.

Summer and CaroMont’s Manager of Emergency Services, Jodie Cook, said the emergency department will feature a “no wait,” treatment model.

How will it work? Patients entering the building will first be met by a nurse who will direct them through outpatient registration or bring them directly to a treatment room for triage. After, they’ll be moved to one of 12 treatment rooms or the results lounge.

Cook and Summer highlighted the center’s results lounge, a wide-open space featuring comfortable furniture, high ceilings and numerous TVs, as another design lesson the hospital has learned from decades of emergency patient care.

“Not every patient that comes will need to spend a night in a hospital bed,” Summer said. “Especially if they’re just waiting on lab or radiology work. By moving them out here, it improves the flow through the facility, and it’s going to make some patients feel much more comfortable.”

What it offers — and what it won’t

The new center will have a full lab, emergency medicine physicians, 25 registered nurses certified in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support, in addition to an imaging suite featuring a CT scan, X-ray, ultrasound and, in the future, an MRI machine.

The center is also fully equipped to handle patients brought in by emergency responders — though there are exceptions.

“EMS does bring patients to the closest facility but they also have destination protocols for certain patients,” Cook said. “If they’re treating a stroke victim, they’ll take them to a stroke center.”

The Mount Holly center will, however, be equipped and staffed to handle those conditions to a point, Cook said. Heart attack patients, for instance, could be stabilized then taken to CaroMont’s main emergency department in Gastonia, she said.

Fixing privacy concerns

Cook said CaroMont, like other high traffic emergency care centers, has heard repeatedly about patient privacy concerns in its main campus emergency department. She said the nonprofit focused on those concerns from the project’s start.

“I’ve worked in the ER for 15 years at CaroMont and … we tried to think about every issue we’d heard over the years,” Cook said. “Patient privacy was the big one.”

Treatment rooms now offer separate entrances, one for hospital staff and another for patients’ families. Summer said those offer families a place to sit with patients throughout their visits but are structured so they’re never in the way of hospital staff.

“Families can stay together throughout the process,” Summer said.

Cook said she believes the new center could eventually treat up to a third of the patients who currently go to CaroMont’s main campus — as many as 30,000.

“It was a smart, modular design with built-in space,” Cook said. “Whenever that time comes to expand, I think we’ll be able to do it with no problem.”



CaroMont Regional – Mount Holly

Now Open! CaroMont Regional Medical Center – Mount Holly is a 38,000-square foot emergency department uniquely designed using an innovative model for patient care delivery. Click here for more information.

Health Insurance Plans

The Open Enrollment period for 2015 insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015.  Click here to learn more about insurance plans available in the Gaston County area.

Holiday Gift Idea, the Gift of Life

The joy of the holiday season is best experienced when giving back. CaroMont Health and Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) will host the 10th annual Puppies for Patients blood drive on Monday, December 8 from 7a.m. to 7p.m. in the Auditorium at CaroMont Regional Medical Center, 2525 Court Drive in Gastonia. Each donor will be invited to sign a gift tag to attach to a stuffed puppy. Puppies are delivered to pediatric patients at CaroMont Regional Medical Center through December 31, 2014, with the hope of bringing joy to a much-deserving child during the holidays.

To kick off the Puppies for Patients program, CBCC delivered stuffed puppies to pediatric patients in the Birthplace and the Pediatric Unit at CaroMont Regional on Tuesday. First delivery stop, the Birthplace where Mandi and Hoy Colson welcomed their second child, Emma Elizabeth Colson, into their lives on Sunday at 12:57 p.m.

“She was nine pounds, 14 ounces,” said Hoy Colson. “She’s bigger than a Thanksgiving turkey.”

Both parents are music teachers at Burns High School in Cherryville, so they think there’s a good chance baby Elizabeth will be musically inclined.

Cambrie Kinkaid, one year old, was a little shy at first, but as soon as some of the crowd left, she managed to give her puppy a big embrace.

The need for blood is ongoing and it is especially challenging to meet this need during the holiday season. CBCC is the primary blood supplier to the region’s patients and hospitals serving residents who live within 16 NC counties, including CaroMont Regional Medical Center. Blood donated with CBCC stays here.  Every drop goes to the local patients in the hospitals that they serve.

Those interested in donating blood on Dec. 8 can schedule their appointment in advance by logging onto (Click on donate and enter sponsor code: CRMC). Please donate blood and give the best holiday gift of all – life!

Blood Facts & Figures

Source: Community Blood Center of the Carolinas,

1 in 7 people entering the hospital need blood.

1 pint is all that’s need to save 3 lives.

Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

The whole blood donation process from registration to cookies typically takes about an hour.

Over 90 percent of people will need a blood transfusion during their lives.

Cancer patients are the number one recipient of blood products.

You can donate whole blood every 56 days, platelets every 14 days or Double Red Cells every 112 days.

A Sister’s Love

Mable Davis, a resident of Stanley, NC, turned 101 last December.  Just before her birthday, Mable fell and broke her pelvis.  As can happen in cases where patients must remain immobile for long periods of time, she developed pneumonia.  In February, she was admitted to the hospital to treat her pneumonia, but she just couldn’t seem to get her health back.

By mid-February, Mable was weary of the hospital and efforts to cure her mounting problems.  She missed her younger sister, Bobbie May, and was eager to get back to home in a local assisted living center.  So, Mable asked if it would be possible for her to go home under hospice care.  With her doctor’s blessing, Mable was admitted to Gaston Hospice on February 20, and spent her last days in the hospital under their care working to get her breathing back to normal and her pain under control.

She was able to make the move the first week of March.  During the months since, she has seen some improvement and is very happy to be at home with Bobbie.

“Hospice has done a marvelous job,” said Mable.  “It has meant the world to me to have them here.  They come visit, they let me talk and they have gotten my pain all straightened out.”

Mable’s case is anything but unique. The vast majority of Gaston Hospice’s referrals come from the hospital.  “Many times people don’t want to think about hospice care until they’re in the middle of a crisis,” says Dr. Michael Case, Gaston Hospice Medical Director.  “Like anything else, it’s easy to put off thinking about tomorrow until you realize that your tomorrow is going to be another day in the hospital.  But, the good thing about making that decision in the hospital is that we have the patient’s care plan in place to come up with a solid plan for going home, wherever home may be.”

In Mable’s situation, her goals were to have her pain and symptoms managed and to live out her days in Bobbie’s company.  When hospice combines efforts with a professional facility staff, the potential for excellent care is multiplied.  In fact, studies have shown that family satisfaction surveys from long-term care facilities show a marked improvement when hospice has been involved in their loved one’s care.  Wherever a patient spends their final days, studies link hospice care to better quality of life not only for the terminally ill, but for their families as well.

Healing People

Leading the way in quality care, CaroMont Health believes in treating everyone with respect, having open and responsible communication, never compromising integrity, and highly values customer satisfaction. Patients can come to CaroMont Health with the utmost trust and confidence that our staff is hard at work pushing the edge of medical science and saving lives. In 2010, we achieved HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence. And our Cancer Center won the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission.

Gaston Memorial Hospital

Magnet Award
Health Grades Award
CareChex a rating service of The Delta Group

Building Community

We believe that a community’s wellbeing is dependent on everyone contributing and that together we can help our community thrive. By offering special events, sponsoring athletic competitions and attracting great speakers like Dr. Oz, CaroMont Health is creating shared community experiences. CaroMont Health has also developed CaroMontUrgent Care in the Mountain Island lake community, which will save you time without sacrificing the quality of non-emergency care.

Building community banner


CaroMont Health has created support and educational services in a safe, family-centered environment to promote healthy lifestyle choices. By providing a variety of classes focused on topics for men, women, the elderly, newborns and more, CaroMont Health hopes to empower individuals to make a difference. Some classes offered for expectant and new parents for example, enhance the experiences involved in birth and beyond – such as Second Time Around, Moms in Motion, and Infant CPR and Safety.

Wellness services banner