Appalachia Health News

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  In an effort to catch lung cancer earlier and in more people, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) has begun a lung cancer screening program. Lung cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in West Virginia, according to the West Virginia Cancer Registry.

Opiate Addiction Sometimes Begins in the Womb

Nov 24, 2015
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Neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS as it’s known in the medical community, is yet another problem that stems from the heroin epidemic ravaging West Virginia. NAS occurs in newborns exposed to opiates while still in the womb. When they’re born, they feel the full effects of withdrawal.

Health care professionals are now trying to come up with ways to track and deal with the problem more effectively.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two weeks after President Obama’s visit to West Virginia, aimed at putting the spotlight on substance abuse issues across the country, the state’s leaders are still talking about ways to combat the issue.

At a forum in Martinsburg, Governor Tomblin met with those struggling with the disease and others trying to provide assistance in the Eastern Panhandle.

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Acuity Specialty Hospital Ohio Valley plans a $1 million expansion of its long-term acute care facility in Wheeling.

The West Virginia Health Care Authority has issued a certificate of need for the project. The certificate allows Acuity to add 16 beds to its 13-bed facility within Wheeling Hospital.

A date for the expansion hasn't been set. Acuity director Joe Garcuccio told The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the project is in the planning stage.

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U.S. District Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, just announced the launch of an organized effort to combat addiction problems in Marion, Monongalia and Harrison counties: an Addiction Action Plan. It’s an extension of an initiative that began in the Northern Panhandle late last year in response to a resurgence of heroin use in the region.


Is Huntington Getting Healthier?

Aug 9, 2015
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Seven years ago, an Associated Press article labeled the city of Huntington, West Virginia the unhealthiest in the nation.

    

A federal investigation of West Virginia’s system of care for children in need of mental health services shows the state fails to comply with federal law.

In a 30-page letter to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin dated Monday,  June  1, the U.S. Department of Justice said their investigation shows the state's mental health care system for children “fails to provide services to children with significant mental health conditions in the most integrated settings appropriate to their needs in violation” of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Title II of the ADA requires that “individuals with disabilities, including children with mental illness, receive supports and services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs,” according to the letter from the Department of Justice.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia has been plagued for the past few years with budget deficits. To deal with the shortfalls, the governor has cut state agency budgets across the board, implemented hiring freezes and dipped into the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

This year, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin cut the House and Senate approved budget by an additional $11 million, leaving some service programs to wonder how they’ll keep their doors open. The Charleston Health Right is just one of those service programs.

The West Virginia Health Right clinic located in Charleston's East End is a free and charitable clinic that provides medical, dental and vision services to more than 15,000 uninsured and underinsured West Virginians each year. 

ALEX EMSLIE / Special to The S.F. Examiner

In 2007, 27,444 cases of Lyme Disease were reported to the Center for Disease Control. That’s 3 people every hour, every day. And the CDC believes only 10-12 percent of Lyme Disease cases are actually being reported to them. The CDC now estimates 300,000 people per year are being infected with this illness. Many suffer with chronic symptoms for years before they discover the problem, if they discover the problem.

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