Health

West Virginia Legislative Photography

A task force subcommittee has chosen 22 locations across West Virginia to hold public hearings on an insurance program for West Virginia teachers and other public employees.

A public outreach subcommittee of the Public Employees Insurance Agency task force met Thursday in Charleston. It chose the communities for the meetings later this spring, and the staff of the governor's office would schedule dates and meeting places.

ARC and NORC at Univ. of Chicago

President Donald Trump’s call to implement the death penalty for drug traffickers grabbed headlines Monday. But public health officials within the Trump administration are stressing other elements of the president’s plan to address the opioid crisis.

Acting Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Anne Schuchat, outlined her agency’s plans for the Ohio Valley, which has some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdose deaths.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Saturday March 17th is “Mountain State Maple Day” in West Virginia. Sugar shacks and maple operations around the state will open their doors to the public. Maple syrup has a long tradition in the high mountain regions of our state, and the industry is growing. As part of our ongoing series called “Appetite Appalachia”, this morning, we’ll hear two stories about maple syrup farmers in the Mountain State. It’s part of a new collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. In this episode of West Virginia Morning, we meet Brandon Daniels, a producer who has been making maple syrup for nearly 30 years.   


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After nine long days of a teacher and service personnel work stoppage, it looks as if it’s come to an end. Lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a five percent pay raise for teachers as well as a five percent pay increase for all public workers. Following the signing, union leaders say they are readying teachers and other school workers to get back on the job. 


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Loud dance music pours out of a historic church in downtown Bluefield, West Virginia, around 7 on a Friday evening. About 30 people are eating barbeque, beans and chicken at a newly formed support group for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and queer people. 

On The Legislature Today, thousands of teachers and state workers again showed-up at the Capitol to protest low salaries and rising health care costs, as their work stoppage entered a third school day – tomorrow will be the fourth. We bring you the latest on the work stoppage. Also, in this episode, we look at a variety of health-related legislation and chat with Sen. Tom Takubo, R-Kanawha and Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone.

Benny Becker/ WMMT

For many years we thought that black lung was a disease of the past. But it has actually stricken a whole new generation of miners, and in some ways, it’s worse than before. 

CDC

The prevalence of obesity has risen dramatically in the U.S. A new study explores the economic cost of treating diseases associated with obesity.


WVPB/ Janet Kunicki

Gwynn Guilford is a reporter for Quartz, a business news site. She specializes in writing about the economy. Guilford spent 10 months researching Appalachia’s economy for an article called “The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal”. Guilford dug into the history of the region’s economic ties to the coal industry, and the long-term effects this relationship has had on the people who live and are determined to stay in Appalachia.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporter Roxy Todd spoke with Guilford about her report.


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On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn more about how children are being affected by the opioid epidemic and what’s being done to help them. 


Credit WikiMedia Commons

The Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training confirms a fatal incident occurred Friday, December 29, 2017 at approximately 12:57 a.m., at the Revelation Energy, LLC, Revelation S7 mine in Fayette County, West Virginia. Preliminary information indicates Thurman A. Watts of Harts, WV, died when a dozer he was operating traveled over the high wall. Mr. Watts was a dozer operator at the mine; he was 34 years old.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Here’s a question:  Is it easier to feel that sense of nostalgia for home when we don’t have to deal with the day-to-day reality of living there?

In this episode of West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from Jesse Donaldson, who wrote an entire book based on the tension between his own mixture of romance and reality of his memory and longing for home in Kentucky. 


Kara Lofton/ WVPB

About 2.5 million children in the U.S. are being raised by grandparents or relatives other than their birth parents.

This week on Inside Appalachia, we hear a special series about grandparents raising grandchildren. Many are taking care of grandchildren who would otherwise be put in foster care, but the arrangement can be difficult for the grandparents themselves.


Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing, health insurance
Dollar Photo Club

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Medicare has halted payments to a West Virginia psychiatric hospital because it is not in compliance with the program's requirements for a psychiatric hospital.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Medicare will not make payments for beneficiaries who are admitted to William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital effective Wednesday. Officials say it will continue to make payments for up to 30 days for beneficiaries admitted before Wednesday.

Doctor, Health, Doctor with tablet, Doctor with iPad
Public Domain Pictures

Nearly $3.7 million has been awarded to health centers and rural health organizations across West Virginia.

The funding is aimed to help increase access to both substance abuse and mental health services. It’ll provide health centers with support to hire new staff, provide training, and to purchase health information technology.

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28 counties in West Virginia are at risk for a potential HIV outbreak, according to a 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the vulnerable communities are rural areas in southern West Virginia. Recently, more than $1 million in federal funding has been awarded to a West Virginia University project aimed at preventing an HIV outbreak in southern West Virginia. 


Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University plans to host what it's calling a summit meeting on health care policy for children on Thursday.

Scheduled speakers include former U. S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV and former U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary and now American University President Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Women's March, Donald Trump, Inauguration
Joni Deutsch / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA) is hosting an event in Weirton Thursday evening, focused on helping minority residents across West Virginia.

HHOMA invites the public to speak about issues that affect their community, like economic concerns, housing, education and health. Those concerns will then be relayed to Governor Jim Justice. 


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President Donald Trump's Commission on the Opioid Crisis recently recommended that the president declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. The commission said that such a declaration could free up money to fight the epidemic.

Back in April, we aired a special report about the opioid epidemic here in Appalachia. So this week, we’re going to revisit that story to remember how some Appalachians became addicted, and what a battle for sobriety can be like.

Marshall University

The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University has been awarded a new residency program, set to begin next summer. 

Marshall’s School of Medicine announced Wednesday its accreditation for a new neurology residency training program. 

immunization
Fæ / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia health and education officials say immunizations for children are available at more than 380 Vaccines for Children provider locations, including local health departments.

They say uninsured or underinsured children can get free vaccinations at those sites.

Benny Becker

Back in March, Inside Appalachia aired a report about a rise in the number of chronic black lung cases. Since then, NPR’s ongoing investigation uncovered an additional 1,000 cases of the worst form of black lung disease in Appalachia. 

Senators Take Heat On Health Care During Summer Break

Jul 10, 2017

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went to the western Kentucky city of Paducah this week to talk about improvements to a local flood wall. Instead he heard a flood of complaints from more than 30 protesters upset about the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

“We will not go away, don’t destroy the ACA!” the protesters chanted, and relayed their concerns about the Senate bill’s projected cuts.

401(K) 2012 / www.401kcalculator.org

West Virginia community health centers are getting $19 million in federal grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

The grants are to fund primary care services.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

If you live near a mining site – either old or active - is your health at risk? That’s what a committee from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine is trying to find out.

 

Medals, Medallions, Harpers Ferry
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a group based in Jefferson County, West Virginia focused not only on improving health and wellness but also on incorporating the local community and history into that health experience.

courtesy Martinsburg VA Medical Center

West Virginia veterans earned over 30 medals last week at the national Golden Age Games. The competition is an athletic training program for veterans 55 years old or older and is designed to help veterans lose weight and become more physically fit.

About 800 veterans competed in the Golden Age Games competition in Biloxi, Mississippi May 7-11. Veterans from the Martinsburg VA Medical Center won medals in running, swimming, badminton, shot put and bicycling. Judi Roberts, from Martinsburg won first place in the discus competition.

Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / http://www.clarksburg.va.gov/

Veterans who receive care from the Clarksburg VA medical center lead the nation in a program that prevents drug overdose deaths. The program distributes Naloxone rescue kits to veterans who are at risk of overdose. Many of the kits have been used by veterans to save civilians who may have otherwise overdosed from opioids.

Veterans returning from combat often struggle with chronic pain and/or mental illness, and many are taking multiple medications. When combined… or when alcohol or non-prescribed drugs are also taken, these drugs can lead to a deadly overdose.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Veterans are two times more likely than the civilian population to develop an addiction to opioids. The Veterans Health Administration, or VA, released a new set of guidelines in 2013 called The Opioid Safety Initiative, which concluded that opioids are not the best treatment for most types of chronic pain. Instead, VA doctors are encouraged to first advise their patients to try alternative therapies, like yoga, physical therapy, and chiropractic care.

Inside Appalachia's Roxy Todd spent some time at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center to learn more about the Mindful Yoga class— one of the alternative therapies they offer veterans who are suffering with chronic pain. 


Roxy Todd/ WVPB

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic started. Appalachia has been called ground zero for this crisis, and the Mountain State leads the country in drug overdose deaths. This episode of Inside Appalachia explores how the epidemic is affecting veterans, who are twice as likely to become addicted to opioids than the general, or civilian, population. 


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