Health & Science

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says his office is allocating $1.3 million to bolster residential drug treatment facilities for women, increase detox beds for young people and adults and help law enforcement agencies stop drug diversion.

Doctor Exam Room
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A new report says Charleston, West Virginia had the second highest rate of diabetes last year out of nearly 200 communities surveyed across the nation. A Gallup-Healthways report released Wednesday says 17.6 percent of adults in Charleston in 2015 had diabetes. Of the 190 communities studied, only Mobile, Alabama had a marginally worse rate of 17.7 percent.

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Almost 8,000 West Virginians signed up for healthcare during the first month of Open Enrollment under the federal Affordable Care Act this year.

Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell visited Charleston today to voice support for the Affordable Care Act.

Doctor Patient Health Care Coverage
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Federal health Secretary Sylvia Burwell plans to join a discussion in her native West Virginia on the federal health law that expanded insurance coverage to 165,000 residents. The Affordable Care Act is a signature Obama administration initiative that president-elect Donald Trump has vowed to at least partly roll back.

obesity
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Obesity rates among West Virginia children in low-income families have increased by 2 percent from 2010 to 2014. West Virginia's obesity rate among young children from low-income families increased from 14.4 percent in 2010 to 16.4 percent in 2014, according to the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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

Although the recent presidential election has raised questions about the Affordable Care Act’s future, West Virginia University says it will continue to operate the West Virginia Healthy Start Navigator Project. The program helps people in northern West Virginia sign up for health insurance under the ACA.

Hendrix, Mary Hendrix, Shepherd University, West Virginia University, Cancer Research
Shepherd University

The new president of Shepherd University is partnering with West Virginia University to continue her cancer cell research, and she’s allowing students to watch her work as it’s happening.

Cabin Creek Health Center
freeclinics.com

A Kanawha County clinic is participating in a pilot program to screen patients for lung cancer. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the American Cancer Society is overseeing the three-year project with support from a $1.25 million grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Bridging Cancer Care initiative.

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Shepherd University is partnering with Berkeley County Schools and the Martinsburg Police Department to help combat opioid addiction. A new initiative hopes to identify basic causes of drug abuse in at-risk families.

Jess Mador / WOUT/Truckbeat

Kristina “Breezy” Weaver lives in Wyoming County, which has one of the highest drug overdose death rates in a state that leads the country in drug overdose deaths . Last June, Weaver’s father died of a heroin overdose. “He loved to tell stories,” Weaver told Jessica Lilly on a recent episode of Inside Appalachia . “I think I miss him a lot because of how carefree he would act. He would always lift me up because I was his baby girl.” It turns out that location has a larger influence on one’s...

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For a generation of Appalachians, growing up with a parent addicted or abusing drugs is a way of life. Kristina Weaver, or Breezie, grew up in southern West Virginia with a loving family and father who struggled with addiction. Her father, David Siers, died in June of 2015 of a heroin overdose.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge has tentatively approved a $151 million settlement involving two companies sued over a 2014 chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in southern West Virginia. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver approved the proposed deal Monday afternoon after more than two hours of closed-door negotiations on the wording of the agreement.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For more than half a century along the Ohio River, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people. One chemical they produced is PFOA , commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound, used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and even in some food wrappers.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

Mount St. Joseph in Daviess County, Kentucky, may appear calm with the Green River flowing past homes that dot the farmland here. But there is trouble in the air and it comes along with the smell of a large hog farm. Sixty-three year old Jerry O’Bryan was born and raised on a farm in Daviess County. By the time he was 22 he had lost both parents and was left 150 acres to support his family.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two years in, the challenges and benefits of expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Kara Lofton reports that while the program has been overwhelmingly beneficial, coming up with funds for it is still a challenge. With the opioid crisis driving up overdose rates across the Ohio Valley, a once-obscure medication is becoming a household feature. Naloxone can reverse an overdose and, with training, can be administered by just about anyone. Aaron Payne reports that the drug is saving...

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The sound of sirens in Cabell County, West Virginia, has a good chance of indicating an overdose these days. The county’s Emergency Medical Service had responded to 622 overdose calls this year as of September 24, according to ES Director Gordon Merry. Last year it was more than 900 overdoses , which surpassed the total of the previous three years combined.

People who have been affected by cuts to West Virginia's Medicaid Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities waiver program may join a lawsuit against the state Department of Health and Human Resources. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by Mountain State Justice on behalf of five disabled residents over the cuts. The program provides disabled Medicaid recipients in West Virginia money for in-home services and community-based programs.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch holds up an EpiPen while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, before the House Oversight Committee hearing on EpiPen price increases.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Even the federal government is apparently paying too much for EpiPens, along with angry patients and insurers. The skyrocketing price of the life-saving allergy shot, which has triggered a storm of criticism, is only part of the problem. Now the federal government, responding to Congressional inquiries, says Medicaid has for years been paying too much for EpiPens because the emergency shot is classified incorrectly as a generic medicine.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Pennsylvania's natural gas is a hot commodity in energy hungry markets throughout the Northeast. But there's some concern that the radioactivity common in the state's shale deposits could be making its way into the gas--and into people's homes as radon. The Allegheny Front's Julie Grant has more.

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