Health & Science

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West VIrginia Morning, coal has long powered the Ohio Valley. But it left behind a legacy of waste: dozens of massive coal ash disposal sites. As the Trump administration changes the regulation of coal ash, the Ohio Valley ReSource and partner station WFPL have analyzed new data from the region’s waste sites. The analysis found widespread evidence that coal ash sites are leaking contaminants into surrounding groundwater.

In the first of a three-part series, reporters Brittany Patterson and Ryan Van Velzer share what they found and what it might mean for nearby communities.

Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

A federal judge in Ohio will consider whether to allow public access to government data detailing years of prescription opioid painkiller shipments.

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

Health officials in West Virginia say two more food service workers have been diagnosed with hepatitis A.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department says in a news release one of them worked at a Taco Bell in Hurricane (HER'-a-kin) and the other at a Pizza Hut on MacCorkle Avenue in Charleston. The health department handles public health services for Kanawha and Putnam counties.

On Thursday, the White House unveiled the first act in its effort to fight the opioid epidemic by harnessing the power of digital media and cable TV.  

Gabby Marshall

Inside the spotless industrial kitchen at Recovery Point, a long-term drug treatment facility in Charleston, Tracy Jividen helps to cook three meals a day for the nearly 100 women she calls her sisters. This space is her domain, and the irony isn’t lost on her: Last winter, she was stealing so she could eat.

This Guy Loves Crawdads, Snakes, and Teaching

Jun 11, 2018
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

Zachary Loughman has built a career as a naturalist and a scientist by not letting his inner 10-year-old boy grow up.

He has discovered, identified, and named 10 new crayfish species here in North America, and as an Associate Professor of Biology at West Liberty University, he’s shared his fascination for the species with countless students.

"Everyone loves crayfish," he said. "Anybody who grew up next to a creek knows what a crawdad is, so I basically have the dream job of every ten year old in West Virginia."

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without congressional action. As Benny Becker reports, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging.

Benny Becker / Ohio Valley Resource

A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without Congressional action. As NPR has reported, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ve heard a series of stories recently about a community in West Virginia, where residents are concerned about toxic waste they say is causing high rates of cancer. Many residents there say they want the Environmental Protection Agency to put their town on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List -- or NPL.

But resources for the federal program have been dwindling for decades. What does it mean when a community is placed on the NPL? Do contaminated areas get cleaned up? Brittany Patterson visited one site in north-central West Virginia to learn more.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Charleston Ballet is one of the oldest ballet companies in America. In a new documentary directed by Deborah Novak, members of the company, both seasoned and new, share the story of the ballet and its founder, Andre Van Damme.

Gillian Brooks sat down with Kim Pauley, artistic director and CEO of the Charleston Ballet, to discuss the company’s history and remember its founder.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Moring, Kandi Messinger is a health educator for WVU Cabell County Extension Service. She teaches a nutrition and cooking basics class for those going through the Cabell County drug courts program. Kara Lofton spoke with Messinger about why alternative education and life skills training is an important piece of recovery.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the U.S. Surgeon General recently issued an advisory, encouraging more Americans to carry the overdose reversing drug naloxone. It comes in the form of an injection or a nasal spray, known as Narcan, and is regularly carried by firefighters, EMTs and police officers. As a part of a series on the ripple effects of the opioid crisis, StateImpact Ohio’s Ashton Marra reports the antidote is also becoming more and more common in Ohio schools.

Samantha Richards (right), Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Patient Care Services, Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers speaking with a nurse at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg.
John Hale / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Seventeen health science graduate students from across West Virginia are getting money to help pay for their education.

Why? Because the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission has awarded some health sciences grad students a chunk of cash to help pay for their college education – so long as they commit to practicing medicine in a rural or underserved community in West Virginia following graduation.

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

The first death in West Virginia related to an outbreak of hepatitis A has occurred in Kanawha County, health officials said Thursday, May 24.

The state Bureau for Public Health said in a news release that a 33-year-old Kanawha County resident died Wednesday. The statement said the victim had several conditions that contributed to the death.

Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

Meredith Jensen is doing some gardening on a sunny day in a secluded part of Athens, Ohio.

“I’m working on our pollinator garden beds,” she said. “Which are a bunch of fun flowers that’ll help attract butterflies, bumble bees, you name it.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, researchers at Murray State University in Kentucky released a pair of studies that found illicit substances in some water sources in the region. One study profiled contamination in wastewater and river waters. The other estimated consumption rates during special events. Cory Sharber of  WKMS reports.

Adobe Stock

The 10 counties in the United States most at risk for an HIV outbreak are all in Central Appalachia, according to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Compiled after a 2015 outbreak of the disease in southern Indiana, the report found that places with a combination of high poverty, low access to health care, and rampant intravenous drug were mostly likely to experience a similar outbreak of HIV and hepatitis C.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, one of the ripple effects of the opioid epidemic is an increase in blood-borne diseases like hepatitis or HIV. A key method to prevent the spread of such diseases, its needle exchange program, is proving to be controversial in West Virginia’s capital city. The program was eventually suspended. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly recently spoke with the Charleston-Kanawha Health Department’s spokesperson to find out more.

The Associated Press

If you've been paying attention, you know by now that Appalachia is in the middle of an opioid addiction crisis. You may have seen suffering with substance abuse disorders in your own neighborhood.

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

A health department says an employee at a restaurant in West Virginia has been diagnosed with hepatitis A.

A Kanawha-Charleston Health Department news release says an O'Charley's employee was diagnosed with hepatitis A. The health department says this is the third Kanawha County hepatitis A investigation involving a restaurant since a number of cases began to arise in February.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced state funding is available for two substance abuse recovery programs.

 

Both the Collegiate Recovery (CRPs) and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) programs focus on helping adults who suffer from substance use disorders get their lives back on track.

 

 

West Virginia's Bureau for Public Health has officially suspended the certification of a harm reduction program following concerns over its needle exchange component.

needle exchange sign
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

An audit requested by a West Virginia mayor who said a needle exchange program had caused an increase of dirty needles in public places has recommended the suspension of the program's certification.

Martinsburg Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau

People who want to walk for exercise are invited to join a program that offers a chance to get their steps in while talking with physicians.

West Virginia University Medicine, Healthy Berkeley and the Martinsburg Farmers Market are sponsoring the program called Walk with a Doc. The next walk is set for May 18, with participants meeting at 4:30 p.m. in the square in downtown Martinsburg.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, pregnancy-related and postpartum depression and anxiety are common - affecting anywhere from 10-20 percent of all mothers. As we head toward Mother’s Day, Kara Lofton talks with several women about their maternal mental health experience.

Officials from various drugmakers answer questions on Capitol Hill Tuesday, May 8, 2018.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Lawmakers of both parties accused wholesale pharmaceutical distributors on Tuesday of missing signs of suspicious activity that resulted in hundreds of millions of prescription opioid pills being shipped to West Virginia, a state disproportionately ravaged by deaths caused by the addictive drugs.

Bonnie's Bus
Courtesy of West Virginia University School of Medicine

A mobile mammography center known as Bonnie’s Bus is on the road again and taking appointments in West Virginia this month.

The bus will visit Martinsburg in the Eastern Panhandle May 17 and 18.

A few months ago, Kourtnaye Sturgeon helped save someone's life. She was driving in downtown Indianapolis when she saw people gathered around a car on the side of the road. Sturgeon pulled over and a man told her there was nothing she could do: Two men had overdosed on opioids and appeared to be dead.

"I kind of recall saying, 'No man, I've got Narcan,' " she says, referring to the brand- name version of the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone. "Which sounds so silly, but I'm pretty sure that's what came out."

www.stmarysdoc.com/ / St. Mary's Medical Center

The acquisition of St. Mary's Medical Center by a hospital in West Virginia has been made official.

Cabell Huntington Hospital board of directors Chairman Dr. Kevin Yingling says the hospital finished the final steps of financing and paperwork to complete the acquisition of St. Mary's Medical Center.

U.S. Army photo

A nonprofit organization established by a two-time survivor of childhood cancer is donating iPads to children's hospitals in West Virginia.

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