Health & Science

The Associated Press

Reddit is a modern day canary in the coal mine for the people of Appalachia — a region of the United States being disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic.

Since the presidential election, Reddit’s r/opiates has transformed into a lifesaving map for people with addiction navigating a minefield frequently filled with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid nearly 100 times more potent than morphine.

Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin
Associated Press

West Virginia’s Republican U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said Tuesday that she won’t vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement that meets the needs of the people in her state.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Trump has said the “war on coal” is over. But in the energy marketplace the power struggle continues. Even the Ohio Valley, where coal has long been king, the switch to natural gas is under way. In the second of two stories, Glynis Board reports on the public health effects of our energy choices. 

The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a retail pharmacy for so long that some of the pills predated the 1969 moon landing. Most were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates — possibly toxic, probably worthless.

But to Lee Cantrell, who helps run the California Poison Control System, the cache was an opportunity to answer an enduring question about the actual shelf life of drugs: Could these drugs from the bell-bottom era still be potent?

The West Virginia fire marshal's office is conducting a campaign to encourage use of smoke alarms.

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, nationwide, West Virginia is known for its struggles with opioid abuse and growing rates of overdose deaths. In fact, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2015, West Virginia had the highest overdose rate in the country per capita, or in proportion with the population.

Working With Addiction: A Popsicle Plant Helps To Lick The Opioid Crisis

Jul 3, 2017
Ziegenfelder employee Sonny Baxter helps coach workers with addiction.
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

If you’ve ever enjoyed a Budget Saver twin popsicle on a hot summer day, you can thank the employees of the Ziegenfelder frozen treat factory in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Floor operator Sonny Baxter keeps the line of popsicles going in the cherry-scented worksite.

Doctor Exam Room
Michelleevalenzuela / wikimedia commons

A health system has planned to begin charging patients up-front co-pays for non-emergency visits to a West Virginia hospital's emergency room.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Thomas Memorial Hospital's administration says starting Wednesday staff will inform patients of the change and explain other options for their non-urgent care. Thomas Health System president and CEO Dan Lauffer says the charges will begin in about a month.

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.
Department of Labor

West Virginia's U.S. senators say the state will get almost $1.3 million in federal funding for its clinics program to treat black lung disease that afflicts thousands of coal miners who inhaled dust from the rock and coal.

According to West Virginia's health commissioner Dr. Rahul Gupta, more than 7,900 residents get services from nine clinics across the state.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Republican senators in Washington are delaying a vote on their version of a health care overhaul bill. A number of Republican Senators have come out against leadership’s most recent proposal, including West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. Capito says now she will offer her own changes to the bill. Ashton Marra reports.

We also hear from the Ohio Valley ReSource about the proposed bill's potential effects on the disabilities community.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As the opioid epidemic continues to devastate lives throughout Appalachia, health officials are reporting a spike in “second wave” epidemics like Hepatitis C. One way to combat the epidemic may be more needle exchange programs like the one at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Once a month, Jeff Crist, an employee of the free clinic West Virginia Health Right, goes there to gently waylay participants as they walk in.

“Would you like to get tested for hep. C today?” he asks patients over and over again.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as the opioid epidemic continues devastating lives throughout our region, health officials are reporting a spike in “second wave” epidemics, like hepatitis C. Kara Lofton reports that one way to combat the epidemic may be more needle exchange programs.

We also hear from independent producer Jean Snedegar, who brings us the next installment of our series on the timber industry. This time she focuses on timber procurement.

Chuck Roberts / WVPB

Last year, we spoke with Keith Thompson and his mother Gerda right after the flood. Keith’s dad Edward passed away from complications of hypothermia after being in floodwaters for several hours. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly went back to Rainelle to see how things have changed since the flood. She found that for Keith, the flood was just the beginning of his heartaches in the past year.

mosquito
Alvesgaspar / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia health officials say West Nile virus has been detected in a mosquito in Cabell County.

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department has been trapping mosquitoes and submitting them for tests to monitor the virus. The department's physician director, Michael Kilkenny, says West Nile can cause fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting diarrhea or body rash.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we'll hear about ways to deal with emotional stress associated with a traumatic event, like last the 2016 flooding in southern and central West Virginia. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly speaks with Dr. Carol Smith, of Marshall University, about ways family and friends can help victims cope with disaster.

Also, The Allgheny Front's Reid Frazier takes a look at the effects of increased trucking from the fracking industry on small towns in northern West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania.

Chuck Frostick

There is more to recovery than physically rebuilding a house, or a building. Communities are also recovering mentally and emotionally. Dr. Carol Smith is a Professor of Counseling at Marshall University, says finding basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter is just the beginning.

Inside Appalachia co-producer and host Jessica Lilly sat down with Dr. Carol Smith to discuss the year of mental and emotional recovery that West Virginia faced since the flooding of June 2016. Parts of this interview are included in a special TV show, “Inside Appalachia: A Year of Recovery.” You can watch the show Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. on WVPB or listen on radio.

Chuck Frostick

Inside Appalachia co-producer and host Jessica Lilly sat down with Major General James A. Hoyer of the WV National Guard to discuss the year of recovery that West Virginia faced since the flooding of June 2016. Parts of this interview are included in a special TV show, “Inside Appalachia: A Year of Recovery.” You can watch the show Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. on WVPB or listen on radio.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice is pushing a slightly tweaked tax reform and budget plan at the Capitol. The governor held a press conference to share the concessions he says he’s made in the proposal that aims to lower the state’s personal income tax and increase the consumer sales tax rates.

Marshall University

Are concussions more prevalent, or are more people paying closer attention to symptoms that are tied to concussions? 

Julian Bailes, MD, Director of Neurosurgery and co-director of the NorthShore University HealthSystem Neurological Institute will be in Huntington Friday night to speak about concussion prevention and what’s next. 

Dr. Julian Bales was portrayed in the 2015 movie “Concussion.” The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is hosting Dr. Bailes Friday night at 7 in the Memorial Student center.

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