Health & Science

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of teachers, public employees and retirees in West Virginia is objecting to proposed health insurance benefits cuts.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the group expressed its concerns Wednesday evening to the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board at the last of five public hearings on the latest proposed cuts.

Rhoda Baer / Wikimedia Commons

A new mobile mammography vehicle will be offering screenings in West Virginia later this week.

The 45-foot vehicle called Bonnie's Bus will visit Ritchie County on Friday, a service of West Virginia University Medicine and the WVU Cancer Institute. The bus will be at the Ritchie Regional Health Center in Harrisville from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (304) 699-0947 for an appointment.

The Green Bank Telescope at Green Bank Observatory
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The National Science Foundation is evaluating options for West Virginia's Green Bank Observatory, ranging from collaboration with outside partners to continue its science and education mission to demolishing it.

Ken Bennett / Wake Forest University

A new study finds weight training might be better than cardio for older adults who are trying to slim down.

Researchers at Wake Forest University found that for adults in their 60s, combining weight training with a low-calorie diet better preserves necessary lean muscle mass that can often be lost through aerobic workouts.

HIV Test
Adobe Stock

Health officials in West Virginia say they were able to contain an HIV outbreak in the southern part of the state by quickly identifying infected people and getting them into treatment.

Tobacco’s Toll: New Push To Stop Smoking In Country’s Sickest States

Nov 6, 2017
High school anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Hundreds of kids scurrying to buses are oblivious to a sign above them declaring Bourbon County High School “100 percent Tobacco Free.” But upstairs in the library, sophomore and anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward unfurls a six-foot scroll with earth-toned papers trapped between clear sheets of laminate. He begins reading the anti-smoking slogans he’ll post around the school.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, it’s been more than two weeks since an industrial fire began in Parkersburg at a recycled plastics warehouse. It burned for more than eight days. It’s still largely unknown what exactly burned that week. Dave Mistich spoke with two experts about how air quality was monitored in the wake of the fire.

If you're having trouble deploying that famous mnemonic, let's make this easy:

This is the one where you get one more hour of sleep.

Courtesy of Wood County 911

West Virginia emergency officials say federal guidance following the warehouse fire that smoldered for more than a week in South Parkersburg shows spikes in the soot initially detected in the air.

Michael Durham / Bat Conservation International

Bats have a bit of an image problem. You probably saw some Halloween decorations this week featuring flying, fanged creatures of the night. But conservationists say bats are actually very helpful animals, saving farmers in the Ohio Valley region alone hundreds of millions of dollars simply by eating harmful insects.

Now bats need some humans to return the favor and help to halt the spread of a deadly disease.

White Nose

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, if you talk to grandparents raising grandchildren in West Virginia, their stories are often remarkably similar. The grandparents talk about addiction, a strong sense of family and obligation, worries about their own physical and mental health, coupled with concerns for the grandchildren -- or even great-grandchildren -- under their care.

In the last of our five-part series on grandfamilies, Kara Lofton talks about how all these issues can affect a child’s success in school.

Opioid Emergency: How Trump’s Plan Will -- And Won’t -- Help The Ohio Valley

Oct 30, 2017
Courtesy White House Video

As bad as the opioid epidemic is across the nation, it is even worse here in the Ohio Valley.

Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia collectively have a rate of opioid-related deaths that is more than twice the national average.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, now that President Trump has officially declared the opioid crisis a health emergency, many people are wondering how that will help in the nation’s hardest-hit region: The Ohio Valley. Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia collectively have an overdose death rate that is twice the national average. 
Aaron Payne reports on some potentially helpful parts of the President’s plan and one big thing that’s missing.

We Have Questions: Seeking Explanation for Halted Mining Impact Study in Appalachia

Oct 29, 2017
Chart of average age-adjusted number of annual deaths per 100,000 due to cancer from 1997 to 2007 showing that nearly all counties with mountaintop removal mining are above the national average.
Graphic courtesy Appalachian Voices

In a move officials say is meant to "ensure the proper and responsible allocation of taxpayers’ money," a forthcoming study on the public health impacts of mountaintop removal mining titled, “Potential Human Health Effects of Surface Coal Mining Operations in Central Appalachia" was cancelled in August, leaving behind an unaccounted for $400,000 of remaining funding.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, yesterday, President Trump’s administration declared a public health emergency to deal with the opioid epidemic.

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, host Jessica Lilly speaks with Dr. Petros Levounis, professor and chairman of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Levounis, who’s published a number of studies about the opioid crisis. Levounis says it was a “catastrophic medical mistake” that “opened the door to liberal prescribing of narcotics that essentially got people hooked”.

Trumps Cite Ohio Valley Experience In Opioid Emergency Plan

Oct 26, 2017
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

President Donald Trump outlined on Thursday his long-awaited plan to address the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency. Part of that plan was based on experiences in the Ohio Valley region.

Ex-DEA Official Blames Congress, but His Own Agency Blessed Opioid Boom

Oct 24, 2017
Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

The Washington Post and 60 Minutes released an explosive report detailing how Congress hobbled the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to take down prescription opioid distributors. The exposé stars Joe Rannazzisi, who ran the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control from 2006 to 2015.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, if you talk to grandparents raising grandchildren, most will say it’s not an easy task. In addition to dealing with their own physical and mental health, they also have to manage the physical and mental health of their grandchildren – which often means dealing with anxiety, aggression and anger.

In the fourth installment of our series on grandfamilies, Kara Lofton reports that for some families, partnering with schools can make a big difference.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
RayNata / wikimedia

A West Virginia University researcher is working in two counties to apply lessons about peer groups from Iceland where he says teenage use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco has been "virtually eradicated."

Alfgeir Kristjansson, assistant professor in WVU's School of Public Health, says the island nation pushed to replace unsupervised, aimless leisure time with purposeful, organized activities that help them cope with stress, fill their need for camaraderie and provide a goal to pursue as a team.

child, depression, behavioral health, mental health, anxiety, agression, bullying, loneliness, alone, tears, sadness, boy
Dollar Photo Club

The analysis looked at the percentage of children with Adverse Childhood Experiences – commonly known as ACEs. West Virginia scored higher than the national average of 46 percent.


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