Health & Science

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.


Google Maps

Late last week, President Trump announced the federal government would stop Affordable Care Act subsidies to insurance companies, which the White House argues are illegal.

About 19,000 West Virginians received such subsidies in 2016, with an average monthly saving to their insurance bills of a about $100, according to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services data.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Late last week, President Trump announced the federal government would stop Affordable Care Act subsidies to insurance companies, which the White House argues are illegal.

While the move affects just a small slice of the overall insurance market, it's been met with widespread opposition from health advocacy groups, who say it’s an attempt to further destabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

First Lady Melania Trump visited West Virginia yesterday to tour Lily’s Place – a facility in Huntington that serves babies born addicted to substances. Her visit sheds more attention on the Ohio Valley’s addiction crisis.

About 5 percent of all children born last year in West Virginia were affected by drugs -- the highest rate in the country. Aaron Payne has this report on efforts to treat both newborns and parents in the grip of addiction.

EpiPen, Mylan
Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

West Virginia health authorities say the state will get more than $1.9 million from a settlement with drug company Mylan Inc. over its emergency allergy injector.

Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors, narcotics
Dollar Photo Club

A new program that tracks drug overdoses will be discussed this week at Marshall University.

West Virginia health officer Dr. Rahul Gupta and others will lead a presentation of the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program on Thursday at the Memorial Student Center on Marshall's campus in Huntington.

Opioids On Trial: Can Lawsuits Help Fix The Addiction Crisis?

Sep 30, 2017
Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

  When health care and law enforcement officials met recently at a health policy forum in Lexington, Kentucky, to share ideas about the opioid crisis, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear listed some groups that have benefited from money won in a 2015 settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have the first of a series of stories about grandparents who take on the role of primary caregiver for their grandchildren. To begin the series, health reporter Kara Lofton talks with professor Megan Dolbin-MacNab -- a researcher studying grandparent-headed households.

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