Health & Science

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a presidential commission on the opioid crisis delivered its first report last week. Among the recommendations: better sharing of data.

Data Fix: Cities Seek Better Information on Opioid Epidemic

Aug 5, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

Paramedics and police are already in the hotel room when Kyle Simpson walks in.

“What happened?” he asks.

A 37-year-old man in the room is barely conscious--just revived by the overdose reversal medication NARCAN.

Photo courtesy of WVU

Four entities are teaming up to take on a nearly $8 million rehabilitation project -- revamping the Upper Deckers Creek Site 1 dam in Preston County.

Memory Sunday: Churches Spread Alzheimer’s Awareness

Aug 3, 2017
Wesley United Methodist Church Pastor Anthony Everett.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

The church choir in bright blue robes swayed and testified on a hot summer Sunday.

Pastor Anthony Everett, in his own robe of orange and brown, preached to his “saints” of Wesley United Methodist Church and they called back their approval with a staggered chorus of “Amen!”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Donald Trump is holding a campaign rally in Huntington Thursday night, something local officials say they prepared for with about a week’s notice.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, in Hampshire County West Virginia, there is a small mountain ridge called Ice Mountain. Historical records suggest that, years ago, ice could be found here, even in the heat of summer. Inside Appalachia producer Roxy Todd recently visited Ice Mountain to find out if ice could still be spotted, and to check out the rare plant species that have existed here since the last ice age.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, many towns and cities across the Ohio Valley try to improve their business environment with tax breaks, site development and other incentives. But how about investing in compassion? Sounds a little farfetched. But a growing body of science points to compassion as an economic driver. Glynis Board explains why many businesses and cities are buying into the idea.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, compassion training is taking hold in schools across the country. The object is to improve student achievement and foster healthier communities by cultivating things like focus and empathy. Glynis Board reports the movement has inspired a school in West Virginia to take on a pilot compassion curriculum project of their own.

We also hear The Earls of Leicester perform “Salty Dog Blues” on Mountain Stage's Song of the Week.

Senate Republicans have at least narrowed the options on what comes next for the Affordable Care Act — casting two separate votes since Tuesday that knocked out a "repeal-only" proposal and rejected a plan for replacement.

So, as lawmakers resume debate on Thursday, they will be staring at basically one possibility: a so-called "skinny repeal" that would surgically remove some key provisions from Obamacare, while leaving the rest intact — at least for now.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, an environmental group’s new report shows the broad range of contaminants in many drinking water systems in the Ohio Valley. As Nicole Erwin reports, the research highlights the gap between what regulations require and what health advocates recommend for drinking water purity.

Also on today's show, Kara Lofton reports on new research that has found high school athletes who specialize in one sport from an early age are at a much higher risk for injury than those who play more than one sport.

As Key Vote on Repealing ACA, Capito Votes to Open Debate on the Bill

Jul 25, 2017
Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Despite West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s outspoken criticism of the GOP’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave millions of people — and hundreds of thousands of Appalachians — with no health insurance, the senator voted with her party today to begin debating how to do so.

AP Photos

West Virginia’s Republican U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says she’ll vote for the Senate to go forward and debate legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Capito, in a statement Tuesday, says she’ll make decisions that are “in the best interests of West Virginians.”

Photo courtesy of WVU

Researchers at WVU are working with 13 other universities to find out how food security and lifestyle choices affect an individual’s health.

WVU assistant professor of nutrition and foods Melissa Marra studied a telenutrition project in Harrison County.  The project assessed the use of telenutrition for weight loss and improved diets from middle- aged to older men, according to a news release from WVU.

Ohio County
David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

One person is dead and two are missing after heavy rains caused flooding in areas of West Virginia and Kentucky, authorities said.

In West Virginia, Ohio County Emergency Management Agency Director Lou Vargo said a van with two people inside rolled into a stream that flows into Wheeling Creek on Sunday. He says a man was recovered from the floodwater and taken to Wheeling Hospital, where he died.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as the Senate nears a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, some Ohio Valley lawmakers and residents are increasingly uneasy with the potential effects. 
Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia are highly dependent on Medicaid, and proposed changes could have bigger effects here than almost anywhere else in the country. The Ohio Valley ReSource has an analysis of how the heated debate has shed light on the region’s health concerns.

Healthy Debate: What The Republican Health Bill Taught Us About Medicaid

Jul 23, 2017
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

It’s hard to find a spot on the map where the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have a bigger effect than in the Ohio Valley. By one measure, for example, the proposal could mean West Virginia’s rate of people who lack health insurance would climb by nearly 300 percent -- the biggest such change in the country. The projected declines in Kentucky and Ohio are also more than twice the national average. This is largely due to proposed changes in Medicaid.

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?

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