Health & Science

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

Almost 8,000 West Virginians signed up for healthcare during the first month of Open Enrollment under the federal Affordable Care Act this year.

Charlie Neibergall / AP Photo

Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell visited Charleston today to voice support for the Affordable Care Act.

Doctor Patient Health Care Coverage
Fæ / wikimedia commons

Federal health Secretary Sylvia Burwell plans to join a discussion in her native West Virginia on the federal health law that expanded insurance coverage to 165,000 residents.

The Affordable Care Act is a signature Obama administration initiative that president-elect Donald Trump has vowed to at least partly roll back.

obesity
kwanchaichaiudom / Dollar Photo Club

Obesity rates among West Virginia children in low-income families have increased by 2 percent from 2010 to 2014.

West Virginia's obesity rate among young children from low-income families increased from 14.4 percent in 2010 to 16.4 percent in 2014, according to the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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

Although the recent presidential election has raised questions about the Affordable Care Act’s future, West Virginia University says it will continue to operate the West Virginia Healthy Start Navigator Project. The program helps people in northern West Virginia sign up for health insurance under the ACA.

Dan Carder, Volkswagen Scandal
West Virginia University

Last fall, Dan Carder's cell phone started ringing off the hook. The area codes hailed from major U.S. cities. At the time, Carder was working in his lab at West Virginia University, where he is the director of the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions (CAFEE). Annoyed with phone calls, he finally picked up. The reporter on the line, sensing that Carder had no idea that he had broken international news, advised Carder to Google himself. 

Hendrix, Mary Hendrix, Shepherd University, West Virginia University, Cancer Research
Shepherd University

The new president of Shepherd University is partnering with West Virginia University to continue her cancer cell research, and she’s allowing students to watch her work as it’s happening.

Cabin Creek Health Center
freeclinics.com

A Kanawha County clinic is participating in a pilot program to screen patients for lung cancer.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the American Cancer Society is overseeing the three-year project with support from a $1.25 million grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Bridging Cancer Care initiative.

Dollar Photo Club

Shepherd University is partnering with Berkeley County Schools and the Martinsburg Police Department to help combat opioid addiction. A new initiative hopes to identify basic causes of drug abuse in at-risk families.

Jess Mador / WOUT/Truckbeat

Kristina “Breezy” Weaver  lives in Wyoming County, which has one of the highest drug overdose death rates in a state that leads the country in drug overdose deaths. Last June, Weaver’s father died of a heroin overdose.

courtesy

For a generation of Appalachians, growing up with a parent addicted or abusing drugs is a way of life. Kristina Weaver, or Breezie, grew up in southern West Virginia with a loving family and father who struggled with addiction. Her father, David Siers, died in June of 2015 of a heroin overdose.


Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge has tentatively approved a $151 million settlement involving two companies sued over a 2014 chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in southern West Virginia.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver approved the proposed deal Monday afternoon after more than two hours of closed-door negotiations on the wording of the agreement.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For more than half a century along the Ohio River, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound, used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and even in some food wrappers.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

Mount St. Joseph in Daviess County, Kentucky, may appear calm with the Green River flowing past  homes that dot the farmland here. But there is trouble in the air and it comes along with the smell of a large hog farm.

Sixty-three year old Jerry O’Bryan was born and raised on a farm in Daviess County. By the time he was 22 he had lost both parents and was left 150 acres to support his family.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two years in, the challenges and benefits of expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Kara Lofton reports that while the program has been overwhelmingly beneficial, coming up with funds for it is still a challenge. 

With the opioid crisis driving up overdose rates across the Ohio Valley, a once-obscure medication is becoming a household feature. Naloxone can reverse an overdose and, with training, can be administered by just about anyone. Aaron Payne reports that the drug is saving lives, but is no silver bullet for the region’s addiction problems.

wikimedia Commons / Psychonaught

The sound of sirens in Cabell County, West Virginia, has a good chance of indicating an overdose these days.

The county’s Emergency Medical Service had responded to 622 overdose calls this year as of September 24, according to ES Director Gordon Merry. Last year it was more than 900 overdoses, which surpassed the total of the previous three years combined.

People who have been affected by cuts to West Virginia's Medicaid Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities waiver program may join a lawsuit against the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by Mountain State Justice on behalf of five disabled residents over the cuts.

The program provides disabled Medicaid recipients in West Virginia money for in-home services and community-based programs.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch holds up an EpiPen while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, before the House Oversight Committee hearing on EpiPen price increases.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

Even the federal government is apparently paying too much for EpiPens, along with angry patients and insurers.

The skyrocketing price of the life-saving allergy shot, which has triggered a storm of criticism, is only part of the problem. Now the federal government, responding to Congressional inquiries, says Medicaid has for years been paying too much for EpiPens because the emergency shot is classified incorrectly as a generic medicine.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Pennsylvania's natural gas is a hot commodity in energy hungry markets throughout the Northeast. But there's some concern that the radioactivity common in the state's shale deposits could be making its way into the gas--and into people's homes as radon. The Allegheny Front's Julie Grant has more.

Freedom Industries
AP

A board of federal investigators is releasing its findings about a chemical spill into the water supply of 300,000 people in West Virginia almost three years ago.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will discuss the results of its investigation into the Freedom Industries spill Wednesday evening. The group's public meeting will take place at the Four Points by Sheraton in Charleston.

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