Health & Science

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from the Ohio Valley ReSource about how statistics show a decline in life expectancy just as the debate about the possible effects of the American Health Care Act are being bebated across the region.

We'll also hear from statehouse reporter Ashton Marra about budget and tax reform negotiations at the Legislature.

Medals, Medallions, Harpers Ferry
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a group based in Jefferson County, West Virginia focused not only on improving health and wellness but also on incorporating the local community and history into that health experience.

Trump Administration’s Addiction Crisis ‘Listening Tour’ Gets An Earful

May 19, 2017
HHS Sec. Tom Price speaking at a press conference at the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra / WVPB

Trump administration officials have been visiting parts of the country affected by the opioid addiction crisis, including the Ohio Valley region. The administration called it a “listening tour,” and they got an earful in events marked by protests and controversies.

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In Appalachian states hit hardest by the opioid epidemic, the tough-on-crime policy announced Friday by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions runs counter to a recent emphasis on treatment and less prison time for low-level drug offenders.

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

A southern West Virginia judge has ordered a physician to stop operating his practice as a pain clinic and prohibited him from prescribing narcotics including opioid painkillers.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a Trump-backed healthcare bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Joe Manchin believes the bill has major issues and will likely move slowly through the U.S. Senate.

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West Virginia University says a mobile mammography center will visit Berkeley and Morgan counties this month.

The vehicle, known as Bonnie's Bus, offers digital mammograms and breast care education for women. It's provided by WVU Medicine and the WVU Cancer Institute.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Statehouse Reporter Ashton Marra reports from the Capitol after lawmakers returned for a special budget session last week.

And we hear from the Ohio Valley Resource's Mary Meehan who reports on the addiction crisis in the Ohio Valley which is causing another health problem in the region - a heart infection called endocarditis.

Heart Of The Matter: Needle Drug Use Brings Spike In Heart Infections

May 6, 2017
Alexandra Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley’s addiction crisis has brought another health problem, as rising numbers of needle drug users are contracting a serious form of heart infection called endocarditis. The rate of endocarditis doubled in the region over a decade, and many patients require repeated, expensive treatment and surgery as they return to drug use and once again become infected.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we go to Pikeville, Kentucky, where Dave Mistich reports on a white-nationalist gathering and rally, and counter-protest, which took over much of the town for several days this past weekend.

We'll also hear from Inside Appalachia producer Roxy Todd, who spent some at the Veterans Administration in Martinsburg, West Virginia, looking at how veterans are dealing with chronic pain and opioid abuse.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we very sadly say goodbye to broadcasting icon Beth Vorhees, who retired on April 28 after more than three decades at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Dave Mistich talks with Vorhees about her career and what's next.

We'll also hear about an effort to identify and study places that are bucking negative statistical trends in the area, including Wirt Couty, West Virginia.

Bright Spots: Positive Outliers In a Region Plagued By Poor Health

Apr 29, 2017

By most measures, health outcomes in the Ohio Valley region are not very good, with many parts of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia ranking near the bottom among states.

But a team of health researchers may have found a few places within the region that stand out. They see them as potential ‘bright spots’ -- places with some health measures better than expected for the region.

Doctor's Exam Room
Tinton5 / Wikimedia Commons

Two displaced Syrian doctors have been awarded scholarships to attend the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

School officials announced Tuesday that Alfred Tager and Mohammad Darwish will begin attending this summer. Both are originally from Damascus.

"HydroFrac2" by Mikenorton - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HydroFrac2.svg#mediaviewer/File:HydroFrac2.svg

A study from Duke University found no evidence that groundwater is threatened by horizontal gas drilling. Surface water might be another story.

ZngZng / wikimedia Commons

A conference on the risks of alcohol and drug abuse on college campuses is set at West Virginia University.

WVU says in a news release that the meeting will be Monday at the Erickson Alumni Center on the Morgantown campus.

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It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic first exploded across Appalachia, and now doctors are shifting away from prescribing opioids for long-term pain. 

But this shift away from pills has met resistance from some  doctors and patients.

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why addiction hit Appalachia so hard. We'll also find out what the medical community is doing to fight the pain pill epidemic.

Steve Herber / Associated Press

West Virginia is prepared for public health emergencies. That’s according to a report out Thursday.

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A young mom – we’ll call her Patient A – is sitting on a couch holding her infant son at Karen’s Place, the newest in-patient treatment program for pregnant women in Louisa, Kentucky.

She smiles down at the healthy infant in her arms, then begins to talk about her older son – now 2½.

“He was actually born addicted,” she said.

Bike Lanes
Magnus Manske / Wikimedia Commons

Construction has started for the city of Charleston's long awaited bicycle lanes.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the bicycle lanes will stretch along Kanawha Boulevard.

Doctor Exam Room
Michelleevalenzuela / wikimedia commons

Discount mammogram clinics will be offered next month by the WVU Cancer Institute and the University Healthcare Regional Cancer Center.

The clinics will be available at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg and Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson.

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