Health & Science

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice is pushing a slightly tweaked tax reform and budget plan at the Capitol. The governor held a press conference to share the concessions he says he’s made in the proposal that aims to lower the state’s personal income tax and increase the consumer sales tax rates.

Marshall University

Are concussions more prevalent, or are more people paying closer attention to symptoms that are tied to concussions? 

Julian Bailes, MD, Director of Neurosurgery and co-director of the NorthShore University HealthSystem Neurological Institute will be in Huntington Friday night to speak about concussion prevention and what’s next. 

Dr. Julian Bales was portrayed in the 2015 movie “Concussion.” The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is hosting Dr. Bailes Friday night at 7 in the Memorial Student center.

A nursery where drug-affected babies are treated at Lily’s Place in Huntington, W.Va.
Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

A West Virginia hospital is no longer delivering babies.

State Department of Health and Human Resources spokeswoman Allison Adler tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that Welch Community Hospital's long-time obstetrician has retired.

Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia consumers have until June 25 to file claims for their share of a settlement with a pharmaceutical company.

The Register-Herald reports consumers are eligible for the settlement if they purchased the drug Provigil or its generic, Modafinil, between June 24, 2006 and March 31, 2012. The drug is a treatment for narcolepsy.

Photo courtesy of Jeanna Glisson

Jeanna Glisson has two lives: her life before August 20th, 2007, and her life after. That day is so vivid, Glisson can still hear the sounds of her son’s feet coming down the stairs.

“I remember Derek when he got up that morning, he was on the phone talking to my dad. He was excited,” Glisson said.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Appalachia Health News coordinator Kara Lofton reports on the reopening of a VA clinic in southern West Virginia. We also get the latest from statehouse reporter Ashton Marra on state budget negotiations taking place at the West Virginia Capitol.

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.

Dollar Photo Club

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.

Produnis / wikimedia Commons

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.

Adobe Stock

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.

Adobe Stock

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.

Hunger Gains: Budget Cuts Imperil Nutritious Food Aid

Apr 16, 2017
Volunteers sort donations at Lexington-based God’s Pantry.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

At a moment when food aid agencies are working to provide healthier food to the poor and the elderly, President Donald Trump has proposed a 21 percent cut in funding for the agriculture programs that support them.

It’s a move that advocates say is bad for people who need food and local farmers who provide it.

Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

With more than 30,000 West Virginians already in drug treatment, lawmakers have voted to spend $24 million from recent court settlements with opioid distributors increase inpatient beds to help address the state's addiction crisis.

Let's say you think you're having a stroke and you call 911 for an ambulance.

In a lot of cities across the country there's a good chance that a firetruck — with a full fire crew including a paramedic — will race to your door.

But that doesn't mean they can deliver the emergency care you might need.

In Chicago, like many cities, the fire department oversees both firefighters and paramedics who work on ambulances.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia lawmakers have voted to increase beds available at state-supported drug treatment facilities in response to the state's opioid addiction epidemic.

The Senate's unanimous vote Friday follows an earlier House vote to add beds and establish an addiction prevention and recovery fund.

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