Health & Science

Representatives of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, coal mine operators and coal mine workers have been invited to present information at a meeting on coal mine dust next week in Charleston.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said a committee is looking at the effectiveness of monitoring and sampling approaches that are used to guide decisions about controlling respirable coal mine dust and its exposure to mine workers.

Senate Advances Tax, Medical Marijuana Bills

Mar 30, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, the state senate has voted to restructure the tax system and advanced a bill to allow medical marijuana. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, from the Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Nicole Erwin talks with victims of human trafficking.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Community groups across the state held several town-hall style events focused on changes to America’s health care system during the past week. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., attended four of the events and was the only member of West Virginia’s congressional delegation to do so.

Ellie White of Barboursville, West Virginia, and her family launched a campaign called Go Green Bank Observatory to persuade the National Science Foundation to not divest from Green Bank Observatory.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A powerful space-exploration facility in operation since the 1950s is under threat. Residents of the tiny West Virginia community in which it resides and its extended family of scientists and educators are rallying to save it.

 

Nestled in the hills in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, is the Green Bank Telescope. At 485 feet tall and about 300 feet across, it’s the largest fully-steerable telescope in the world, and it belongs to Green Bank Observatory.

PunchingJudy / Flickr

Ohio County sheriff's deputies are soon going to start carrying antidotes for opioid overdoses.

WTRF-TV reports that the Ohio County commission on Tuesday announced their approval for deputies to carry Naloxone, which reverses the symptoms of an opioid overdose.

After Obamacare: Ending Affordable Care Act Could Cut Addiction Treatment

Mar 10, 2017
Rebecca Kiger

The Road To Recovery

On a recent gray winter morning Tomas Green drove the rain slick streets of Ranson in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. No matter the weather, Green helps transport clients working through addiction at the Jefferson Day Report Center get to their treatment sessions and meetings.

Rebecca Kiger

Wendy Crites is a single mom, a Christian and a recovering addict in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. She's on parole and receiving substance abuse treatment through the Jefferson Day Report Center. Crites has been using drugs since she was 13, intravenously since she was 15.

Alzheimer's Disease, dementia, elderly, couple, worried
Dollar Photo Club

Adopting healthy lifestyle practices like eating well, exercising and managing weight are challenging when also juggling full-time work, children, school or care giving. Researchers had thought that retirement may help people launch a new start to healthy living.

They found that physical activity was likely to increase after retirement, but retired baby boomers were more likely to be obese and have high blood pressure than older working adults. The retirees were also no more likely to follow a healthy diet than working adults.

Adobe Stock

On Monday night, members of the U.S. House of Representatives released their bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. Possibly the biggest deal for West Virginia is that the new bill proposes changing the way that Medicaid is funded.

 

 

Medicaid is the joint state-federal insurance program that covers more than a third of West Virginians. Right now, the federal government matches state spending for Medicaid dollar for dollar. But under the proposed bill, that funding would change to a per-capita cap.  

The United Mine Workers of America Health and Retirement Funds sent a letter to retired miners warning them that their health benefits won’t continue after May 1, 2017, if Congress doesn’t act by the end of April. 

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Tuesday that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is partnering with First Choice Services, a local non-profit organization based in Charleston, to answer calls from West Virginians in times of need. 

After Obamacare: Rural Health Providers Nervous About Affordable Care Act Repeal

Feb 26, 2017
Photo Courtesy of Mountain Comprehensive Care

Mike Caudill runs Mountain Comprehensive Care Corporation in five eastern Kentucky counties. Many of his 30,000 patients gained insurance through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. No one knows if or when those folks might lose coverage. But, Caudill said, the impact could be considerable.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Health Committee in the House of Delegates are considering a bill that could potentially create an easier path for new healthcare providers to set up shop in West Virginia.

House Bill 2259 was taken up by the House’s Health Committee Tuesday afternoon. It would allow the West Virginia Healthcare Authority to provide exemptions for Certificates of Need.

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

West Virginia University is offering tuition incentives in hopes of increasing the number of highly trained nurses in the state and beyond.

Jessica Lilly

The coal industry has done a lot for central Appalachia. It’s created jobs, and it’s helped many families afford college. Coal has also created a  very strong sense of pride. But as jobs in the coal industry have declined, so have the opportunities in Central  Appalachia. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we explore one of the legacies of of the industry: crumbling water infrastructure.

Dave Foster / West Virginia Rural Water Association

It’s been happening for years - water systems are slowly coming to a breaking point. The next episode of Inside Appalachia explores one legacy of the coal mining industry - crumbling water infrastructure.

Dona Wells walked through what’s left of the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. Boxes fill what use to be offices. Sterilized medical supplies are in disarray. A light flickers on and off in the back hallway. She doesn’t see a point in fixing it. At 75, she still runs 25 miles a week, but Wells is tired.

“I was going to retire anyway, probably this year,” she said. But I wanted to do it on my terms, not Gov. Bevin’s terms.”

The chemical giant DuPont made an offer Monday to pay more than half-a-billion dollars to settle water contamination lawsuits pending in federal court.


Born Addicted: The Race To Treat The Ohio Valley’s Drug-Affected Babies

Feb 4, 2017
Pregnant, woman, profile
John Ted Dagatano

She asked to not be identified. And it’s understandable given the stigma attached to addiction. For this story, we’ll call her “Mary.”

Mary lives in eastern Kentucky and has struggled with an addiction that began with painkillers and progressed to heroin.

“As soon as I opened my eyes, I had to get it,” Mary said. “And even when I did get it, then I had to think of the next way that I was going to get.”

Marshall County
Wikimedia / wikimedia

A medical helicopter base is planned this year in Marshall County to serve area patients.

The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register reports officials made the announcement Thursday.

Hollyanne Haeder, Simon Haeder, Haeder
Simon Haeder

Childcare costs are high no matter where you are in the country. But in West Virginia, it's even worse - according to a 2016 report by the think tank New America and Care.com, parents in the Mountain State shoulder the highest cost burden, spending about 45 percent of the state's median household income on childcare.

pills
Wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia Board of Pharmacy report says a prescription drug used to treat nerve pain is contributing to a sharp increase of overdose deaths in the state.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the number of fatal overdoses involving gabapentin in West Virginia jumped from three in 2010 to 109 in 2015. The number of 2016 deaths are still being counted.

AP images

Two nominees for the new administration who could have a lot of influence in our region will be on Capitol Hill this week.  President-elect Donald Trump’s choices for secretary of commerce and the  Environmental Protection Agency both have confirmation hearings in the Senate.

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

Latest enrollment figures show that 32,855 West Virginians signed up for 2017 coverage under the Affordable Care Act as of Dec. 24, 2016. 

CAFEE, natural gas, methane, vehicle, car
West Virginia University


A study released today by the Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions at West Virginia University examines data collected on methane emissions of natural gas engines from "pump-to-wheel," meaning from natural gas fueling stations and heavy-duty vehicles themselves. 

Flood, Clendenin
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A National Weather Service meteorologist called it a "1-in-1,000-year" storm. By the time it was over, 23 West Virginians were dead.

Flooding that ravaged the state in late June was voted the No. 1 news story in 2016 in West Virginia by Associated Press member newspapers and broadcasters.

W.Va. Settling Drug Suit Against 2 More Distributors

Dec 28, 2016
Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

Two major prescription drug distributors have agreed to settle a West Virginia lawsuit alleging they fueled West Virginia's opioid epidemic with excessively large shipments of painkillers into the state over several years.

 

Boone County Circuit Court Judge William Thompson disclosed the “settlement in principle” in an order Tuesday cancelling further proceedings.

BRNI
Anne Li / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In the decade-long court case William K. Stern, et al. vs. Chemtall, Inc., et al., workers in coal preparation and wastewater treatment sought medical monitoring for the potential increase of neurological problems caused by exposure to hazardous materials used in their jobs.

As part of the $13.95 million settlement, workers can now use a free health monitoring program. About $6 million went to plaintiffs' attorneys, according to the West Virginia Record. The legal teams decided that the remaining roughly $6 million should be divided equally between the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute at West Virginia University and the Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health at Marshall University. 

DuPont's Washington Works
Parkersburg News & Sentinel

The third case of some 3500 against the chemical company DuPont reached an initial verdict today. The case stems from the company’s widespread water contamination with a chemical known as C8.


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