Health

Orange County is North Carolina's Healthiest County according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin. The study evaluates every county in America based on factors like premature death, child poverty and crime. The report listed Wake County as the state's second healthiest.

Image of a nurse checking vitals.
Flickr/Londa Dudley

Campbell University plans to open a new School of Nursing in rural Harnett County in 2016. Graduates will earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Director Nancy Duffy says that's becoming the new standard for nursing jobs, especially with the population growing and Baby Boomers aging, dealing with more chronic illnesses.

“Really, healthcare needs an entirely different kind of nurse in the future. And I hope we're able to start changing that education to meet that healthcare need.”

Photo: Flu vaccine
Flickr user Daniel Paquet

A bipartisan group of North Carolina senators are worried about a rise in contagious diseases, and they want to eliminate the state’s exemption of childhood vaccination requirements for parents who object for religious reasons.

The senators, under a bill they filed on Thursday, are proposing to change the vaccination schedule for children who attend public schools.

Today's segment is a rebroadcast of Death Rides The Rails.

  

Railroads across America carry hundreds of billions of dollars of toxic materials every year. 

The body charged with regulating the industry, the Federal Railroad Administration, admits it inspects less than one percent of railroad activity. What risks does shipping hazardous materials on the railroads create? 

Host Frank Stasio talks with reporter Marcus Stern. His work, Boom: North America’s Explosive Oil-By-Rail Problem, examines regulatory responses to oil train explosions and the nation's aging railroad infrastructure. The work is a collaborative effort of Inside Climate NewsThe Weather Channel and The Investigative Fund.

Flickr user Josh Mazgelis

A bipartisan group of North Carolina lawmakers is proposing a measure to get more fruits and vegetables to urban and rural areas devoid of grocery stores or healthful food options.

The plan, filed in separate bills in the House and Senate on Tuesday, would set aside $1 million for produce refrigerators and training for store owners in areas known as food deserts. There are more than 340 food deserts across 80 counties in the state, advocacy groups say.

A picture of a boy receiving a shot.
Kaiser Permanente

A mathematical model from Duke University mathematicians suggests more can be done to protect people from the human papilloma virus.  

Hands being held.
flickr.com/photos/mabeljuillet/

How do we die?

For some death comes suddenly, and there is no time for preparation, but for others death slowly creeps up on us. Though it is inevitable, we often avoid the opportunity to prepare for it.

A picture of a child's height being measured.
Alec Couros, NC-SA / Creative Commons

More children living in North Carolina are now covered by health insurance. That's one of the positive findings in the annual health report card issued today by NC Child.

The group says teen pregnancy rates are falling, which is also good news.

But NC Child’s Director of Policy Rob Thompson says the emergence of e-cigarettes is a growing problem. 

Ken Dodge's research has been following the same group of children for more than 20 years.
Ken Dodge

    

There is a common metaphor in the scientific community that uses flowers to describe children’s sensitivity to their environments.

A child like a dandelion will turn out fine despite the circumstances she is raised in, while a child like an orchid will flounder without a nourishing environment, but blossom with care and support.

Photo from the first U.S. nuclear field exercise on land on Nov. 1, 1951.
Federal Government of the United States / Wikimedia Commons

    

It has been nearly 50 years since the U.S. and the Soviet Union first sat down to talk about limiting their arsenals of nuclear weapons. 

Today, Russia and the U.S. have reduced their stockpiles, but they still have nearly 2,000 warheads each and several other countries have shown interest in creating or expanding their nuclear arsenal. 

So how do we gauge the threat of a nuclear conflict? What would nuclear war look like if it were limited to one region of the world?

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