Health

Abortion rates in North Carolina and the United States
Guttmacher Institute

North Carolina's abortion rate has inched up since 2011, even as the national rate continues a long and steady decline, according to new figures released by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion.

gloved hands holding blood packet and needle
Fotos GOVBA / Flickr/Creative Commons

The American Red Cross is recovering from a shortage in blood donations after last week's winter weather.

Prescription pills
Wikpedia

Note: this program is a rebroadcast from December 15, 2016.

President Obama signed legislation this week allocating $1 billion dollars to address the nation's worsening opioid crisis. Overdose deaths are on the rise, and current policies are inadequate in addressing the issues. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Just as a new Republican-led Congress on Capitol Hill is discussing how to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, North Carolina's newly elected governor pledged to implement portions of the ACA that had been left behind in this state.

Photos of Selena, the daughter of Louise Vincent
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

This is the final of three stories in a series looking into North Carolina's opioid drug epidemic. Read the first and second stories.

Louise Vincent believes her daughter, Selena, would still be alive today if a harm reduction treatment method were more widely accepted.

A picture of downtown Belhaven.
Property Wizard / Wikipedia

Demolition has begun on the former Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven, after Superior Court Judge Gregory McGuire denied a request to prevent the destruction.

Narcan kits that provide naloxone
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

This is the second of three stories in a series looking into North Carolina's opioid drug epidemic. Read the first story here.

Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram was losing a battle against drugs.

Louise Vincent sits in her office and looks at photos of Selena
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

This is the first of three stories in a series looking into North Carolina's opioid drug epidemic.

On many days, Louise Vincent still cries.

She thinks about what might have been. Maybe her daughter, Selena, could have been a mother herself. Maybe a teacher. Maybe a social worker.

photo of a unisex bathroom sign
Tombe / Wikipedia

Transgender state employees will soon be able to get hormonal treatments and gender confirmation surgery under the State Health Plan.

Image of NC Author Belle Boggs
Courtesy of Belle Boggs

Note: This is a rebroadcast. This program originally aired September 6, 2016.  

An image of an adult holding a child
Pexels / Creative Commons

The state's Child Fatality Task Force says the 2015 child death rate was largely unchanged from the previous year. 

The report released Tuesday says there were more infant deaths, but fewer teen suicides last year. Infant fatalities still make up the majority of child deaths.

Image of Ralph Snyderman with his parents
Courtesy of Ralph Snyderman

Ralph Snyderman had his first formative experience in a hospital when he was 12-years old. His grandmother was very ill, and it quickly became clear to him that being a physician was the most important thing he could do with his life. 

Kathrine Switzer, running the Boston Marathon in 1967, is attacked by the race director.
Boston Herald

When Kathrine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon in 1967, she didn't set out to make history. She focused on the same things that occupy the minds of many marathon runners: pace, timing, nutrition and exhaustion.

Donna Helen Crisp has worked as a nurse in North Carolina for more than two decades. 

She thought she knew the healthcare system inside and out until one day she went in for a routine surgery, expecting only an overnight stay, and almost died from a chain of medical errors.

The cover of Running Man, a memoir by Charlie Engle.
Scribner/2016

Charlie Engle spent much of his young adulthood chasing the next high. His addiction to drugs and alcohol nearly cost him his life.

But he eventually attained sobriety, and along the way, developed a new passion: running. He started with marathons but moved to longer distances and adventure expeditions.

In 2006, he led a team across the Sahara, a feat documented in the film, Running The Sahara. His fame drew the attention of government officials, including one determined tax agent at the IRS.

Lady Parts Justice League Graphic
Courtesy of Lady Parts Justice League

Hundreds of thousands of American women terminate pregnancies each year. But in the past decade, state governments around the country have enacted a series of laws that reproductive justice advocates argue impede women's access to safe, legal abortion.

Affordable Care Act enrollment has increased in North Carolina.
U.S. Health and Human Services

Beginning this week, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians will again shop for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act exchange.

Entering 2017, however, shoppers in this state will see fewer options than in previous years.

An image of a bottle of OxyContin
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Deaths by opioid overdose are on the rise nationwide, and North Carolina remains hit hard by the epidemic.  In 2014, opioids killed more than 28,000 people, more than any years on record.  At least half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. 

LEARN NC, UNC School of Education.

Photographer Jon Crispin spent five years shooting a collection of more than 400 suitcases discovered in an attic at the Willard Psychiatric Center in upstate New York. The intimate portraits are widely acclaimed for adding a layer of humanity to patients who might otherwise only be remembered by their hollow medical records.

An image of a memorial to Ash Haffner, who died by suicide in 2015
EdNC

The youth suicide rate has increased in North Carolina since the start of the decade. Nationally, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young adults between ages 15 and 19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

Meanwhile, LGBT youth are twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual peers. Organizations including the Child Fatality Task Force and the Wake County Public School System have offered policy recommendations and programs to prevent the rising teenage suicide rate.

An image of an empty hospital bed
Public domain

Thousands of Medicaid recipients across North Carolina are being denied government-assisted funding for personal-care services. In April 2015, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Division of Medical Assistance changed the requirements for personal-care eligibility.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield has said it might remove some of its health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act.
Jed Record / Flickr Creative Commons

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced Thursday it would continue to offer Affordable Care Act health insurance plans in all 100 North Carolina counties.

The announcement comes after months of internal debate at the state’s largest insurer. In May, BCBSNC announced heavy financial losses it incurred from individuals who buy these “Obamacare” plans.

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Across North Carolina, health systems will again face penalties because too many patients returned to hospitals shortly after being discharged.

In fact, hospitals will pay higher penalties in 2017 than any year in history.

NC State Study Finds Tailgating A Hot Spot For Pollution

Aug 29, 2016
Photo of a smoking grill
Jack Bunds

Football season is right around the corner. But according to an NC State study, you might want to reconsider your tailgating plans.

A team of NC State professors, led by Kyle Bunds, Jonathan Casper and Chris Frey measured air quality at football games, before, during and after the game. They found several sources of potentially harmful pollution.

LaVare Leith Foundation

 

An organization in Durham is running what is believed to be the only sober living center for LGBT people in the South. 

LaVare's House, which was established by the LaVare Leith Foundation in 2014, has nine beds for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

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