Health

book cover for 'dreams that can save your life,' picturing a dreaming woman and a hooded monk in the background
Findhorn Press

Dr. Larry Burk has spent much of his life practicing traditional medicine as a radiologist. But his search for solutions to his patients’ problems led him on an unexpected journey outside of traditional medicine. A graduate of Duke University, Burk co-founded the Duke Center for Integrative Medicine. He is certified in acupuncture, hypnosis, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) and is committed to holistic medicine.

photo of vegetables displayed at a farmers market
USDA

The Trump administration wants to see a 20 percent cut over 10 years to SNAP, the food stamp program that helps feed 42 million Americans each year. Funding for SNAP is provided through the Federal Farm Bill, which will soon be under debate in Washington. The current bill is set to expire this fall.

Fayetteville Police Department Captain Lars Paul shows a naloxone injectable kit and a naloxone nose spray Fayetteville police use to reverse opioid overdose.
Raul Rubiera / For WUNC

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is distributing grants of up to $150,000 to support community projects that fight the opioid crisis.

photo of cecile richards speaking at a podium at the women's march
Jose Luis Magana / AP Photo

Most people know Cecile Richards as the fearless head of Planned Parenthood. But long before she was fighting Republican senators in Congress or pro-life demonstrators, she was finding ways to “make trouble.”

New UNC research ties pharmaceutical industry payments to higher prescription rates.
Flickr

A study from UNC-Chapel Hill shows cancer doctors who received money from pharmaceutical companies for meals and lodging were more likely to prescribe medicines from those drug makers.

photo of a young person in a mouth-covering mask in front of a closed theater. the sign says 'all theatres closed until further notice at request of mayor.'
Courtesy of UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

2018 marks the one-hundred-year anniversary of a flu pandemic that killed 50 to 100 million people and infected hundreds of millions around the world. Host Frank Stasio talks to James Leloudis, a history professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, about why the 1918 influenza was so deadly, and what impact it had on public health.

A screengrab of an interview with Stanley Boling, a patient at Duke Hospital and the first HIV-positive person in the southeast to receive an organ from an HIV-positive donor.
Duke Health

A patient at Duke Hospital is doing well after a groundbreaking organ transplant.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina headquarters in Durham.
BCBSNC

North Carolina's largest health insurer is clamping down on coverage of opioid prescriptions.

More in North Carolina have gained health insurance with the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Census Bureau / Jason deBruyn

The effects of the Affordable Care Act on the rate of North Carolinians without health insurance has started to plateau. In some counties, it has begun to reverse.

Vidant Health has a new app that allows North Carolinians to see a doctor whenever they want. The Vidant Now app allows a user to connect instantly with a physician for about $50 per consultation.

Prescription pills
Wikpedia

The North Carolina Department of Insurance is encouraging everyone to do some spring cleaning in their medicine cabinets. Operation Medicine Drop is looking for unused pills, especially pain killers, to be delivered to secure collection sites.

a blue water well
Let Ideas Compete / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/7VkN8Y

Researchers from UNC Chapel Hill and the nonprofit RTI international want to study the prevalence of lead in private wells in Wake County.

The green map shows the distribution of North Carolina’s  health outcomes, based on an equal weighting of length  and quality of life. The map is divided into four quartiles with less color intensity indicating better performance.
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

The more money you make, the better your health outcomes. That's according to new data released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

UNC at Greensboro

Guilford County and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro have created a community-engaged response to the opioid problem.

A nurse performs her work at a community health clinic.
Sabin Institute / Flickr/Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/ooK2xw

 

As the Trump administration continues to chip away at Obamacare, many public health practitioners are left wondering how the changes will affect their clients. The statewide sexual health non-profit Shift NC has voiced particular concerns about how the administration’s policies could affect underserved teens and adolescents.

At least seven people have died from flu complications in North Carolina, according to health officials.
Mike Mozart / flickr, Creative Commons

State health officials said Thursday that 12 people died from the flu in North Carolina last week, pushing the record death toll in 2017-18 to 276.

In this July 21, 2017, photo, hog waste pond pumping equipment is seen adjacent to hog houses at Everette Murphrey Farm in Farmville
Gerry Broome / AP

Terry "Pap" Adams says he was out in the backyard, tinkering on one of his car projects, when another cloud of noxious pinkish-brown mist drifted overhead. The droplets hit his wife's black car, leaving blotches with greasy little dots in the center.

UNC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper, left, and Atrium Health CEO Gene Woods in August, 2017.
UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care and Charlotte-based Atrium Health called off a proposed partnership.

In August, the sides announced plans to join clinical, medical education and research resources. On Friday, they broke off those talks.

UNC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper, left, and Atrium Health CEO Gene Woods in August, 2017.
UNC Health Care

There appear to be more disagreements than initially thought in a proposed combination of UNC Health Care and Charlotte-based Atrium Health – formerly Carolinas HealthCare System.

In August, the massive health care systems announced a plan to "join their clinical, medical education and research resources ... with the goal of entering into final agreements by the end of the year."

canned food
Liz Schlemmer / WUNC

More than 12 percent of Americans experience food insecurity and many depend on food banks to make it through a year.

The Wolf Law Library / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/8gB6Lx

American kids are bombarded with ads for sugary, processed food and drinks, and for many poor families, those are all they can afford. That's why researchers from Duke Clinical Research Institute say public health efforts to halt the childhood obesity epidemic have failed.

Dr. Tanya Coakley, center right, talks with Brad Huff, right, about a study she's conducting while Brad's son Drew Huff, 10, gets his hair cut by Percell McCain owner of Razor Line Barbershop in Greensboro on Saturday, February 17, 2018. Dr. Coakley, a pr
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

Antonio Pickard is a father of seven, including four boys, ages 13 to 18. He may not have the answers to all of his sons’ questions, but he wants them to be prepared in at least one area: sex.

a boy hiding his face
Suzanne Tucker / Courtesy of the Children's Home Society of North Carolina

North Carolina doesn't have enough school nurses or counselors, and that's impacting child health across the state. The North Carolina Institute of Medicine and the advocacy group N.C. Child gave the state "D" grades for school health and mental health on its Child Health Report Card.

child drinks soda
Staff Sgt. Matt McGovern / U.S. Air Force - Commons

Researchers have long been aware of a link between exposure to violence and obesity in adolescents. Now a new study is untangling some of the reasons that connection exists.

The study used smart phones to monitor adolescents in California and North Carolina. It tracked their exposure to violence and subsequent activity levels, fatigue, and consumption of fast food and soda.

Image of study assessment for young kid
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities

There's a lot of noise on the Internet about how to support and teach children with Autism. The National Clearinghouse for Autism Evidence and Practice has been working to cut through it by offering in-depth analysis of reliable research for teachers and families.

photo of a man in a congregation, praying
Courtesy of Pastor Ronald Godbee

When Dr. David Casarett asks patients with a terminal illness what they would like to do with the time they have left, some stare blankly back at him. Others have a big list of family members they want to spend time with and to-do list items to check off.

Fayetteville Police Department Captain Lars Paul shows a naloxone injectable kit and a naloxone nose spray Fayetteville police use to reverse opioid overdose.
Raul Rubiera / For WUNC

A national health insurer is pledging to help North Carolina fight the opioid epidemic.

The Aetna Foundation announced Tuesday it's giving $1 million dollars to the nonprofit North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition to purchase the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone. The organization will then distribute the drug in rural parts of the state.

Ryan Melaugh/Flickr Creative Commons

A new public health report from ECU shows that the death rate for midlife whites in the state increased 6 percent from 2000 to 2013. Many of these deaths can be attributed to so-called diseases of despair, like suicide, drug overdose and liver disease caused by alcoholism.

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss / Flickr Creative Commons

Jeffrey Halbstein-Harris had already beat addiction twice by the time he was in his 30s. But a doctor assured him that the opioids he was prescribing for Halbstein-Harris’s diabetic neuropathy were both effective and non-habit forming. Nevertheless, Halbstein-Harris became dependent and went through a painful withdrawal process.

Steve Pollard, of  Jackson Springs, N.C., hurt his back while on the job about five years ago. Now, he works in IT but pain medication is still a big part of his life.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Steve Pollard lives in Jackson Springs. It's in rural North Carolina near Pinehurst. About five years ago, Pollard hurt his back while on the job for a NASCAR team.

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