Health

a pharmacist
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Differences in state budget proposals are prompting mental health advocates to rally for more spending on group homes and treatment. 

Gov. Pat McCrory's budget increases spending on mental health by about 2 percent over the next two years.  But the state Senate's plan cuts about 3 percent. 

Pregnant woman.
Montse PB via flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina's teen birth rate is down significantly as more of them wait to have children. 

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about four percent of North Carolina teens are having children.  That's down more than one percentage point since 2007. 

Salmonella, magnified 15,000X, virus, disease
CDC/ Janice Haney Carr

The number of people sickened by salmonella traced to a Fayetteville area hotel has risen to at least 82.  Officials say the outbreak happened earlier this month at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux.  Buck Wilson is the public health director for Cumberland County.  He says finding the precise cause is challenging. 

Kimberly Blackwell
medicaloncology.medicine.duke.edu / Duke Medical Oncology

Time Magazine comes out with a list of the 100 most influential people each year. Names like Justin Timberlake and Barack Obama made the grade in 2013. But also on the list was Duke oncologist Dr. Kimberly Blackwell.  She was celebrated for her achievements improving chemotherapy treatments for a certain kind of breast cancer.

Computer, medical.
Tabitha Kaylee Hawk via flickr, Creative Commons

The state Auditor has found that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services did not fully test a new computer system.

The DHHS system was installed to start processing Medicaid claims beginning in July.   Beth Wood's audit found that the nearly $500 million computer system was not put through all of its paces.  The report raises questions about the software and its ability to handle Medicaid claims paid by the state that exceed $12 billion. 

A shopper examines produce at Deep Roots grocery.
Deep Roots Coop

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are gathering massive amounts of nutritional information to create a better picture of what Americans are eating. 

Scientists are looking at caloric data for every packaged food on the shelves and comparing that to food sales in order to see how they work into Americans' diets.  Professor Meghan Slining says the research will show how quickly manufacturers change ingredients in each product and how that changes nutrition.

Warren County Free Clinic Sign
Leoneda Inge

North Carolina has one of the best networks of free clinics in the country.  Support from funders like the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation has helped take care of some of the state’s neediest patients; those who don’t qualify for Medicare of Medicaid.  Warren County – northeast of Raleigh – is home to one of the busiest free clinics in North Carolina.  But funding cuts have resulted in less service at a crucial time in the nation’s health care fight.

HIV microscope image, virus, disease
Duke University

Researchers at Duke University are using a flaw in an HIV vaccine in order to develop new formulas to fight off the virus. 

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, hospital
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Thousands of employees at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem will be affected by several cost-cutting measures. The hospital is planning to freeze some hiring, reduce retirement contributions and ask employees to voluntarily take furloughs.

The Seventh Angel By Alex McKeithen
http://www.theseventhangelbook.com/

When Alex McKeithen was a junior at Davidson College in the late '80s, his life changed. He was visiting Paris and studying art when one day he found himself stripping naked in public and proclaiming himself the seventh angel of the apocalypse. It was the beginning of an undiagnosed episode of bipolar disorder, and that experience is the focus of his memoir, "The Seventh Angel" (Lorimer Press/2012).

B.J. Sanders and her son Chad tell of losing a family member to a drug overdose.
Community Care NC

In 2009, Wilkes County in the northwestern part of the state had the 4th highest rate of prescription drug overdose deaths in the country. Two years later, those numbers dropped by 68 percent. That's because of a program called Project Lazarus, which is now going to be implemented statewide.

Gurnal Scott

Friends of workers who died on the job honored their memory in Raleigh.   An observance of what they're calling Workers' Memorial Day included people reciting the names of employees killed on the job in North Carolina. 

Duke Chapel, Duke University, Durham
Dave DeWitt

The student health insurance plan at Duke University will soon cover procedures for sexual reassignment surgery. 

The university will be the first in North Carolina to cover the service, starting this fall. Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek says the student health advisory committee recommended the change to complement existing benefits.

"A couple of years ago, we made certain that we had appropriate counseling support and hormonal therapy covered in the insurance policy for students," says Wasiolek.

Aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Aaron 'tango' Tang via Flickr, Creative Commons

Mental health experts in Fayetteville are hosting a community forum on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder a week after the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

teen driver
State Farm Insurance, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Johnston County teenagers will lead a discussion today aimed at stopping deadly crashes involving young drivers.  Organizers of the Teen Driving Summit will welcome students from 12 other counties to discuss safer driving practices among teens.  Johnston County currently has the 4th highest number of deaths among high school-age drivers. 


Lynda Carroll is with the county's Teen Driving Committee.  She says the dialogue will focus on five areas of risky behavior behind the wheel.

The Rev. Dr. James Forbes spent 18 years as the senior minister of the Riverside Church in New York City, one of the nation’s most prominent pulpits,  but his journey began in North Carolina. Dr. Forbes grew up in Raleigh, and in the 1960s, he pastored churches in Wilmington and Roxboro.

obeasts.org

Turn on any news program and you’ll eventually hear about the dangers of obesity. It’s commonly accepted that being heavy is bad, and being skinny is good. Rachel Herrick is challenging that idea with her Obeast project.

A committee in the state House is considering a measure to extend Medicaid coverage for people who have Alzheimer's and dementia. 

HIV microscope image, virus, disease
Duke University

Duke University researchers are several steps closer to developing a vaccine to help the body fight HIV. 

A team of doctors was able to find and track down rare  individuals whose immune systems can produce enough antibodies to combat the virus that causes AIDS. 

Gov. Pat McCrory
Gurnal Scott

Governor Pat McCrory has announced a plan that could privatize the state's Medicaid program that serves low-income people.

The state will hold a competitive bidding process for three big managed-care providers to deliver medical, mental and dental services to patients. Governor McCrory says the plan will help streamline the delivery of Medicaid services.

Johnston Medical Center - Smithfield
Johnston Health

Johnston County's hospitals are partnering with UNC Health Care to expand their reach in the eastern Triangle.  Leaders with both systems say the move will keep costs down for patients as health care laws change at the state and federal levels. 

Johnston Health CEO Chuck Elliot says the Affordable Care Act and North Carolina's decision to opt out of Medicaid expansion makes the partnership necessary.

a pharmacist
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Prescription drug overdose kills an average of three people per day in North Carolina. 

Researchers at UNC Chapel Hill say a statewide system designed to reduce those numbers – North Carolina Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS) – is effective - but grossly underused.

CSRS went into effect in 2007, following a legislative mandate, but of the 34,000 providers authorized to prescribe controlled substances, only a third have registered with the CSRS, and fewer than half of those actually use it.

cynthiabulick.com

  At least 14 million people in the United States have an eating disorder, but they may not look the way you think. Popular culture characterizes young white girls as the main sufferers, but research shows that eating disorders are much more widespread than popularly thought. 

Il Palio's buttermilk fried shrimp salad
Susan Reda

Patients at UNC Hospitals will soon be able to dine bedside on four-diamond fare from Il Palio at the Siena Hotel. UNC's Nutrition and Food Services Director Angelo Mojica is teaming up with Adam Rose, executive chef at Il Palio, to feature some of the restaurant's gourmet cuisine. UNC's Mojica says this kind of thing has never been done before in health care. He's in the process of reaching out to other high-end eateries in the Triangle and says it's a win-win for participating restaurants and UNC Hospitals.

An increasing number of families each year in the United States decide to have home births. But in North Carolina, having a home birth conducted by a single Certified Professional Midwife is illegal.

Republican Senators are seeking to decriminalize Certified Professional Midwife practices as well as build a licensing process for midwives.They've recently introduced the Home Birth Freedom Act and a move to decriminalize direct entry midwifery.The bills have received a lot of criticism for allowing midwives without nursing credentials to practice independently. WUNC's Capitol Bureau Chief, Jessica Jones, joins Host Frank Stasio to discuss the perspectives surrounding Senate Bills 106 and 017.

Patients at UNC hospitals will soon be able to dine bedside on 4-diamond fare from Il Palio at the Siena Hotel. UNC's Nutrition and Food Services Director Angelo Mojica is teaming up with the executive chef from Il Palio - Adam Rose - to feature some of the restaurant's fine cuisine.

Scientists at Duke University say a substance found in many plastics could inhibit the development of the central nervous system.  The report says bisphenol-A, widely known as BPA, can suppress the chemical chain of events that allows neurons to improve their functioning early in life.

"It disrupts this process and it corrupts this process," says Dr. Wolfgang Liedtke, lead author of the study.

Dr. Leslie Smith speaks on the State of Things.
boonesunriserotary.org

When Leslie Smith was 24 years old, she was in a fire. After spending 3 months at the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, she was released. Smith told Host Frank Stasio “It took me about ten years to recover from those injuries.”

“I had bandages from my neck down to my thighs where my burns were, and then from my thighs down to my ankles where they had taken skin to do skin grafting operations. So I literally was covered from ankle to neck in bandages.”

Duke researchers say bullying can lead to anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide up to 20 years later.
John Steven Fernandez via Flickr / flickr.com

A study from Duke University says adults who were bullied as children are much more likely to have anxiety or depression. 

http://equual-access.blogspot.com

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act opened up a host of protections for people with disabilities. Amongst its gains, it banned workplace discrimination and forced government and commercial spaces to become more accessible.

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