Health

Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

With the New Year, Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden became UNC Health Care's 13th affiliated hospital.

As part of the agreement, it also changed its name to become UNC Rockingham Health Care.

A picture of a snowy roadway through a windshield.
Ebowalker / pixabay.com/en/winter-driving-windshield-snow-633965/

Winter storms can hit with little warning, so AAA Carolinas is advising drivers to prepare before roadways get hazardous.

County by county map of the disparities in cardiovascular disease death rates.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). US Health Map. Seattle, WA: IHME, University of Washington

It's a testament to modern medicine. Death rates from heart disease around the nation have been cut in half.

But new research sheds light on the wide disparities in cardiovascular death rates depending on geography.

Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Community hospitals play an important role. Think, for example, of where your children were born. You probably have a good association with that hospital.

These hospitals, particularly in rural communities, are crucial not just for health, but for a community's whole ecosystem, according to Chris Ellington, UNC Health Care chief finance officer.

IV fluids
Mads Bodker / Flickr - Creative Commons

Note: this segment is a rebroadcast from June 26, 2017.

North Carolina has been battling a growing opioid addiction epidemic. New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from North Carolina hospitals show the rise in intravenous drug use is also causing a sharp increase in the rate of heart infections. 

of Dr. Francis Aniekwensi visits with patient Calvin Elps. Aniekwensi is currently one of two part-time physicians in Warren County. He welcomes the news of a new doctor in town.
Christine Nguyen, The Daily Dispatch / For WUNC

Last week, the Warren County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to lease the empty building of the former Warren Community Health Clinic to a local physician planning to start a new practice.

A silhouette of a young pregnant woman.
Sarah Zucca / flickr.com/photos/livetocreate_photography/12040481414

North Carolina's teen pregnancy rate has reached a record low level for the ninth consecutive year, according for a report from the nonprofit adolescent health initiative Shift NC.

Two servers hand a tray of food to child in school cafeteria.
Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen / U.S. Marine Corps

Some children who rack up debt paying for lunch in their school cafeterias face a sudden swap when their hot meals are substituted for a cold sandwich or just a serving of fruit and vegetables and a cup of water. 

Voice Male magazine editor Rob Okun and other men at the Massachusetts state house in Boston taking the White Ribbon campaign's pledge to be part of the solution in ending violence again women.
Courtesy of Rob Okun

The #MeToo movement has broken a decades-long culture of silence around sexual assault and harassment and taken down a number of powerful men, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, TV host Matt Lauer, politician Al Franken, and 30 some others compiled in a list from The New York Times. But according to writer Rob Okun, the thing that ties together all of these individual incidents is a culture of power and privilege held in place by particular ideas about masculinity. 

Dr. Francis Aniekwensi is a partner at Beckford Medical Center. In Warren County, a primary care desert, Aniekwensi is working to improve health conditions for the more than 10,000 patients who frequent the three Beckford clinics.
Christine Nguyen, The Daily Dispatch / For WUNC

It’s early afternoon on a recent Tuesday and Dr. Francis Aniekwensi is preparing to see his twentieth patient of the day.

Volunteers and staff work during a fresh mobile market organized by Out of the Garden Project, a nonprofit food assistance program for Guilford County families in Greensboro, N.C. on Oct. 18, 2017.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Five days a week and twice on Saturdays, a 26-foot-long truck filled with food stops at various schools in Guilford County.

Mary Somerville co-founded the Warren Community Health Clinic and was its executive director until the clinic closed.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The former Warren Community Health Clinic in Warrenton sits empty and quiet, across the parking lot from the county health department. Until last year, the clinic served low-income patients who often were unable to pay for medical services and didn’t have Medicare or Medicaid.

Trinn Suwannapha

Today is World AIDS Day and the North Carolina AIDS Action Network is encouraging people who are at risk of HIV or who are HIV positive to enroll in health insurance during open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. 

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services has had enough of the leadership at Charlotte-based Cardinal Innovations Healthcare.

There have been expensive parties and board retreats, excessive CEO pay and severance agreements deemed outrageous – all funded by taxpayers.

On Monday, DHHS took over the company.

An air ambulance lands on the helipad at UNC Hospitals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dan Sears / UNC

UNC Health Care will acquire Morehead Memorial Hospital out of bankruptcy. In July, the nonprofit hospital in Eden filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sought bids to be acquired.

Pharmaceutical and medical device companies continue to try to gain influence with medical providers.
AP

North Carolina's doctor offices are awash in pharmaceutical and medical device industry cash. These financial relationships are starting to raise questions about prescribing habits and other conflicts of interest.

Already, some large pharmaceutical companies have paid millions to settle allegations of kickback schemes, and watchdog groups are asking questions about deep relationships between some doctors and drug and medical device companies.

Deaths from drug overdose have surpassed homicides in North Carolina.
NC DHHS/FBI

Fayetteville is part of a nationwide project that is trying to compile information about the opioid crisis. 

The non-profit New America is working with about a dozen cities to create maps on opioid overdoses and how to prevent them.

rumolay / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/aDRzTA

The state Department of Health and Human Services is working with nonprofit organizations to expand adoption services for older children. 

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in 2011
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - Creative Commons - https://flic.kr/p/EPd159

Open enrollment for health plans under the Affordable Care Act begins today.

Starting today, the North Carolina Medicaid program will pay for medicines to treat hepatitis C for patients no matter how sick they are. In the past, the state wouldn’t pay for the expensive drugs unless the patient had stage two liver damage.  

Image of pills spilling out over money.
TaxRebate.org.uk / Flickr Creative Commons

The open enrollment period starts Wednesday for those who want health care under the Affordable Care Act.

a condom in package
Rorro Navia / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/6QBs6G

North Carolina has some of the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in the country. The state has the dubious honor of ranking in the top 10 on three Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists for 2016:

President Donald Trump listens to questions during news conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Donald Trump is expressing support for an agreement struck by two leading lawmakers to extend federal payments to health insurers.

Chips aisle in the grocery store
Pixabay

 In his 2018 budget proposal, President Donald Trump proposed a cut of more than $190 billion to SNAP  – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – in the next 10 years. 

A cigarette in an ashtray.
Tomasz Sienicki / Wikipedia

A common DNA variant can predict heavy smoking and lung cancer. Researchers from RTI International studied nearly 39,000 smokers and found that this gene variant is linked with nicotine dependence.

Birth control pill
Lee Health / vimeo commons

Teen birth rates in North Carolina are at a historic low, according to a statistical brief from the State Center for Health Statistics. 

Michael Jordan
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Hornets owner Michael Jordan is donating $7 million to launch medical clinics that he hopes will help at-risk communities in Charlotte. It's the largest philanthropic donation ever by the former NBA champion.

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

Negotiations between the largest healthcare provider in Western North Carolina and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina have failed after a months-long standoff. 

Three hyper children
CK, Carl, Carlo, Carlito / flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/2FGBh5

Improving parenting skills can help reduce risks for children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. That's according to research from UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

UPDATED at 11:10 p.m. 10/04/2017

Two measures to extend federal funding for CHIP - the  Children’s Health Insurance Program - moved forward Wednesday. That’s encouraging news for the families of more than 300,000 kids in the Carolinas who get their health insurance through the program. Congress let funding for it expire last week.

Pages