Health

The State of Things
11:49 am
Tue October 28, 2014

DHHS Evaluates The State Of Medicaid In North Carolina

Credit North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

    

North Carolina’s Medicaid program covers 1.7 million people at a cost of $14 billion per year.

The program for low-income and disabled residents has had a turbulent past. Last year, computer glitches created a long backlog of applications and payments for providers. And Medicaid has been a question mark in the budget, causing cost overruns for several years.

But health officials say the system is improving enough that the state could reconsider expanding Medicaid to half a million people who do not have health insurance.

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Health
6:03 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Learning How To See: Bionic Eye Update

Larry and Jerry Hester
Credit Eric Mennel

A month ago Larry Hester became the first person in North Carolina to receive a bionic eye.  Blind since the age of 30, Hester, who has been treated at the Duke Eye Center, is now learning how to see again.  And it isn't that easy.

The device that Hester is wearing is not just as simple as flipping on a switch.  He is now learning how to differentiate shapes and colors and going through physical therapy sessions which are rather reminiscent of someone who has just received a new knee, not eye.

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Health
8:55 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Mental Health: Holly Hill Hospital's New Children's Campus Is A Step In The Right Direction

NAMI says children with behavioral issues in North Carolina need agencies to work together to provide comprehensive long-term care.
Credit Mindaugas Danys / Creative Commons

Holly Hill Hospital is hosting the grand opening of a new children's campus today. The hospital says it's working to meet a growing need for inpatient psychiatric beds that has left many in the community waiting in emergency rooms for behavioral health treatment.

North Carolina's chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness supports the creation of the facility. But the group's president, Mike Mayer, says the state has a long way to go.

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Health
8:52 am
Thu October 23, 2014

NC Health Officials Mobilize Against Ebola

North Carolina is ramping up preparation efforts in case of an Ebola diagnosis.
Credit Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine / Wikipedia

North Carolina health and safety officials are building a united front to prepare against the Ebola virus.

State Health and Human Services secretary Aldona Wos announced at a press conference yesterday that the Centers for Disease Control has named North Carolina's State Laboratory of Public Health to be a regional hub to test potential Ebola specimens.

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9:25 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Charlotte, NC Nurse Writes Letter To Nurse With Ebola

A nurse from Charlotte has written an open letter to Nina Pham. Pham is the Dallas nurse who was stricken with Ebola after caring for a critically ill patient. "We know how tedious and difficult it is to put and take off on full protective gear over and over again. We know how hot, sweaty and unbearable it gets. .. We know what it’s like standing beside someone for hours at a time, knowing that life is slowly leaving his or her body. We know how much that hurts mentally, physically, and emotionally." Read the letter and listen to an interview on Here & Now:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new and much stricter guidelines for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers dealing with Ebola patients in America - all workers must be covered head-to-toe in protective clothing, including full face masks and a buddy system to ensure safe disrobing.
Health
8:43 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Chapel Hill Librarians Helping Ebola Fight In West Africa

String-like Ebola virus particles are shedding from an infected cell in this electron micrograph.
Credit NIH/NIAID via Flickr/Creative Commons

Some Chapel Hill librarians are joining in the effort  to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. A non-profit group called WiderNet is making information available to those without Internet access.

WiderNet's project director, Cliff Missen, says only two percent of people in Liberia and Sierra Leone have an Internet connection -- that includes health care workers.

"What we do is something completely different," says Missen. 

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Health
9:01 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Four Area Kids Hit, Troopers Crack Down On Drivers Who Illegally Pass Stopped School Buses

State troopers are on the lookout for people who illegally pass school buses picking up and dropping off kids.
Credit woodley wonderworks / Flickr

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is on the lookout for motorists who illegally pass a stopped school bus. The week-long enforcement campaign is called Operation Stop Arm.

Lieutenant Jeff Gordon says the initiative is part of National School Bus Safety week, but that it's especially appropriate considering recent accidents involving school children.

In the past month, four children have been hit by cars at their bus stops in Wilson and Wake Counties. One of those children died.

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The State of Things
11:56 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Ebola: Examining The Narrative Of Epidemics

Ebola in Guinea.
Credit flickr.com/photos/69583224@N05/13717624625/

It started with a whisper. 

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Health
4:44 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Reality Check: To Burn Off A Soda, You'll Have To Run 50 Minutes

Would you think twice about that 20-ounce soda if you were informed that it would take 5 miles of walking — or 50 minutes of running — to burn it off?
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 9:32 am

As a society, we don't pay much attention to nutrition information when we eat out.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report estimates just 8 percent of Americans use nutritional information when deciding what to order.

But that could change soon.

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Health
8:49 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Just In Case: Officials Want North Carolinians To Practice Earthquake Drills

Safety officials throughout the Southeast are encouraging schools and businesses to practice responding to an earthquake.
Credit Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation / shakeout.goct.nz

Earthquakes are rare in North Carolina, but they happen. So the North Carolina Department of Public Safety is asking businesses and schools across the state to practice earthquake drills today.

The effort is part of the Great Southeast ShakeOut.

Spokeswoman Julia Jarema says there have already been four small quakes in the North Carolina this year. And we're not insulated from seismic activity in other parts of the region.

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