Health

North Carolina is now tracking babies born with alcohol or drug dependencies.
Tulane Publications / Flickr, Creative Commons

Local social services agencies in North Carolina are now collecting information about babies born with a dependence on drugs or alcohol. The new Substance Affected Infants plan complies with a federal mandate.

youth football players
Stuart Seeger / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/pPWtH

Biomedical researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have found that youth football players sustain more hits to the head as they get older. Those hits get a lot harder, too.

Flickr Creative Commons

The number of teen athletes who have knee surgery to reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is on the rise, and girls have seen the sharpest increase. Researchers from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill say the results are concerning and point to the need for better injury prevention among high school and youth athletic teams.

foster care children
Credit U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

The opioid crisis continues to ravage the United States. Children of family members caught up in the epidemic face a particular set of pressures. One of the markers of that extra pressure is the steady rise in foster care rates around the country. In North Carolina the number of children in the foster care system has risen 28 percent in the past five years and is now at a 10-year high. 

Steak on a grill.
Mo Riza / Flickr - Creative Commons

When patients began showing up at hospitals with allergic reactions they believed were caused by meat, doctors were quick to dismiss their theories. But patients living in the South who were exposed to a cancer drug containing alpha-gal, a carbohydrate found in beef, pork and lamb, had similar responses. 

foster care children
Credit U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

More than 11,000 children in North Carolina are now in foster homes. The Children's Home Society of North Carolina says the number has been steadily rising since 2012, and is at its highest rate in the last 10 years. 

Mike Mozart / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/Lw32Nj

The city of Greensboro will receive a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to help get rid of lead paint in low-income homes.

Courtesy The Children's Home Society of North Carolina

A sexual education program from the Children's Home Society of North Carolina is targeting adolescent boys to prevent teen pregnancy. The Wise Guys program teaches boys between the ages of 12 to 18 about abstinence, contraception and healthy relationships.

Courtesy WakeMed Mother's Milk Bank

The WakeMed mother's milk bank in Cary is seeking donations of breast milk to help feed thousands of premature infants across the East Coast.

Two of about 140 protesters who rallied in front of Senator Thom Tillis' office in downtown Raleigh.
Jess Clark / WUNC

More than one hundred protesters rallied outside Senator Thom Tillis' Raleigh office Tuesday afternoon calling for the Republican senator to reject his party's bill to replace Obamacare.

The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. faces challenges within his own party this week in advancing the Republican health care bill.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step toward achieving one of the Republican Party's major goals.

Worker at a vaccine manufacturing facility.
Sanofi Pasteur / Patrick Boulen / Flickr - Creative Commons

When German measles, or rubella, broke out in the U.S. in the 1960s, women were terrified about the disabling effects the disease could have on their unborn babies. Clinicians eventually developed a vaccine but would not administer it to pregnant women, believing it was too risky – a decision that led to thousands of abortions and a huge amount of stress and fear. 

A supermarket display of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and other junk food.
Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/rm97z

Duke University researchers have completed a two-year health intervention that resulted in improvements in weight, cholesterol and blood pressure to more than 1,100 Methodist clergy in North Carolina.

A plate of Soul Food
Laylah Amatullah Barrayn / Byron Hurt

Soul food has been a culinary tradition for centuries. While it remains an important source of community for many African-Americans, the way certain soul foods are prepared can increase chances of cancer and other health issues. In his documentary “Soul Food Junkies” (2012), filmmaker Byron Hurt examines his family’s history with soul food and the impact of the cuisine’s traditions.


FNV has worked to promote healthy eating habits, including with banners at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Millennials like to think that they eat healthier than their parents. But new research shows they still aren't eating the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.

Image of Lisa Hightown-Weidman and her family
Courtesy of Lisa Hightow-Weidman

Lisa Hightow-Weidman grew up with her nose always in a book. She majored in English in college and had aspirations of becoming a writer.

A strain of canine influenza is infecting dogs across North Carolina.
Ezio Melotti / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/9BdWfK

As many as a few dozen dogs in North Carolina have been infected with a new strain of canine influenza.  

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

Physicians who receive compensation from pharmaceutical companies for speaking engagements, food or travel were more likely to prescribe cancer-fighting drugs from those companies, according to new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

chart of 2016-17 flu deaths
Courtesy of the NC Department of Health and Human Services

Flu season is over, and this year's was deadlier than usual. North Carolina health officials recorded more deaths to flu complications this season than in any year since they began tracking them in 2009.

man using syringe
Urban Seed Education via flickr, Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/7Akc6y

New cases of hepatitis B and C have risen significantly in North Carolina in recent years. In response, state health officials are warning those at a higher risk for the infection to get tested. 

Courtesy Jane Williams

In her practice as a psychologist, Jane Williams counseled people dealing with grief. She came across many patients who experienced a spontaneous thought that brought them comfort and peace. Williams collected some of their stories in a new book, "Mysterious Moments: Thoughts That Transform Grief." (Library Partners Press/2017).


San Diego Personal Injury Attorney / Flickr/ Creative Commons

 Earlier this week, President Trump unveiled his budget proposal for 2018. The plan cuts more than $600 billion from Medicaid in the next decade, which would affect  nearly two million enrollees in North Carolina. The budget also includes deep cuts to health research and higher education.


Doctors at Duke Hospital.
Duke Medecine

Medicine is becoming more and more precise. Healthcare professionals have growing access to big data, computational power and genetic sequencing and testing. Advances such as genetic screenings that rule out ineffective chemotherapy treatments are already being used clinically. Many other diseases, from high cholesterol to depression, are also on the list to potentially benefit from getting more precise interventions.

A Chapel Hill swimming pool in July.
Town of Chapel Hill

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning swimmers of an increase in outbreaks of a waterborne parasite in pools.

Photo: Mark Martin
Courtesy of Mark Martin

North Carolina's Supreme Court Chief Justice has announced he's joining a task force to seek multi-state solutions to the national opioid crisis. Justice Mark Martin will serve as a member of the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative.

ep_jhu / Flickr, Creative Commons https://flic.kr/p/63jLJE

North Carolina is receiving a large federal grant to treat people addicted to opioids. Governor Roy Cooper announced Thursday that the state will receive $31 million for treatment initiatives over the next two years.

Richard Topping is the Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare.
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

The CEO of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions, a company that accepts hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal Medicaid money to pay for the care of mental and behavioral health patients in North Carolina, was overpaid by $1.2 million, and the company’s executives and board of directors enjoyed retreats, chartered flights, Christmas parties and other perks "potentially resulting in the erosion of public trust," according to an audit.

When my dear friend Sean Bunn found out earlier this year that he has two grown biological daughters, he had one immediate thought: Maybe this is why I’m still alive.

“This feels to me like an absolute wonderful gift,” Sean says.

You see, Sean, who’s 47 years old, has been sick — very sick. Doctors initially thought he wouldn’t make it through last year.

But he’s very much here. And now I’m sitting with him in his living room in Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s the night before he’s going to meet one of his daughters for the first time.

Flickr Creative Commons

Mission Health, a hospital system in Western North Carolina, announced this week that it would close its maternity ward at Angel Hospital in Franklin, North Carolina. The hospital serves a mostly low-income, rural population. Mission Health said it cut the hospital’s labor and delivery services to remain solvent in the face of low reimbursement rates.

The RTI International study on TROSA
RTI International / TROSA

The Durham-based substance abuse recovery program TROSA saves North Carolina $7.5 million annually.

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