Health

A picture of an elderly couple holding hands.
Garry Knight / Flickr

The federal Administration for Community Living has awarded Orange County $900,000 over the next three years to help make the community a more inclusive place for families touched by Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Physician Assistant, Duke Medicine, Rural Health
Leoneda Inge

This is the Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment season and Obama Administration officials expect at least one million more people will enroll by the end of next year. 

The increase in the country’s insured population has resulted in major growth in one profession in particular – the physician assistant. This year, Duke University is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Physician Assistant Program, the oldest in the country.

A picture of a young man with his head in his hands.
Sander van der Wel / Wikipedia

More adults are coming under the legal authority of guardians. Many adults who are declared incompetent by a court have a relative who takes over guardianship. But for those who don't, the state takes over that role.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in an e-mail that there were about 3,000 adults with public guardians in 2007. That number is expected to double by about 2017.

Eight year old kids play soccer match organized as a part of Fairfax Police Youth Club" Soccer League.
Jarek Tuszynski / Wikipedia

Concerns over concussions and other head injuries have prompted new recommendations from US Soccer.  The new guidelines suggest that soccer players ten years old and younger should not be heading the ball during games or in practice. 

Coronavirus
CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy / Wikipedia

Scientists at UNC Chapel Hill have discovered a new virus that's a distant relative of SARS. They published their findings in the journal Nature Medicine this week.

doctor, child, health child health
Courtesy of Pixbay.com

Child health insurance coverage in North Carolina is at a record high of nearly 95 percent, and researchers at Georgetown University say the increase is thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

A picture of downtown Belhaven.
Property Wizard / Wikipedia

Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal says the eastern North Carolina town plans to use eminent domain to buy the local hospital Vidant Health closed last year.

Mayor Adam O'Neal says the new $5.5 million dollar clinic Vidant is building in the town isn't enough.

A picture of a stack of cash, a stethoscope and a piggy bank.
401kcalculator.org / Flickr

Open enrollment began this week for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. North Carolinians will see some of the highest premium increases in the nation for individual and small group plans.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield will be allowed to charge an average of 32.5 percent more next year for individual plans, and six percent more for small groups. Aetna will be able to charge individual customers an average of nearly 24 percent more per month.

Concertina wire surrounding a prison
Kate Ter Harr / Flickr Creative Commons

Note: This is a rebroadcast from earlier this year.

A recent report by Human Rights Watch documents widespread abuse of mentally ill inmates in prisons across America. The abuses include dousing with chemical sprays, being shocked with stun guns and strapping inmates to beds for hours at a time.

Prison Bars
Michael Coghlan / Flickr Creative Commons

Increasing prison population means higher healthcare costs for taxpayers. In addition, the rising number of elderly people in prison means more chronic diseases with higher treatment costs.

Policymakers are considering early release as one viable option for reducing elderly populations behind bars. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Triangle Business Journal reporter Jason deBruyn about the latest. 

A picture of corn rows.
Huw Williams / Wikipedia

Inmates at seven North Carolina prisons have grown 16,250 pounds of fresh produce for local food banks and soup kitchens since the Combating Hunger program launched last spring.

The initiative is a partnership with the nonprofit Harvest Now, which has helped set up similar programs in other states.

North Carolina Public Safety Department Spokesman Keith Acree says this will allow nearby charities to provide more nutritious food to people in their communities.

A picture of a young man with his head in his hands.
Sander van der Wel / Wikipedia

The North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is hosting a two-day mental health conference in Raleigh. Discussion will focus heavily on the best practices for discussing and preventing suicide.

This week, the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force reported 46 children died by suicide last year, more than double the number in 2010.

Child death rates in North Carolina have held steady in recent years despite a downward trend since the 1990s.
Lotus Carroll / Flickr Creative Commons

The state's child fatality rate remained relatively unchanged in 2014 despite an increase in suicide. That's according to data released by the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force.

A picture of a young couple.
Kelly Boone / Wikipedia

The nonprofit SHIFT NC has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to help health centers coordinate and improve services for teens in Durham.

The Bull City's pregnancy rate is above the state average.

A picture of a patient and a doctor meeting over a web connection.
Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems employees can now make appointments at the tech company's private medical practice in the Research Triangle Park.

The new LifeConnections Health Center offers medical, mental, vision, telehealth and holistic care, and an in-house gym. It replaces a smaller telehealth-only clinic on the grounds. RTP is the third of Cisco's LifeConnections Centers. This facility will serve about 5,000 employees and their families.

Aziz Sancar
Dave DeWitt

Aziz Sancar and Paul Modrich have both devoted their professional lives to DNA repair. That might seem like a small enough area of research that, if two of the most important scientists in the field live and work a few miles apart, they would be frequent collaborators.

A cigarette in an ashtray.
Tomasz Sienicki / Wikipedia

Nicotine is about as addictive as heroin. It is also about as hard to kick, according to Dr. James Davis of the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation.

His organization is participating in the Race To Quit, NC campaign this week to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking, and to point smokers to resources.

ICD-9 logo
http://icd9cm.drgily.com/ / Wikipedia

Doctors and hospitals will have a higher bar to clear when submitting insurance claims, starting today.

Federal law requires them to begin tracking patient care and submitting insurance claims using the more specific ICD-10 coding system. The broader ICD-9 had been in place for decades.

Julie Henry is a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Hospital Association.

A picture of Wyatt Bond.
StoryDriven Media Group / wearestorydriven.com

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and N.C. State University's Counseling Center is trying to get people talking about it.

Clinical social workers Noah Martinson and Daniel Goldstein launched a campaign called #StoptheStigma. They and StoryDriven Media Group  released a video featuring three NCSU students talking about surviving their own suicide attempts.

A picture of a homeless man and a shopping cart.
Matthew Woitunski / Wikipedia

The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service in opening a new men's homeless shelter in Chapel Hill this week.

The new SECU Community House will replace the one in the old Town Hall building, and it will offer more permanent beds. It's still the only shelter for adult single men in Orange County.

IFC Executive Director Michael Reinke says he's been working in transitional housing services for 28 years.

KOMUnews / flickr.com/photos/komunews/15409762240

North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services is urging people to get the flu shot now, a month before flu season is supposed to get started.

Last year's flu season was particularly nasty.

A picture of a crying person.
Joe Penna / flickr.com/photos/pennajoe/2539202649

North Carolina's new Mental Health and Substance Abuse task force meets for the first time Tuesday.

Dr. Sarah Arif of Cleveland and Farris Barakat help a boy at the temporary Syrian American Medical Society dental clinic at the Al-Salaam School in Reyhanli.
Alena Advic

Months before his neighbor barged into his Chapel Hill apartment and fatally shot him, his wife and his sister-in-law, Deah Barakat had decided he wanted to help people escaping the war in Syria.

Deah, a 23-year-old student at the University Of North Carolina School Of Dentistry, had seen and heard about the escalating violence ravaging parts of his parents’ native country, so he called a dentist who was running clinics for displaced Syrians, and he told him: he wanted to take Americans to the Middle East and treat refugees.

A seflie of reporter Jorge Valencia with dentists in Syria
Jorge Valencia

A few weeks ago, WUNC reporter Jorge Valencia boarded a series of planes and buses en route to Reyhanli, a small city on the Turkish side of the Turkey-Syria border.

He was following a group of American dentists and students who were willing to travel into a dicey part of the world to complete a task: they wanted to carry out a mission that had been planned by Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha -- aspiring dentists who’d been planning on giving free care to refugees of the war in Syria before they were murdered by a neighbor in Chapel Hill this year.

A picture of a chicken.
Emilian Robert Vicol / Wikipedia

The North Carolina Agriculture Department has begun hosting avian flu informational meetings for people with backyard poultry operations.

If avian flu comes to the state, agriculture experts say backyard poultry will likely be the first to encounter the contagious and fatal disease because these flocks tend to live outdoors and use unprotected water sources.

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