Health

Health
5:00 am
Mon May 9, 2011

UNC Docs Recruit Barbers to Find Skin Cancer

Doctors at UNC Hospitals are enlisting hair stylists to help detect skin cancer. The university's Cancer Care center hosts an event today called Care Behind the Chair to teach barbers about melanoma and how to spot it. Doctor David Ollila says hair stylists get a close look at melanoma problem spots like the scalp, neck and shoulders.

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Health
5:30 am
Mon May 2, 2011

School Nurses Watch State Budget Closely

After years of seeing their ranks slowly increase, school nurses may be cut.  National standards recommend a ratio of 750 students to every school nurse, says Liz Newlin, head of the state association. North Carolina now has an average of about 1200 students for every school nurse. Newlin says some small counties are close to the recommended ratio. 

Liz Newlin: "...and the worst counties right now are Guilford, Randolph, Wake, Wilson, Johnston and Cumberland... and that's in the 2000 to 3000 ratio."

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Health
5:00 am
Tue April 26, 2011

WakeMed Hospital Turns 50

WakeMed is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The public hospital was built by the county government in response to unfulfilled needs for medical care. Today the WakeMed Health and Hospital system runs two hospitals in the county and plans to break ground on a third that will focus on women. WakeMed President and CEO William Atkinson says the facility was the first in the county to provide care for individuals of all races under one roof.

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Health
6:00 am
Fri April 22, 2011

How to Create Better Housing for People with Mental Health Disabilities

Nashville housing counselor Louetta Hix
Credit Rose Hoban

  In the last 10 years, multiple studies have concluded that housing people with mental health disabilities in adult and family care homes is not the best plan for them. Each study has recommended phasing out use of the homes and improving the system. Despite that, the number of homes has increased along with the number of adults with mental illness who live in them.

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Health
6:00 am
Thu April 21, 2011

Roadblocks for Housing for People with Mental Health Disabilities

For people with mental health disabilities, housing’s an intensely personal issue. Many want to live independently, some want to live with others. But mostly, what folks with mental health problems say they want is some choice in the matter. But housing is a political and economic issue too. Many factors prevent people with mental health disabilities from getting the housing they want… and need.

 

It probably wouldn’t occur to him, but Alfred Brown is in the vanguard. He’s weathered a lifetime of schizophrenia and alcohol abuse…

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Health
6:00 am
Wed April 20, 2011

Tennessee Finds Ways To House People With Mental Health Disabilities

Clinton Toy in front of his Nashville home.
Credit Rose Hoban

  Around the country, advocates have come to realize that one of the most important services for people with mental health disabilities is housing – and that most people with disabilities are able to live independently with some help. States have tried many strategies to create suitable housing options. Tennessee dedicates a small amount of state money every year to local groups that succeed pretty well.  

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Health
6:00 am
Tue April 19, 2011

Institutional-type Housing for People with Mental Health Disabilities

Thousands of people with mental health disabilities live in large adult care homes and in smaller family care homes in North Carolina. Advocates argue that many of these facilities are too institutional to truly help their residents integrate into the community. Now the federal government is investigating the state. Justice Department attorneys contend the state’s reliance on such facilities to house people with mental illness could violate federal law and Supreme Court rulings. 

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Health
6:00 am
Mon April 18, 2011

What Kind of Housing for People with Mental Health Problems?

Mental health reformers have repeated their intention to move people out of large institutions toward treatment options closer to home. But even as people have left hospitals, local resources have not kept pace.  That means in North Carolina, many people with mental health disabilities live in adult care homes designed for frail elderly people. Now the U S Justice Department is investigating this situation. 

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Health
5:45 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Medicare Releases Rates For Hospital Acquired Complications

New data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services shows some higher complication rates than average at several area hospitals.

The new online data base at the Medicare website shows rates for eight so-called 'never' events.  Those are complications Medicare officials believe should never happen in hospitals. Those incidents include patients developing bedsores, or doctors leaving objects inside their surgical patients. Medicare has stopped reimbursing hospitals for many of these hospital acquired complications. 

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Health
5:00 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Teenage Binge Drinking May Have Lasting Effects

Teenagers who binge drink may do long-term damage to their brains, according to a study from UNC Chapel Hill. Scientists administered alcohol to adolescent mice and measured changes in brain matter. They found adolescent mice exposed to alcohol lost brain matter in the frontal cortex and were less proficient at memory tests. Dr. Fulton Crews is a professor of pharmacology at UNC. He says the human adolescent brain functions in much the same way:

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