Health

Image of Damon Tweedy, who is a professor psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke.
Stock Photography

When Damon Tweedy was in his first year of medical school, he learned a number of startling statistics that led him to the conclusion that being black is somehow bad for your health.

He heard over and over how black patients were faring worse than other patients in almost every field of medicine, but nobody seemed to be talking about the reasons for this disparity.

An image of a jail cell
AlexVan / pixabay Creative Commons

Two suicides of inmates in the Jackson County jail during a four-month period prompted investigations by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Both men died of hanging and the investigations found that both deaths occurred when jailers failed to conduct visual checks required by state rules. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Asheville Citizen-Times investigative reporter Tonya Maxwell about the cases. 

RTDNA / http://www.rtdna.org/

WUNC is happy to announce that the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) has awarded the station with an Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting in a large market radio division.

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

    

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.

chickens
Katie Brady / Wikimedia Commons

The avian bird flu is spreading across the country, and officials in North Carolina are doing what they can to protect the state's birds before the flu becomes a serious threat. The disease could have devastating effects on North Carolina's $18 billion poultry industry if infected waterfowl enter the state, but State Veterinarian Doug Meckes said that won't be a threat until possibly this fall.

 

"At this point, the migratory fowls do continue to harbor the virus, but most of them are in Canada and not a threat," Meckes said.

Photo: The lethal injection room at San Quentin State Prison
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation / Public Doman

North Carolina prosecutors have sought the death penalty against about two people per year since 1989 without enough evidence to prove their guilt, according to the Center for Death Penalty Litigation.  The advocacy group opposes the death penalty and helped represent former death row inmate Henry McCollum, who was recently exonerated after 30 years in jail.

An image of runners in flip flops
The nOg Run Club

 

For three years, the nOg Run Club has been trying to break a record. It may have achieved that thanks to hundreds of plastic sandals.

More than 600 runners gathered at Raleigh’s Oakwood Cemetery for a fun and floppy run Saturday. Their goal was to try and break the record for the most people running with flip-flops at one time.

An image of members of USCRI-NC and refugees
USCRI-NC / http://www.refugees.org/about-us/where-we-work/north-carolina/

After nine months in the United States, Zia Ziauddin still has not found a job, but it’s not because he isn’t qualified. Before resettling in the United States with his family, Ziauddin worked in a senior position at a city management company in Afghanistan. He has several skills to offer but finding the right fit has been hard.

“In some interviews they say I am overqualified for the entry-level position I applied to,” Ziauddin said. “That makes me unhappy and disappointed but this is my situation and I am dealing with it.”

An image of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC
Jarrett Stewart / https://www.flickr.com/photos/m877/226761637

During a prayer meeting, nine people were murdered Wednesday night at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

The police identified the suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Roof. He was apprehended Thursday in Shelby, North Carolina.  Police are calling the act a hate crime as the community continues to grieve.

A view from Ocean Crest Pier, Oak Island.
Donald Lee Pardue / www.flickr.com/photos/oldrebel/4959571749/

The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office is monitoring the water off Oak Island beaches. They're on the lookout for sharks. Two teenagers were mauled Sunday afternoon, just 80 minutes and two miles apart.

Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace is urging beach goers to learn more about shark safety and to play it safe at the ocean.

"Please don't go above, like, knee or hip-deep. Even hip-deep, the sharks can be swimming in that area. And stay amongst a group of people. Don't go out and be just one person alone out there."

An image of the Supreme Court
Kjetil Ree / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected North Carolina officials' appeal to revive a requirement that abortion providers perform, display and describe an ultrasound for a pregnant woman before she has an abortion.

Image of Stanley, whose Instagram documenting her yoga progression has amassed more than 81,000 followers.
Jesssamyn Stanley

Images of women’s bodies are now more prolific than ever. From media advertisements to fitness blogs and Facebook feeds, photos of women’s bodies are everywhere.

There have been ongoing conversations in academia and popular culture about the impact that these images have on body image, but a growing chorus of women argue that there has long been something missing in this conversation: fat bodies can be healthy and beautiful, and fat shaming benefits no one.

A "Fat Femme" on Instagram

Image of tools in doctor's office
Morgan / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act is still attracting big enrollment numbers in North Carolina.

Nearly 500,000 people in the state have coverage, but premiums could rise by as much as 40 percent next year for some health plans.

   

And the Obama administration says more than 300,000 people still are not covered because the state did not expand Medicaid. 

The Silent Killer

Jun 2, 2015
Photo of The Duke Cancer Center
www.dukemedicine.org

African-American men are nearly two times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than their white counterparts. And the gap in life-saving treatment is worse; African-American men are nearly three times more likely to die from prostate cancer than white men.

  According to the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry, for every 100,000 African-American men in the state, 216 will develop prostate cancer, and 48 will die.

A picture of Belhaven Mayor Adam O'Neal
StoryofAmerica.org

The mayor of Belhaven, N.C. is walking to Washington, D.C., again, over hospital closures.

Mayor Adam O'Neal made the trek last year when Belhaven Hospital shut down because of financial problems. 

Now he says there are as many as  283 rural hospitals across the country in danger of closing by the end of this year.

"All we're doing is trying to bring awareness, national awareness to a horrific tragedy that's taking place in our country right now and that's the failure of rural hospitals."

Tulane Publications via Flickr/Creative Commons

A baby born in Orange County can expect to live to be nearly 82 years old. That's according to health data analysis by the independent children's advocacy group NC Child.

But Research and Data Director Laila Bell says children in poorer counties aren't likely to live as long. A newborn in Rockingham County is unlikely to reach the age of 76.

Two white gold rings. (flickr.com/photos/72236935@N00)
Jeff Belmonte / Flickr

The leaders of the country's largest Protestant denomination have a message for millennials: get married already!

Over the past year, Southern Baptist leaders have encouraged churchgoers to get married young. The push comes in an effort to ensure more couples will be virgins on their wedding day. But does marrying young lead to happier marriages?

Book cover to Ronald Manheimer new book 'Mirrors of the Mind.'
Jorvik Press/2015

Many think of philosophers like Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Augustine as confined to dusty old anthologies and philosophy survey courses.

But retired philosophy professor Ronald Manheimer wanted to change that perspective and take readers out of philosophers' heads and into their lives. His new book, "Mirrors of the Mind: Reflecting on Philosophers' Autobiographies" (Jorvik Press/2015) delves into the lives of some of the most well-known philosophers.

    

Host Frank Stasio talks with Manheimer about how these great thinkers' lives informed their theories.

Grand Power K100
Wikipedia

A bill in the North Carolina House could change gun regulations in the state. Proponents say the measure would give more consistency to licensing. Opponents, including some law enforcement agencies, say the changes would allow private sellers to skip registration processes. Also in the headlines: yesterday, in federal court, Duke Energy pleaded guilty over charges stemming from the 2014 coal ash spill. The deal means the company will pay $102 million in fines and restitution. Host Frank Stasio talks with WUNC reporters Jorge Valencia and Dave Dewitt about the latest.

A picture of the UNC and GSK press conference.
WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill announced a partnership this week with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to work on a cure for AIDS.

Scientists say what once was a lofty goal is now more realistic, thanks in part to UNC's already-extensive AIDS research. 

GSK and UNC will create a company called Qura Therapeutics to oversee more research at UNC laboratories, with an eye on producing a cure within the next 30 years.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Triangle Business Journal reporter Jason deBruyn about the details of the partnership.

An image of chickens on farm
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

 

North Carolina officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of the avian bird flu spreading in the Midwest and Western United States. Thirty million birds have either died from the disease, or have been killed as a preventive measure to control the flu from spreading, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A picture of the UNC and GSK press conference.
WUNC

UNC-Chapel Hill has teamed up with pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to find a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Chancellor Carol Folt announced the creation of Qura Therapeutics, which will oversee the new HIV Cure center. The center will bring together researchers from UNC and GSK.

GSK will contribute $20 million for the first five years.

GSK CEO Andrew Witty says research on the virus has come a long way since the 1980s, when a cure for AIDS was thought to be impossible.

A picture of a baby held by a mother.
ODHD / Flickr

The WakeMed system opens its new Women's Hospital today. The system's fifth hospital adjoins two other main buildings on WakeMed's Raleigh campus.

The 61-bed women's hospital offers private delivery and bed rooms, lactation specialists, and postpartum care, says spokeswoman Debbie Laughery.

"And we know that comfort in a calming environment leads to healing. So, if we can bring the quality care together in a tranquil environment, we believe the outcomes will be better."

The women's hospital also offers general surgery, urology, gynecology and mammography services.

A picture of a baby near a puff of smoke.
US Food and Drug Administration

 

The United States is one of the few developed countries that has a decades-old, text-only warning label on cigarette packages.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tried for years  to add warnings with graphic images, but lawsuits from tobacco companies have halted the process.

A picture of a stethoscope.
jasleen_kaur / Flickr/Creative Commons

Duke University settled a lawsuit with eight cancer patients and their families after a former researcher conducted phony genetic trials.

Disgraced former Duke oncologist Anil Potti conducted genetic research for personalized cancer treatments until 2010.

Potti and his team were accused of falsifying data. Soon after, The Cancer Letter reported that Potti lied about scientific honors he received.

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