health care

The State of Things
12:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Meet Randall Williams

Randall Williams
Credit Randall Williams

  

North Carolina native Randall Williams says he knew he was going to be a doctor when he was four years old.

Unlike many who think they know their career path, Williams never changed his mind. He started working in the emergency room of his hometown hospital in Burlington as a teenager. He served as everything from a candy striper to an orderly before going to medical school.

He is now a Raleigh physician who has taken 11 trips to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Palestine for medical missions. He ran for mayor of Raleigh in the latest election.

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Study: Air Quality Restrictions Linked With Improved Respiratory Health

New research from Duke University shows a link between air quality restrictions and improved respiratory health in North Carolina.
Credit Doug Bradley / Flickr

Duke University researchers have found a connection between state and federal air pollution restrictions and improved public health in North Carolina.

Duke Surgery Professor H. Kim Lyerly and his team evaluated disparate data from air quality monitoring stations and health statistics between 1993 and 2010. Lyerly said air quality improved, and so did respiratory health.

Accounting for seasonal changes and an overall drop in smoking, Lyerley said annual emphysema-related deaths dropped from 12-per-100,000 people, to five. Asthma and pneumonia-related deaths decreased, too.

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Health
8:44 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Report: Left Unchecked, Diabetes Will Cost NC Billions

A report from Harvard University says diabetes is a growing problem in North Carolina, and offers advice for how to prevent and treat the disease.
Credit .:[ Melissa ]:. / Flickr

A report from Harvard University says one-in-10 North Carolinians has diabetes, and that the disease will cost the state $17 billion per year by 2025.

Sarah Downer is a fellow at Harvard's Health Law and Policy Clinic. She said limited access to healthcare, nutritious foods and safe places to exercise are dangerous to communities.

North Carolina has the fifth highest rate of food insecurity, meaning people don't have regular access to nutritious meals. The state also ranks fifth for early childhood obesity.

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Military
7:24 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Burr Vs. Vets: A Battle Of Official Statements

Republican US Sen. Richard Burr has been sparring with veterans service organizations.

The official statement might be the most passive aggressive technique in politics. And right now, there's a lot of passive aggression in the world of veterans affairs.

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Health
9:49 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Durham NC Opens New STD Screening Clinic - HIV Testing Free

A microscopic image of HIV
Credit Duke University

In the last year, Durham County has seen about 100 new cases of HIV reported. It's also seen about 20 new cases of syphilis.

Generally speaking, that's on par with other metro areas in the state, which are seeing more cases of STDs, while North Carolina's rural areas are seeing a decline.

It's hard to know what is accounting for the rise. The most obvious possibility is an increase in unsafe sexual activity. But there's also a chance that, as screening becomes more commonplace and more effective, we're simply identifying more cases that were there to begin with.

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Health
10:25 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Not Enough Doctors? How The Medical Education System Is Contributing To The Shortage

U.S. Navy Ens. Frank Percy, right, a physician’s assistant, works alongside a medical student.
Credit Seaman S. C. Irwin, United States Navy

It is a great time to become a physician in the U.S. There is a growing need for doctors of all kinds, so if you invest in medical school, chances are, you will find a job. By the end of this decade, it’s projected that the country will be short 90,000 physicians.

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Health
9:31 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Hospitals Weather Flu Season Despite An IV Drug Shortage

A national shortage of saline intravenous drip bags has stressed area medical facilities during the recent flu season.
Credit Harmid / Wikipedia

Medical facilities are facing a national shortage of intravenous drugs, especially saline IV drips. Saline is used to treat dehydrated patients.

Manufacturers are stepping up production to meet need, but the shortage has presented problems to hospitals since December, when flu season began.

Zack Moore is an infectious disease epidemiologist with he North Carolina Division of Public Health. He said this is an especially bad time of year to have a limited saline supply for two reasons.

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