#health

Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing
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West Virginia health officials say 540 confirmed cases of hepatitis A have been reported in the state.

Adelina Lancianese / NPR

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says the coal mining industry needs a “fundamental shift” in the way it controls exposure to coal and rock dust in order to prevent lung disease among miners.

On Thursday, the White House unveiled the first act in its effort to fight the opioid epidemic by harnessing the power of digital media and cable TV.  

pills
Wikimedia Commons

Legislators grilled representatives from five major opioid distributors Tuesday on how painkillers flooded West Virginia under their watch.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing came as part of an investigation into why Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, Miami-Luken and H.D. Smith failed to report suspiciously large orders of opioid painkillers at the beginning of the addiction crisis.

Howard Berkes / NPR

William McCool is a 64-year-old former coal miner from Letcher County, Kentucky, with an advanced form of black lung disease. Health experts say the condition is entirely preventable with dust control measures in mines. But today, more miners in Appalachia are being diagnosed with severe black lung than ever before.

Students Push As Lawmakers Ponder Gun Safety Bills

Mar 20, 2018
Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

In a recently released court video, Capt. Matt Hilbrecht of the Marshall County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s office testifies about his interrogation of Gabriel Parker, the 15-year-old accused of a mass shooting at Marshall County High School in January.

“We asked him initially when he had the thought of the school shooting,” Hilbrecht begins as he describes the events leading up to the shooting. The recording was released because Parker is being tried as an adult.

Trump Takes Enforcement Approach To Opioid Crisis

Feb 1, 2018
C-Span video

President Donald Trump addressed the opioid crisis affecting the Ohio Valley region in his first State of the Union address Tuesday night.

“We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge,” he said. “My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need.”

Courtesy of White House video

Donald Trump told supporters on the campaign trail his plan to combat the opioid crisis. It included stopping the flow of drugs into the country, increase the penalties for drug trafficking, and make treatment more accessible.

“We will give people struggling with addiction access to the help they need,” then-candidate Trump said.

Jill Lang/ Adobe Stock

The Federal Communications Commission and the National Cancer Institute have joined forces to increase broadband access in rural areas in hopes of improving lives of cancer patients there. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans living in rural areas are still more likely to die of cancer than their counterparts in urban settings. 


Alexandria Kanik / Ohio Valley ReSource

As Congress considers repealing the Affordable Care Act, health professionals in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia grapple with what that might mean for a region where many depend on the law for access to care. This occasional series from the ReSource explores what's ahead for the Ohio Valley after Obama Care. See more stories here >>

Lawmakers Ask Trump For More Black Lung Funding

Mar 30, 2017
Howard Berkes / NPR

A bipartisan group of legislators has asked President Donald Trump to make more money available for black lung health clinics as they face an increase in cases of the disease among coal miners. 

More than 20 clinics would benefit from the $3.3 million increase lawmakers are requesting. The clinics provide miners with health screenings, medical care, and assistance in securing black lung benefits.

Todd Lappin / Flickr

Note: Some readers may find this subject matter disturbing.

When Beth Jacobs was 16 years old, she needed a ride home. She had missed her bus after work again after promising her father she was responsible enough not to make it a habit. She asked a man she thought was a friend to give her a lift. He offered her a drink from his car’s cup holder. She took a sip and woke up in a parking lot hours later.

Kentucky Hospital Assoc.

As Congress considers repealing the Affordable Care Act, health professionals in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia grapple with what that might mean for a region where many depend on the law for access to care. This occasional series from the ReSource explores what’s ahead for the Ohio Valley after Obamacare. See more stories here >>

Benny Becker

On any given day in Martin County, Kentucky, the water system loses more water to leaks than it delivers to paying customers through their faucets.The water system is under a state investigation for the third time since 2002. Customers complain of frequent service interruptions and discolored water, and their bills come with a notice that drinking the water could increase the risk of cancer.

Stopping Superbug: A New Farm Rule Targets Antibiotic Resistance

Jan 25, 2017
Nicole Erwin

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control offers a stark example of the declining power of medicine’s most important weapons against infectious disease. The CDC noted that a patient who died at a Nevada hospital last year had an infection that was resistant to 26 different antibiotic treatments. That’s essentially the entire antibiotic arsenal doctors had.

needle exchange sign
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Sitting on top of the Bible on Pastor Brad Epperson’s desk at the Clay City First Church of God is a list of goals for his small congregation written in a looping cursive hand.

“Our community ought to see the love of God in us, not just by our understanding of a compassionate Gospel, but our public acts of love,” is near the top.

Epperson was born and raised in Powell County in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.

Aravind Sivaraj / wikimedia Commons

  Federal authorities are investigating after a computer virus infected all electronic services of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare system in Kentucky and West Virginia.

ARH spokeswoman Melissa Cornett said in a statement Saturday that the system is dealing with technical complications.

Congratulations to Grace Landini, age 12, the West Virginia winner for the   Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and Kids State Dinner.  As a winner, Grace will be having lunch with First Lady, Michele Obama.  Grace's meal of Cool Couscous and Berry Healthy Dessert was inspired by trying to eat local foods. 

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginians from nine denominations will make a push next month to sign up hundreds of people in their campaign to improve people's health.

The religious groups are working with Try This West Virginia, a statewide healthy community program. The WV Healthy Bodies Healthy Spirits network will launch the month of activity on Tuesday in the secretary of state's conference room.

WVU Offers Undergraduate Degree in Public Health

Aug 31, 2015
WVU School of Public Health

WVU has been offering nationally accredited master’s degrees in public health for over 20 years. But in January, the WVU School of Public Health will offer West Virginia’s first ever nationally accredited undergraduate degree.

Is Huntington Getting Healthier?

Aug 9, 2015
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Seven years ago, an Associated Press article labeled the city of Huntington, West Virginia the unhealthiest in the nation.

Water Outages and Advisories Continue in W.Va. Coalfields

While the chemical spill in Charleston left more than 300,000 without usable water, it's a problem that folks in the coalfields deal with on a regular basis.

Last week, we heard stories of the water smelling of licorice, emptied shelves once stocked with bottled water, and other quests for clean water.  The water crisis in West Virginia's capital city lasted just a few weeks, but folks in the coalfields continue to deal with boil water advisories and outages.

Mountainous regions like southern West Virginia have an abundance of water, but the terrain along with aging infrastructure have been creating access issues for decades. Many of the current water systems in place today in the coalfields were installed in the early 1900's by coal companies. Coal operators, jobs, and most people left the area, leaving remnants of a once bustling economy including some beautiful buildings, coal tipples, and water systems. 

For some communities a boil water advisory is a way of life, like in Keystone, West Virginia, in McDowell County, where residents have been on an advisory since 2010. The town's neighboring sister city, Northfork, has been on a boil water advisory since 2013.

Jessica Lilly

While the chemical spill in Charleston left 300-thousand people without access to clean water, folks in the coalfields deal with water issues every day.  We heard from folks in McDowell communities living off dated water systems that frequently go without water. Some communities have been on boil water advisories for years.

Daniel Walker

While the chemical spill in Charleston left more than 300,000 without usable water, it's a problem that folks in the coalfields deal with on a regular basis.

Mountainous regions like southern West Virginia have an abundance of water, but the terrain along with aging infrastructure create challenges, just as it has for decades.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re marking the one-year anniversary of the Elk River Chemical Spill in Charleston, W.Va. that temporarily left 300,000 without water.

Remembering West Virginia Native, "Little" Jimmy Dickens