Health & Science

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, coal companies in central Appalachia have used mountaintop removal to mine coal for decades. The controversial process blows the tops off mountains to reach the coal seams below. Researchers and policy makers have struggled to understand the full extent of mountaintop removal across the region. Brittany Patterson reports on a new study that provides a big-picture view of the mining method’s impact.

West Virginia ambulance
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

Uninsured and underinsured first responders in West Virginia will be able to access free hepatitis A vaccines.

The Exponent Telegram reports that the new West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Threat Preparedness will provide the free vaccines amid the state's recent outbreak.

Doctor, Health, Doctor with tablet, Doctor with iPad
Public Domain Pictures

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $1.7 million for health care programs in West Virginia.

Aaron Payne/ OHIO VALLEY RESOURCE

Central Appalachia has some of the worst health measures in the country. But some communities are bucking those trends with better health outcomes. A new report looks at how some Appalachian counties are improving their health statistics and becoming bright spots. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, there are at least 11 harm reduction programs across in West Virginia that offer help to people with substance use disorders. And though there is some controversy about the practice of giving free needles to people who use illegal drugs, these programs can be successful to help get more people into long-term recovery.

Angie Gray, Nurse Director for the Berkeley-Morgan County Health Department, shows a box of sealed, sterile syringes given to participants in her harm reduction program.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Across West Virginia, people are fighting back against the opioid epidemic and pushing the message of recovery. Some of these people run harm reduction clinics – which sometimes include needle exchanges. We meet a nurse in the Eastern Panhandle who runs one of these programs.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An outbreak of hepatitis A that started in California is now barreling through seven states, and the Ohio Valley has the nation’s highest rate of infections. More than 1,800 cases have been confirmed in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, and health officials say the number of undiagnosed infections is far higher. 
Mary Meehan reports on the response from the food industry and some of those working with populations at highest risk of hepatitis A infection.

Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing
Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia health officials say 540 confirmed cases of hepatitis A have been reported in the state.

Dollar Photo Club

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has approved a rule change requiring drugmakers to identify a legitimate need for opioids to justify their production in an attempt to rein in their diversion for illicit purposes.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, state Supreme Court Justice Menis Ketchum submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Jim Justice on Wednesday, July 11. Ketchum’s stepping down from the bench comes as the entire West Virginia Supreme Court is under investigation for possible impeachment.

Dollar Photo Club

Residential treatment services for substance abuse will be offered in five additional West Virginia counties.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources announced the availability of $1 million in funding to expand treatment services in Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Nicholas and Roane counties.

Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

News organizations are pushing for the public release of data detailing the distribution of prescription opioids throughout the U.S., information that could show how drug manufacturers and distributors contributed to the nation’s addiction and overdose crisis.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia native Patrice Harris has been elected as the first black woman president of the American Medical Association. Harris spoke with reporter Kara Lofton recently about her new appointment and what she hopes to accomplish in the position.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, while the nation is focused on the treatment of immigrant children at the border, some teachers are focused on the children of migrant workers in the Ohio Valley. The teachers are setting politics aside to put kids first with a migrant education program. And, as Nicole Erwin reports, the changing faces in the program offer some insights into the shifting demographics among migrant workers.

Drugs, Drug abuse, Drug overdose, overdose
Pixabay

County EMS records show Cabell County's overdose totals fell by 41 percent in the first six months of 2018 compared with the same period a year ago.

The Herald-Dispatch reports the use of naloxone — the drug first responders use to reverse an opioid-induced overdose — decreased by 49 percent in the West Virginia county compared to the first half of 2017.

Oxfordian Kissuth / wikimedia Commons

The housing authority of a West Virginia city has banned smoking at all its properties, including public housing units.

WVU

Several West Virginia locations will be visited by a mobile mammography vehicle this month.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we take a sneak peek at a new West Virginia musical written by Mountain Stage host Larry Groce. One song features a governor working hard to please constituents. Hear about it on this West Virginia Morning.

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Health officials in West Virginia say they've identified five more hepatitis A cases in food service workers.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department says a McDonald's on Patrick Street in Charleston, a Pizza Hut on Third Street in Saint Albans, Paul's Poplar Park Drive Inn in Scott Depot, Sakura on Nitro Place in Cross Lanes and Sam's Club on Mountaineer Boulevard in South Charleston each had one worker identified.

Deer
David J. Phillip / Associated Press

West Virginia officials have placed restrictions on the disposal and transport of deer carcasses in two more counties in response to a disease.

The state Division of Natural Resources says in a news release the restrictions start July 1 in Berkeley and Mineral counties. The restrictions are already in Hampshire, Hardy and Morgan counties.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
RayNata / wikimedia

Renovations have started on a building that will become apartments for women undergoing treatment for substance abuse in West Virginia.

Marshall University said in a news release Monday its health provider group, Marshall Health, and the Huntington City Mission have begun construction on the 15,000-square-foot building next to the mission.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, about 10 years ago, the National Park Service noticed that fewer kids and families were using the parks. And they wanted to change that. So in 2009, they partnered with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation to launch an initiative to help families unplug, get outside and connect with their local natural resources.

Kara Lofton reports that the initiative called Kids in the Park soon expanded to include pediatricians who are trying to combat childhood obesity, diabetes and excess screen time by writing “prescriptions” for kids to go outside.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West VIrginia Morning, coal has long powered the Ohio Valley. But it left behind a legacy of waste: dozens of massive coal ash disposal sites. As the Trump administration changes the regulation of coal ash, the Ohio Valley ReSource and partner station WFPL have analyzed new data from the region’s waste sites. The analysis found widespread evidence that coal ash sites are leaking contaminants into surrounding groundwater.

In the first of a three-part series, reporters Brittany Patterson and Ryan Van Velzer share what they found and what it might mean for nearby communities.

Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

A federal judge in Ohio will consider whether to allow public access to government data detailing years of prescription opioid painkiller shipments.

Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing
Dollar Photo Club

Health officials in West Virginia say two more food service workers have been diagnosed with hepatitis A.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department says in a news release one of them worked at a Taco Bell in Hurricane (HER'-a-kin) and the other at a Pizza Hut on MacCorkle Avenue in Charleston. The health department handles public health services for Kanawha and Putnam counties.

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.  

Gabby Marshall

Inside the spotless industrial kitchen at Recovery Point, a long-term drug treatment facility in Charleston, Tracy Jividen helps to cook three meals a day for the nearly 100 women she calls her sisters. This space is her domain, and the irony isn’t lost on her: Last winter, she was stealing so she could eat.

This Guy Loves Crawdads, Snakes, and Teaching

Jun 11, 2018
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

Zachary Loughman has built a career as a naturalist and a scientist by not letting his inner 10-year-old boy grow up.

He has discovered, identified, and named 10 new crayfish species here in North America, and as an Associate Professor of Biology at West Liberty University, he’s shared his fascination for the species with countless students.

"Everyone loves crayfish," he said. "Anybody who grew up next to a creek knows what a crawdad is, so I basically have the dream job of every ten year old in West Virginia."

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without congressional action. As Benny Becker reports, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging.

Benny Becker / Ohio Valley Resource

A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without Congressional action. As NPR has reported, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging.

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