West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Brynn Anderson / AP Photo

West Virginia officials named in a federal class action lawsuit involving the state’s foster care system have retained outside counsel.

The lawsuit filed October 1 on behalf of 12 foster care children says Gov. Jim Justice, Department of Health & Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch and other state officials have failed to protect the rights of nearly 6,800 children under the state’s guardianship.

Brynn Anderson / AP Photo

West Virginia's Health and Human Resources Department says 651 foster care children, mostly teen boys, have run away from group care settings or schools in less than a year.

needles
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

West Virginia officials say the number of HIV cases in Cabell County has risen to 71.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources posted the figure on Monday, saying the virus has spread primarily among intravenous drug users.

This van is used by the JCESA to transport deceased who are non-medical examiner cases and who have no prior death arrangements. JCESA purchased this van in 2017 to tackle an increase in calls and manage a loss in local resources.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

One of the angles of the opioid epidemic we don’t often hear about is what happens to the bodies of those who become overtaken by addiction. West Virginia Public Broadcasting looks at one group under strain – the state’s forensic pathologists who are charged with performing autopsies.

We also explore one West Virginia community’s efforts to efficiently transport the dead.

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

Despite legislation from 2017 that allowed cannabis to be legal for medical use on July 1 of this year, West Virginia officials say they’re still years away from the first sale. That’s -- at least in part -- because of a hangup with finding a banking solution to get around federal law. State health officials say they also have to implement permitting and licensing for patients and those who want to start businesses within the industry. 

Marina Riker / AP Photo

Despite legislation that called for West Virginia’s medical cannabis program to launch this week, state health officials say they’re still years away from the first sale in the state. One reason for the delay has been the state's need for a third-party vendor to handle banking services. 

Drugs, Drug abuse, Drug overdose, overdose
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New West Virginia health information shows drug overdose deaths have increased to more than 1,000 in a one-year period for the first time.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the West Virginia Health Statistics Center's most recent data also shows 870 deaths involved an opioid. That's about 86 percent of the 1,011 recorded so far for 2017. In 2016, 759 people out of 890 people suffered fatal opioid-related overdoses.

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The application deadline for school clothing vouchers in West Virginia has been extended to Aug. 10.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Family Assistance made the announcement in a news release Tuesday.

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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.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
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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.

Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing
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The first death in West Virginia related to an outbreak of hepatitis A has occurred in Kanawha County, health officials said Thursday, May 24.

The state Bureau for Public Health said in a news release that a 33-year-old Kanawha County resident died Wednesday. The statement said the victim had several conditions that contributed to the death.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced state funding is available for two substance abuse recovery programs.

 

Both the Collegiate Recovery (CRPs) and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) programs focus on helping adults who suffer from substance use disorders get their lives back on track.

 

 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Discussion and delay. That was the theme for some notable pieces of legislation Thursday. While the House and Senate moved on some measures in their respective committees and floors, some bills were set aside and left for another day.

Prescriptions, Pills, Drugs, Prescription
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Jim Johnson, director of the West Virginia's new Office of Drug Control Policy, has announced his retirement after almost five months in the position.

The office within the Department of Health and Human Resources was established by lawmakers to coordinate and expand state measures against drug abuse.

On The Legislature Today, we chat with state Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch about a massive reorganization bill that was introduced in the House of Delegates. The bill would divide DHHR into four separate agencies.

Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors
Dollar Photo Club

Updated Friday January 12 at 4:18 p.m.

State health officials are proposing a multifaceted plan for confronting the drug crisis killing hundreds of West Virginians each year, one that would require action by everyone from lawmakers to doctors to judges to emergency responders to the general public.

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Health officials in West Virginia say a plan to combat the state's opioid crisis has been released for public comment.

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Throughout the Ohio Valley and West Virginia, thousands of children are in foster care -- and the opioid epidemic is sending thousands more to join them. In fact, in just the past year, West Virginia's foster care system alone saw an increase of 1,000 children entering care.

In 2016, West Virginia Public Broadcasting spoke with the Holbens, a former-foster family in Kearneysville, Jefferson County, to shed light on the struggles the opioid epidemic brings on foster care. We now check back in with that family and explore what lies ahead in combating this crisis.

Be sure to tune in for more on this subject during our nightly television program, The Legislature Today beginning January 11, 2018.

Cigarette, tobacco
nikkytok / Dollar Photo Club

The number of adults who smoke cigarettes in West Virginia has significantly declined since 2011.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human resources released new data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey by DHHR’s Health Statistics Center that shows a decrease in smoking adults of almost 4 percent from 2011 to 2016.

Prescriptions, Pills, Drugs, Prescription
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The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Thursday steps for an opioid response plan to combat the opioid epidemic. DHHR is asking West Virginians to help develop the plan through public comment and recommendations over the next 15 days.

Lyme, tick, Lyme disease, IDSA, infectious disease, WVU
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Tick-borne Lyme disease has spread across West Virginia over the past six years with cases reported in 52 of the state's 55 counties, according to state health officials.

Most cases are reported in the northern and eastern panhandles probably because of their proximity to the high-incidence states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the Department of Health and Human Resources said.

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The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced it has started drug screening benefits applicants of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

DHHR said in a news release it began screening people who apply for TANF, also known as WV WORKS, early last week.

Medical Marijuana
John Locher / AP Photo

West Virginia health officials have released an online survey for people interested in obtaining medical marijuana.

A Department of Health & Human Resources news release says the survey results will be shared with the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board in December.

Naloxone
Charles Krupa / AP Photo

State health officials say they have received federal approval to expand addiction treatment for West Virginians covered by Medicaid.

The waiver from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was requested to improve care and outcomes by expanding services for those diagnosed with a substance use disorder.

EpiPen, Mylan
Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

West Virginia health authorities say the state will get more than $1.9 million from a settlement with drug company Mylan Inc. over its emergency allergy injector.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
RayNata / wikimedia

Three substance use disorder programs in West Virginia are receiving $1.6 million in funding from the state.

The funding was announced by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities.

Jim Justice
Steve Helber / AP

Gov. Jim Justice named five members to the newly reconstituted West Virginia Health Care Authority, which a new law places under the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

West Virginia University and the state Department of Health and Human Resources have provided park rangers at New River Gorge National River with overdose rescue kits.

The university says in the last decade, there have been five overdoses at the park, none of them fatal. More than a million people visit annually.

A nursery where drug-affected babies are treated at Lily’s Place in Huntington, W.Va.
Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

A West Virginia hospital is no longer delivering babies.

State Department of Health and Human Resources spokeswoman Allison Adler tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that Welch Community Hospital's long-time obstetrician has retired.

Medals, Medallions, Harpers Ferry
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a group based in Jefferson County, West Virginia focused not only on improving health and wellness but also on incorporating the local community and history into that health experience.

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