Health

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss / Flickr Creative Commons

The number of drug overdose deaths in North Carolina jumped by more than 22 percent in the past year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. North Carolina saw the second-highest spike in the country after Nebraska.

Asheville Fire Department

A ruling in a North Carolina firefighter's death could open the door for more benefits for their surviving families.

Students in the Medical Education Development (MED) Program (left to right) Jazmine Walker, Miguel Vasquez, Gloribel Vanegas, and Joshua Walker prepare to dissect a cadaver at UNC Chapel Hill on July 5, 2018.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

Jazmine Walker unzips a blue body bag. A gaggle of students in scrubs and surgical masks surround her. Teams of five crowd around cadavers around the room, about to begin their first dissection of a human body. But these are not medical students − not yet anyway.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina headquarters in Durham.
BCBSNC

Premiums for the majority Affordable Care Act plans in North Carolina will decrease for the first time in history, but the chief executive of the state's largest health insurer says they would be 15 percent lower if not for actions taken by the Trump Administration.

Fayetteville Police Department Captain Lars Paul shows a naloxone injectable kit and a naloxone nose spray Fayetteville police use to reverse opioid overdose.
Raul Rubiera / For WUNC

Last year, public attention turned to the opioid crisis for months. Policymakers implemented plans to curb overdoses and providers across the health care spectrum vowed to do their part to stem the crisis.

A cigarette in an ashtray.
Tomasz Sienicki / Wikipedia

The State Health Plan will change vendors for its smoking cessation program.

The plan, which provides health insurance coverage to 727,000 North Carolina public sector teachers, current and former lawmakers, and retirees and their dependents, will switch from QuitlineNC to CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic.

President John F. Kennedy in the motorcade where he was assassinated, with Texas Governor John Connally sitting in front of him.
Walt Cisco / Dallas Morning News

Americans know that on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed as he rode in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Many people don’t know, however, that Texas Governor John Connally was riding in the same car as President Kennedy that day and was also hit by a bullet. He was seriously wounded, but he recovered. 

SNAP
Dept. of Agriculture

The federal government has discontinued a contract with Novo Dia Group, the company whose smartphone app allows local farmers markets to process SNAP benefits -- or food stamps.

Eight months pregnant, the drug sales representative wore a wire for the FBI around her bulging belly as she recorded conversations with colleagues at a conference in Chicago. Her code name? Pampers.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt
Elvert Barnes / Creative Commons https://bit.ly/1dsePQq

According to the United Nations, more people are living with HIV than have died since the epidemic began in the 1980s. There have been large medical and social advances for those diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. But many of those early researchers, advocates and survivors are nearing the end of their lives. 

ACA Navigators Get Steep Funding Cut For Second Year

Jul 16, 2018
Healthcare.gov

The Trump administration is drastically cutting funding for nonprofits that help sign people up for the Affordable Care Act.

UNC Hospital Surgical Tower
UNC Hospitals / UNC Health Care

UNC Health Care is in the final stages before breaking ground on its new surgical tower on the Chapel Hill campus.

Ragen Chastain is doing a split
Courtesy of Ragen Chastain

More than 90 million American adults are obese. Research shows that excess weight can increase your risk of certain health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. But being overweight affects more than your health. Studies show obese people have a harder time finding a job and are paid less than thinner people.

Courtesy of Dan Ariely

Summer is filled with temptation. We know that fresh fruit is a healthier choice than ice cream. A ripe watermelon can be just as sweet, but often times we pass it by for a double scoop in a waffle cone. The barrage of pool parties and cookouts combined with summer vacation may leave many struggling to make and keep health commitments.

Kristin D. stands in the Bright Spaces room at the Healing Transitions women's campus in Raleigh. Women in the program live on campus for 12 - 18 months and are slowly given greater responsibility, freedom, and trust as they progress through the program.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

Kristin walked confidently through the halls of Healing Transitions as she gave a tour on a recent morning.

Carla Hollis, center in black and white dress, CEO of Triangle Springs cuts the ribbon.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Veteran Duke basketball fans will remember the name Marty Clark. He played for the Blue Devils in the early 1990s, including on the back-to-back championship teams of 1991 and 1992.

But after college, things turned for Clark.

Eat Your Feelings: How Hunger Becomes ‘Hanger’

Jul 6, 2018
Petras Gagilas/Flickr Creative Commons

Plenty of people blame feeling angry on being hungry and this year the Oxford English Dictionary added the word “hangry” as a colloquial blend of the two. The term reflects a common experience, but one that had not been well understood.

Good Bowls

Many people are familiar with TOMS shoe company, which donates a pair of shoes for every one purchased. Now, a researcher in the Triangle is trying a similar business model with frozen meals.

A prosthetic hand grips an object with synthetic skin on its fingertips.
Osborn et al, Science Robotics 2018

Researchers have developed a new part for a prosthetic hand: a synthetic skin that can feel pain. The electronic dermis, or “e-dermis,” fits over the fingertips of a prosthetic hand and helps amputees differentiate between something sharp and something round.

The 2018 Kids Count Data Book found that the well-being of NC children improved among 10 of 16 indicators, with the most consistent gains in the area of economic well-being.
Courtesy of NC Child

A new report on the well-being of children found improvements across many measures for kids in North Carolina. The 2018 Kids County Data Book ranks North Carolina 32nd in overall child well-being in comparison to other states, with the state rising one place in the rankings in each of the past three years. The latest report found that there were fewer children in poverty, higher graduation rates and fewer teens giving birth in the state in 2016 as compared to 2010.

Wikimedia Commons

Late last month more than 50 people in Brooklyn were hospitalized after what law enforcement believes was exposure to synthetic marijuana. The issue hit closer to home this month after a story broke that a Durham County resident experienced severe bleeding presumably from the same thing.

Heat Advisory forecast from the National Weather Service for Wed., June 20, 2018.
Courtesy of NWS

A heat wave is bringing sweltering temperatures to most of North Carolina, with highs in the upper 90s this week.

A young pregnant mother receives a shot in her left arm to prevent pertussis in future child.
James Morrison / WUNC

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine Friday finds that infants whose mothers get a Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis -or ‘Tdap’- vaccine during the third trimester of pregnancy are significantly less likely to get pertussis.

Thom Tillis
www.thomtillis.com

U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina says Congress should find ways to close gaps in health insurance coverage after sharing his own experience with mental illness.

Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

While incarcerated it is a constitutional right for inmates to receive medical care. But what happens when inmates are released and no longer have access to health services? The reality is they often go without medication or treatment. Considering prisons have become the largest mental healthcare providers in America, it is in the interest of public safety to remedy that gap in coverage.

Photo of prescription bottle and pils
Eric Norriss / Flickr Creative Commons

A non-profit advocacy group says children whose parents have a history of substance abuse are entering foster care at a higher rate. 

Courtesy of Dr. Steve Chaney

Can a healthy diet be high in meat protein and low in carbohydrates? Are diet sodas really healthier? Is the gluten-free diet the answer to health problems?

Duke researchers say bullying can lead to anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide up to 20 years later.
John Steven Fernandez via Flickr / flickr.com

Suicide rates have been rising consistently across the country, but the Centers for Disease Control says North Carolina's rate of increase is slower than other states. 

Corolla Beach
Thomas Wheeler / AltAdjust.com

Three swimmers drowned at Cape Hatteras National Seashore last week. Two had been caught in rip currents.

Rips are strong, narrow currents that pull water directly away from shore. They often form near a break in a sandbar.

A picture of a man using an e-cigarette.
www.vaping360.com / Vaping3650/Flickr

More high school students in the state say they are using e-cigarettes, or plan to start in the next year.

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