Health Care | KUER 90.1

Health Care

Our region has an especially high rate of suicide. Now Colorado is taking a unique approach to deal with it, at least for kids. Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, just allocated $2.8 million for a state-wide pediatric mental health initiative.

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A spike in cases of a mysterious neurological disease has been raising concern around the country this week. A group of researchers in Colorado has been leading the way in understanding it.

Photo of prop 2 sign.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Much of the opposition to Proposition 2, the medical cannabis ballot initiative before Utah voters, has focused on what critics warn are the “unintended consequences” of broader legalization.

photo of Stoll.
Nicole Nixon / KUER

Utahns will begin voting on three citizen-led initiatives when ballots start hitting mailboxes soon. This week, we’re bringing you stories of voices behind the initiatives—people who could be directly affected if they pass. ​The following story focuses on one person in support of Proposition 2, which would broaden access to medical marijuana in Utah.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Shantay Lowell’s kitchen is organized like most working parents, with Oreo cereal in the cupboard and sippy cups on the counter, but one drawer stands out.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah is poised to legalize medical marijuana this fall, and it could be the first state-run distribution program in the country.

Sasiistock via iStock

Breastfeeding may help babies control their stress according to new research out of the University of Utah.

The flu epidemic was especially deadly last year. And our region was no exception. Tens of thousands of people are estimated to have died in the U.S. from the flu virus last season, including a record high of 180 children.  

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out in cautious support of medical marijuana last month but now says the legislature should decide how it’s legalized in Utah, not the voters in a citizen’s initiative this November.

Jason Harris photo.
Lee Hale / KUER


Marijuana and Mormonism don't usually go together. And that puts Jason Harris in a cloudy position, even if pot has essentially cleared up his life.

If you’re poor and you get really sick in Idaho, your health care options might be really different than say, if you live in Colorado or Montana.

 


Erik Neumann / KUER

Utah-based hospital system Intermountain Healthcare released new details today about its plan to start manufacturing its own generic drugs. Representatives said it’s a new approach to driving down drug prices.

Sherry and Marc Hunter sit on their couch.
Kelsie Moore / KUER


Sherry and Marc Hunter are a typical middle-class family in Spanish Fork, Utah. But, as parents, the Hunters have a constant worry that keeps them on their toes.

marijuana in a prescription pill bottle.
iStock / thegoodphoto

Representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are becoming more active in their opposition to a medical marijuana initiative in Utah this November.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported record drug overdose numbers in 2017, but a handful of states saw a decrease last year including here in the Mountain West.

People for and against abortion rights are watching what happens with President Trump’s nominee to fill an empty seat on the Supreme Court.

Anti-abortion groups including March for Life and National Right to Life Committee have commended the president’s choice, Brett Kavanaugh, whose Senate confirmation hearings are set to begin in early September. Abortion-rights advocates worry that adding a perceived conservative justice like Kavanaugh will tip the court’s scales when it comes to views on abortion, opening up the possibility that a 1973 Supreme Court case protecting that right might be overturned.

Erik Neumann / KUER


Measles is making a comeback in the U.S. as more parents choose not to vaccinate their children. The childhood disease is a major killer in much of the developing world, but now the public health community is trying to re-educate families about the importance of childhood vaccinations. That includes a new program in Utah.

map of US show one in four ankle sprains resulted in an opioid prescription in the west. Prescriptions were given at an above average rate in the south, and below average in the great lakes and northeast regions.
With permission M. Kit Delgado, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; Annalls of Emergency Medicine.

A state-by-state analysis of opioid prescriptions for people who visited emergency rooms with a sprained ankle show one in four patients were given opioids for pain.

The study looked at insurance claims for ER visits between 2011 and 2015.

At the low end, prescribing rates were around three percent and at the high end 40. The overall average was 25 percent.

Librarian behind desk with printer and naloxone syringe.
Kelsie Moore / KUER


On a recent Tuesday morning at the West Jordan library outside Salt Lake City, Peter Sadler was carefully stabbing an orange with a syringe.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 

The House just passed a bill to create a 9-1-1 type service nationwide for suicide prevention. This change could be especially important for our region, which has some of the highest suicide rates in the country.

A new study out of Colorado State University shows that disease-bearing ticks are more widespread than previously thought, but the Mountain West is still relatively safe.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Idaho officially joined Utah today as the third state to try to expand Medicaid by ballot initiative.

A table covered in pies for auction.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

PRICE, UTAH — On a scorching day in mid-June, KOAL Castle Country Radio host Dave Hocanson was taking a break from airing conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to promote a $175 pie.

A large part of our region isn't doing very well when it comes to child health. That's according to the 2018 Kids Count Data Book out today.

Nuclear testing during the Cold War sent radioactive fallout far away from the actual test sites. Politicians are moving to expand who can be compensated by the government for getting sick after exposure to that fallout.

photo of gavel and stethoscope.
iStock.com/AVNphotolab

The Supreme Court ruled today that so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” do not have to make it clear to clients that they are not licensed medical facilities.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cancer centers are working to increase HPV vaccinations across the nation, but particularly in Mountain West states, where vaccination rates are low.

Protests and blockades of clinics that perform abortions are up dramatically around the nation, including Colorado, the first state in the union to pass a law legalizing abortion more than fifty years ago.  

This month, Colorado became the first state in the nation to allow school nurses to administer medical marijuana to students. But not all nurses may be on board.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Our region ranks in the top ten for suicide. A new study from the University of Utah shows there may be a reason for that.

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