Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 17:27:00

Committee passes bill to redefine "stillbirth" and require reporting miscarriages at 12 weeks

The House Public Health committee today passed a bill sponsored by Rep. David Meeks, which would redefine "stillbirth" as the unintended death of a fetus any time after 12 weeks (current state law uses the medical definition, 20 weeks).  The bill would require that miscarriages that happened at 12 weeks gestation or more be reported to the division of Vital Records within five days after the event. Under current law, such fetal deaths must be reported when the fetus weighs more than 350 grams, or at 20 weeks if the weight is unknown. (The reporting requirement falls on medical providers, not on women who miscarry.)

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 10:47:00

Arkansas Children’s Research Institute receives $9.4 million grant for new childhood obesity center

The Arkansas Children’s Research Institute announced today that it has received a $9.4 million grant funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will be used to create a center for the study of childhood obesity.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 15:52:00

CDC to provide $1.3 million to Arkansas in funds to battle Zika

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today announced $60 million awarded to "states, cities, and territories to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika virus disease and adverse health outcomes that can result from Zika infection, including the serious birth defect microcephaly." That includes $5.6 million to Arkansas. The funding will become available on August 1; Arkansas previously received $300,000 from the CDC on July 1.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:17:00

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam releases budget detailing cuts if Medicaid expansion ends (UPDATES)

House Speaker Jeremy Gillam and Joint Budget House Chairman Lane Jean have sent out documents to all House members detailing budget cuts if the legislature refuses to re-authorize Medicaid expansion. Read them and weep.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 12:47:00

Project to assess linkage between substandard housing and poor health in Little Rock

The Health Impact Project will award a grant to Arkansas Community Institute in Little Rock to develop a plan to assess the impact of substandard housing on health for city residents living south of I-630.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 18:05:00

Game and Fish commission says chronic wasting disease found in Arkansas

Chronic wasting disease is caused by a pathological agent called a prion, much like mad cow disease or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. It causes fatal neurological degeneration in deer, elk and moose.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 14:59:00

"Diabetes in Arkansas" discussion at Clinton School next week

The Clinton School of Public Service will host a discussion on diabetes facilitated by students and alumni next Tuesday.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 14:52:00

Sexually transmitted Zika virus in Texas

A Zika virus infection transmitted by sex, rather than mosquito bite, has been diagnosed in Texas.

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Today's headlines: 'Shameful' Supreme Court and a busy legislature

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016 - 09:35:00

Three flu-related deaths in Arkansas

Three flu-related deaths have occurred in Arkansas during this flu season, according to a report issued last week by the Arkansas Department of Health. All three were adults; the report does not indicate whether they had gotten flu vaccines.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 15:32:00

Dept. of Health: Case of Zika Virus confirmed in Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control have confirmed that an Arkansas resident has been diagnosed with the Zika virus after returning from a trip abroad. The disease is spread by mosquitoes. According to the CDC, Zika can have symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain and itchy eyes. Symptoms generally last up to a week, and there's no known cure. A bigger possible risk, however, is to pregnant women, with serious birth defects reported in connection with the virus.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 14:42:00

Psychologists urge ABC to correct bogus depiction of RAD in '20/20' coverage of Justin Harris

A letter bearing the names of 19 professors of psychology and social work from around the country has been sent to ABC to protest the television network's flawed depiction of reactive attachment disorder, or RAD, a part of "20/20's" coverage of the Rep. Justin Harris adoption story that the news magazine aired last month.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015 - 09:40:00

Survey on transgender health care under way in Arkansas

John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau reports this morning on TRANSform Health Arkansas, a collaboration between UAMS and the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition to collect survey data on health care issues facing trans people in the state.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 17:54:00

Private option's per capita costs are still flat for 2015; number of beneficiaries still rising

For fans of the private option, the good news on cost just keeps on coming: The Department of Human Services released figures today that show the per capita cost of providing health insurance to low-income Arkansans has continued to remain flat throughout 2015. That figure has hovered right around $481 since the beginning of the year and ticked slightly downward this month to $480.67.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 16:34:00

Report: diverting mentally ill criminals away from jails and prisons could save state $140 million per year

The Arkansas Public Policy Panel released a report today calling for the state to invest in mental-health crisis centers, where criminal offenders with mental health issues would get treatment, rather than simply being incarcerated.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 12:55:00

House committee passes bill granting maternity leave to state employees

Here's one bright spot at the legislature, at least: House Public Health this morning passed a bill by Rep. Clarke Tucker (D-Little Rock) that gives up to six weeks of paid maternity leave to state employees.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 07:08:00

Bill to reduce teen pregnancy among college students leaves out mention of contraceptives (but includes abstinence ed)

Yesterday, the House passed a bill by Rep. Deborah Ferguson (D-West Memphis) that would require public colleges and universities in Arkansas to develop an "action plan" to combat teen pregnancy. It's a fine idea. It's also frustratingly incomplete because of what it doesn't mention: contraception.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015 - 07:27:00

Dog at UAMS sniffs out thyroid cancer

UAMS has been making headlines in the scientific world the last few days for research that indicates a dog has been trained to sniff out thyroid cancer.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 14:13:00

FDA will change lifetime ban on gay blood donors to one-year restriction

Since 1983, the FDA has prohibited donations of blood from a man who has had sex with another man at any point in his life. Now the agency will only prohibit donations from men who have had sex with men in the past 12 months.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014 - 10:58:00

Arkansas Insurance Department releases 2015 Marketplace premium rates

The Arkansas Insurance Department today released the projected 2015 premiums for the health insurance plans on the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace, the health insurance exchange created by Obamacare. These rates are still pending federal approval, which will come within the next month. We already knew the big picture: premiums in 2015 are falling 2.2 percent as compared to 2014 (by weighted average based on 2014 market share). What we have now are individualized rates so consumers can look at individual plans.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 14:21:00

Keeping an eye on the (single) Ebola case in Dallas

There's no reason to think that the one case of Ebola in the United States is anything but contained, and health workers are now taking every precaution to prevent the spread of the disease. Still, Dallas isn't that far from Arkansas, so we'd be remiss not to follow events down there.

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