Health

SIH Offers Support For Nursing Program At SIU-C

Sep 12, 2018
One person takes the blood pressure of another.
rawpixel//Creative Commons License

SIH has announced it supports efforts to begin a 4–year nursing program at SIU–Carbondale

There is currently a nationwide shortage of nurses, especially those with four–year degrees. SIH President and CEO Rex Budde says the program would also benefit Southern Illinois residents who want to further their nursing education.

Data Show Opioid Prescriptions Declining In IL

Sep 11, 2018
Steve Buissinne CC0 Creative Commons

There is some good news in the fight against opioid abuse in Illinois. Doctors prescribed fewer opioids to patients in 2017 than 2016, according to numbers from the statewide prescription monitoring program. The database can’t track illegal narcotic use, but the drop in prescriptions is still widely seen as a good sign as the majority of heroin users say their first experience with opioids came from a prescription drug.

Battling Drug Addiction: What Comes After Detox?

Sep 10, 2018
Director John Steve washes dishes in an industrial kitchen sink.
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

Like many states, Illinois is battling an opioid epidemic. Loran Owens, who lives in Franklin county in Southern Illinois, knows what the epidemic is like first-hand.

 

 

"My brother, [when] I was in jail, my brother got arrested and he was in there about four months," Owens said. "And he shot up heroin, more or less. It was OxyContin and stuff ... and while he was in there, he was trying to get help. He was wanting to go to rehab when he left there."

Public health advocates and some state lawmakers spurned Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto a bill that would have raised the legal tobacco age to 21.

Rauner axed the bill last Friday, though his own Department of Public Health supported it. While he called smoking “detrimental” in his veto message, the governor said Illinois couldn’t take the risk of losing tobacco sales tax revenue to neighboring states.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure on Tuesday that will allow medical cannabis to be used as an alternative treatment for conditions often treated with opioids, such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and more.

A new law mandates the Illinois Department of Public Health to begin screening babies for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA… a neurodegenerative disorder linked to infant death.

SMA is an inherited muscle disorder… it affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord… which limits the patient’s ability to walk, eat, or breathe. Children with the disease typically die before 18 months.

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Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Two U.S. congressmen visited the Marion VA Medical Center Tuesday as part of a Veterans Listening Tour.

Congressman Mike Bost of Murphysboro hosted House Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Phil Roe from Tennessee to learn more about the effort to reform hiring practices at the facility.

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Flickr

The St. Louis District Dairy Council is ready to help southern Illinois schools get off to a nutritionally strong academic year.

The dairy council's Jaelyn  Munson says the agency works with Food Service Directors on ways to promote dairy products in school meals.

Pesticides are all over, from backyard gardens to cornfields. While their use doesn’t appear to be slowing, concern over drift and the resulting effects on health is driving research — and more worries.

Those concerns are bringing pesticides to a different venue: courtrooms. 

A town hall meeting in southern Illinois has been scheduled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss the agency's health care system.

Spokesman Kevin Harris says the Wednesday event in Mount Vernon is being held in light of the new leadership at Veteran Affairs.

Julia Fiedler, CC0 Creative Commons

A recent Supreme Court decision limiting regulations for anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers in California could affect patients in Illinois.

In the California case — known as NIFLA v. Becerra — operators of self-described crisis pregnancy centers argued that requiring facilities to post information about services available through other healthcare providers, including abortion, violated their free speech.

From E. coli in romaine lettuce to potential salmonella on Goldfish crackers to a parasite in salads and wraps, food recalls are in the spotlight this year. But things may not be as bad as they sound, according to Lana Nwadike, a food safety specialist with Kansas State University and the University of Missouri. 

The transition from youth to adolescence can be anxiety-inducing, navigating the physical changes and social pressures to fit in.

A Congressman from Illinois is working on a bill he says will encourage drug companies to develop new antibiotics.

More than 23,000 Americans a year die from bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

Lee Ann Stuart still wears her nursing scrubs, even though the only work she’s been doing since Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center closed June 11 is to pack boxes of medical supplies to be hauled away.

“It’s strange walking those halls, and they’re empty and the lights are down,” Stuart says. She’s been a nurse at the hospital in rural Kennett, Missouri, for 22 years.

St. Mary's Raising Funds for ER Renovation

Jul 24, 2018
Patients hand with monitors attached
Pixabay

In Centralia, St. Mary’s Hospital is raising funds to overhaul their emergency department. The campaign is part of a larger effort to update St. Mary's, and focuses specifically on the needs of the emergency department.

President Damon Harbison says the renovation will provide a better experience for patients.

"The emergency room is a place that no one ever wants to be at," he said. "But we want to create an environment that when you do need our services, it is top of the line."

Centerstone is teaming up with nine community partners to try to improve the mental health of children and communities in southern Illinois.

A 200-thousand dollar planning grant from the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation will help develop a plan for at-risk kids in Jackson, Williamson, Franklin and Perry Counties.

New research from the University of Illinois finds products of omega-3 fatty acid metabolism show anti-cancer properties in mice.

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Jackson Co. Health Dept.

The Jackson County Health Department is looking for Jackson County residents using private well water to participate in free water testing.

Director of the Division of Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness Bart Hagston says the research project is gathering data on the presence of lead in private water wells.

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Washington University

Washington University researchers have identified specific areas of the country where women are much more likely to die from breast cancer.

Across all women, there were 80 counties in the U.S. with the highest rates of breast cancer mortality. Nine were in Missouri, including New Madrid, Stoddard and Scott Counties.

A first-of-its kind study is being done to track ticks in Illinois. Researchers want to know where certain illness-carrying types are most prevalent.

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Illinois News Connection

Illinois is doing better at improving the lives of children, according to the new 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book.

But the report warns progress could be undermined by a 2020 Census under-count.

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File

SIU-Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno has announced he is battling cancer.

In a blog post Wednesday, Montemagno said he had curtailed his public schedule recently to deal with significant back and hip pain, initially thought to be cysts.

MCO Deadline Approaching

Jun 27, 2018
Healthcare
WSIU / WSIU

The deadline is approaching for Illinois Medicaid recipients who need to change their plan.

A plan developed by the legislature in 2014 requires Medicaid recipients have their benefits handled by a managed care organization to reduce costs. Adults covered by Medicare who have not already chosen a plan manager have been assigned to to an MCO.

But the assigned MCOs don’t work for everyone. Some individuals may find they have been assigned to a plan that doesn’t cover the prescriptions or doctors they need.

Illinois is on track to expand the number of physician assistants allowed in rural areas thanks to Senate Bill 2904.

The bill, which has passed both houses of the General Assembly, will expand the number of physician assistants a doctor is allowed to collaborate with in areas facing a shortage of healthcare providers.

The Jackson County Health Department is preparing to be open five days a week again.

Because of the prolonged Illinois budget stalemate, the facility closed on Fridays in December 2015.

The Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU School of Medicine is hosting a roundtable discussion on human papillomavirus vaccinations - or HPV.

HPV is a viral infection that can cause various types of cancer, but medical experts say many people are unaware of its impact.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has scheduled a town hall in southern Illinois to discuss the agency's health care system.

Spokesman Kevin Harris says Wednesday's town hall in Harrisburg is designed to solicit feedback from veterans, their families and other beneficiaries of the health care system.

SIU and SIH Break Ground on New Facility

Jun 19, 2018
People wearing hard hats shovel dirt in groundbreaking ceremony.
Steph Whiteside/WSIU

The SIU School of Medicine and Southern Illinois Healthcare came together on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 to break ground on a new clinic and teaching facility in Carbondale. 

The 40,000 square foot building will house medical residents and students in the physician assistant program. It will provide expanded space for teaching and patient care and help provide healthcare to Southern Illinois.  

The number of students who stay to practice in the rural community is much higher than the national average. 

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consumercare.net

The CDC is investigating a multi-state salmonella outbreak linked to Kellogg's Honey Smack cereal.

73 cases from 31 states have been confirmed so far...including one in Illinois.

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