Health Care

Health Care
2:36 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

"At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop It"

Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

Hepatitis C infects an estimated five million Americans, though most of them don’t know it. But deaths from hepatitis C are on the rise in baby boomers.

And throughout New England, new infections are creeping up among a younger generation.

Less than a year ago, their only options for treatment were complicated regimens of injections that didn’t always lead to a cure. But brand new drugs could change everything. That is, if the cost doesn’t break us.

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Health Care
9:47 am
Fri January 23, 2015

State Gets Mixed Review On Tobacco Prevention

Rhode Island has the third highest cigarette tax in the nation, but lags in funding for prevention, according to the American Lung Association.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The American Lung Association has given Rhode Island a mixed report card on tobacco control.  While the state has the third highest cigarette tax, it lags behind in funding prevention.

The state got a “B” for its cigarette tax; the third highest in the nation.  The $3.46 in taxes slapped onto a pack of cigarettes has lowered smoking rates.   However it got an “F” for spending on prevention campaigns. 

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Health Care
1:55 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Some Progress On Hospital Infections, But RI Still Lags On Some

Rhode Island is making some progress against hospital-acquired infections. But some infection rates are still higher than the national average.

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Health Care
1:15 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

At The Crossroads: One-Hour Special

Note: This estimate includes people not typically counted by national health surveys. The CDC estimates about 3 million Americans are infected but doesn't include people who are incarcerated, on active military duty, or in nursing homes.
Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

We're wrapping up our months-long series about one of the greatest public health challenges facing Rhode Island: hepatitis C. Listen online or download our one-hour special: "At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop It."

Go behind the series:

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Health Care
2:43 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Health Dept. Ad Campaign Features Rhode Islanders In Recovery

Jonathan Goyer shares his story of addiction and recovery in the health dept.'s new campaign "Addiction is a disease. Recovery is possible."
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island health officials have rolled out a new campaign against drug addiction. The campaign debuts as the state faces more grim statistics: 232 Rhode Islanders died from apparent accidental drug overdoses in 2014, the same number as in 2013.

You may see their faces on buses, or hear their voices in public service announcements. They’re people in recovery from addiction. They include Jonathan Goyer, a former addict turned recovery counselor. He said  it will take more than advertising to fight drug addiction.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Thu January 8, 2015

At The Crossroads, Part 8: Fueled By Opioid Abuse, New Hep C Infections Rise

A rapid hepatitis C test requires only a finger prick for a drop of blood and about a 20 minute wait to find out if you have been exposed to hepatitis C. A follow up confirmatory blood test is required to determine whether you've developed chronic hepatitis C infection.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

In 2014, hundreds of Rhode Islanders died from accidental drug overdoses.  Thousands more remain addicted to prescription painkillers and heroin. For those who inject the drugs, there’s another risk: hepatitis C.

In the final story in our series “At the Crossroads,” we meet a team of outreach workers determined to find new infections before it’s too late.

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Bringing disease prevention to the streets

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Health Care
5:32 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Bishop Tobin Offers Suggestions To Keep Flu At Bay

Bishop Thomas Tobin offers some suggestion to keep the flu at bay among area churches.
Credit Providence Diocese

We’re in the midst of flu season. It’s officially been declared widespread by the state health department.  And Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin is urging churches to take precautions to keep the flu from spreading.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Thu January 1, 2015

New Law Takes Effect To Keep Guns From Seriously Mentally Ill

A new law takes effect today aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of the seriously mentally ill. The state will now begin sending more information to a national criminal background check database.

Anyone who wants to buy a gun from a gun store must submit to a background check. Store owners run the buyer’s information through a few national databases, including the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. Until recently, Rhode Island shared only criminal records with NICS.

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Health Care
12:00 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Documenting The Evolution Of Emergency Medicine

A new documentary about the evolution of emergency medicine airs tonight (MONDAY) on Rhode Island public television. The documentary was produced by a Rhode Island-born ER doctor and inspired by Rhode Island Hospital’s emergency medicine chief.

Before the 1970s, there was no 911. No ambulance service like we know today. Emergency medicine, says Dr. Mark Brady, wasn’t even a specialty until 1979.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Brown Researcher: Hospital Quality Improvements Reduce Disparities

A rising tide lifts all boats. That’s the finding of a Brown University researcher who investigated whether hospital quality improvements brought better care for minority patients as well as white.

Brown University professor Amal Trivedi wanted to know if improved standards at hospitals have helped all patients equally.  Medicare asked hospitals to start reporting certain quality measures in 2005. Trivedi said that at that time, there were significant disparities between the care whites and minorities got at hospitals around the country.

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