Health Care

Health Care
2:16 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

More Hospitals To Distribute Overdose Rescue Kits

Narcan, or naloxone, comes in an easy-to-use nasal spray.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island, the Miriam, and Newport Hospitals will be handing out overdose prevention kits to patients at risk. The kits are just one piece of a larger program designed to combat opioid overdose deaths.

The hospitals will distribute overdose kits to patients who have been brought to their emergency rooms because of an overdose. That kit will include Narcan – a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose – in the form of a nasal spray.

Read more
Health Care
6:12 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Annual Rally Fights Addiction Stigma

The Rally 4 Recovery banner hangs on City Hall in Providence.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s annual Rally for Recovery takes place Saturday afternoon at Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence.

This year marks Rhode Island’s 11th annual Rally for Recovery. If last year’s event is any indication, thousands of attendees are expected for an afternoon of live music, speakers, and a candlelight processional toward the statehouse. The rally highlights the stories of people in recovery from the disease of addiction and remembers those who have died from the disease.

Read more
Health Care
3:01 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Providence VA Holds Town Hall As Agency Tries To Rebuild Trust Nationwide

Credit Providence VA Medical Center

Tonight, the VA hospital in Providence will hold a town hall meeting for veterans, their family, and the public. VAs around the country were directed to hold such public meetings by the end of this month. The aim: to regain trust after a widespread scheduling scandal.

Read more
Health Care
6:00 am
Wed September 3, 2014

CVS Caremark Is Now CVS Health; All Stores Tobacco-Free A Month Early

CVS headquarters
Credit Courtesy CVS

Pharmacy corporation CVS Caremark has officially changed its name to CVS Health.

The Woonsocket-based company announced the name change as a way to reflect its growth beyond a retail pharmacy chain into a multi-service health care company. Today, the $127-billion dollar CVS Health encompasses 7700 retail pharmacies, hundreds of walk-in medical clinics, a pharmacy benefits manager and more. CVS Health president Helena Foulkes says it made sense to re-brand now.

Read more
Health Care
5:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

CVS To Offer Overdose Antidote Narcan Without Prescription

CVS will soon provide the anti-overdose medication Narcan, to customers even without a description. Walgreens was the first nationwide pharmacy chain to provide such as service.
Credit RIPR FILE / Courtesy CVS

CVS Caremark will be joining Walgreens in allowing pharmacists to dispense a life-saving antidote for drug overdoses, without a prescription. That means that soon Narcan will be much more widely available throughout the state.

Rhode Island Hospital drug abuse epidemiologist Traci Green has been working with a statewide overdose prevention task force to get Narcan – also known as naloxone—into as many hands as possible. The drug can rescue someone who has overdosed on an opioid like heroin or prescription painkiller OxyContin.

Read more
Health Care
6:00 am
Tue August 19, 2014

With Latino Kids' Asthma Rates High, Researchers Turn To Peer Mentors

Andy Darius, a high school asthma mentor, shows off one of his team sweaters.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Childhood asthma rates are on the rise across the country. In Rhode Island, it’s about 12 percent, according to the state health department - one of the highest rates in New England. Hiding in that statistic: in some inner city schools, almost half the kids have asthma. Now, a new program aims to help some of the most vulnerable kids manage their asthma better in school, with a little help from their peers.

An athlete with asthma

If you’ve never had an asthma attack, here’s what it’s like:

Read more
Health Care
4:35 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Debrief: What's Behind the Recent Spike In Overdose Deaths?

127 Rhode Islanders have died from accidental drug overdoses since the beginning of this year. That includes 17 in July alone. The numbers had been declining – down to one overdose death in June. But health department officials are alarmed by the sudden spike.

Rhode Island Public Radio has been tracking the state’s opioid addiction and overdose crisis. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joined host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about the recent increase.

Read more
Health Care
5:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

To Stop Overdose Deaths, RI Tracks Painkiller Prescriptions

Rhode Island now tracks opioid painkillers prescribed to patients, in an effort to clamp down on addiction and overdoses.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s health department has started tracking the number of prescriptions written for opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Agency head Dr. Michael Fine says that’s because those drugs are addictive. And four out of five people who use heroin got started on prescription painkillers. In July, he says, 118,000 Rhode Islanders got prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

Read more
Health Care
3:35 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Patrick Kennedy: Robin Williams’ Death Highlights Need For Mental Health Care

Former congressman Patrick Kennedy says the death of comedian Robin Williams shouldn’t overshadow the scores of other Americans who suffer from depression.

Kennedy says his heart goes out to Williams’ family: But yesterday Robin Williams was not the only one to take his life. There were 100 other Americans who successfully took their lives yesterday alone, and today there will be another hundred Americans who will successfully take their lives,” he said.

Read more
Health Care
5:00 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Liberians Rally On Statehouse Steps For Ebola Aid

Liberians rally on the steps of the Statehouse.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Liberians living in Rhode Island rallied on the steps of the Statehouse today to draw attention to the Ebola outbreak that’s killed more than 900 people in West Africa. They're seeking donations to send to Liberia to help stop the spread of the disease.

Dozens showed up to march and chant, holding signs that read “Ebola Be Gone” and “no new cases.” Then they gathered on the steps of the Statehouse, cheering on speakers from the Liberian community. Among them was CCRI student Fanta Yah. She says her family is safe so far from the Ebola virus. But of course, she’s worried.

Read more

Pages