Health Care

RIPR FILE

The Providence VA is stepping up efforts to curb prescription painkiller abuse and overdose deaths. Now there are two new tools in the fight.

Nationwide, the VA rolled out its opioid safety initiative in 2013. Since then, VA systems around the country have begun tracking painkiller and other prescriptions better. That includes a new system to track whether a patient has also been prescribed a class of medication called benzodiazepines, which can be dangerous when combined with opioids.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Woonsocket-based CVS Health says it’s paying nearly $2 billion dollars to take over Target’s pharmacies and walk-in clinics. The deal adds more than 1600 pharmacies and nearly 100 walk-in clinics to CVS’s growing portfolio nationwide.

                                                      

45 children in the care of Rhode Island’s child welfare agency are currently listed as missing. Rhode Island Public Radio learned about the number missing after a 14-year-old girl in the agency's care was found in New Jersey with an alleged sex trafficker. The Department of Children, Youth, and Family says she was lured away from a group home. Spokesman Denis Riel says the agency takes its responsibility for children seriously.

RIPR FILE

Department of Children, Youth, and Families officials told a joint senate committee Wednesday they're making progress addressing 20 recommendations lawmakers issued in January.

Jamia McDonald was appointed to oversee those changes. Among a long list of initiatives underway at the child welfare agency, McDonald told committee members DCYF is working on improving the way new cases are handled and on moving more children out of group homes.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Officials from the state’s child welfare agency go before a joint senate committee Wednesday. They’re expected to update lawmakers on their progress addressing some of the department’s shortcomings.

In January, a task force led by Rhode Island Senator Lou DiPalma recommended major changes at the Department of Children Youth and families. That’s in part because the agency was running over budget and because of concerns about practices like sending dozens of kids to out-of-state group homes. DiPalma said this hearing is intended to get an update on the recommendations.

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