Health Care

Health Care
5:30 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Debrief: What Could A Strike At RI Hospital Mean?

Rhode Island Hospital employs more than 7000 workers.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Workers at Rhode Island Hospital have threatened to strike as contract negotiations reach an impasse. A federal mediator has been called in to help broker a deal between the hospital and members of the Teamsters union. The Teamsters represent certified nurses’ assistants and unit assistants, people who help care for patients.

What could a strike mean for patients and employees? Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon to sort through the issues.

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Health Care
12:21 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Health Officials To Evaluate Impact of Meningitis Vaccine At PC

Health officials plan to evaluate the effectiveness of a new vaccine for bacterial meningitis given en masse to Providence College students. Researchers will collect throat swabs from some of the thousands of students vaccinated over the next few months.

After two students at Providence College came down with meningitis, health officials rushed to vaccinate more than 3500 students to contain a potential outbreak. So far, no new cases have cropped up.

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Health Care
4:33 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Teamsters Authorize Strike At Rhode Island Hospital

Members of the Teamsters union working at Rhode Island Hospital voted Wednesday evening to authorize a strike. Don’t expect to see picket lines immediately.

The vote simply gives union leadership the authority to give the hospital 10 days' notice before striking. But members could walk off the job in a couple of weeks if they don’t reach a new contract deal with hospital management. A federal mediator has been called in, according to hospital officials.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Can Murder Charges For Selling Drugs Stop Overdose Deaths?

A providence man has been charged with murder for selling drugs to a woman, who subsequently overdosed.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

A Providence man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge for selling the illicit drug fentanyl - a potent painkiller sometimes laced in heroin - that led to a woman’s overdose death. It’s the first time Rhode Island prosecutors have brought murder charges in connection with an overdose death. But the trend is taking hold nationwide.

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Health Care
9:21 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Legislation To Expand Access To Experimental Drugs Introduced

The House committee on Health Education and Welfare held a hearing Wednesday on legislation that could expand access to experimental drugs for terminally ill patients in RI.
Credit RIPR FILE

New legislation aimed at increasing access to experimental medical treatments was introduced Wednesday at the Statehouse.  It could broaden access to drugs not yet approved by the FDA.

There is already a process for patients with terminal illness to try out drugs that are still in testing… But Democratic Representative Joseph McNamara wants to make it easier.   He said all the red tape doctors and patients have to cut through takes too long for people who are critically ill. 

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Health Care
12:49 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

Awards Series: At The Crossroads Hep C On The Rise And The Fight To Stop It

Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

A multimedia series about one of the greatest public health challenges of a generation

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 of injection drug users.

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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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