Health Care

The Pulse
12:00 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Compassion center regulations closer to final

News from the RI Dept. of Health from spokeswoman Dara Chadwick about medical marijuana. They’re close to finalizing the regulations for compassion centers. She writes that “…one more review meeting will be held to finalize. After that, the regulations will be filed with the Secretary of State’s office.”

The three approved applicants must then submit their “Registration to Operate a Medical Marijuana Compassion Center.”

Meanwhile, a lawsuit has just been filed accusing the Dept. of reversing course, without warning, on who can prescribe medical marijuana.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Violence as contagious disease

Sometimes it’s a new way of thinking, a new model, an idea out of left field, or, as I like to think of it, using the map of one universe to navigate another – that helps solve some of our most intractable problems. I like to highlight that kind of new thinking from time to time, so here’s a recent example.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Therapeutic value of medical marijuana

Science Friday is airing right now (the 2 o’clock hour on Friday) on Rhode Island Public Radio. (Listen now.) The topic is the medical value of marijuana; a federal appeals court is set to hear arguments about its value next week. Host Ira Flatow is talking to an oncologist and a microbiologist about it. Fascinating.

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Health Care
2:00 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Graduate Medical Education Funding Showdown?

The Association of American Medical Colleges has launched a new ad campaign, running in newspapers near the sites of upcoming presidential debates, calling for an increase in funding for graduate medical education. The group is trying to draw attention to what it sees as a crisis in the making: the current limit on the number of federally funded residency programs could, it says, lead to doctor shortages. It's just the latest in a series of movements on the GME front.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Rhode Islanders least healthy New Englanders

A new poll from Gallup Healthways came out today showing physicians are generally healthier, or at least engage in healthier behaviors, than nurses and other health care workers. To wit: 15% of nurses smoke, whereas only 4% of physicians do. (The Rhode Island College of Nursing has just banned smoking on campus AND by any of its students in uniform, while “representing” the school, the dean told me the other day. It’s a good start.)

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Meningitis outbreak and pain management clinics

One of the facilities in Rhode Island that received shipments of steroids used in spinal injections happens to be a pain management clinic. The other is an anesthesiology clinic. There were no hospitals or other regulated facilities on the list of places in RI to have dispensed the contaminated steroid. (And if you were one of those patients, the clinic has already notified you or is still trying to, according to the RI Dept. of Health.)

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Thu October 4, 2012

RI nursing ed in spotlight, plus: cutting the cord too soon?

The University of Rhode Island’s nursing school announced today that it has won $3.8M in federal grants – a huge number for a small school, and for nursing, at that. You can read more about those grants in our news coverage here and see URI’s press release here.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Mandated flu vaccines?–UPDATE

UPDATE: As of today, October 5, 2012, the Rhode Island Department of Health has issued a ruling that it will mandate flu vaccines for all health care workers and volunteers. You can get a medical exemption with a note from your doctor, or fill out a form saying you refuse to get the shot but understand you’ll have to wear a surgical mask when interacting with patients during flu season. Link to the state regulation (it’s a .pdf).

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Suicide now kills more people than car wrecks

A troubling finding out this week in the American Journal of Public Health.The article, “Leading Causes of Unintentional and Intentional Injury Mortality: United States, 2000-2009,” by Ian R. H. Rockett, et al., looked at data from the National Center for Health Statistics on all kinds of intentional and accidental  injury-related deaths, and in particular at five causes: suicide, car accidents, homicide, poisoning, and falls. Here’s what they found:

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