The Pulse

The Pulse is written by Kristin Gourlay, an award winning health care reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

State representative Aaron Regunburg has been chairing a House committee on the use of solitary confinement in Rhode Island’s prisons. Solitary has been shown to damage mental health, and a high percentage of attempted suicides in prisons take place in solitary confinement. The question on the table: is this tool worth the cost to an inmate’s mental and physical health? 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement, hospitals in Rhode Island could take a hit. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

People with Down Syndrome are living longer than they ever have before. But with that good news comes a troubling statistic. 

RIPR file photo

What’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Jan. 24

SLATER: Eleanor Slater Hospital has a new CEO: Cynthia Huether brings 25 years of behavioral health care experience to the job. Gov. Gina Raimondo has called for a turnaround of the hospital, where an independent report found people in the top leadership positions lacked the proper training and experience.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Health and Human Services make up a little more than 40 percent of Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed 2018 budget. There are no huge surprises in this year’s recommendations, but much uncertainty over the fate of federal health care funding.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, Jan. 17th:

Megan Hall / RIPR

As Republicans prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a clear replacement, many Rhode Islanders are concerned about their future. Freelancers, artists, and adjunct professors are in a particularly precarious position, because they don’t have access to employer-sponsored health insurance. 

SHERYL RICH-KERN

For college students, the academic year is well underway. Students have spent the first semester making new friends and adjusting to classes and dorm life.

But unlike previous generations, these young adults are more likely to report anxiety and depression.

And that has campus mental health centers struggling to keep up with demand.

At Keene State College in New Hampshire, English major Aidan Bolduc sits near a window in the atrium, as other students banter over summer escapades and coursework.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science / Creative Commons License via Flickr

 

There’s some good news for sushi lovers. A new report finds that over an 8-year period, mercury levels in Gulf of Maine tuna declined 2 percent a year — a decline that parallels reductions in mercury pollution from Midwest coal-fired power plants.

Two years ago, Dr. Nicholas Fisher, a professor of marine sciences at Stony Brook University in New York, had a bit of luck — he found out that a colleague had established a collection of 1,300 western Atlantic bluefin taken from the Gulf of Maine between 2004 and 2012.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Beginning in February, low-income seniors and disabled Rhode Islanders will pay 50 cents to ride Rhode Island Public Transit buses.

Kristin Gourlay / Rhode Island Public Radio

For older people, driving can mean the difference between freedom and dependence. But what happens if Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia begins to take hold? When do family members know it’s time to take away the keys? This week on The Pulse, we explore the options for families having this tough conversation. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here what’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Dec. 13:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State health care leaders are keeping a close watch on the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Karen Brown / NEPR/NENC

About a dozen miles off the coast of Cape Cod sits a rustic island named Penikese — part of the Elizabeth island chain. A hundred years ago, Penikese was home to a leper colony, then a school for troubled boys and a bird sanctuary. This past fall, Penikese opened to its newest incarnation — a treatment program for opioid addicts.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This Thanksgiving many of us are gathering with family – some of whom we haven’t seen for a while. If that includes older relatives and friends, you might notice some changes. But which changes are part of the normal aging process, and which might indicate there’s a problem? 

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