The Pulse

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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.

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. 

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Dec. 13

Dec 13, 2016
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? 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Sen. Josh Miller (D-Cranston) has had a front row seat during the implementation of Obamacare in Rhode Island. Now, the prospect of a Trump presidency is creating uncertainty among proponents of the law. 

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Nov. 15

Nov 15, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Nov. 15:

OPIOID ADDICTION TREATMENT FOR INMATES: -The medical director for state correctional system, Dr. Jennifer Clark, told members of the governor’s opioid overdose task force that more inmates will be getting medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Police departments in our region and around the country are scrambling to respond to the opioid addiction crisis. 

A spate of high profile police shootings have drawn attention to the way police respond to people dealing with mental illness. 

Karen Brown / NEPR/NENC

Massachusetts is one of about 40 states where someone who abuses drugs or alcohol to an extreme can be legally committed to a locked treatment facility -- along with Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Rhode Island allows legal commitment only for alcohol addiction. In most cases, a worried family member has to go to court to make that happen.

But one recent trend that has surprised even court officials is how many addicts are appealing directly to a judge — willing to give up their civil rights in exchange for some help.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Nov. 1

Nov 1, 2016
Brown Medicine Magazine

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Nov. 1:

  • OPEN ENROLLMENT: Today (Nov. 1) is the beginning of open enrollment for health insurance plans sold on the state’s Obamacare exchange, HealthSource RI.

Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Oct. 25

Oct 25, 2016
RIPR file photo

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island:

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