rhode island department of health

Health Care
5:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

To Stop Overdose Deaths, RI Tracks Painkiller Prescriptions

Rhode Island now tracks opioid painkillers prescribed to patients, in an effort to clamp down on addiction and overdoses.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s health department has started tracking the number of prescriptions written for opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. Agency head Dr. Michael Fine says that’s because those drugs are addictive. And four out of five people who use heroin got started on prescription painkillers. In July, he says, 118,000 Rhode Islanders got prescriptions for opioid painkillers.

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The Pulse
3:52 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Ebola In RI? Not Likely. But We're Ready Anway.

Rhode Island health department officials do not expect to see any Ebola cases in the state. But they’re preparing anyway.

Rhode Island’s health department director Dr. Michael Fine says his agency knows how to handle an infectious disease outbreak. And one of the first lines of defense against Ebola includes health care workers and hospitals.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure that everyone understands what they have to do should a traveler come here from an endemic area," said Fine.

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The Pulse
11:24 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Home Visiting Program Aims To Prevent Child Abuse

The state health department has announced more funding for a home visiting program for families and children at risk. The Healthy Families America program aims to prevent child maltreatment before it starts.                                                        

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Environment
8:53 am
Mon July 21, 2014

New Program Helps Elderly Deal With Climate Change

A program designed to help Rhode Island's older adult population prepare for climate change threats is one of several projects that will receive federal money as part of the state's disaster recovery action plan.  This program will receive $150,000 over the next two years.

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The Pulse
2:51 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Getting The Lead Out: The Law Works, Except When It Doesn't

Cracking lead paint
Credit Bart Everson / Flickr

A law aimed at protecting children from unsafe levels of lead in their homes is working, according to a new study. But only when landlords comply with it.

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The Pulse
3:28 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

MinuteClinics And The Future Of Primary Care

The Rhode Island Department of Health's recent decision to grant approval, with 22 conditions, to CVS to open seven retail health clinics in pharmacies throughout Rhode Island came down in the form of a 43-page document. In my humble opinion, it's a well-written, even eloquent ode to the importance of primary care and the challenges of regulating health care in a state where for-profit health care is no longer around the corner but setting up shop on it.

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Health Care
1:32 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

CVS Gets Green Light To Open Retail Clinics In RI

CVS Caremark is headquartered in Woonsocket, RI.
Credit Megan Hall / RIPR

The nation’s largest pharmacy chain has been given the green light to open seven retail health care clinics in Rhode Island. CVS pharmacies’ MinuteClinics would see patients for minor illnesses and perform some routine health screenings. But state health officials' approval comes with several conditions.

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Health Care
11:45 am
Tue April 22, 2014

CurrentCare Must Spell Out How To Change, Remove Records

A statewide electronic health records program must be more transparent and offer patients more privacy protections. That’s the result of a suit brought by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Environment
9:18 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Brown, Health Department To Screen Documentary "Shored Up"

A still of the documentary "Shored Up," by Ben Kalina

The critically-acclaimed documentary “Shored Up” will be playing at Brown University this evening.

The school’s Center for Environmental Studies and the Rhode Island Department of Health are sponsoring the movie screening and a panel discussion after the movie.

The documentary looks at how different coastal communities along the eastern seaboard are trying to deal with rising sea levels.

Policy and environmental science experts will sit on the panel, including the town planner of Westerly, where four natural disasters have hit in the past four years.

Health Care
11:33 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Should Flu & HPV Shots Be Required For School Kids?

The state’s health department is considering updates to its immunization policy for school kids from preschool through college. The proposals would require flu shots for kids up to age five and the HPV vaccine for kids entering ninth grade.

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