The Pulse

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The Pulse is written by Lynn Arditi.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

Lynn Arditi / RIPR

A new report by Blue Cross Blue Shield shows Rhode Island has the highest rate of diagnosis for major depression in the country.

Major depression -- characterized by persistent sadness and trouble performing routine daily activities – is second only to high blood pressure in its impact on overall health for Americans covered by commercial insurance, according to Blue Cross.

RIPR

Care New England officials on Thursday reported it would be operating in the black if it weren’t for the ongoing losses from the now-closed Memorial Hospital.

Rhode Island’s second-largest hospital system reported a $7 million net loss from operations during the first three months of 2018. That included an $8.5 million loss from the Pawtucket hospital, which closed last January.

Kristen Gourlay / RIPR

At the urging of the Rhode Island Medical Society, Governor Gina M. Raimondo has agreed to explore the creation of safe injection sites in Rhode Island.

RIPR

A new study  by the Association of American Medical Colleges offers fresh evidence that academic medicine is a major driver of Rhode Island’s economy.

RIPR

The union representing employees at Fatima Hospital in North Providence has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against hospital officials for refusing to disclose details of the hospital’s latest accreditation review.

Annajane Yolken

The streets of Lisbon, Portugal were once described as littered with syringes. During the 1990s, this southern European country roughly the size of Maine had one of the worst drug epidemics in the world. Today, Portugal boasts one of the lowest rates of overdose deaths in the European Union. How did they do it?

RIPR File

Public health experts are opposing a bill introduced at the request of state Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin to mandate life sentences for drug dealers in fatal overdose cases.

RIPR

More than two dozen Rhode Island cities and towns have joined a growing legal attack against the manufacturers and wholesalers of prescription opioids.

RIPR

 

Rhode Island’s largest hospital network -- Lifespan -- will now join with Care New England in its negotiations with Boston-based Partners Health Care.

South County Health

Rhode Island’s last independent hospital will remain independent for now.

Lynn Arditi / RIPR

Rhode Island law enforcement officials announced Thursday a $50,000 grant to Rhode Island's first community center for teenagers recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. 

The Jim Gillen Anchor Youth Recovery Center, in Providence, is named after the late founder of Rhode Island’s first recovery center and a leader in the movement to bring services and compassion to people coping with addiction.

The money is from restitution payments made to the state by a convicted marijuana grower, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said during a news conference.  

RIPR

Patients or their doctors would be able to request that pharmacies partially fill prescriptions for opioids under a bill introduced in the General Assembly aimed at reducing the risk of opioid abuse. 

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative

A new study co-led by a Rhode Island epidemiologist found that a simple drug testing strip -- similar to a home pregnancy test --  accurately detected the potentially deadly opioid fentanyl in street drug samples.

RIPR

A top CVS Health executive is leaving the Woonsocket-based pharmacy chain to become chief executive of a company that owns upscale retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor.

Helena Foulkes, vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, where she currently oversees the company’s retail stores, will become CEO of Toronto-based Hudson Bay Company effective Feb. 19, according to company news release. Foulkes will be responsible for HBC’s global strategy and operations, including more than 480 stores.

RIPR

Rhode Island’s health director has ordered Care New England Health System to pay a half-million dollars a year to the cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls for costs associated with transporting patients to area hospitals following this month's closure of Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket.

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