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The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced plans to  accelerate the launch of Medicaid expansion  to Oct. 1, which is about three months earlier than expected.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley volunteered at blood drives before he was old enough to donate. Then he was a regular donor in high school and some of his college years. But that was years ago. For the first time in more than a decade, Kinsley, 38, rolled up his sleeve to donate blood recently.

According to research by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, recent moves by the Biden administration to deliver high-speed internet to rural communities will do more than connect homes to the internet: It may improve rural health. Associate Professor Carrie Henning-Smith with the university’s School of Public Health said in an interview with The Daily Yonder that access to high-speed internet will affect rural health in a number of ways, including direct access as well as more indirect health outcome-affecting factors.

With increasing limits on abortion access, NC nurses step into rights advocacy

Jill Sergison, a certified nurse-midwife, stood amid a crowd of nearly a thousand people on May 13 wearing a rainbow-colored clinic escort vest and a white coat as Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed …

A recent study estimates that 230 billion tiny pieces of plastic the thickness of a human hair and 670 million microplastics about the size of a grain of sand flow into the Pamlico Sound from the Neuse River Basin each year. To reach that estimate, North Carolina State University and North Carolina Sea Grant researchers sampled 15 freshwater locations between Wake County to Craven County from August 2020 to July 2021.

Stoneos instead of Oreos?  Doweedos  instead of Doritos?  Law enforcement officers and federal agencies are taking steps to get these familiar-looking edibles and other delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products out of the hands of middle and high school students.

According to Monica Christofferson, director of treatment court programs at the Center for Justice Innovation, amid an accelerating opioid crisis there has been a “huge shift” among judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies away from the stigma associated with medication treatment. Simply put, “MOUD works,” Christofferson asserts.

Last August, during a routine surveillance flyover, Samantha Krop spotted something odd at White Oak Farm, a Wayne County biogas and industrial hog farm operation. In May 2022, the owners reported that nearly a million gallons of hog feces, decomposing hog carcasses and food waste seeped from a failed hog waste “digester” and spread over surrounding fields. Of the total waste amount, 10,745 gallons also entered the Nahunta Swamp. “I noticed that the …

This has been a summer of intense heat domes, record high temperatures and strained power grids feeding cranked-up air conditioners that are working overtime to cool homes, businesses and other buildings. As many North Carolina residents seek chilled shelter from stifling heat and indices expected to top 100 degrees, many in the state’s prison population are confined inside buildings without air conditioning.

State health leaders announce plan to speed up Medicaid expansion

The  N.C. Department of Health and  Human  Services  hopes to accelerate the launch of Medicaid expansion, potentially giving more than 600,000 low-income residents access to health insurance coverage as early as Oct. 1.

Gov. Cooper to offer ‘Roadmap for Aging’ plan for state’s 1.8 million seniors

During Gov. Roy Cooper’s final full year in office, his administration will make a first-time, major push to benefit North Carolina’s fast-growing older population through new funding and changes in state operations, according to interviews with principals and state documents.

State lawmakers have repealed “Blackbeard’s Law,” a measure passed in 2015 that Fayetteville underwater photographer Rick Allen believes was an attempt to stop him from suing the state for using his videos and photographs of the notorious pirate’s shipwreck without compensation.

Doctors see surge of sterilizations in wake of NC abortion restrictions

For years, Katie and her husband have used traditional forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy. The 28-year-old knew that if it failed, she could always get an abortion.  When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer, Katie began to think she needed more protection. She recently had her fallopian tubes removed by a Charlotte doctor. 

State officials delay rollout of specialty Medicaid plans — again

The repeatedly delayed rollout of specialized health care plans for tens of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries — those with complex, often behavioral health needs — has been postponed indefinitely, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday. 

In March 2022, John called the police to his home in Mecklenburg County because his 16-year-old son, Paul, was experiencing a violent behavioral health episode. “We don’t feel safe. We don’t know what to do. We really need treatment for him. Please help us,” John remembers telling hospital staff as he explained the violent episodes at home.

Kids and adults with disabilities find community, fitness in workout class

On a warm summer evening, laughter fills a gym furnished with red and black fitness equipment as more than 20 people attempt to grab clothespins attached to each other’s shirts.  Participants range from young teenagers to those who are starting to gray around the temples. Some have cognitive and physical disabilities and join in with the families and other members of the CrossFit community.

Rural SNAP recipients will have harder time with return to work requirements

More than 1.7 million rural Americans live in counties where there aren’t enough jobs for people who want them, making it harder for SNAP recipients to meet work requirements that were reinstated when the federal pandemic emergency declaration ended.

RALEIGH — NC by Train, North Carolina’s intercity passenger rail service, launched service and schedule changes on Monday. The improvements include more departures and some reduced ravel times for passengers between North Carolina’s two biggest cities, Raleigh and Charlotte, according to a news release from the N.C. Department of Transportation.

In early May, it’s possible to find fields of wheat and lavender-colored straw flowers bordering two-lane roads that wind through Gaston County. This part of Cherryville Township lies roughly 35 miles northwest of Charlotte and about 82 miles southwest of Black Mountain.  Continue driving, and one quickly discovers white signs lining county roads revealing what many locals see as a threat to the pastoral lifestyle that drew them here. The message in bold, black letters reads: “Gaston County Pit Mine,” enclosed in a red circle with a line drawn through the middle.

People should celebrate and have fun this Fourth of July, but anyone who drinks alcohol should not operate an automobile or boat. That was the message from traffic safety officials and law enforcement officers at Wednesday’s launch in Raleigh of anti-drunken driving campaigns aimed at automobile drivers and boaters.

After the fall of Roe, physicians confronted toughest year in reproductive health care

After graduating from a medical school in the Northeast, Caledonia Buckheit came south to Duke University Hospital to complete her obstetrics and gynecology residency. She finished last June and found work in North Carolina — ready to provide comprehensive reproductive health care to patients, including abortion. Just weeks after finishing, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization  eliminated the constitutional right to abortion that had existed for nearly half a century.

HIGH POINT — Taylor Loyd, representing Statesville, was crowned Miss North Carolina 2023 at High Point Theater on Saturday evening. Janiya Pipkin, Miss Fayetteville Dogwood, placed in the top 15.

Proposed bill raises alarm over potential weakening of NC water quality regulations

Recently, state lawmakers discussed this year’s  regulatory reform bill  and, despite a bevy of amendments and question marks about its effects on the environment and potential conflicts with the Clean Water Act, the bill received a favorable report and is moving on in the state Senate. 

Lawsuit alleges patient overcharging at Asheville's Mission Hospital

Two longtime emergency room doctors have blown the whistle on what they say is fraudulent overcharging by HCA Healthcare, which owns Mission Health, and its medical staffing company, TeamHealth, according to a recently unsealed lawsuit filed last year.

Suzanne Wertman used to work as a certified nurse-midwife at a private practice in Wilmington. But in a day, that changed. The physicians who ran the practice abruptly decided to shut down midwifery services at the practice. There was no transition period, she said. When Wertman lost her job that day in 2009, she also lost the ability to practice her profession until she found another supervisor. The same thing happened to the two other midwives at the practice.

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