12:35 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Mental Health Cops Help Reweave Social Safety Net In San Antonio

Officers Ned Bandoske (left) and Ernest Stevens are part of San Antonio's mental health squad — a six-person unit that answers the frequent emergency calls where mental illness may play a role.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 9:00 am

It's almost 4 p.m., and police officers Ernest Stevens and Ned Bandoske have been driving around town in their unmarked, black SUV since early this morning. The officers are part of San Antonio's mental health squad – a six-person unit that answers the frequent emergency calls where mental illness may be an issue.

The officers spot a call for help on their laptop from a group home across town.

"A male individual put a blanket on fire this morning," Stevens reads from the blotter. "He's arguing ... and is a danger to himself and others. He's off his medications."

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Health Care
12:33 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Senator Murray Focused On Countering Hobby Lobby Ruling

Senator Patty Murray.
Credit Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Free contraceptive coverage is mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

But in the landmark Hobby Lobby decision last June, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations are exempt from the law if the owners object on religious grounds.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Photographer Recalls How Ebola Patients Were Carried Off In Liberia

A family (center) leaves the isolation center after a mob forced open the gates of the facility.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 1:28 pm

We told you over the weekend about protesters in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, who on Saturday attacked and looted a quarantine center holding Ebola patients, forcing at least 20 patients to leave the facility.

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Health News
2:29 am
Sun August 17, 2014

When Patients Read What Their Doctors Write

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:17 am

The woman was sitting on a gurney in the emergency room, and I was facing her, typing. I had just written about her abdominal pain when she posed a question I'd never been asked before: "May I take a look at what you're writing?"

At the time, I was a fourth-year medical resident in Boston. In our ER, doctors routinely typed visit notes, placed orders and checked past records while we were in patients' rooms. To maintain at least some eye contact, we faced our patients, with the computer between us.

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11:20 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Retailers Face Rising Pressure Over Chemical Triclosan

A bottle of antibacterial soap contains the active ingredient triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent that has been linked to cancerous cell growth and disruptions in development in animals. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 4:14 pm

Walmart, Target and other retailers are facing rising pressure to stop selling products that contain the chemical triclosan, ahead of a meeting with suppliers next month.

Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent that has been linked to cancerous cell growth and disruptions in development in animals.

It’s used in a variety of products, including soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, mouthwashes and even toys and socks.

American regulators haven’t decided yet whether to ban it, so for now it’s still allowed in products, but that has many consumer groups worried.

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International Gay Games
11:20 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Sports In The Age Of HIV And Aids

Twenty-four years after being diagnosed with HIV, Steve Harrington is still here -- a fact he attributes to medication and a love of basketball, which keeps him physically fit and mentally focused. (David C. Barnett/ideastream)

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 4:14 pm

After a week of running, jumping, figure skating and even sport dancing, the International Gay Games wrap up tomorrow in Cleveland.

When the Gay Games began in 1982, HIV/AIDS had just been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 36 million people have died from the disease. An equal number live with HIV.

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Heart Health
11:03 am
Fri August 15, 2014

New Studies: Low-Salt Diet May Be Harmful

Three new studies challenge the low salt intake levels recommended by groups like the American Heart Association. (Wen Zhang/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 12:22 pm

A set of three studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that people who consumed less than 3,000 milligrams of salt per day were more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, and more likely to die, than people who consumed between 3,000 and 6,000 milligrams per day.

Average U.S. daily salt intake is about 3,400 milligrams, but groups from the World Health Organization to the American Heart Association recommend significantly lower daily consumption.

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11:02 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Why Hungry Seniors Aren't Getting Enough To Eat

Malnourished seniors may be forgotten until they show up in the emergency room, often for another reason like an injury.
Ted Gough Willowpix/iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 5:05 pm

When we picture hungry Americans, we may see the faces of children, or single moms. But many of the people who struggle to fill their bellies are beyond age 65. Some of them are even malnourished, a condition that sets them up for all kinds of other health risks, like falling.

Malnutrition may go undetected — by the general public and by doctors — until the seniors show up in the emergency room, often for an injury or other reason.

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Psychiatric Boarding
8:17 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Washington Races The Clock To Find New Beds For 200 Psychiatric Patients

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 4:12 pm

The state of Washington is scrambling to find beds for an estimated 200 mental health patients by August 27. That's when the state must comply with a Washington Supreme Court ruling that said detaining psychiatric patients in emergency room beds is unlawful.

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Health News
12:35 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Who Gets First Dibs On Transplanted Liver? Rules May Change

Surgeons at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis prepare to transplant a liver in 2010.
Karen Pulfer Focht The Commercial Appeal/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 6:21 am

Vicki Hornbuckle used to play the piano at her church. But that was before her liver started failing.

"I had to give it up because I couldn't keep up," says Hornbuckle, 54, of Snellville, Georgia. "I didn't have the energy to do three services on Sunday. You're just too tired to deal with anything. And so, it's not a life that you want to live."

But Hornbuckle hasn't given up. She's fighting to stay alive long enough to get a liver transplant.

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Research Project
4:05 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Tracking Cells From Well To Diseased

Marcie Sillman talks to Dr. Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology, about the the 100k Wellness Project. The project, which started a year ago, hopes to track what happens at the cellular level when a person goes from well to diseased. 

Mental Health
3:38 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Why Middle Aged White Men Have A Higher Risk For Suicide

Marcie Sillman talks with Sue Eastgard about suicide prevention and how that differs between gender. Eastgard is the director of training for Forefront, a University of Washington suicide prevention organization.

Health News
6:53 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Can Divorced Dad Be Forced To Cover Insurance For Adult Kids?


Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 2:24 pm

When it comes to health insurance for young adults, the Affordable Care Act made it possible for kids to stay on their parents' health plans until they turn 26. It was one of the first provisions of the law to take effect and has proved popular. But what happens when the parents are divorced? Here's a look at that question and a couple of others about coverage issues.

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Mississippi Clinic
2:14 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Doctor Performs Abortions 'Because I'm A Christian'

Dr. Willie J. Parker, pictured here on April 15, 2013, travels from Chicago about once a month to work at the Jackson Women's Health Organization clinic. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 12:28 pm

Dr. Willie Parker is one of two doctors who performs abortions at the only women’s health clinic in Mississippi where abortions are performed.

Parker is a devout Christian who feels he is doing the right thing to help women in need. He’s the subject of a profile in Esquire magazine called “The Abortion Ministry of Dr. Willie Parker.”

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2:08 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Why 'Run, Walk, Bike' For A Cure Brings In The Big Bucks

Ross Reynolds talks to Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, about the trend of fundraising events that ask participants to "run, walk or bike" for a cure.